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ProvidenceNew England charm: Downtown Providence
New England charm: Downtown Providence

Founded in 1636, this historic city is a melange of centuries-old structures and new high-rises. Within an easy walk from downtown are pleasant neighborhoods dotted with coffee shops, boutiques and galleries, along with Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

In the works: The Heritage Harbor Museum is scheduled to open next year. Also, the Botanical Gardens will debut in 2005 in Roger Williams Park; the $15 million project will include a new outdoor event venue.

Two new places to stay opened this spring: Near T.F. Green Airport are an 82-room Homewood Suites by Hilton and a 92-room Courtyard by Marriott. For meeting-goers, the 363-room Westin Hotel Providence is linked to the Rhode Island Convention Center.

• C.B.

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