Rhode Island’s capital city offers an array of diversions perfect for family travel.
History & Culture: Founded by dissident preacher Roger Williams in 1636, Providence’s historic credentials are legit — plus some. Its past as a vital port city and trade center is celebrated at numerous historic sites throughout the city. There’s also a brilliant arts community, and Providence is home to both Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit the RISD Museum, which houses an impressive collection of arts and crafts.
Culinary: Go on a culinary outing with Rhode Island Red Food Tours, and sample outstanding farm-to-table fare, fresh Atlantic seafood and more. Food trucks are popular, including Championship Melt and Fancheezical, both devoted to the fine art of the grilled cheese. Don’t forget to sample quirky, only-in-Rhode Island treats including quahog stew (a kind of shellfish), Johnnycakes and cabinets — a delicious milkshake with a Rhode Island twist. An absolute must is the state’s official drink — coffee milk: milk mixed with sweet coffee syrup. The syrup is sold in local supermarkets so you can stock up before heading home.
Active: Like Rome, the city features seven hills, but they’re manageable. The city is perfect for a self-guided, themed walking tour of the historic downtown, East Side or West Side. The free, downloadable Rhode Tour app makes planning your route super simple.
Wellness: At the Providence Biltmore, luxurious treatments and body therapies can be enjoyed in a historic, 1922-built structure that belongs to both the National Register of Historic Places and Historic Hotels of America. Butter Day Spa on the city’s East Side is set within a lovely 19th-century Victorian estate, and has an excellent menu of massages, facials and body treatments.
Romance: Head downtown to Waterplace Park, located on the banks of the Providence River, lined with parks and walkways. The flickering spectacle of WaterFire’s 100 art-fire installations can be viewed from multiple locations on the waterfront. Take a daytrip to nearby Newport to tour the iconic collection of period mansions including The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House, where you can also have tea in the replica Chinese Tea House overlooking the sea. Plan a tour with the Providence River Boat Company or charter your own sunset cruise.
Family Fun: Head to Roger Williams Park for a full day of activities spread over 427 acres, including a 40-acre zoo and Carousel Village. A recent addition to the park is the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, found in the park’s Explore and Soar area with zip lines 115 feet above the ground. Elsewhere on the grounds, explore the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium and the Botanical Center. For ice skating, Alex and Ani City Center has seasonal outdoor skating; at the Providence Children’s Museum, hands-on, interactive programs for all ages delve into art, history, culture and science in exhibits that include “ThinkSpace,” “Discovery Studio,” “Underland” and “The Children’s Garden.”
With the new year comes the move to make changes in your life. Whether big or small, we often make New Year’s resolutions to improve ourselves in the year ahead. Instead of only focusing on personal goals, plan resolutions for the whole family. Gather your loved ones and envision travel goals for the new year. Here are some suggestions for travel inspiration.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills makes staying in a suite even sweeter! Guests who book one of the hotel’s elegant suites are offered complimentary use of a luxury BMW for the length of their stay. While Beverly Hills has so much to offer, having a car gives you the freedom to see even more of Southern California, whether it is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, or continuing on, past Santa Barbara, to Santa Ynez wine country.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Northern Thailand introduced transparent Jungle Bubbles in 2019. The bubbles allow for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the night observing majestic elephants in their natural habitat during a stay in the unique accommodation. Now, the resort is offering families and small groups the chance to take part in this unique opportunity with a new, two-bedroom Jungle Bubble Lodge.
The Family Vacation Guide analyzed more than 100 resorts in the United States to find the top-rated ski resorts for U.S families. Factors such as the total length of ‘easy’ runs, the cost of a lift pass for a family of four and the availability of people movers went into the ranking of each ski resort.