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Top Rated Attractions in Providence

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Providence Athenaeum

The Providence Athenaeum is one of America's oldest member-supported libraries and it has functioned as such since 1753 (though the present structure was built in 1838). According to 19th-century legend, the poet Edgar Allen Poe courted Sarah Whitman in the stacks of this granite Greek Revival building. Some of the collections include documents and books from the original Providence Library, rare editions from American authors like Louisa May Alcott and Herman Melville along with the Robert Burns collection, which has more than 400 items. Today, the Athenaeum hosts events throughout the year with a focus on education for both adults as well as children.

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.

McCoy Stadium

This baseball diamond is home to the beloved Pawtucket Red Sox or more affectionately known as the 'Pawsox,' the Boston Red Sox triple-A minor-league affiliate. The stadium was built in 1942 and named after then Mayor Thomas P. McCoy. It holds around 10,000 people and though it is outside of the city of Providence, visiting the town of Pawtucket is always a nice day excursion.

Roger Williams Park Zoo

The winding sculpted paths of this park named after one of Rhode Island's founding fathers will allow you to see more than 900 different zoo animals. There are giraffe, zebra and cheetah habitats as well as an open-air aviary which allows visitors an up-close look at the birds. Some of the animals with more exotic names include the Babirusa, the Binturong, the Aoudad or the amphibious and endangered Axolotl. The exhibits also feature different geographical regions and environments, such as Australasia and North America or a Wetlands Trail and a Marco Polo Adventure Trek. The zoo is always hosting events that focus on conservation, environmental stewardship and an overall zoological education for schools throughout the greater Providence area.

Providence Children's Museum

The Providence Children's Museum is a hands-on place of fun and learning for children as well as adults. Here, children can explore the awesome power of air, light and sound in the exhibit entitled Play Power or splash around in Water Ways, a wet and wild playscape of pumps and fountains. There is also Littlewoods, a whimsical woodland environment made especially for younger toddlers. Some educational exhibits include activities that investigate Rhode Island plants, trees and shrubs in the Children's Garden or little guys can go on a time-traveling adventure, solve bridge-building challenges and do much, much more!

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