Moving to Providence

Pack your bags, dust off your hopes and dreams, and get ready to dive into the charm of Providence, RI. A city that's just as comfortable in its historical roots as it is with its bold strides into the future. Providence is a riveting mix of etched cobblestones, burgeoning arts scene, world-class culinary offerings, and its own unique brand of New England charm. Our comprehensive relocation guide will equip you with everything you need to slip into your new life, making Providence feel like home in no time.

Moving to Providence, RI landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Providence

1. Charming Architectural Heritage

One of the first things that capture the heart of anyone moving to Providence, RI, is its rich architectural heritage. This quaint city is a gallery of buildings dating back to the 19th century, with styles ranging from Renaissance to Gothic. Expect to take lots of strolls surrounding by beautiful brick buildings and world-class infrastructure. Add in the scenic views, and you've got yourself an Instagram-worthy living environment!

2. There's No Shortage of Intellectualism

Providence is the proud home of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, making it a hot bed for intellectualism and creativity. You're likely to find stimulating conversations in coffee shops, exciting exhibitions at local galleries, and a vibrant student community that brings the town to life during the school year. It's a haven for knowledge seekers and those who find beauty in diverse perspectives.

3. Food Lover's Paradise

If there's one thing that Providence takes seriously (other than education and architecture), it's their food. The city is a culinary delight, boasting some of the best Italian food outside of Italy itself in its famed Federal Hill area. Dive into flavors from all over the world with cuisines from India, Mexico, Vietnam, and many more. Every meal in Providence is a journey to a new cultural experience!

4. America's Tiniest State's Biggest Secret - The Big Blue Bug

Did you know that Rhode Island is home to the world's largest termite? Before you panic and rethink your decision to move, let us clarify - it's a 58-foot-long blue termite statue named Nibbles Woodaway! It's affectionately known as the 'Big Blue Bug' and it's something of a mascot to Providence. Situated dead center on I-95, it's one of the first things you'll likely see as you're entering the city.

5. Don't Pronounce The 'R'

A unique quirk about Providence is its dialect, specificially when it comes to pronunciation of the letter 'R'. It's quite common for locals to drop the 'R' when speaking. So don't be surprised if you hear 'Pahk the cah'. You will certainly blend in better if you start adopting the same habit. Consider this your first initiation into becoming a bona fide Providence resident.

6. WaterFire - A Unique City Event

Another hidden gem that Providence is famed for, but which slips under the radar for many, is their WaterFire event. This stunning artwork series created by Barnaby Evans consists of about 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the center of downtown Providence. It's accompanied by world music that floods the evening air and creates an unparalleled magical and communal atmosphere. Your weekends just got exponentially more enchanting!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Providence

Pros of Living in Providence

Rich Cultural and Historical Landmarks

Providence is rich in American history and culture, with many historic landmarks, buildings and districts. Some must-see sites include Benefit Street's Mile of History and the Rhode Island State House. This myriad of cultural and historical sites adds charm and enrich the city life for residents.

Exceptional Education Opportunities

The city is home to several renowned educational institutions, such as Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. These institutions not only bring a vibrant student life to the city, but also offer community programs, exhibitions, and events that enrich the city's intellectual life.

Vibrant Art Scene

For art lovers, Providence is a gem. With art infused into the city's culture, there's the celebrated RISD Museum, numerous art galleries, and the famous WaterFire event, a seasonal sculpture installation that has drawn millions since its beginning.

Diverse and Delicious Food Scene

Providence is famous for its vibrant food scene, offering everything from gourmet dining to casual eateries. The city is especially known for its Italian food, with Federal Hill being a major foodie destination.

Easy Access to Nearby Cities

Providence's location makes it easy to visit other major cities in the Northeast, like Boston and New York City. This takes away the isolation feel that one may have in other smaller cities while giving residents the balance of city and suburban life.

Cons of Living in Providence

Winter Weather

The winters can get quite severe in Providence. The city often experiences heavy snowfall, and temperatures can get drastically low. This may be uncomfortable for those not accustomed to harsh weather conditions.

City Traffic and Parking

Like many urban areas, Providence can have problems with traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. On top of this, parking in the city can be quite a challenge due to limited spaces and high parking fees.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Providence is higher than the national average. Housing, in particular, is usually the biggest expense for residents. However, compared to neighboring areas like Boston, it can still be considered relatively affordable.

Crime Rates

Like any city, Providence does have its share of crime. While the city has been working hard to lower these rates over the years, it is still an issue in some areas. As always, it's advised to research neighborhoods thoroughly before settling down.

Limited Job Opportunities in Certain Sectors

While Providence boasts a strong educational sector, job opportunities in other sectors can be more limited. The city is not home to many large corporations, so job seekers in certain fields may find fewer options than in larger cities.

Modern day picture of Providence, RI highlighting pros and cons of living in Providence, RI

Is Providence a Good Place to Live?

Providence, RI is a great place to live because of its vibrant arts scene, an array of impressive historical sites, and delectable local cuisine. Besides, this city boasts a multitude of beautiful parks and waterways, offering its residents a balanced blend of urban charm and natural beauty. With its top-tier education institutions like Brown University, it's not just a city of arts and culture, but of academia too!

What Is Providence Famous For?

Brown University

Founded in 1764, Brown University is a member of the esteemed Ivy League. It's known for its open curriculum, where students can freely explore different disciplines instead of sticking to a mandatory core curriculum. This university has been the stamping grounds of various notable stuff including Nobel laureates, Fulbright scholars, and even famous actors and actresses!

The Providence Athenaeum

Perhaps one of the country's most unique libraries, The Providence Athenaeum, is a magnificent Greek Revival-style independent library that was established back in 1836. It is beloved for its vintage charm, with a charming labyrinth of bookshelves, giant grandfather clocks and antique globes. And don't forget the best part, it was the favored haunt of renowned writers like Edgar Allan Poe!

WaterFire Arts Festival

Think you've seen it all when it comes to art festivals? Think again. Providence hosts one of the spectacular signature events in the US - the WaterFire arts festival. The ethereal event, which can only be described as part art exhibition, part community festival - involves 100 bonfires that are ceremoniously lit on the city's 3 rivers. It's a profound and breathtaking celebration of art in the community.

Culinary Excellence

Providence has been recognized time and again for its rich and diverse food scene. From the decadent Italian offerings on Federal Hill to seafood caught straight from Narragansett Bay, this little city packs a big culinary punch. Delectable donuts from Knead Donuts, superior steaks at Capital Grille, or the iconic clam cakes -- there's something for every foodie to savor.

Capital building of Providence, RI in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

The property tax rate in Providence, RI as of 2023 is $24.56 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is significantly higher than the national average tax rate of $12.57 per $1,000.

Sales Tax

Providence has a sales tax rate of 7%. This is close to the national median sales tax rate of 6%, making it slightly higher than what half of the states in the US charge.

Income Tax

Rhode Island has a progressive income tax that ranges from 3.75% to 5.99%. The highest rate applies to those who earn more than $145,600, which is in line with the national average, where most states have top rates between 5 and 10%.

Housing Market

The housing market in Providence, RI demonstrates a unique contrast to national trends. Providence offers more affordable housing options with a median home value of $210,000, considerably less than the national median. Additionally, 40.1% of residents own their homes in this city compared to the national average of 63.9%. Monthly rental averages are also below the national mean at $935. Providence presents an interesting market for prospective renters and buyers, particularly those seeking affordable urban living. However, a lower home ownership rate may indicate issues like stringent mortgage markets or lingering effects of the financial crisis.

Cost of Living

Providence, Rhode Island presents a varied cost of living picture compared to other U.S. cities. On one hand, the overall cost of living is 22% higher than the U.S. average, heavily influenced by housing costs that are 33% higher. However, compared to other northeastern cities like Boston or New York, Providence offers a significantly more affordable option, with the overall cost of living 37% and 62% lower respectively. This balance of urban amenities, rich history, and relative affordability make Providence an attractive choice for many.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Providence, Rhode Island, experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by warm, humid summers and cold winters. Its average temperature ranges from 29degF in January to 73degF in July. Rainfall is evenly spread throughout the year, with an average annual precipitation of 47 inches, including significant winter snowfall. Facing the coast, Providence is susceptible to Nor'easters, which cause heavy snow and rain, severe winds, and coastal flooding. In summer and autumn, it may be touched by the outskirts of hurricanes or tropical storms, which bring heavy rainfall and potentially strong winds. Despite these risks, Providence is equipped to manage these weather phenomena thanks to its well-structured disaster management system. The city's coastal location contributes to its diverse weather, making Providence a fascinating place experiencing the beauty and ferocity of Mother Nature.

Typical weather in Providence, RI

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Accommodation and Food Services

* Manufacturing

* Educational Services

Providence, Rhode Island, more than just being the darling setting for Family Guy. Historically, the economy has revolved around manufacturing, with items like jewelry and silverware leading the show. But, oh my, how times have changed! Presently, it is not Peter Griffin's antics but healthcare and social assistance that reign supreme, as the state's largest industry. Also notable are the outsize roles of retail trade, accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and educational services. The Ocean State's capital is even known for playing its part in America's knowledge economy, courtesy of top-tier institutions like Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. So, don't be surprised if you see Stewie Griffin discussing economic theory with Professor Frink.

If you've got your bags packed and a one-way ticket to Providence, here's a few things to keep in mind. The unemployment rate in Providence, at around 7.5%, is somewhat higher than the US average, but fear not! Make sure your CV or LinkedIn profile highlights any experience in healthcare or education, as these sectors are a hot area for jobs. The city and the surrounding metro area also have a vibrant arts, food, and hospitality scene, so if your resume reads like an episode of 'MasterChef' or you can shake a cocktail like Tom Cruise in 'Cocktail', there's likely a place for you. And remember, in the words of Lois Griffin: "If you believe in yourself, drink your school, stay in drugs, and don't do milk, you can get work!"

Traffic and Transportation

Welcome to the realm of transportation in the vibrant city of Providence, RI! This delightful city makes it pretty breezy to move about, especially when balancing life between work, play, and rest! Curious about commute times? The average commute is a tad bit over 22 minutes. Not too shabby, right? But why drive when you can lean into the Providence public transit system? With widely spread bus routes and well-maintained service, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is always ready for your ride. And for those with an eye for heights and a passport for adventure, T.F. Green Airport offers both commercial and domestic flights, making air travel as easy as pie. So, don't just be a passenger in life, hop aboard and take control of your Providence movement experience! Adventure calls!

What is the traffic like in Providence, RI?

Best Neighborhoods in Providence

1. East Side

If you're looking for charming architectural delights mingled with a hip, modern buzz, the East Side is the perfect neighborhood for you. Home to bustling Thayer Street, lined with cute and quirky shops and eateries, not to mention the world-famous Brown University, the academic pulse is strong, making for amazing, cultured conversations at your local coffee shop. The gorgeous streets are lined with stately Georgian and Victorian homes, and scenic Blackstone Boulevard Park is a great spot for autumn walks.

2. Federal Hill

Nothing celebrates the soul of Providence quite like Federal Hill. Rich in Italian heritage, the vibe here is a delightful mix of old-world charm and contemporary chic. You won't be short of top-notch dining options, with the neighborhood boasting some of Rhode Island's best ristorantes and trattorias. The lively Atwells Avenue, dotted with boutiques, galleries, and music venues, adds to the neighborhood's appeal. Did we mention the food festivals? You're in for a treat!

3. Fox Point

Tucked by the waterfront, Fox Point is an eclectic gem. Steeped in history, its colonial roots shine through on Wickenden Street with its antique shops and 18th-century houses. Not only is it steeped in old-world charm, it also offers a vibrant community filled with artists, students, and a diverse array of cultural backgrounds. Looking for some fun outdoor activities? The waterfront parks are perfect for biking, sailing, or just relaxing with a good book.

4. Downtown

Heart of the city, the Downtown neighborhood is where the action is. From the buzzing nightlife to the enriching arts and culture scene, city slickers will undoubtedly relish in this urban playground. You'll find the renowned Trinity Repertory Company here, hosting some of the top theatre productions in the region. There's also the Providence Place Mall for all your shopping desires. The architecture's blend of the historic with the contemporary truly encapsulates Providence's progressive spirit.

5. College Hill

Brimming with academia, College Hill is a neighborhood dominated by not one, but two universities - Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Apart from the intellectual verve, this hilly neighborhood offers stunning vistas of downtown Providence and beyond. The real charm, however, lies in its picturesque streets flanked by restored colonial homes, the presence of vibrant street art and artisanal eateries, and its delightful sense of community. The RISD Museum, loaded with artistic treasures, is a must-visit.

In conclusion, Providence offers diverse, stimulating neighborhoods each with their distinct style and personality. Whether you relish being in the thick of urban life or prefer quaint, picturesque charm, it's all right here. So pack your bags, choose your neighborhood and start your Providence adventure!

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Things to Do

Not sure what to do after unpacking your boxes in Providence, RI? Fear not! Not only is Providence rich in history and charm, but there's also plenty of activities for everyone. Here's a list of seven vibrant things you can do to feel right at home in Providence. The best part? Many of the activities on this list are unique to Providence, giving you a true taste of this lively city.

1. Explore the Rhode Island School of Design Museum

The Rhode Island School of Design Museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 100,000 works of art, making it one of the best ways to get acquainted with the cultural spirit of Rhode Island. From Asian art to contemporary American paintings, the RISD Museum promises a diverse and enriching experience.

2. Relax at Waterplace Park

Located in the heart of downtown Providence, Waterplace Park offers breathtaking views of the city. This scenic park also hosts the WaterFire event, a must-experience spectacle where bonfires are lit on the surface of the rivers running through the park. It's a captivating mixture of arts, music, and community spirit.

3. Visit the Providence Athenaeum

Immerse yourself in this independent, member-supported library, which is also one of the oldest in the country. The Athenaeum oozes old-world charm with its Greek revival architecture and a wide variety of literary and artistic resources. You'll feel like you've stepped back in time as you turn the pages of centuries-old books.

4. Explore the "Mile of History"

Benefit Street's "Mile of History" is a one-mile, well-preserved colonial area where you'll find one of the largest concentration of 17th and 18th century homes in the U.S. This walkable tour is a unique insight into the history of Providence and is a must-visit for history buffs.

5. Visit Roger Williams Park Zoo

With an immense variety of animals, the Roger Williams Zoo is a great place for a fun day out. But the zoo isn't just about observing animals. You can also indulge in an assortment of experiences like camel rides and a Soaring Eagle Zip Line for the thrill-seekers.

6. Go Underground at the Providence Rink

This is your chance to ice skate in one of the most unique locales in Providence, right in the heart of downtown. The fully-loaded skating center provides year-round ice skating even during the sweltering summer heat. What better way to escape the heat or embrace the cold?

7. Discover the Culinary Scene at Federal Hill

Providence is famous for its culinary scene, and Federal Hill is at the heart of it all. The neighborhood offers a diverse range of culinary experiences, from Italian trattorias to trendy fusion bars. Plus, don't miss out on the opportunity to try a signature Rhode Island coffee milk!

In conclusion, from historical gems to unique food and drinks, Providence, RI is a lively and cultural city that welcomes new residents with a plethora of fun and exciting activities. In fact, with so much to explore and experience, the hardest part might be deciding where to start!

Things to do in Providence, RI?

Find Movers for Your Providence Relocation

As you embark on your new journey to Providence, let us help simplify your moving process. Our relationship with the industry's top-notch movers ensures that you experience a smooth transition to your new home. By providing us with some basics about your move, we connect you with movers who meet your specifications, making your process of obtaining quotes fast and effortless. Along with quality service and affordability, the moving companies in our extensive network are licensed and insured. To start your stress-free moving experience to Providence, request your free moving quote through Great Guys Moving today.

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