Downtown Providence Self-Driving Audio Tour


Free cancellation

A full refund will apply if you cancel more than a day before the activity start time.

Guide LanguageEnglish
Good To KnowE-voucher
18 reviews


Recommended: Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together!
Explore all that Providence, RI has to offer, from beautiful architecture to foodie havens! With this self-guided driving audio tour, visit historic Federal Hill, Brown University's campus, and the vibrant downtown. Providence features beautiful architecture, like the State House, Barnaby Castle, and the Wedding Cake House. This tour allows you to explore Providence with maximum flexibility and value.
After booking, you can check your email before downloading the Tour Guide App by Action, enter your unique password, and access your tour. The preceding steps require good internet/wifi access. Simply follow the audio instructions and the route from there.
This is not an entrance ticket. Check opening hours before your visit.
No expiration — The tour comes with lifetime validity!


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.
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: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated, videos, text, hidden gems.
Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
Private tour in your/rental car: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace
App on your phone: A link to download the Tour Guide App by Action and Password for your tours.
Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
Good value: Buy just one per car. Don’t pay for each person. Save money compared to a bus tour.


Transportation, parking fee, food/drinks
National Park/attraction Passes, entry tickets, or reservation

Additional Information

  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • How it works: Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions. Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours. To begin touring, go to the Starting Point and launch the app. The audio starts automatically. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience. Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
  • Good value: Purchase only one tour for the entire vehicle instead of taking the bus and paying for each person. You will see a significant saving. Connect your phone to car speakers by a wire or bluetooth. Enjoy the tour by listening together as you drive.
  • Flexible Schedule: Once the app/tour is on your phone, you can use it any day and at any time. You can use it over multiple days. And, also use it on your next trip here. This tour never expires.
  • Preview the tour: You can use it before the trip at home (highly recommended), use it during the trip, and use it after you come back.
  • Don't miss a thing: You will get everything with the app - a complete itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated audio stories, story script, images, videos, deep dives, hidden gems, exciting locations, recommendations for hikes, adventure, activities, treks, and stop-by-stop direction.
  • Private tour: You can use it in your car or rental car. No worries about groups or crowds. Start the tour app on your phone. And it will direct you step by step. You can stop for as many breaks as you like. Take a break for Instagram photos, and take a break for lunch/snacks. Go on a hike. The tour will wait for you and start when you start again. You can even do the tour over multiple days. Go at your own pace.
  • Easy to use: The stories play themselves as soon as the GPS is activated. It requires no use of your hands at all. You can get HELP by calling, chatting, or emailing any time of the day.
  • Offline: There is no need for a cell signal or Wi-Fi while touring. App’s GPS map works offline.
  • Expiration/go again: The tour will last for the rest of your life on your phone. It is available for use on any day of your next trip.
  • Use pictures for a photo book: Create a photo book using clean (no crowd) app images of each spot to make a memorable trip. All the photos and the correct sequence is ready in the app for you to use.
  • Social media: Share clean (no crowd) images with friends/family.
  • Devices supported include iPhones with iOS 13 & above, Android phones with version 9 & above and all cellular-enabled tablets & iPads.

Guide Languages

  • English

Cancellation Policy

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

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