Providence Downtown Self-Driving Audio Tour


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Guide LanguageEnglish
Good To KnowE-voucher
21 reviews


Whether you’re visiting Rhode Island on business or you and your family are making your way from the Roger Williams Park Zoo to the RISD Museum, this self-driving audio tour is a great way to learn more about the city. This flexible activity allows you to go at your own pace, stopping and restarting whenever is convenient for your visit.


Don't worry about service disruptions, this tour map works offline
Each story plays when you reach specific locations
Perfect for curious travelers who don't desire a group tour
Pass by Garibaldi Square, Barnaby Castle, and more


Our Providence adventure sets off from the Convention Center downtown! We first head into the historic Federal Hill area -- home to both history and the city's best restaurants.
Note: This 11+mile-long tour covers the essentials of Providence in 1-2 hours.
We enter through the Welcome Gateway, featuring the iconic pineapple. We'll learn about how this neighborhood grew & changed over the years -- including the infamous Macaroni Riots and the secret of the Coin-O-Matic!
As World War I was breaking out, food prices spiked. A mob attacked wholesale grocer Frank P. Ventrone’s business block here, smashing windows and hurling macaroni into the street. Commonly known as the “Macaroni Riots,” five violent clashes over two weeks manifested the desperation of Providence’s immigrant working poor.
Our journey takes us past Providence's DePasquale Square and we'll learn about this "beating heart" of Federal Hill.
We'll approach the historic Holy Ghost Church and learn about the diverse communities it serves.
Next, we'll explore two small but historic squares -- Luongo and Canonicus.
This brings us to one of the most beautiful stops on our tour! The yellow-brick, copper-crenelated Cranston Street Armory is one of the most monumental structures in Providence.
Our journey continues past the Dexter Training Ground. Here we'll learn about the Dorr Rebellion, Ebenezer Knight Dexter, and more.
We'll also pass the eclectic Barnaby Castle and learn about the unique visionary behind it's design. This is Providence's only "castle"!
This brings us to the extravagantly embellished “Wedding Cake” house which reflects the euphoric froth of new money.
Next, we'll see AS220, an arts organization that grew from a single room to three buildings and helped define Providence as "The Creative Capital".
This brings us to Tony Award-winning Trinity Rep, one of the last resident acting companies in the U.S.
Our journey continues to the Providence State House: one of the grandest statehouses in the U.S. belongs to the country's smallest state!
This brings us to the Providence City Hall, made of cast iron and masonry.
Then, we'll continue through Kennedy Plaza, Providence's transportation hub.
We'll pass by Waterplace Park, which represents a vital part of early Providence history.
We'll pass the unique Arcade, which features two slightly different facades.
Among the banks and businesses of bustling Westminster Street, we'll see Grace Episcopal Church. Its bells ring every day on the half-hour... since 1861.
Our journey takes us past the vibrant Providence Performing Arts Center, innovative Wexford Science & Technology Building, and historic Doyle House.
We'll also pass the eye-catching Providence Children's Museum - you definitely won't miss this!
Success, ambition, and glamour dominate Benefit Street. We'll see John Brown's house next. The Brown family became wealthy from the shipping business, which included privateering, the Triangular Slave Trade, and the China Trade.
This brings us to the Providence First Unitarian Church, a Federal-style building with classical arches and urns combined with soaring pointed Gothic-style windows with delicate tracery decoration.
We'll also see the Athenaeum, once frequented by Edgar Allen Poe.
We'll also see the Hopkins House. Stephen Hopkins, signer of the Declaration of Independence, a ten-time governor of RI, and Chief Justice of the RI Supreme Court bought this house in 1743.
This brings us to memorial park, featuring WWI, WWII, and Holocaust memorials.
We're now near RISD, the Rhode Island School of Design. This acclaimed school also features a truly unique museum.
Our journey brings us to the peaceful greenery of Brown University's campus! We can admire this Ivy League's quaint architecture as we drive by.
This brings us to the Lippitt House. Textile merchant Henry Lippitt, his wife, and his six children lived in this opulent Italian Renaissance Revival house. It was a testament to the burgeoning wealth of industrial Providence.
Providence’s tightly-knit community of artists and collectors created this art club to congregate, create and display art. It’s the second oldest art club in the country; the Salmagundi Club in New York City is the first.
Among the founders was Edward Mitchell Bannister, a celebrated African American landscape painter.
The progressive idea of promoting education to all in support of a free society was at the heart of this old brick schoolhouse. By 1800, Rhode Island had one of the earliest public education systems, housed in this building.
In its long history as host to innovative educational initiatives, it served as a school for African American students, an early fresh air school for children suffering from tuberculosis, and site of the Meeting Street School, a pioneering organization for children of all mental and physical abilities.
Fittingly, we'll end the tour at Providence's historic Swan Point Cemetery. You've now covered every part of this historic city!


Easy-to-use app: download Action’s Tour Guide App onto your phone
Great value: purchase per car, not per person. More affordable than bus or guided tours!
Engaging storytelling: Uncover unique tales and thrilling history for a memorable journey!
Perfect narrator: nothing can beat listening to a great voice. Proven with tons of rave reviews!
Offline maps: no signal, no problem! Works perfectly without cellular or wifi.
Comprehensive route and stops: See it all, miss nothing, leave no stone unturned!
Go at your own pace: Start anytime, pause anywhere, enjoy breaks for snacks and photos freely!
Hands-free: audio stories play on their own based on your location. Easy to use!


Attraction passes, entry tickets, or reservations

Additional Information

  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • How to access: Once you book a tour, you’ll get a confirmation email and an instructions email. Follow the instructions right away: • Download the app • Enter the password • Download the tour • MUST DO while in strong wifi/cellular
  • How to start the tour: Once onsite, open the Action's Tour Guide App: • If there is just one tour, launch it. • If there are multiple tour versions, launch the one with your planned starting point and direction. • Go to the starting point. (Note: no one will meet you at the start. This tour is self-guided). • The audio will begin automatically at the starting point. If you face audio issues, visit the FAQ. • Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
  • Amazing savings: • Driving Tours: Save money by purchasing a single tour for the entire vehicle, avoiding individual fees per person like on a bus tour. Connect your phone to the car speakers to share the audio.
  • Flexibility and Convenience: • Use the tour app anytime, on any day, and over multiple days. It's perfect for tailoring your exploration and revisiting your favorite spots on future trips. • Start and pause the tour whenever you like, taking breaks and exploring side excursions at your own pace, free from the constraints of a group.
  • Comprehensive Tour Experience: •The app provides a full itinerary, travel tips, narrated audio stories, scripts, images, videos, and recommendations for additional activities. • Enjoy a private experience without the crowds, ideal for personalized stops and photo opportunities.
  • Ease of Use and Accessibility: • The app is hands-free and activates stories via GPS, offering support through call, chat, or email. • There is no need for a continuous cell or Wi-Fi connection as the GPS map works offline.
  • Memorable Keepsakes: • Utilize the app’s images to create a photo book or share on social media, ensuring you have high-quality, crowd-free memories from your trip.
  • Preparation: • After booking, download the app and the tour using a strong Wi-Fi connection. • Review the tour at home before your trip for a better experience.
  • Starting the Tour: • Open the app upon arrival at your destination. • Select the appropriate tour based on your starting point. • Head to the starting location; the audio will begin automatically. • Follow the suggested route and adhere to the speed limit for an optimal experience. • By following these instructions and taking advantage of the app's features, users can enjoy a personalized, flexible, and in-depth exploration of their destination at their own pace and convenience.

Guide Languages

  • English

Cancellation Policy

  • A full refund will apply if you cancel more than 24 hours before the activity start time.

  • No refund is possible if you cancel less than 24 hours before the activity start time.