In the Northeast this time of year? Besides touring Boston, it’s a great idea to hop down to Providence check out many of the amazing things to do there. In this vlog, we show you the top things to do in Providence, Rhode Island during COVID-19. That includes visiting PV Donuts, wandering around Roger Williams Park, sipping on some Coffee Milk, exploring downtown Providence by foot, visiting a brewery, and picking up some calamari.
Located just an hour south of Boston on the Narragansett Bay, Providence offers a lot of the charm of a big city in the Northeast, without the crazy crowds or traffic that you might find in somewhere like Boston. The city is filled with beautiful New England architecture and is home to some delicious seafood (especially the Calamari).
Traveling to Rhode Island During COVID-19
Even if you are planning on visiting Providence during COVID-19, there are still plenty of things to enjoy while you are there. Many restaurants have outdoor patios where you can sit and enjoy your meal, and almost all places had a to-go option as well. Rachel and I enjoyed strolling around the city with our food and drinks and finding unique places to enjoy them.
If you are planning on visiting Providence during COVID-19, please make sure that you check Rhode Island’s travel restrictions before you plan on visiting the state. You may be required to quarantine if you are visiting from high-risk areas of the country.
Located on Fax Point east of downtown Providence, PV Donuts features a wide variety of mouth-watering options of donuts. Their creative flavor combinations include red velvet waffle donuts, Dulche de Leche, and even Italian cheesecake.
We personally went for the Baked Apple filled donuts, the Vanilla Bean Bourbon Butter donut, and a Honey Cruller. All three were absolutely DELICIOUS! If you had to pick one of the three, we would absolutely recommend the Vanilla Bean Bourbon Butter donut. I still have dreams about that donut to this day. Outside of the donuts we ate in Portland, Maine, these are the best donuts we have had while living in the Northeast.
Even if you don’t end up going to PV Donuts on your next stop to Providence, giving their Instagram a follow is most certainly worth it to get a healthy dose of beautiful donuts in your Insta feed every day.
Roger Williams Park
Roger Williams Park seems to have everything a park could ask for: a zoo, a Japanese Garden, a Botanical Garden, a beautiful historic merry-go-round. There are also numerous things in the park that pay tribute to the founder of Rhode Island: Roger Williams. You can find a statue of him outside of the Roger Williams Park Casino.
This would be a wonderful place to spend the afternoon wandering around all of the different stops. Spend some time seeing animals at the zoo, learn about some Rhode Island history in the Betsey Williams Cottage, and wander through the Japanese Garden.
Did you know that the official state drink of Rhode Island is Coffee Milk? This sweet, almost toffee-like drink is served at both coffee shops and grocery stores all around Rhode Island and is a favorite of many Rhode Islanders. One of the most popular places to get coffee milk is Dave’s Coffee. There are multiple locations, but the one we stopped at is located near the Providence River just walking distance to downtown.
For our first time having coffee milk, we ordered the coffee milk latte. While I’m not a huge fan of sweet coffee (I’m more of a straight-black kind of person), it definitely was tasty. Though I feel like I would definitely get a sugar rush drinking a large one of those. Rachel absolutely loved it (“oh this is right up my alley” is her quote in the video). So if you are a fan of sweeter coffee, then we would highly recommend giving coffee milk a try at Dave’s Coffee.
If you walk just 5 minutes north up Main St from Dave’s Coffee and take a right on College St, you’ll reach the heart of Brown University. This historic Ivy League school is full of historic New England-style buildings that are beautiful to stroll through. You may even feel a little smarter just by walking through the campus.
If you are looking one great location to walk to on Brown University, I recommend walking up the hill on College St straight to the Main Green. Standing in the middle of the Main Green, you’ll see a beautiful 360 view of many of the main buildings on Brown’s campus including the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, the John Hay Library, and Friedman Hall.
Long Live Beerworks
Looking for a drink after a day of exploring the city? Why not try out one of Providence’s many breweries? We had multiple people in Boston recommend Long Live Beerworks to us, so that’s where we headed toward the end of our time in Providence. It’s located about a 10 minute drive south of downtown, so not bad to get to at all.
The brewery has a nice patio set up just outside of the main brew hall with tables set far enough apart for safe social distancing. They have a window set up for ordering just on the other side of the patio.
The menu seemed to be very IPA-heavy, so if you are a fan of IPAs then this is your kind of place. After asking the lovely employee’s opinion about what we should get, she suggested we try the All Seeing Eye DDH Double IPA. Neither of us are big fans of IPAs, but we decided to take her advice and picked up a growler to go. Safe to say, it was delicious! If they still have it on the menu when you go, we would recommend ordering a glass for yourself.
Andino’s Italian Restaurant
Our last stop on our trip to Providence was a must-stop for me because I could not leave Providence without picking up some of their famous calamari. After a quick Google Search, we narrowed our choice of options down to Andino’s Italian Restaurant.
Needless to say, the calamari we picked up from Andino’s did not disappoint. In fact, it was probably the best calamari I’ve ever had. The mixture of the lemon, the cherry peppers, the garlic butter, and the delicious squid had my tastebuds doing cartwheels.
While Andino’s doesn’t seem to have the most COVID-safe setup ever inside their restaurant (I walked in to find a bunch of unmasked people sitting next to each other at the bar), they are featured on GrubHub. So if you would rather order ahead and pick it up to go, that is certainly an option.
So if you are looking to make a trip to the Northeast of the US sometime soon, you should definitely add Providence, Rhode Island to your list. The city offers plenty to do for a day trip, and if you take our recommendations for restaurants, then you’ll be leaving with a happy stomach.