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Providence Tourism

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My wife and I were walking around one afternoon recently and we saw quite a few people milling about with tourist maps. This got me thinking about the state of our tourism - what we have and what else we should have to keep tourism increasing.

Currently, when people come to Providence for a couple days, what can they do?

1. Walk around waterplace park (not that exciting unless there's some music, waterfire or some festival happening)

2. Duck Tours - great way to see a city

3. Walk up and down Benefit St. - beautiful and unique

4. Children's museum or Russian Sub museum - good for kids

5. Antiuqes/shops on Wickenden

6. and the obvious - Dinner at great restaurants

7. oh and of course the RISD museum

This is great that people want to come here and have these things to do, but that's pretty much 2 days worth of activities, assuming you do everything. What else do we need?

I'm thinking the heritage harbor museum will be a great addition. But more tours, or more advertisements for current tours would be good. Start at Kennedy Plaza and do a culinary tour of Atwells, or J&W's campus (we did a cooking class for a day and just seeing the facilities was impressive). Maybe some walking tours...

It's too bad the Zoo is so inaccesible from downtown.

More waterfront activities? A mini aquarium?

Just posting my observation and thoughts.

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I can vouch for the fact that Providence is becoming known as a tourist destination. Some of you might recall that I work for the Newport Mansions. I hear an increasing number of our guests talking about taking a day trip to Providence. More recently, in the last year or so, I've noticed that many tourists are reversing that pattern, staying in Providence and spending a day in Newport. There's definitely potential to expand and capitalize on the city's growing reputation as a destination in its own right.

Heritage Harbor will be great for this, and I would suggest adding more shopping opportunities in the Jewelry District. Waterplace Park should be used much more than it is now for concerts, theatrical performances, and the like. And for heaven's sake, make Station Park into a real park... a place where you can sit and relax on a bench under shade trees, maybe have a picnic or something. That and properly maintain the parks the city already has.

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I'd say most people who vacation in Providence don't just stay in the city. They can take the ferry to Newport for a day, or a bus to the beaches in South County or to places like Bristol.

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