East Providence (Rumford)
A lot of newcomers to the area confuse East Providence and the East Side of Providence, but the two sides of the Seekonk River are quite different. East Providence is actually the fifth largest city in Rhode Island, but one of the most popular neighborhoods is an area called Rumford, which is an older, quainter area at the northern tip of the city. This is where Roger Williams originally settled before he founded Providence, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of history (and historic homes) in the community.
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Dining and Shopping
Rumford is made up of a couple of distinct dining and shopping areas. At the northern end, you have a lot of chain stores on Newport Ave., which is great for more general needs. There’s everything from a Burlington Coat Factory to a bowling alley to ALDI to CVS. If you head to Rumford Center, though, you have a Seven Stars Bakery and a small market. And if you head a little further south, you’ll run into Crugnale Bakery, an Italian bakery that’s been in the area since 1917.
Rumford is a little on the quiet side once you get away from Newport Ave., but there’s plenty to do within a 15-20 minute commute. The East Side of Providence is an easy drive via the Henderson Bridge, and there you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops, bars, pubs, and music venues. If you head down to the Riverside neighborhood in southern East Providence, there’s a famous carousel and clam shack at Crescent Park and a beach across the street at Rose Larisa Park. And if you head further east, you can get to Barrington and Warren, both of which are full of restaurants, theaters, and events. Rumford itself has a lot to offer, but one of its key benefits is its prime location.
Parks and Recreation
In Rumford proper, you have the 10 Mile River Greenway, which is, oddly enough, a bike path that’s only two miles long. (It runs alonside 10 Mile River, though, which is where it gets its name). It connects Slater Park up in Pawtucket to the Kimberly Ann Rock Memorial Athletic Complex in East Providence, but it passes through Rumford along the way. There are also a couple of private country clubs and golf courses (one of which hosts the Northeast Amateur every year) and Hunts Mills, which has an historic home, a river, a waterfall, and trails.
And if you include the rest of East Providence, you also get more country clubs, a few city and state parks, a couple of beaches (one of which is known for sea glass), some marinas, and a lighthouse.
Rumford is just off of I-195, so with easy access to both it and I-95, it’s a great home base if you have to commute to Providence or the nearby suburbs. Plus, it’s a straight shot up to Pawtucket, so if you work at Hasbro, Inc., for example, you’re looking at about a 10-minute drive.