Chart: NOAA 13225
Head north through Narragansett Bay’s East or West Passages and enter the mouth of Providence River between Conimicut Point and Conimicut Light, then follow the well-marked channel north while keeping an eye on the 3 smokestacks behind the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier and the new Rte. 195 bridge. Providence is a major shipping port, and the river is very busy with commercial traffic and recreational fishermen drifting the channel.
Note: When LPG tankers are entering the port, recreational boats must keep beyond the security zone, which extends from one mile ahead of the vessel, 200 yards astern, and 500 yards on either side. Similarly, when tankers are docked, recreational vessels must maintain a distance of at least 200 yards.
- Transient slips near Providence can be hard to come by, and the nearest place to get fuel is Port Edgewood Marina (see below) and the marinas on Bullock Cove.
- The closest marina to the city is Downtown Marina (401-440-9280), located to starboard after clearing the Fox Point hurricane barrier. They have a handful of slips for transients. Call ahead for availability.
- East Providence Yacht Club (401-434-0161), near the mouth of the Seekonk River, normally has 3 transient slips for $40 a night. Call ahead for availability.
- Oyster House Marina (401-434-0400), located next to the Yacht Club at the mouth of the Seekonk River, is a small family-owned marina with a few transient slips for small boats. Call ahead.
- Port Edgewood Marina (401-941-2000), located about a mile south of the city, on the west side of the Providence River, usually has a good number of transient slips available for $2 per foot per night and 2 moorings for $1 a foot per night. Port Edgewood is also the closest place to Providence to get fuel or repairs. Be careful entering the channel here, as it is bordered by shallow mud flats.
- Pawtuxet Cove Marina (401-941-2000), is run by the same company as the Port Edgewood Marina, and is located roughly another 3 miles south. It offers a few transient slips at $2 a foot per night.
- Brewer Cove Haven Marina (401-246-1600) on Bullock Cove in Barrington, is a large, full-service marina offering fuel, transient slips, haulout and repair. (See New England Boating’s destination on Barrington for more info.)
There are several approved anchorages in the Providence River. On the east side of the river, anchorages are available in Bullock Cove (East Providence maintains a free guest mooring in the cove), north and south of Sabin Point, off Crescent Park Beach and just behind Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.
On the west side, a good anchorage exists just south of the channel entrance to Pawtuxet Cove, between the long breakwater and the main shipping channel.
- East Providence Harbor Department Website
- The best option for trailer-boaters wishing to access the Providence area and the Upper Bay is the ramp at Haines State Park (401-253-7482) on Bullocks Cove in Barrington. This concrete double ramp features floating docks, restrooms and ample parking, and affords quick access to the Upper Bay. The ramp offers 3 feet of depth at mean low water.
- Gano Park Launch: This boat launch facility in Providence opened in May 2014, and provides access to the lower Seekonk River from the Providence side for trailered boats, as well as kayaks, SUPs and canoes. The facility features a concrete ramp, a tie-up float and free parking for 17 rigs. After launching, boaters can either head north up the Seekonk or south to the Providence River and Narragansett Bay.
- A free, handicapped-accessible state ramp with fixed docks can be found at Bold Point Park in East Providence, near the mouth of the Seekonk River. Launching at low tide can be problematic for deeper draft boats. Also, parking in the dirt lot is limited on summer weekends.
- A small ramp with float and limited parking is located at Sabin Point Park, also in East Providence.
- On the west side of the river, Salters Grove State Park offers a small launch ramp suitable for kayaks and skiffs just south of Pawtuxet Cove.
- D.R. Taxi Cab Service (401-640-9689)
- Big Daddy Coach (401-578-8182)
- Bicyclists can access the towns of Barrington, Warren and Bristol by biking along the 13-mile East Bay Bike Path.
- The Hot Club (401-861-9007): Located just inside the hurricane barrier to starboard. Offers dock-and-dine.
- The Chowder House (401-369-7000): Also located just inside the hurricane barrier to starboard.
- Brick Valley Pizza (401-623-8931): Pizza place on Bridge Street, close to Downtown Marina in the Fox Point area.
- Oasis Café (401-351-5100): Small café on Bridge Street close to Downtown Marina.
- Thousands of people come to Providence to see WaterFire, when bonfires blaze through downtown along the Providence River. Events take place several times each summer and fall, so check the website for details.
- The Roger Williams Park Zoo (401-785-3510) has more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Near the zoo is New England’s largest indoor public display garden, the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center (401-785-9450; www.providenceri.com/botanical-center).
- Gondola rides through the heart of downtown Providence can be arranged through La Gondola Inc. (401-421-8877).
- Fans of history and architecture should take a stroll around College Hill, home of both Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. This historic area was originally settled in 1636, and that’s also where you’ll find Thayer Street, an area of restaurants and shops popular with the local college crowd.
- For theater, check out the Trinity Repertory Theater Company (401-351-4242), considered one of the country’s best regional theaters.
- If you like to bike, take a ride along the scenic East Bay Bike Path, which skirts the East Bay shore from East Providence to Bristol and runs through the heart of Barrington and Warren.
- The Old Court Bed & Breakfast (401-751-2002) is located near Brown University, Waterplace Park and dozens of restaurants.
- Near India Point is the Radisson Hotel Providence Harbor (401-272-5577).
- The Hotel Providence (401-490-8100) is located downtown.