Map of Rhode Island with a MyBryant shuttle
Bryant University's location in Smithfield, RI–just outside the city of Providence–is a great starting point for adventures in Rhode Island, New England and beyond.
Your next adventure starts at Bryant University
Sep 07, 2021, by Staff Writer

Bryant University offers more than a great community place to live and learn in, it’s also a terrific place to explore and grow. Located in the heart of New England, Bryant is just a quick trip away from fantastic spots to have fun, opportunities to expand your horizons and amazing adventures.

“There's so many different things to do depending on how you're feeling and what you want to do,” says Tyler Roche '23. “There's great restaurants and shops and entertainment and even places to hike and explore nature. There's a lot of other colleges around too, so there are places for college students to go and meet each other.”

A collegial community
Smithfield, RI–just outside the city of Providence–is the perfect place for Bryant’s campus and to bring out the best in you. It offers a safe, peaceful, and collegial small-town atmosphere for you to focus on your studies and everything a student could need. Shops, grocery stores, restaurants, parks and places to hang out with your friends when you want to get off campus for a little while are all within a short distance.

Some great places to visit in Smithfield and nearby: 

  • There’s an amazing restaurant for every taste: Condesa Restaurante Mexicano, Trattoria Romana, Parente’s Restaurant and Asia Grille are just a few of the fantastic places to eat near campus.
  • The Crossing at Smithfield and the Lincoln Mall will meet all your shopping needs with everything from bookshops to home goods to clothing stores.
  • If you’re looking to relax after class or on the weekend, you can visit Cinema World Lanes & Games and Movie Theater. The Rustic Drive-In is another great place to catch a movie with friends.
  • Want to recharge your batteries with a nature walk? Try going for a hike in Lincoln Woods State Park, Beavertail State Park or Barden Family Apple Orchard.

Exploring Rhode Island
Though it’s the smallest state in the country, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Rhode Island.  The home to a myriad of outstanding performance venues and cultural sites, RI is also known for its natural beauty–including plenty of beaches and public parks.

Providence, Rhode Island’s capital and one of New England’s largest cities, is especially popular among students because of its thriving arts community, renowned restaurant scene and wide variety of entertainment options. "To be honest, I chose Bryant because I wanted to be near Boston, but as I've explored Providence, I've come to realize it's really underrated,” says Lauren Roth ’23. “It's a really great city to walk around and explore. There's so much you can discover when you come to Rhode Island."

Some great spots to explore in RI:

  • Roger Williams Park is home to one of the nation’s oldest zoos, a Botanical Center with New England's largest public indoor display garden, the Museum of Natural History, a planetarium and a carousel.
  • The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design has more than 26,000 objects, from ancient Egyptian clothing fragments and Elizabethan needlework to 20th-century American designers and Japanese Noh theater robes.
  • Up for a hike? Rhode Island has hundreds of scenic hiking, running, and biking trails that show off the state’s natural beauty.
  • Every year, the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) presents a full roster of touring Broadway productions. Tony award-winning Trinity Rep is one of the most well-respected regional theatres in the country.
  • Rhode Island's beaches are second to none and offer sandy expanses, sheltered coves, and great swimming and surfing. From Narragansett Town Beach to Misquamicut, there are plenty of places to catch some sun and some waves.
  • Several times during the spring, summer, and fall, Waterplace Park hosts Waterfire celebrations featuring more than 100 bonfires down the river's center, performers and world music.
  • Providence’s historic Federal Hill offers visitors charm, history, and hospitality as well as incredible restaurants.

There’s also plenty of ways to get where you want to go. The My Bryant Transit (MBT) shuttle service, which is free of charge and operates seven days a week, travels to and from the Lincoln Mall, the Providence Place Mall, and Kennedy Plaza in Providence, as well as the train and bus stations in Providence. The Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority bus runs to and from Bryant to downtown Providence seven days a week. Zipcars are also available for rent. There’s also convenient travel by UBER and other rideshare services.

“The RIPTA bus is really convenient,” notes Roth. “There's an official stop on campus and it comes by like 20 times a day. Your Bryant ID gets you on the bus for free and it can help you get pretty much anywhere in the state. It's just a few stops right to the center of Providence.”

Going Further
Rhode Island’s location makes it easy for you to travel and to explore New England and beyond. You can catch a flight from TF Green airport in nearby Warwick, and the Providence Train Station is a hub for both Amtrak and easy MBTA service. Several accessible bus lines can help you set out on your next adventure as well.

Some suggestions for your next big journey outside Rhode Island:

  • Want to take in a game? Take a quick drive north to see the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium, or the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.  
  • Eager to check out Boston, one of the country’s centers of art, history and culture? You can be there in a little bit more than an hour.
  • Cape Cod, known for its incredible beaches, is just a two-hour drive.
  • New York, one of the greatest cities in the world, is only three hours away. You can see Times Square in person, take in a show on Broadway, or visit the Statue of Liberty.
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