I work in Prov and live down in South County. Providence is somewhat enigmatic. Downtown has really been revitalized. Lots of clubs, restaurants. Providence has great Italian restaurants! Trinity Rep puts on lots of excellent theatrical productions. I'm long past my prime as a "clubber" but Elvis Costello played at Lupo's and we had to go to that. The East Side around Brown has lots of grand old triple deckers, lots of funky shops, as one might expect around Brown University. Then there's Newport, Cape Cod, and you're only 40 minutes or so from Boston. Someone from NYC might find the area pedestrian, but there's lots to keep most folks occupied. There are parts of Providence -- especially the South side, that suffer from the social disorganization often found in impovrished areas -- quite high rates of violence, most of which is gang related. We live just up the road from Yawgoo. For what it is, they do a good job. BUT, the base elevation is about 70 ft and it can't be but 3-4 miles from the ocean as the crow flies. Mother nature is not always kind. Last year we lots of dumps, and the place is fun to take a few turns, especially after a good snow. One day we had lots of super light powder, but that's rare. My wife and I do lots of day trips to Southern New Hampshire. From Prov you can get to Sunappee, Gunstock, and Ragged Mountain in a bit under 3 hours (we make it in about 3 hours and I'm that old guy in a hat that everyone wants to get off the road). Pat's Peak and Crotched, both smaller hills, should be a bit less than 2 hours. We've not gone to any of the MA areas. Wachusett is about an hour or so from Prov. We've not gone because it's reputed to be so busy on weekends, and we're pretty limited to weekday trips. Don't know where you're working or going to school, but you might consider living North of Providence Proper -- that basically bring places like Waterville Valley, and Loon into reasonable day trip locations as well. Sorry to say, you won't find much good skiing within a half hour of Providence. Oh, and welcome to RI.