East Side of Providence, RI

The East Side of Providence is an area of the city containing several different neighborhoods — Fox Point, College Hill, Blackstone, Mount Hope, South Main, Wayland Square, among others. It’s known as the home of two prestigious universities — Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) — and the most affluent demographic in Providence. Yet each neighborhood here is unique. On College Hill, you have historic homes and cobblestone streets right next to a bustling, “college town” atmosphere with bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. In Blackstone, you’re surrounded by gorgeous townhouses and historic mansions (dating back over 100 years in many cases). It’s by far the most sought after real estate market in the Providence area, both for homebuyers and renters. 

What do people love about living on the East Side?

  1. Walkability & access: Most of the East Side is  “walkable-friendly”, whether you live on Wickenden Street or Blackstone Boulevard. For a night out, downtown Providence is only a five minute Uber ride back and forth.
  2. Dining & Bar Scene: You have some of the best restaurants in the city right down the street and new ones are popping up all the time. Thayer Street, Wayland Square, and Hope Street are lined with literally dozens of choices for excellent food and fun, social bars.
  3. Safety & family-friendly: Wayland Square and College have consistently the lowest violent crime rates in Providence. They’re quiet, safe, and very friendly to people looking to start a family.

Community overview

  • Urban & Suburban Community
  • Zip Codes: 02906, 02912
  • Population: Approximately 60% of Providence residents live on the East Side
  • Median home value: $475,500
  • Homes currently available from: $299,999 — $5,500,000
  • Tax rate: 18.80 (residential), $36.70 (commercial)
Providence amp East Side

What’s it like to live on the East Side?


There are a few different neighborhoods on the East Side with shopping opportunities. College Hill, Wayland Square, South Main Street, Fox Point, and Hope Street are the areas you’ll find boutique stores and small businesses. This covers everything from wine & liquor, record stores, antique furniture, and anything else you could think of. Each area is walkable, too.

For grocery shopping and other essentials, residents on the East Side have two Whole Foods stores (Waterman Ave. and North Main Street) and East Side Market. Stop & Shop is located off Branch Avenue near the East Side as well.

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Landmarks & Things to do

The Providence Athenaeum: a historic, private library (the second oldest in the U.S.) that’s open to the public for tours and viewing. If you join as a member, you can use the library during the day as a study spot and check out their rare and collected books. Brown University often holds public literary events at the library, attracting nationally-known novelists, poets, and artists.

RISD Museum: one of Providence’s main tourist attractions with over 100,000 piece of art and design. The featured exhibits change several times throughout the year and often showcase the work of RISD graduates as well. You can spend hours in the museum and still not see everything it has to offer!

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology: located on the ground floor of Manning Hall on Brown University’s Main Green, this museum’s permanent collection includes over 150,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects from all over the world and forms the basis for research, exhibitions, and community outreach for Brown students and staff.

Providence Ghost Tours: one of the best ways to learn about Providence’s interesting and spooky history. Tour guides lead you by lantern light through the East Side’s streets and hills, including parts of Brown University’s campus.

The Providence Flea: an outdoor flea market located on South Main Street riverfront every Sunday during the summer months. Walk around the tents to see the works of local artisans, grab lunch at the food trucks, and see live performances.

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Restaurants & Nightlife

Thayer Street: very popular area right next to Brown University and RISD. The bar scene mostly caters to college students, but you can also find a few laid back places in the area.

Check out — Antonio’s Pizza, The Flatbread Company, Durk’s BBQ, East Side Pockets, and Korean Fried Chicken.

Wayland Square: a mostly residential neighborhood with a mix of young professionals, college students, and middle-aged families. There are a few bars in the area and upscale restaurants for the 30’s and 40’s crowds.

Check out — McBride’s Pub, Red Stripe, Haruki, The Salted Slate, and Pasta Beach.

Fox Point: Wickenden and Hope Street have a good collection of neighborhood bars, lunch & breakfast spots, and coffee shops.

Check out — The East End, Amy’s Place, Coffee Exchange, The Shop, Persimmon, and PVDonuts.

South Main Street: right along the Providence River and bottom of College Hill, you’ll find high-end restaurants and staple bars that draw big crowds on the weekends.

Check out — Bacaro, Mile & A Quarter, Wild Colonial, Geoff’s Superlative, The Hot Club, and Milk Money. 

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Coffee Exchange Providence RI

Recreation & Activities

India Point Park: 18 acres of open space, walking paths, picnic tables, and 3,600 feet of shoreline. It has a unique view of Narragansett Bay and the ports of Providence. India Point is also the starting (or ending) point of the East Bay Bike Path and holds many public-access events in the summertime, including live music, food shows, and more.

Blackstone Boulevard Walking Path: 1.6 miles of walking path along Blackstone Boulevard in Providence’s East Side neighborhood. Benches line the walkway on either side, along with many different species of trees and perennial and non-perennial flower beds. It’s just a simple and relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise without having to leave the city. There’s usually a lot of people strolling along with you!

Prospect Terrace: hidden along Congdon Street on College Hill, this small park offers a view of downtown Providence you won’t find anywhere else. There is a statue of Roger Williams along the cliff edge of the park, benches to relax on, and open space to lay down a blanket and enjoy the view of Downtown and the State House. 

Lippitt Park: located at the point where Hope Street and Blackstone Boulevard meet, this small park is a popular spot for picnicking and dog walking. There is a small playground for children, a water fountain to cool off during the summer, and two basketball courts. The Hope Street Farmers Market is held at this park during the summer months on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Schools & Education

Public Schools

The Providence Public School District (PPSD) serves approximately 24,000 students throughout the city. PPSD includes 22 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, 10 high schools, and 2 public district charter schools. The district employs over 3,200 teachers, administrators, and support staff. As a whole, PPSD is the largest city department and takes up approximately half of Providence’s operating budget each year.

If you live in Providence, where your child goes to school is largely based on location and neighborhood. However, there are certain schools and programs where your child can apply for enrollment, such as Classical High School or LaSalle Academy (private school). Classical has the highest graduation rate and is rated number one in terms of academic performance across the state school system.

For a full list of schools in the Providence District and more information on their programs and enrollment, please visit their website at https://www.providenceschools.org/   

Private Schools

The East Side is home to several private institutions for children in K-12 grades. The Wheeler School, Moses Brown, and School One serve middle school and high school students. And there are options for kindergarten through fourth grade available as well.

  • Moses Brown School
  • The Lincoln School
  • The Croft School
  • The French American School
  • The Wheeler School
  • Jewish Community Day School
  • School One
  • Montessori Children’s House

Colleges & Universities

College Hill on the East Side is home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Both colleges are world-renowned for their academics, research, and high-level of student achievement. The campus takes a significant portion of the neighborhood covering Waterman Avenue, Thayer Street, Angell Street, and South Main Street.

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Nearby Hospitals

Miriam Hospital: a private, not-for-profit hospital at 164 Summit Avenue in Providence. The hospital is a major teaching affiliate of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. It offers a wide range of medical services, with notable expertise in cardiac care, total joint replacement, bariatric surgery, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and men’s health.

Butler Hospital: is a private, non-profit, psychiatric and substance abuse hospital for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, located at 345 Blackstone Boulevard in Providence. The hospital is affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and is the flagship for Brown University’s renowned department of psychiatry. It is southeastern New England’s only adolescent, and adult and senior psychiatric treatment center, providing assessments and treatment for all major psychiatric illnesses and substance abuse. Butler Hospital employs approximately 950 full-time and part-time, clinical and non-clinical staff, in addition to more than 50 volunteers who assist in nearly all areas of the hospital.

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Transportation and getting around

View homes for sale in East side of Providence

Neighborhoods in the East Side of Providence

  • Benefit Street
  • Blackstone
  • Cole Avenue
  • College Hill
  • Elmgrove
  • Fox Point
  • Freeman Plat
  • Hope
  • Lippitt Park
  • Moses Brown
  • Mount Hope
  • Patterson Park
  • Prospect Hill
  • Rochambeau
  • South Main
  • Summit