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Rhode Island’s capital city is fast becoming a popular vacation destination. With fantastic historical architecture, plenty of museums and cultural exhibitions, the lush and green expanses of Roger Williams National Park as well as iconic Brown University, it is easy to see why visitors are flocking to the area. Get ready to fall in love with Providence.

Things to see in Providence

Providence is a great city to get to know on foot or by car, as the cityscape is full of beautiful and unique architecture and historic landmarks. Start your tour of Providence at The Museum of Natural History and Planetarium at Roger Williams Park. The museum opened its doors in 1896 thanks to a donation of privately acquired mammal and bird specimens by former Providence resident, John Steer. Today, the museum showcases over a quarter of a million (250,000) artifacts and objects dating back over 350 million years.

But only two percent of this collection is on display. The rest is stored and studied by curators and scientists behind climate controlled vaults. From persevered plants, minerals and fossils to thousands of specimens of animal, insects, birds and shells, there is plenty to keep visitors busy at the museum. The planetarium, which is located in the dome theatre inside the Museum of Natural History, is a real treat for wannabe space explorers and astrological enthusiasts. Shows run throughout the day and last 35 minutes.

Still, there is no need rush out of the Museum. Instead, take the time to explore the 435 acres of the Roger Williams Park. The park itself attracts about 1.5 million visitors each year but has long been a favorite playground for Providence and Rhode Island residents. Visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Botanical Center, the Carousel Village, and the Temple to Music all within the park boundaries. You can also fit some sports into your vacation as the Todd Morsilli tennis courts and the Tim O’Neil baseball fields are open to the public each season.

Satisfy your inner art enthusiast at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. It is a real gem for Providence’s art and culture scene. The museum houses over 86,000 pieces of art sourced from all over the world, ranging from ancient to modern ages. Appreciate the work of ancient sculptures and artists, discover the range of colors, textures and techniques of contemporary art, and get up close to the intricate works of costume and textile creations at the RISD Museum.

Do not forget to spend an afternoon exploring the grounds and lecture halls of the famous Ivy League campus of Brown University while you are in the Rhode Island area. The ideal time to visit is from May to September, when the campus is largely out of session. Explore the grounds with either a tour guide, or go solo with a self-guided tour and campus map that can be picked up at the Campus Center. Most of Brown’s 235 buildings and facilities are just a short walk from the College Green, the natural center of the campus, so you can easily spend a few hours walking the grounds and enjoying the fine weather.

Car Rental with Orbitz

Take in the sights of Providence and wider Rhode Island from the comfort of your own car. Whether you need an SUV or eco-friendly compact city car at an affordable price, we at Orbitz have one to suit your needs and preferred travel style. Did you know that you can prebook your car online and pick up your car at T.F. Green Aiport?