Your spouse’s parental units/college buddies/crazy cousins are in the neighborhood and – of course – they just had to stay with you. Quick, get them out of your house before they make a mess. Show them a traditional Ocean State breakfast at the Liberty Elm Diner. Order the Traditional Rhode Island Johnny Cakes, made with cornmeal from Kenyon’s Grist Mill. Yacht Club Soda, also made in RI, is served here as well. The quaint diner was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Louis Restaurant has been family-owned and operated for over 60 years. It received Guy Fieri’s stamp of approval, too. Give your guests a taste of Rhode Island by ordering up breakfast with a tall glass of coffee milk. You can enjoy your breakfast outside at both locations.
Take a walk down the Independence Trail, that green line that’s all over the city’s sidewalks. The 2.5-mile circular trail has no beginning and no end; hop on anywhere and head in either direction. As you proceed along the path, look for red and blue circular emblems located at all points of interest. They’re numbered – dial 401-444-6401 at each post to hear a narrative about the historical spot. Your guests will enjoy the sights and you’ll learn something too.
Take the crew for a walk down historic Benefit Street... but don’t forget to go a little further up the hill to Prospect Terrace (Congdon at Bowen) (pictured above). The views of the State House and downtown are killer from up here, and there are plenty of photo ops near the iconic Roger Williams statue.
Of course you have to give your guests a taste of the Hill, but the dinner crowds can turn the street into a mob scene – no pun intended. Take them to lunch at Venda Ravioli. Nestled in a charming courtyard, you can dine beside a fountain, surrounded by flowers and beautiful landscaping. Try their fresh pasta – it’s made in-house daily.
Thankfully, the food truck nation has invaded our city: Treat your guests to clam cakes and chowder at Roxy’s Lobster. Typically, the food truck parks either here or at Kennedy Plaza; hop on Twitter (@roxyslobster) for location updates.
You simply must shop in Downcity (Westminster and surrounding streets). This section of Providence is beautiful; it’s dotted with sections of cobblestone streets and strung white lights. You can enjoy the day popping in and out of boutiques such as Queen of Hearts, Wharf, Homestyle and Craftland.
Insider Tip: The best time to shop this street is when a Rock & Roll Yard Sale is taking place at Grant’s Block, smack-dab in the center of it all. Music plays, beer flows freely and cool peeps browse through vinyl and handmade goods under the hot summer sun.
Design your night at the RISD Museum, which is open during August this year. On the first Thursday of each month, between 5:30 and 8pm, the museum hosts Music Thursdays (pictured above). Enjoy live music, dancing and cocktails in the Grand Gallery, surrounded by beautiful works of art. If you really want to impress your out-of-town guests, wear tweed, smoke a pipe and throw around big French words such as avant-garde and repoussoir.
Insider Tip: Admission is free on the last Saturday of each month. Save on your admission fee so you can splurge on the impossible-to-resist gift shop goodies.
Although Peter Griffin may beg to differ, Quahog is not an actual Rhode Island town. They are, however, a delicious treat from the sea – especially when crammed with buttery stuffing and chourico. Blount Clam Shack and Soup Bar opened not long ago in the Jewelry District. Stuffies are just $3.75 each.
Olneyville N.Y. System (pictured below) claims to have “R.I.’s best hot weiners,” but you’ll have to judge for yourself. You can get ice cream, Del’s Lemonade and Allie’s Donuts all under one roof at East Side Creamery. Two words: elastic waistband.
Cap off the night with a drink. Take beer aficionados to Trinity Brewhouse or Union Station Brewery; both offer in-house brews and outdoor seating. Grey Sail Brewing Company, located in Westerly, makes a great beer – it’s on tap at The Avery. What’s that? Your guests had such a great time they’ve decided to stay another week? I hear Hotel Dolce Villa is nice this time of year.