Best Places to Live

Providence, RI

Population: 182,382

Providence is thriving, thanks to its well-educated residents, high quality of life and diverse amenities. In Rhode Island’s capital city, you’ll find more than 100 parks, eight hospitals, seven colleges and universities and historic neighborhoods. The city is teeming with energy and enthusiasm, including innovation in design and tech, urban food strategy and the “blue economy,” or resources that come from the ocean. Families thrive here, too, thanks to an incredible zoo, children’s museum and other activities, like a film festival just for kids. 

Top Industries and Employers: Healthcare, financial services and education

Best Coffee Shop: Dave’s Coffee, a bright spot on Main Street where you can buy coffee syrup for making “coffee milk,” a quintessential Rhode Island drink that’s sorta like chocolate milk, but with coffee.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Long Live Beerworks, which specializes in hoppy beers and cask-conditioned ales with an awesome, multi-level taproom.

Must-Have Meal: Anything Italian from the Federal Hill neighborhood, a totally delicious part of the city also known as “Little Italy.”

Best Co-Working Space: Sprout CoWorking, which, as the name suggests, can help you grow your business, your skills and your circle. In addition to work spaces, there’s also an art gallery here.

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Providence Oyster Bar, which has killer “appy hour” deals like $1 oysters, $1 clams and $2 jumbo shrimp.

Creative Hub: AS220 is a community arts nonprofit in downtown Providence that brings people together with hip-hop classes, yoga sessions, poetry slams, film talks, live storytelling events and more. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Brunching, followed by hitting up Providence Flea (a vintage/artisan market) and/or the Hope Street Farmers Market for fresh flowers, pasture-raised meats, veggies, pastries and more.

Free Way to Have Fun: The RISD Museum is a Providence treasure. Founded in 1877, it’s home to more than 100,000 pieces of art and design. You can catch exhibitions, workshops and studios, artist conversations and more here. Admission is free every Sunday and every third Thursday evening of the month.

Local Dream Job: A doughnut-maker, because people in Providence looooove their doughnuts. The region has one of the highest rates of doughnut shops per capita!

Read More:
Discover the Best Hidden Bar in Providence
5 Unexpected Cities With Rich Black History 
Providence, RI is One of the Most Affordable Honeymoon Destinations in the US

- Sarah Kuta

"At the end of the day, it is about the quality of life. Our city boasts critically-acclaimed restaurants, a commitment to public art that has transformed the downtown core into a virtual gallery, easy access to Rhode Island’s beautiful beaches, cool music and nightlife, family-friendly amenities and a lot more."


Kristen Adamo
President and CEO, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

Providence, RI Ranking Data