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Tours Available Before, During, and After General Assembly

Local experts have compiled copious information about things to do in and around Providence while you are in town. 

Rich in history, the arts, and culinary attractions, there’s a lot to see and do in the “Renaissance City,” much within walking distance of the GA venue. Several events exclusively for GA participants have been planned.

Historical Rhode Island

Benefit Street: A Mile of History

Created in the mid-18th century “for the benefit of all”, this Colonial thoroughfare shows off an enviable collection of 18th and early 19th century wood-frame houses. Although the street gives the appearance of being a museum mile, it is actually a vital urban neighborhood enhanced by on-going preservation efforts since the 1950’s. Note: This walk will include interior visits to The First Unitarian Church and the First Baptist Church. More Information (PDF)

Faith and Freedom

Their impressive spires and golden domes dot the city landscape. The distinctive churches of Providence, dating to the 19th century and earlier, are ever-evolving sites responding to the needs of the community. Learn the stories of the members, architects and artists who shaped their congregations and their stunning buildings. More Information (PDF)

John Brown House Museum

The 1788 mansion on the hill belonged to John Brown, 18th century businessman, patriot, politician, privateer, and slave trader. This house was the showcase for his wealth and power, but also home to John, his wife Sarah, his children and grandchildren. Learn their stories; learn about how they lived in a growing and prosperous Providence. More Information (PDF)

Ray Rickman Lecture: Integration of Blacks into Colonial Churches

Ray Rickman will be giving a lecture on the integration of African Americans in to churches of New England during the 1700s. Ray is a former President of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and was the Secretary of the Rhode Island Historical Society for seven years. He was also the first Treasurer of the heritage Harbor Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate. Ray is a former State Representative from the College Hill area of Providence. He served as Rhode Island Secretary of State from 2000 to 2002 and he has held many other high profile positions. Rickman is a rare book dealer and is considered a leader in the promotion of African American history. He conducts architectural and African American history tours of the Brown University area of Providence. More Information (PDF)

Rhode Island State House Tour

Free guided tour of the RI State House in partnership with Johnson and Wales University. The tour includes the Bell Room where RI’s replica of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell is displayed, the State Room, where Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington hangs, the Senate Chambers, Library, and the Rotunda where you can gaze upward at one of the world’s largest, self supported marble domes. More Information (PDF)

Roger Williams' Rhode Island

Learn about Roger Williams, the founder of RI, and his role in the development of religious and personal freedom in this country from John McNiff, Park Ranger at Roger Williams National Memorial. More Information (PDF)

Sunrise on the Riverwalk

Conventioneers and early rising folks can begin the day with a sunrise walk that offers a chance to see the play of early morning light on the city’s 18th and 19th century waterfront buildings. Included in the tour is a 15 min. meditation. More Information (PDF)

Waterfire Riverwalk

Since the arrival of Roger Williams in 1636, rivers have shaped Providence and been shaped by city inhabitants. Once forgotten rivers that had been covered by roadways since the 1950’s have now been rediscovered and have been made beautiful once again. This walk also tells the history of Waterfire -a dazzling waterfront event since 1996. Includes a short meditation. More Information (PDF)

Modern Rhode Island

Dine Around Providence

A fabulous dining adventure which combines three of the highest rated restaurants in one of America’s top restaurant cities on a progressive dinner tour. This includes a unique evening tour of the city in between course! This promises to be one of the most fun dining experiences of your life! More Information (PDF)

Explore Providence

A lively two-hour journey aboard a shuttle bus which tells the story of our capital city, includes stops for pictures at some of the city’s great sights, and an appetizer or pastry at one of the popular restaurants in the city. Come enjoy the tale and taste of our capital city! More Information (PDF)

Newport and the Bay

A fantastic excursion which includes a visit to the third oldest lighthouse in America on the grounds of one of Rhode Island’s most scenic state parks, a narrated driving tour of Newport’s famous sights, lunch overlooking Narragansett Bay, a narrated tour of one of Newport’s splendid mansions, a stop at a national wildlife refuge with stunning views, and a visit to a local farm whose homemade ice cream Yankee magazine awarded “Best Ice Cream in New England” with plenty of stops for pictures throughout the day. You will thoroughly enjoy this captivating journey to some of Rhode Island’s most special places! More Information (PDF)

Scenic Rhode Island

This beautiful day will include a visit to the rolling hills of the family farm of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, a journey through a lovely village which was the site of a major event which helped trigger the Revolutionary War, a pontoon boat ride on sparkling Narragansett Bay, a gorgeous, panoramic drive along the RI’s coastline, a stop at one of the most picturesque lighthouses in RI, a talk on the aquaculture of RI while you enjoy lunch in a pristine setting, a visit to see the local produce at one of the most famous country farms, and an opportunity to sample  RI’s most popular summertime refreshment. This day will make you fall in love with Rhode Island! More Information (PDF)

Sunset Dinner Tour

This lovely evening includes an authentic Italian dinner at one of Federal Hill’s most famous restaurants, a delightful gondola ride on the Providence River, a stop at Providence’s most spectacular overlook and dessert at one of the best al fresco dining locations in all of Providence. More Information (PDF)

Nearby Excursions

Martha’s Vineyard

Always wanted to visit beautiful Martha's Vineyard? Now you can! Either before or after the General Assembly in Providence. Stay in a UU B&B home. We will customize your visit. Call UU Society of Martha's Vineyard's office, 508-693-8982, for particulars, check our website and click on "B&B", or visit UU're Home.

Walking Tour of Channing's Newport

Religious freedom and the separation of church and state, set forth in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, first came to be in Rhode Island. Religious toleration flowered in Newport, one of the first settlements in our fledgling country. Diverse groups – Quakers, Jews, Congregationalists and Baptists – flourished here in the 18th century, a harbinger of the melting pot to come in America. Newport became fertile ground for thinkers such as William Ellery Channing, founder of Unitarianism in America. This one-hour walking tour will take you to several houses of worship scattered throughout the city as well as other interesting sites that Channing knew and loved. More Information (PDF)

UUA Headquarters at 24 Farnsworth Street

The Unitarian Universalist Association welcomes GA registrants to tour our new headquarters at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston on Wednesday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to noon, or Sunday, June 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. We look forward to offering 30-45 minute tours focused on UU history and the features of our new building. There will be opportunities for you to make a gift to support the Association. The UUA Bookstore will be open during this time. Please note that some parts of the building may still be under construction. More Information (PDF)

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Last updated on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

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