Here's a field trip from Providence. Drive to Tiverton Four Corners (Wednesday - Saturday is best to be sure most stores are open) and browse the shops.
Look at handmade porcelain tiles at Rosemary-Winn Pottery (www.roseberrywinn.com/), get top-grade parmesan cheese at Milk & Honey Bazaar (milkandhoneybazaar.com/), peruse pricey but well-edited furniture and home goods at The Cottage at Four Corners (www.thecottageri.com/), visit art galleries, The Donovan Gallery (www.donovangallery.com/) and Gallery 4 (www.gallery4tiverton.com/), ogle high-priced jewelry at Tiffany Peay (www.tiffanypeay.com), pick out children's clothes at Little Purls (www.littlepurlsonline.com/), view all things blue at Nankeen (www.nankeenstyle.com/), buy garden decorations, cards and gifts at Courtyards (www.courtyardsltd.com/), ponder an antique or two at Peter's Attic.
Then, relax with a sandwich at Provender (3883 Main Road, Tiverton 401-624-8084) before it closes for the winter. Buy a couple of their terrific cookies to save for later.
The last step: cross from Provender to Gray's (401-624-4500) and indulge. Maybe it's best in summer, but a Gray's ice cream cone is still excellent in the fall. And now you can have the so-called seasonal flavor, pumpkin, in a home-made cone. It's autumn-evoking even though it is about as appealing as Mission Fig (a Daily Scoop flavor, truly good) to some people I know. In any season, enjoy mocha chip, peppermint stick, chocolate walnut and black raspberry.