What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Cranston? Is it cute waterside villages? Is it grand, tree-lined streets filled with Victorian houses? Maybe it’s high-end shopping? If not, it might be time to check out Rhode Island’s third largest city again. With 32 neighborhoods and villages, there's lots to choose from!
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Cranston is a lot bigger than you might realize, so we thought that we’d highlight a handful of neighborhoods to give you a better idea of what’s out there.
Nestled into the city's Northwest corner, Western Cranston is popular for its rural surroundings and numerous subdivisions, like Castleton Estates and Alpine Estates. First developed in the mid-and-late 1980s, residents here enjoy their close proximity to many of Rhode Island's most well known farms and orchards, Alpine Country Club, and Orchard Farms Elementary School.
Edgewood is sandwiched between Roger Williams Park and the Narragansett Bay, just south of Providence, and it’s known for something you might not readily associate with Cranston -- large, stately Victorian homes. There are actually a few historic districts within the neighborhood, so if tree-lined streets, famous inns, and yacht clubs are of interest, you should check out the listings in the area.
Pawtuxet Village is, simply put, a quaint little community located on the Pawtuxet River. There’s the gazebo in the town park, restaurants galore (Italian, American, French, Irish, a tea house, a coffee shop, and a whiskey bar, to name just a few), beautiful architecture, and the always fun Gaspee Days. Who doesn’t love a parade and the burning of a miniature boat? And one last interesting fact about Pawtuxet Village? It’s technically in both Cranston and Warwick.
Dining and Shopping
The biggest shopping area in Cranston might be Garden City Center, but there are countless other neighborhood strips that are worth exploring, too. Edgewood has a great cheese shop and Rolfe Square is the place to find some Russian and Ukrainian goodies. And with a total city size of almost 30 square miles (that’s about 3% of the entire state), you just have to hop in your car to find the next hidden gem hiding around the corner.
Parks and Recreation
According to Cranston’s official website, this city has a lot of recreational facilities to take advantage of, including ice rinks, one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in the country, a bike path, two state parks, yacht clubs, golf courses, and more than 30 playgrounds. There’s no shortage of outdoor options in Cranston!
And, if you prefer the higher arts for your recreation, Cranston has that covered, too, at the Park Theatre. It was an old movie and vaudeville house, but now it offers everything from youth theater productions to world-class jazz musicians to classical music performances.
Both I-95 and I-295 pass through Cranston, and with the heart of town only about 5 miles south of Providence, it’s an easy commute into the city for work (or fun).