The Blackstone Valley area might not have an ocean or a city skyline, but it’s full of historic sites, scenic drives and pockets of interesting independent boutiques and restaurants ripe for exploration.
The Crossings at Smithfield (371 Putnam Pike) is one of the largest outside shopping centers in the state, offering a who’s who of national chains as well as one of the several locations for locally owned Dave’s Marketplace. Charming Charlie, a super inexpensive women’s accessories shop, is opening its first Rhody location here in November. For a highly curated selection of designer accessories, a visit to Flaunt Boutique is a must (19 Sanderson Road. 401-949-4849). The boutique blends favorites like Vera Bradley with local makers like Jessica Ricci. Dining in Smithfield is just as varied, with Tavern on the Water (743 Putnam Pike. 401-349-3888) offering sweeping views and large portions of new American classics and The Continental (332 Farnum Pike. 401-233-1800) serving up authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.
Lincoln and North Providence
Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence overflows with a ton of local small businesses, from homey corner restaurants to fancy hair and nail salons. ReJoyce Salon & Spa (1376 Mineral Spring Avenue, 401-432-7911) offers sought-after treatments like hair extensions and Brazilian Blowouts as well as salon grade products. Searching for a hostess gift is fun and easy at The Hopscotch Room (2209 Mineral Spring Avenue. 401-349-4409), a sizable showroom that sells tabletop items, cocktail accessories and all the other requirements for a perfect party. If the thrill of the hunt is more your style, then Great Finds Consignment (1243 Mineral Spring Avenue. 401-519-9106) is a must stop. A town over in Lincoln, CW Lanes & Games (Lincoln Mall, 401-288-3543) offers a much-needed respite from holiday shopping in the form of cool bowling, gourmet cocktails and an impressive menu. Driving out to Blackstone River State Park to get to Sassy Mama Cuisine at the Outpost (295 North Rest Area. 401-524-6291) will lead to delicious results for the foodie on your list.
Outside of the mall and the Crossings, it’s a bit challenging to shop and stroll in the Blackstone Valley area. But with so many unique local gift buying opportunities just a short drive away, you’ll get bonus points for your thoughtfulness. Charmed and Dangerous (169 Danielson Pike. North Scituate, 401-764-0612) brings fashion favorite brands like UGG, NYDJ, Brighton and Spanx to the to the heart of the suburbs. And be sure to make Purple Cat Winery (11 Money Hill Road, Chepachet. 401-566-9463), the newest addition to the local vineyard scene, part of your holiday travels. Small batch wines are available for tasting and purchasing, and there’s even a cozy bistro on-site serving up freshly made breakfast, lunch and dinner.