On the Brown Low: Getting Outta Town

Welcome to On the Brown Low—a column dedicated to exploring all that the lovely city of Providence has to offer. Join me, Isabela Karibjanian, as I take you on a tour of all the hidden gems I find off College Hill!

So far on this blog, I’ve taken you to some of my favorite spots around town, showcasing some of the best that Providence has to offer. Though there’s so much to explore in Providence, what happens if you want to get out of the city? Keep reading for my best tips of getting out of town, and leaving the Brown bubble behind.

One of the biggest perks of going to college on the East Coast is definitely the proximity to so many cities. Providence is smack dab in the middle of the great northeastern megalopolis, and traveling from city to city as a college student without a car is not as difficult as it may initially seem. Some clubs at Brown travel for competitions, performances, or conferences, which is one way to get out of the Rhode Island bubble, but if you want to travel on your own, it’s totally doable!

Getting to Boston

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Boston is a stone’s throw away from Providence, which makes it super convenient to pop into the city for concerts, restaurants, museums, shopping, a Red Sox game, or visiting friends who go to school there. Providence Station is a quick walk down the hill from the heart of campus, and offers MBTA (the Boston area’s commuter rail) service regularly. Tickets are around $12, and the train gets you to the heart of Boston in just over an hour. Though I don’t agree with this Overheard at Brown post (because there’s just so much to do in Providence), Boston is definitely worth a trip.

Getting to New York

To get to New York City, most people I know take the Peter Pan Bus. The bus (among others that can get you to New York City) leaves right from Kennedy Plaza, which is also a quick walk down the hill. Tickets are around $25, and you’ll get there in four or five hours, depending on pesky Connecticut traffic. It’s a bit far for a day trip, but a weekend in New York is definitely doable. Alternatively, you could take the Amtrak Northeast Regional, which leaves from Providence Station. It can be a bit pricier, but at least you won’t be stuck in traffic!

Getting anywhere else

But what if you want to get somewhere that’s a bit further away than Boston or New York?

One popular option for weekend trips or shorter outings is to rent a Zipcar. They’re readily accessible at several parking lots around town (including a few near campus), and offer student discounts. Plus, unlike traditional rental cars, anyone 18 or older with a driver’s license can rent one, and you can rent them for hourly intervals.

If you need to get further away, there are two airports close to campus. T.F. Green Airport in Warwick is about 20 minutes away by car (most people I know take uber), and is serviced by 10 or so airlines. Though most flights are to other destinations on the east coast, there are also some flights to the Midwest.

If you need to go elsewhere, or if you’d rather not have a connecting flight, head to Boston Logan International Airport. You can take the MBTA from Providence Station to South Station, and from there you can take a short bus ride to the airport. (Note: this bus switches from electric to diesel fuel halfway through the trip, and sometimes, it can take the bus upwards to half an hour to make the switch. Be sure to leave extra time!)
Is there something in Providence that you want to see covered here? Have any suggestions for my next adventure? Send me an email (isabela_karibjanian@brown.edu) to let me know!

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