State House
Andy Kobel Zurich, Switzerland/Getty Images

Key Info

82 Smith Street

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The State House is the active seat of Rhode Island's government, but there's more than political bickering going on in these halls. The impressive building was designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, the mastermind behind many of the Newport mansions. The State House dome is the world's fourth largest self-supported dome (the largest being St. Peter's Basilica in Rome). A painting by Rhode Island artist James Allen King (called "The Four Freedoms") is visible on the inside of the dome. Not much of an architecture buff? The building is full of American history, too. A gun from the battle of Gettysburg, a replica of Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington can all be found here.

Recent visitors called this a Providence landmark, and a must-see while in Rhode Island. Though some reviewers enjoyed simply walking through the building on their own, others suggested signing up for a free guided tour. Guided tours, which last about 50 minutes, are offered on the hour beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m.

You'll find the State House off of Smith Street in downtown Providence. Metered parking is available on surrounding streets. The State House is open to tour year-round Monday through Fridays (with the exception of state holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Check out the Rhode Island Department of State website for more information on how to schedule your tour. 

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