The Bear Necessities- Getting off Campus

Hi everyone! My name is James Ford, and I’m a third-year from San Francisco, CA. From swimming to intermurals to eating healthy on College Hill, The Bear Necessities is here to give you insights on balancing work with play during your time at Brown!


Spring is here in Providence, and with it comes more opportunities to spend time outside. Here are my tips on some spots around campus to check out during the two-month long window of nice weather (March to May):

1.) Roger Williams Park- A great choice for a day outing, Roger Williams Park is about a fifteen minute drive from Brown. Inside the park, there is plenty of green space and a stunning rose garden. The main attraction is undoubtedly the zoo, which houses several elephants, harbor seals, and giraffes among many other mammals.

2.) India Point Park- A popular running spot for students and faculty alike on College Hill- I actually saw one of my professors running the trail back in October! The trail has a gradual incline and is easy to hike, run, or bike. The park also offers scenic views of the historic Providence harbor, which was founded in 1680.

3.) Small Point Cafe- Besides the Underground, which is located on the floor below the Blue Room, this cafe is without a doubt my favorite in Providence. Lots of natural light, art and decorations everywhere, and a living room feel give this cafe an at-home feel. My advice: get the cappuccino- it’s really something that can’t be missed. The baristas here make amazing designs in their coffee, ranging from cats to stars to incredibly detailed flowers. This cafe is also a great study spot year round for those looking to switch up a study routine and is only about a 15 minute walk from the Rock.

4.) Ladd Observatory- While technically on campus, this observatory is a breathtaking place to stargaze and view distant planets and stars. Operated by the physics department at Brown since 1893, Ladd is a really nice place to spend an evening. The observatory is open from 8-10 pm every Tuesday evening.

Thanks for checking out this week’s installment of The Bear Necessities. Have any questions or comments? Send me an email at


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