Providence : Rhode island


What It Is Like to Retire in Providence

Providence is the capital of Rhode Island and one of the largest cities in New England.  It was founded by Roger Williams as a place where refugees from Massachusetts could experience religious freedom. It is a jewelry center as well as being home to at least 7 colleges, including Brown University, Providence College, and Johnson & Wales among others.  Part of the attraction of Providence is being a fun college town. The city has also worked hard to reinvent itself with many imaginative urban renewal projects along three rivers that had once been paved over . Today a delightful pedestrian waterfront, Waterpark Place, draws in tourists with its bridges, gondolas, cobblestone walkways and entertainment . From Providence you can easily take a train to Boston or New York, or a ferry to Martha's Vineyard. The Rhode Island beaches,  some of the best in the nation, are close by. Photo of Waterplace Park courtesy of Wikipedia and Loodog; photo of Providence City Hall in the Second Empire Baroque style courtesy of Wikipedia and Anatoli Lvov, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/

Where to Retire in Providence and Home Prices

You can live downtown in the city or the suburbs. There are some active adult communities in the area. If you go out of town you can live on or along the water - because of its many bays and ocean frontage, Rhode Island has an amazing coastline. According to the NAR, the median selling price in Providence-Warwick RI region was $406,700 in the 1st quarter of 2022.


What Is Special about Providence

Providence is now known as the Renaissance City. Waterplace Park, the reclaimed area over 3 rivers is one of the most successful urban renewal projects in the country. Providence is an exciting urban environment and bustling college town. It is conveniently located on the coast and I 95.  The scenic beaches and bays of coastal Rhode Island are very accessible.

What Is Not Special about Providence

Taxes are high in Rhode Island and its fiscal health is one of the weakest of any state.


Who Will Like Retirement in Providence

People who want to live in a medium sized city with plenty of colleges and an exciting urban environment will probably like Providence. It is also close to the water for those who like boating and beaches.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Providence has a diverse economy although it has struggled in recent years. Being the capital of the state helps. So do its long-standing jewelry industry, Dunkin Donuts, and the 7 colleges in the area.  The renovated downtown brings in shoppers and tourists.

Climate and Physical Environment

Providence is located on I 95 about 50 miles from Boston and an hour from Cape Cod. Rivers and bays connect the City to the Ocean. The average july high is 83 and the average January low is 20. The wettest month is March (4.4")

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Cultural institutions include Opera Providence, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory.  The Providence Public Library is first-rate with 9 branches and a charming  Athenaeum. Residents can college sports at Brown and Division I basketball at the Friars of Providence College.


As is typical of a city, the crime rate in Providence is above the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are 8 hospitals including Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital.


Transportation options include Amtrak, I 95, TF Green Airport with its discount carriers, as well as fast ferry service to Martha's Vineyard.

Valuable Links

Convention and Visitors Bureau
Wikipedia for Providence
Rhode Island Retirement Guide


What people are saying about Providence

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