A small state with a big food scene, Rhode Island is attracting attention for its culinary offerings. Valerie Giguere, owner of Gourmet Traveler Tours with Taste, based in West Warwick, shares this three-day Rhode Island itinerary of gourmet sights across the state.
Arrive at Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick. Throughout the day, frequent flights arrive from hub cities including Philadelphia, Orlando, Newark and Baltimore.
A guide from Gourmet Traveler Tours with Taste will meet the group at the airport. Besides providing pick-up service, the guide will serve small sandwiches and drinks. After the welcome to Rhode Island, travel to a centrally located hotel.
Spend the rest of the afternoon shopping at Providence Place Mall. Macy’s, JCPenney and Nordstrom anchor the three-level retail destination, also home to specialty stores like Althea and Zumiez, as well as restaurants and a cinema.
After time to shop, view WaterFire Providence. This one-of-a-kind work of art is installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence as a symbol of the city’s renais- sance.
On select nights from May to November, the award-winning sculpture by artist Barnaby Evans lights up the night, literally. More than 80 braziers have been placed at Waterplace Park and along the Riverwalk to Memorial/South Main Street Park. On event nights, they burn from after dark until half past midnight.
After strolling through downtown Providence by firelight, meet up with the group and gather for dinner at one of the restaurants on Federal Hill, a classic Italian neighborhood.
Return to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
After breakfast at the hotel, journey to Newport and take a tour that focuses on the Newport Mansions. The Preservation Society of Newport County watches over 11 historic properties — seven of them National Historic Landmarks — that span more than 250 years of American architectural development.
Take time to visit two of the mansions of the group’s choice. Guided tours are available at Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote and Rosecliff. Self-guided audio tours take groups through The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House. At Green Animals Topiary Garden, self-guided tours lead groups through the outside spaces, while guided tours are featured at the Brayton estate house.
Lunch is served on the Newport waterfront. Then spend the afternoon touring coastal Rhode Island vineyards with local foods served on board the motorcoach. Stop at two of the wineries for tastings and tours.
Then, return to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to savor some of the fabulous restaurants that Providence is known for.
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel or a Providence restaurant. After breakfast, visit the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design — also known as the RISD Museum. Guided tours can be reserved in advance for groups that want the insider’s perspective of the historic museum.
Founded in 1877 as part of the Rhode Island School of Design, the museum has a collection with more than 92,000 objects from ancient and modern artists. The collection fills five buildings on a sloping city block on the historic east side of Providence.
After exploring the museum, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. Then depart for the airport.
Gourmet Traveler Tours with Taste