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Central-Northern RI Arts & Culture Experience

There are so many things for art lovers to enjoy about Rhode Island. For instance, did you know that there’s no sales tax on art in the state? Another thing is the profusion of public art. Here are some ideas to plan your spring visit.

Providence

If you’re in Providence, consider taking the self-guided public art tour by Avenue Concept. It’s a great way to take in the city’s latest and greatest public works. For a wonderful guided tour of Providence, try a bus or walking tour with Experience Rhode Island Tours. If you’d like to make some art to take home with you, you can take a glass blowing class at Gather Glass Blowing Studio (reservation required). 

And if all that touring and creating works up an appetite, you can head to Amy’s for breakfast or grab some edible art from PVDonuts (they are truly works of art, and who doesn’t love donuts!). For lunch, try The District. It’s got a cool vibe, serves lunch and dinner as well as Sunday brunch. Two other dinner options are Camille’s for some upscale, old-world elegance and mouth-watering Italian food; and CAV, a restaurant with a global menu and eclectic, antique shop atmosphere. As for dessert, visit cozy Pastiche, a European-style café for some delicious, freshly-made (currently carryout) sweet treats. Looking for something fun to do after dinner? Check out Comedy Connection (Thursday-Saturday and occasionally on Sunday) in East Providence for some top-quality stand-up comedy.

Warwick & West Bay

From Providence, you can head slightly south to Warwick and stroll and shop historic Pawtuxet Village and while you’re there, book a tour at Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum for a glimpse into the past. Great dining options in the Warwick area include Ironworks Tavern (gastropub) and Tree House Tavern (scratch cooking and unique décor in a romantic 1800’s farmhouse).

 

Blackstone Valley

If you decide to head north to Blackstone Valley, check out the Rhode Island Antiques Mall and grab a pint at The Guild (if you're feeling smart, take in Trivia Night on Tuesdays). And on Saturday’s you can hit the Neighborhood Marketplace at Hope Artiste Village to check out the offerings of artisans, crafters, and food vendors. A bit further north, visit Chan’s in Woonsocket, home of delicious Chinese food and fantastic jazz and blues music (you can get your karaoke on at Chan’s on Fridays). Another great restaurant to try in the area is the newly reopened Blackies, whose menu is inclusive of allergen-sensitive options.