From the look of it today, it's difficult to believe stately Benefit Street
was once in disrepair and destined for the wrecking ball. Thanks to efforts by the Providence Preservation Society, the gas-lamp-lined street now boasts one of the highest concentrations of restored 18th- and 19th-century homes in the country. Walk down the so-called "mile of history," and you'll see countless architectural treasures, including the circa-1753 Providence Athenaeum and the Georgian-style Old State House. Benefit Street, Providence, 401-331-8575, rihs.org.