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With a plan, it’s easy to navigate and explore Providence in a day. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you start your morning at the Rogers Williams Park Zoo, where you can wake up with the animals and take a leisurely stroll through the zoo’s scenic gardens and ponds. After the zoo, head into downtown Providence to walk through the brownstone sidewalks around Brown University and enjoy the centuries-old architecture that beautifies the neighborhood. You’ll find a few art galleries and boutiques here too, so stop in when you see something you like. Have a late lunch at any of the Italian restaurants in Federal Hill, and grab a cannoli to go at one of the authentic bakeries.
After lunch, head toward downtown for a tour of the Providence Capitol Building, one of the oldest capitol buildings in the nation. When you’re finished, make your way down to the river where crowds start to gather at sunset to watch WaterFire — an arts-sculpture-light show. End your day at CAV, an American restaurant with an international, bohemian vibe.