Travel

Pawtucket, R.I., reinvents itself as tourist destination

A scenic walk along the Blackstone River.
A scenic walk along the Blackstone River.Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

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This hard-working town, located near the falls of the Blackstone River and the upper tidewaters of Narragansett Bay, likes to reinvent itself. It was here, some 220 years ago, that the first successful water-powered mill was built, helping spark the American Industrial Revolution and transforming the once quiet, tiny town into a bustling center of commerce. While the city has weathered economic changes over the decades, it remains an active manufacturing center. Many of the older mill buildings have been restored, housing spaces for artists; the Blackstone River has been cleaned up, and the new Pawtucket River Bridge just opened, providing a striking gateway to the city. It’s a great place to gawk at fiery fall foliage as you hike or bike riverside and back-country paths or take a guided cruise down the Blackstone River.

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