Local Information on Providence, Rhode
On the Brown campus are the Van Wickle Gates (Prospect St.),
opened twice each year - inward on the first day of classes and
outward at commencement. Visible from the Van Wickle Gates is the
brick University Hall, built in 1770 and the only university
building until 1822.
Just south of the campus is the John Brown House (52 Power
Street, at the corner of Power and Brown, map),
built in 1786. Near the John Brown House is Benefit Street, described
as the "most impressive concentration of original Colonial homes in
America". Of particular note is the Nightingale House (357
Benefit St.). Benefit Street is also home to the RISD Museum of Art
(225 Benefit Street, map).
The First Baptist Church (75 North Main St.; follow Angell
St. to the bottom of College Hill and turn left) is the oldest Baptist
Church in America. The Church was founded in 1638; the current
building was built in 1775.
Waterplace Park, along the river downtown, is a nice place to
walk. Also downtown is the Arcade (65 Weybosset St., map),
the nation's oldest indoor shopping center.
Within driving distance is Newport, RI (map
and directions), with the famous Newport Mansions.
For other attractions in and around Providence, consult one
of the following guides:
Hotel space is tight in Providence, so make your reservation early.
- Brown Guest Rooms. ($85) 401-863-7500. Hotel-style rooms
conveniently located on the Brown campus, within walking distance from
the Computer Science Department.
- Providence Biltmore. ($120--$175) Kennedy Plaza,
Providence, RI 02903; 401-421-0700 or 1-800-294-7709 (phone),
401-455-3050 (fax). (map)
- Marriott. ($120--$175) Charles & Orms, Providence, RI; 401-272-2400 or
- Holiday Inn. ($100--$150) 21 Atwells Ave. (exit 21 off I-95),
Providence, RI; 401-831-3900. (map)
- Days Inn. ($90--$150) 200 India St. (exit 3 off I-195),
A block from the CIT, Thayer and its cross streets offer a collection
of sandwich shops, ice cream shops, and sit-down restaurants with a
variety of types of food including Indian, Chinese, and Greek.
Federal Hill (follow Atwells Avenue west out of downtown - it starts
near the Providence Civic Center) has a large collection of
restaurants, many of which are Italian.
Specific recommendations include: (all are in Providence)
Note on the maps: All routes are driving routes from the CIT.
Walking routes for the on-campus restaurants may be simpler since the
driving directions reflect the fact that Thayer is one way to the
south between Hope and Waterman, and Waterman is one way to the east.
- Alforno, 577 S. Main St., 273-9760. (****, $$$, ^^, authentic
Mediterranean cuisine, best restaurant in Providence, expensive but
worth it, leave room for dessert, 0.8 miles, map)
- Adesso, 161 Cushing, 521-0770. (***, $$, ^^,
Californian/Italian, best restaurant on campus, map)
- Cafe Paragon, 234 Thayer, 331-6200. (**, $, ^, great value, open
late, on campus, map)
- Hemenway's, 1 Old Stone Sq., 351-8570. (**, $$, ^^, seafood, 0.7 miles, map)
- Pizzico, 762 Hope, 421-4114. (***, $$, ^^, Italian, 1.5 miles, map)
- X O Cafe, 125 N. Main, 273-9090. (***, $$$, ^^^, creative
cuisine, 0.7 miles, map)
- Asian Paradise, 165 Angell, 454-0222. (*, $, ^, good value, on campus, map)
- Andreas, 268 Thayer, 331-7879. (*, $, ^, Greek/American, on campus, map)
- Gatehouse, 4 Richmond Sq., 521-9229. (***, $$$, ^^^,
Contemporary, nice riverfront location, 0.8 miles, map)
- Cafe Nuovo, 1 Citizens Plaza, 421-2525. (**, $$$, ^^^,
Contemporary, 0.8 miles, map)
- Sicilia's, 181 Atwells, 273-9222. (**, $, ^, Italian,
very good stuffed pizza, 1.4 miles, map)
- Union Station Brewery, 36 Exchange Terrace, 274-2739.
(**, $, ^, good beer, 0.8 miles, map
(restaurant is on the lower side of the building, facing away from
Food Quality: * fair, ** good, *** very good, **** excellent
Price range of entrees: $ 8-15, $$ 12-25, $$$ 18-30
Room Decor: ^ simple, ^^ nice, ^^^ elegant
Distances are from the Brown campus
For a more extensive list of restaurants in Providence, consult one of
the following guides:
- Convenience Stores: Store 24, a few blocks up
Thayer from the CIT
- Drug Stores: CVS, a few blocks beyond Store 24 on
- Grocery Stores: Bread and Circus is a very nice
natural foods store on the corner of Waterman and Butler. Head down
Waterman (in the direction of traffic; Waterman is one way to the
east) until you see Bread and Circus on the right. Eastside
Marketplace is a more typical grocery store; follow the directions
to Bread and Circus and then turn right on Butler. Eastside is at the
bottom of the hill. Stop & Shop is a larger (and cheaper)
grocery store, but not within walking distance. Head down College
Hill (towards downtown) and turn right on North Main (it's one way in
that direction). Turn right onto Branch Avenue (also the route to get
on I-95); there's a fire station on one corner and a cemetery on
another. Stop & Shop is just across the bridge over the interstate.
- Post Office: There is a small Post Office on
Meeting Street - from the CIT, turn right up Thayer and then left a
few blocks later on Meeting Street. The Post Office is about half a
block from Thayer.
Getting to Providence
- Air: Both TF Green and Logan airports are convenient. TF
Green is 20 minutes from Providence in Warwick, RI; Logan is an hour
from Providence in Boston.
- Rail: Amtrak stops
near downtown Providence
Getting to Providence from the Airport
- Airport Van Shuttle: 401-736-1900. (between TF Green and
Providence) Stops at hotels and on the Brown campus (at Faunce Arch,
two blocks from the CIT). $9/person, departs from the airport every
hour on the hour.
- Taxi: Taxis from TF Green run around $25.
- Bus: Bonanza Bus
(1-888-751-8800) runs hourly from TF Green and Logan. In Providence
the bus stops at the bus station as well as Kennedy Plaza (in downtown
Providence). Rates are approximately $8/$13 (one-way/round trip) from
TF Green and $16/$29 (one-way/round trip) from Logan.
- Rail: MBTA Commuter Rail
runs between South Station (Boston) and Providence (look for the
Attleboro/Stoughton or Attleboro/Providence line). From Logan take
the free bus to the T (Boston's metro), then the T to South Station.
The T fare is 85 cents and the commuter rail fare is $4.75.
Amtrak also runs a few trains
between South Station and Providence.
- Foot: The CIT is a 20-30 minute walk from downtown and the
- Taxi: Taxis from downtown and the bus and train stations
to the Brown campus generally run from $3-$7.
- Bus: RIPTA
(1-800-244-0444, 401-781-9400) runs buses all over Providence and
Rhode Island; schedules and route information can be found on RIPTA's
web page or in Kennedy Plaza. (Routes 38 (Rumford-Tunnel), 40
(Butler-Elmgrove-Tunnel), and 42 (Hope-Tunnel) run between Kennedy
Plaza and Thayer St., stopping a block from the CIT. Each bus runs
every 20-40 minutes during the day, with enough overlap so that a bus
from one of the three routes runs every 10-15 minutes or so.) The base
fare is $1.25, but between Kennedy Plaza and Thayer St. the fare is
only 50 cents.
On-street parking near the CIT can be difficult to find on weekdays,
but is generally more available on weekends and holidays. The
two-hour parking limits found on some nearby streets are not enforced
on weekends and state holidays.
Parking on campus parking lots requires a visitor parking permit ($1
per day) but this is rarely enforced on weekends and Brown holidays.
Brown parking tickets are $10.