Providence, RI, “the Renaissance City,” is quickly becoming home for many Rhode Islanders and out-of-staters alike. With its views of the Providence River, stellar seafood scene, and countless museums to explore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nearly 180,000 people live in Providence. As you start your house hunt, there are three things you should know – the housing market is somewhat competitive, the median home sale price is $360,000, and the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Providence is $2,500.
Don’t worry if those numbers don’t fit in your budget – we’ve got options to help you find a home that does. We’ve collected the 9 best affordable Providence suburbs to consider living in. And the great part is that they’re all less than 20 minutes away from the city center. So, you’ll be close enough to explore all of Providence’s best activities, without paying the price of city life.
#1: North Providence
Taking the number one spot on our list of affordable Providence suburbs is North Providence. Only 10 minutes north of Providence, you’ll be watching the colorful birds at Roger Williams Park Zoo in no time. Home to Peter Randall State Park and Governor John Notte Memorial Park, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied. When living in this suburb of 33,000 people, you can also spend the day taking the views of Wenscott Reservoir.
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Drive just 15 minutes outside of Providence and you’ll reach Warwick, another great suburb. From parks and outdoor recreation to supporting local businesses, there are lots of things that make Warwick a great place to live. If you find yourself moving to the second most affordable suburb, make sure to check out Warwick Center for the Arts.
#3: West Warwick
Just 5 minutes west of Warwick, is the appropriately named suburb, West Warwick. Home to about 28,000 residents, this area of Rhode Island is another awesome place to consider living in. In your free time make sure to stop at Riverpoint Park where you can walk along the Pawtuxet River or ride your bike along the nearby bike path.
Northwest of Providence and bordering Massachusetts is our fourth best suburb, Woonsocket. There’s lots of charm to be found in Woonsocket, from exploring the Polar Express Station during the winter season or having a picnic on a summer afternoon at River Island Art Park. You can also check out the Museum of Work & Culture or drive into Massachusetts for a quick weekend getaway.
Only slightly more expensive than Woonsocket is the suburb of Johnston. About 30,000 people live in this Providence suburb, where you’ll find Snake Den State Park and the Clemence Irons House. Don’t miss out on bowling at Town Hall Lanes.
#6: East Providence
Drive 5 minutes outside of Providence and you’ll find the suburb of East Providence, another great area to add to your list. Home to 48,000 residents, this affordable town can be a great choice for people looking to remain close to Providence without paying the price for a home in the city. In East Providence, you’ll find Sky Zone Trampoline Park and the Boyden Heights Conservation Area. Don’t forget to stop by the Cape Verdean Museum once you move here.
Slightly more expensive than East Providence is Pawtucket. With about 72,000 residents, there’s plenty to check out in this historic suburb. From learning about the region’s textile history at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, watching a Pawtucket Red Socks game at McCoy Stadium, or hiking along the Ten Mile River Preservation Trail, you’ll always find something new to do in Pawtucket.
Just 10 minutes southwest of Providence, you’ll find the suburb of Cranston. While home prices are equal to Providence, there’s plenty to do and see that makes Cranston a great place to add to your list. There are countless things that make Cranston one-of-a-kind, from John L. Curran State Park where you can hike along the Spring Lake Trail or visit the fishing area to Edgewood Beach where you can catch views of the Providence River and Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.
Taking the last spot on the list of most affordable Providence suburbs is Lincoln. While the home prices are about $25K more than in Providence, you may find homes with larger square footage than you may in the city. Make sure to check out Lincoln Woods State Park, where you can kayak at Olney Pond and bike or walk along the trails. Don’t forget to visit the Hearthside House Museum to take a trip back through time.
Affordability is based on whether a suburb is less than the median sale price of Providence and under a 20-minute drive from downtown Providence. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com May 2022. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau.