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Top Rated Attractions in Providence

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Cape Verdean Museum

This museum tells the fascinating story of Cape Verdean Americans and their culture. Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony, located off the coast of West Africa, that gained independence in 1975. Men and women from there migrated to New England in the 1800s and onward, working on whaling ships and Cape Cod's cranberry bogs. They brought with them a unique culture. part African, part European and have continued to have strong bonds with their mother country to this day. Their story is a fascinating one and this museum, the first of its kind in the country, tells it with well-organized exhibits and rare artifacts. The museum is closed during the winter.

Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church

Attend services at this English decorated style church. Built in 1862 in open fields, the stone building is now in the center of Brown University located on the East Side of Providence. A peaceful country church feeling pervades the atmosphere of this gothic Middle Age structure. Music of the liturgy drifts into the high alcoves of Our Lady's Chapel. The Chapel affords east and west views, a reminder of parish diversity at St. Stephens. Daily Services, small weddings and funerals are held in the Chapel.

Providence Performing Arts Center

The Providence Performing Arts Center is the second largest theater in New England. It seats 3200 people and it originally opened as a Loew's movie theater in 1928. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places after its 1977 renovation. In this baroquely elegant space, the stage is set for Broadway musicals and concerts. Events as diverse as a Jackson Browne concert or The Sound of Music can be found on this venerable establishment's schedule. Located downtown on Weybosset Street, PPAC (pronounced Pea-Pac, as it is known locally) is close to many downtown hotels as well as other attractions.

Riverwalk & Waterplace Park

Riverwalk & Waterplace Park is pegged against the confluence of the Woonasquatucket and Providence rivers in a little corner of downtown Providence. It's best known for its WaterFire events, which are mini-bonfires that bob atop the water to the beat of world and classical music. The city revitalized the entire area in 1994 and the walk makes an otherwise droll stroll into a pleasant one when walking to College Hill over the Washington Street bridge. The park's bridges are fashioned after those classical ones in Venice, and it's not uncommon to see gondoliers gliding under them.

First Unitarian Church

Destroyed once by fire and rebuilt in the 19th century, this striking pale stone and wood edifice attracts visitors strolling historic Benefit Street. The Gothic-looking spire rises tall above this corner of College Hill, with its handsome black-faced clock, and the church bells can be heard tolling through a portion of the East Side. The services at the First Unitarian Church start on Sundays from 10.30am.

David Winton Bell Gallery

The Bell Gallery is located in the List Art Center, on the Brown University campus and is open to the public. You will find all manner of modern art in this sparse white space. In one month you could see an exhibit by three artists working with photography and texts, an installation about a vanished Russian cosmonaut and photographs depicting a futuristic society of bog-dwellers. All events at the Bell Gallery are free. Include this gallery in a walking tour of the campus.

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