The 2017 Henna Gathering will be held at the Warren Armory at 11 Jefferson Street, Warren, RI.
It’s big – it’s open – it’s got really cool shafts of natural light that are going to make our photos amazing.
It’s a Victorian Gothic armory. Plan your photoshoot concepts accordingly.
Main Street in Warren is where all the cool, quirky, artsy shops that used to be in Providence’s hip and funky districts used to be are relocating as rent in Providence continues to skyrocket and make it unsustainable for independent small businesses. It’s also literally footsteps from the ocean. It’s the smallest town in the smallest county in the smallest state in the US.
Rhode Island’s #1 independent record store, In Your Ear, is here, as is the best independent coffeehouse in the whole state (around the corner from our venue). Podsnappery, a vintage / eclectic emporium run by one of our favorite local musicians, is also here. Also, don’t miss Imagine, the biggest gift store in Rhode Island (look for the purple, and the giant cow).
Warren is just 12 miles from Providence and 17 miles from Newport. It’s the perfect home base for exploring either of these.
In Providence, check out Wickenden Street and the RISD Museum. In Newport, do the Cliff Walk.
where to stay & eat
Discover Warren has provided us with handy little maps of the area that we will be handing out as you check in.
This online map includes all our favorite places to shop (orange circles), stay (green pinpoints – note the dark green one – THAT is the one we think you actually want the most…), and dine/drink (purple diamonds).
The hotels that everyone stays at when they visit Providence but want to stay somewhere reasonably priced are in Seekonk, MA – just 15 minutes from Providence and 10 minutes from Warren. Also, on the same little peninsula as Warren is Bristol, RI, with the Bristol Harbor Inn, which is where we would choose to stay if we were picking a hotel for the conference!
Yes, this area of RI butts right up against the MA border; you will cross from MA to RI constantly as you drive around this area. Once we counted 6 state line crossings on our way from our house to the armory (about 15 miles).
WHERE TO STAY
Stay anywhere you’d like! Room with anyone you want – or no one! There’s no official conference hotel, since there are so many reasonably priced ones within the immediate area.
Just use the Henna Gathering Roommate and Rideshare List if you’d like to find a fellow artist to share a room with!
While there is no official Henna Gathering hotel, we really do think that the Bristol Harbor Inn – with its combination of seaside locale, nice furnishings, and great price, will be everyone’s favorite. And anyone who listens to that advice will pretty much be ending up there. So if you want your conference to extend into after-hours – you should probably stay there. And if you don’t… perhaps you should not.
And because we’ve been getting some questions – you do NOT need to mention the Henna Gathering to get the Bristol Harbor Inn’s great, super crazy low, off-season rates starting at $99 per room. But you ARE getting a great deal at this time. The queen bed room with fireplace is $314 in the height of the busy season. During our conference, it is $119. A room with two double beds is $129. So – the price is great. (Look at the website! It really is like that!) When we tried to negotiate it even lower, they pointed out that it’s already crazy low because as a sea-side hotel, they do 90%+ of their business in the summer when weddings happen in town and sailboats are coming through. Soooo, basically, we win! Hooray for the fantastic hotel! Go book your room now 🙂
PS – Yes, the Bristol Harbor Inn is on the RIPTA #60 bus line, which the Armory is also on.
WHERE TO EAT
There are so many amazing dining options within a few footsteps of the venue – especially on Water Street! We’ll be taking breaks for lunch and dinner so that you can take full advantage of all this beautiful, quirky, culture-rich area has to offer.
We also are allowed to bring our own food into the venue. We will have access to a large refrigerator, but not any cooking appliances. So feel free to organize some friends and order pizzas or takeout, or bring anything you’d like to share or eat on your own.
Definitely feel free to bring food, but do not bring booze to the venue. There are plenty of places to get a drink nearby, or you can host an after-hours party in your hotel room.
HOW TO GET THERE
People driving in will take I-95 to I-195 east to Route 114 south, which leads into Main Street. Parking is free and plentiful at the municipal parking area across the street, and there is ample on-street parking as well.
People taking a bus or train in will arrive in Providence, and then hop on the Route 60 bus from Kennedy Plaza for a trip that takes a little over a half hour. (check and confirm details at RIPTA.com closer to your travel date)
If you have the option to pick bus or train and they’re otherwise equal – you may want to pick bus, as the interstate and local bus terminal location is the same, but the train is about a half mile away.
Once you’re on RIPTA bus #60, watch as you pass through East Providence. Once you cross a couple very small bridges, you’ll be in Warren. Pay attention as you go down the streets until you get to Main Street. When you see Coffee Depot and Subway ahead – get off! You will be at the corner of Main Street and Jefferson Street, which is the street the Historic Warren Armory is on.
Google’s trip planner works well for this – just go to maps.google.com and pick the mass transit option that looks like a train. Be sure to do a bus, not a train, so you’re taken right to the bus area where you can easily switch to/from the #60 bus that goes to Warren.
People flying in can either fly in to TF Green airport in Providence (technically Warwick) or Boston Logan airport (technically in East Boston).
From TF Green, take the RIPTA bus #14 or #20 to Kennedy Plaza in Providence, and then switch to the route 60 bus, which takes you right to Main Street in Warren. See above for further bus details.
From Boston Logan, you can take a commuter rail train or Peter Pan / Greyhound bus to Providence. (If you take Peter Pan, which is generally the best and most frequent, be sure to get off at Kennedy Plaza, not at their big separate terminal in Pawtucket.) You can then take the Route 60 bus to Warren.
ONCE YOU’RE THERE
People taking a plane/train/bus in will want to use the roommate and rideshare list to coordinate with locals and other people who are driving to arrange getting from the hotel to the armory and back. If you stay at the Bristol Harbor Inn, there will be many others going back and forth happy to give you a ride.
Or, of course, if you’re a more independent type, you could always rent a car. There are car rental facilities at all major transportation hubs (airports, as well as next to Kennedy Plaza in Providence).
WHERE TO PARK
Don’t park on Main Street, as there’s a 2 hour limit there. Pretty much any other side street doesn’t have a time limit. There’s official public parking along the tree line by the bike path at Railroad Ave.