Providence, RI city along the waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 28
Demographics 69
Economy 78
Education 55
Health 68
Housing 40
Infrastructure 47

#65. Providence, RI

Providence, RI is an epicenter for phenomenal food and innovative design, thanks in part to its reputable universities like Brown, Johnson & Wales culinary school, and the Rhode Island School of Design, which graduates notable designers and creatives. In addition, this northeastern city ranked high in the economic category because of its diverse industries, spanning the arts and sciences. Residents also treasure beloved community traditions and amenities, like the WaterFire Festival and Roger Williams Park, an urban park with a cute vintage carousel.  

Top Colleges/Universities: Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Johnson & Wales University Providence Campus

Top Industries & Employers: Rhode Island’s key industries include life sciences, IT, defense and shipbuilding, advanced business services, design, tourism and hospitality. 

Weekend Plans: Visit the RISD Museum, which has a collection of more than 100,000 works of art and design dating from ancient times to the modern-day. At the RISD store, you can shop the “Alumni Collection” of jewelry, accessories, toys, decor and more. You’ll also want to sync your schedule up with the WaterFire Festival dates. During WaterFire, more than 80 braziers along the downtown rivers are lit, casting a glow prettier than any Instagram filter on the artsy evening gatherings. 

Favorite Place to Feast: Federal Hill, also known as a “Little Italy,” bustling with storied Italian restaurants. 

Beloved Beverage: Coffee milk, a mix of milk and coffee syrup and the state beverage of Rhode Island. Local coffee shops put their own spin on it, like Dave’s Coffee, which crafts a house coffee syrup.

Outdoorsy Activity: Waterplace Park is the focal point of Providence’s revitalized downtown. Explore it by kayak or, for a more romantic excursion, book a gondola to row you through the rivers and underneath the Venetian bridges.

Rooftop Bar: Rooftop at the Providence G, which has a skyline view of the city and brick oven flatbreads.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Day trips to dog-friendly beaches.

Remote Work Perk: Providence has 15 distinct neighborhoods with plenty of coffee shops within walking distance. 

One More Thing … A giant blue termite statue that’s 58 feet long is on the roof of New England Pest Control in Providence. (It’s 928 times the size of an actual termite!) 

– Brittany Anas

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