Local Information on Providence, Rhode Island

City Guides and Places to Go

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.


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.

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:

Stores and Services


Getting to Providence

Getting to Providence from the Airport

Local Transportation


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.