The Knack Business Backpack is an excellent backpack for business travelers, easily going from a professional everyday carry bag to a carry-on backpack for travel.
As Knackpackers travel for work, many also like to take some “tourist time” after a day of meetings or extend their trip over the weekend to explore a new city.
Seeing this love of adventure, the Knack Team thought it would be a great idea to share our recommendations of things to do when visiting different cities.
We’re a 100% remote company, so over the next few months we’ll share recommendations for visiting places like Dallas, Texas, Providence, Rhode Island, Denver, Colorado – and a few other cities. You can read our recommendations for Portland, OR!
Today, Knack CEO, Chad Mellen, shares his recommendations for making the most out of a business trip to Providence, Rhode Island.
Should You Stay in an AirBnb or Hotel?
Depending on where in Providence you want to stay, the selection for AirBnBs can be considerably better than for hotels. If a Knackpacker really wants to stay in the downtown area, I recommend The Hotel Providence. It is a boutique hotel that is nicely decorated and sits in the heart of downtown Providence within walking distance of some great restaurants and stores.
Recommended Restaurants In and Around Providence, Rhode Island
(Rhode Island, and Providence in particular, has an incredible selection of restaurants, so there is quite a list of recommendations! We’ve sorted recommendations by the type of dining to make it easier to plan your trip.)
Trying to identify my personal favorite restaurant in Rhode Island is like trying to identify my favorite Beatles’ song (which is “The Word” BTW). There are so many good ones to choose from it’s next to impossible. Since Rhode Island has restaurant schools (Johnson and Wales being the most notable one), food incubators (Hope & Main), vineyards, many local farms, and a long-standing farm-to-table tradition, there are really many more great restaurants in Rhode Island than one would expect given our size. That said, here I go:
Nick’s on Broadway - Breakfast
This place is the best place for breakfast/brunch in Providence. Fantastic eggs benedict.
Seven Stars Bakery - Breakfast and Coffee
This sit-down bakery is a great place for coffee and baked goods. Their cinnamon buns are pure heaven. They have 4 locations around Rhode Island.
Evelyn’s – Clam Shack (Must Visit!)
You’ve got to go to a clam shack if you are in Rhode Island and while there are several great ones (like Blount’s Clam Shack and Flo's Clam Shack), the place I always take visitors is Evelyn’s in Tiverton, RI.
There is a drive-in option (order at the window and eat at picnic tables) and table service indoors and outdoors on the crushed clamshell patio. The outdoor options overlook beautiful Nanaquaket Pond. I always order the fried whole belly clam platter and follow it up with Buddha’s chocolate.
Camille’s – Italian Food
This restaurant is off Atwells Avenue in the heart of Federal Hill (the area that used to be the Italian section of Providence and now has a ton of great restaurants). It’s richly decorated, expensive and the food is old school, traditional Italian. Their wine list is deep and fantastic. I love ordering the Veal Parmigiana when I go.
Gracie’s – American Food
This restaurant is on Washington Street in the Providence theater district. I love getting one of the booths and enjoying a relaxed meal. It has top-notch new American food (and, while expensive, worth every penny). Their menu changes based on what is fresh so I usually go with the 4 course tasting menu.
Pastiche - Desert
The best place for desert in the state. It’s a tiny place in Federal Hill and only has about 7 tables but the pastries, cakes and baked goods are fantastic. Sitting by the fireplace in winter will make you think you are in Europe. BTW, order the chocolate mousse cake. It’s so rich, it’s hard to finish.
Need to Send Some Emails? Check Out These Coffee Shops
I love the atmosphere at The Coffee Depot in Warren, RI. It’s big, open and you can almost always get a table.
I also really like Borealis Coffee in Riverside, RI. They converted an old train station to a coffee house and it is really lovely. They roast their own coffee and it’s outstanding (and they also sell baked goods from Seven Stars!). In the town where Knack is located, I often have meetings at Black Pear because they have great food and great coffee.
Outdoor Activities in Providence
Ready to unplug after work? Check out the East Bay Bike Path! This is a continuous 14.5 mile paved bike path that goes from downtown Providence to Bristol, RI. It travels through the city and out through some beautiful towns. It mostly follows the East Bay shoreline so there are a lot of great ocean views.
When you get to Bristol, stop at the Beehive Cafe for lunch and, in the summer, The Daily Scoop, for great home-made ice cream.
Must Visit Spot During Summer & Fall
One word: Waterfire.
It’s a bit difficult to describe. It is an art installation that happens during the evening a number of times in the summer and fall. 86 braziers in the middle of the rivers that go through downtown Providence are piled with wood and lit on fire. Thousands of people walk along the banks of the river and look at the fires, see other art exhibits, eat at outdoor markets, listen to music, etc. It is a great community event.
Traveling with My Knack Pack Laptop Backpack
I’ve traveled all over the world (literally) with my Medium Knack Pack, as well as taken it to meetings around Rhode Island. I can easily pack up everything I need for a day of meetings or use the expandable compartment to pack as a carry-on backpack for international travel.
My current Knack Pack of choice is the Knack Pack in luxurious Napa leather. It looks sharp, and fits in with a variety of environments.