The Dean Hotel – photo by Corey Grayhorse


The capital of Rhode Island has always punched above its weight in terms of smarts and creativity. But lately Providence has added a few new bullet points to its résumé—like a celebrated food scene and a high-style party hotel—that cement its rep as the coolest city you haven’t been to. Yet.

What’s with all the naked ladies of Providence?

At the Magdalenae Room, the dark and velvety lounge at the Dean Hotel, a series of Vargas-style nudes dominates the walls. Behind the bar at The Avery, a mahogany-tinted cocktail spot in a quieter corner of town, a pair of butt-nekkid woodcuts bookend the bottles in between, temporarily distracting you from your order.

Slowly but surely the secret’s getting out, Rhode Island is quickly becoming the coolest place to live in the nation.