Johnston is just west of Providence and North Providence, but it’s decidedly more rural than either of those cities. Don’t let that fool you, though -- there’s still a lot to do and take advantage of in the most Italian town in the U.S. (almost 50% of residents claim some Italian heritage).
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Dining and Shopping
Although there isn’t a “downtown” in Johnston, there are quite a few shops and restaurants hidden throughout the area … including one dedicated to the art of french fries. Friskie Fries has two food trucks and a storefront in Johnston, and their menu is all about the fry. You can get them with chili and cheese, gravy and cheese curds, NY System Wieners, and cinnamon and sugar, and to say they’re popular in town is an understatement. But if that’s not quite your thing, there’s also a 100% gluten-free bakery and lots of Italian, Japanese, pizza, and Mexican restaurants, to name a few. And if you’re in the mood for some shopping, be sure to check out The Find on 6 (an 11,000 square foot antiques and consignment store that always has a few unexpected discoveries) and the weekly Plainfield Pike Flea Market, April through November.
Parks and Recreation
Snake Den State Park is the biggest park in Johnston, and the 1,000 acres include a working farm and trails. It’s largely undeveloped, but there are plans to add both picnic areas and playing fields to the area. There’s also a Memorial Park (which has a pond and walking paths), an indoor rec center, lots of balls fields, and a dog park.
Fun Stuff To Do
Since Johnston is a more rural community, it makes sense that a lot of the popular activities are more along those lines, too. For example, if you're interested in wines, the Verde Vineyards might be worth a visit. You can go for a tasting or tour, but, according to their website, you’re also “welcome to bring a picnic lunch, enjoy a glass of wine, and spend a delightful afternoon under the oaks of our beautiful vineyard.” You can also pick up your fresh fruits and veggies over at Salisbury Farm, a fifth generation farm that offers pick-your-own, a pumpkin patch and corn maze in autumn, and lots of events throughout the year … all with a heavy dose of New England charm thrown in. And, just in case that wasn’t enough farming fun, there’s also the Annual Apple Festival.
If you work in Providence or anywhere along I-295, your daily commute should be an easy drive. And if you’re just looking for a little city fun in Providence on the weekend, you can be downtown in 15 minutes!