Rhode Island’s  fourth-largest city, Pawtucket is an easygoing mix of historic awareness and present-day pleasures. Most of the town’s sights and festivals center on its past—much effort is made by local historic groups to educate both visitors and younger generations about the town’s place in industrial history. But it isn’t all just a long look backward; from the Paw Sox and Convergence Festival to eateries like the aptly named Modern Diner, there are plenty of modern diversions to enjoy here, too.
Considered a more keep-it-real alternative to the Boston Red Sox, a Pawtucket Red Sox game is fun and relatively inexpensive. They play at McCoy Stadium (1 Ben Mondor Way, 401/724-7300, www.pawsox.com ).
Pawtucket’s Convergence Pawtucket Festival (401/724-2200, www.pawtucketartsfestival.org ) is a smaller version of Providence’s  larger annual celebration. Held each September, it draws the area’s artists, craftspeople, and musicians around the historic Slater Mill .
The holiday season sees Winter Wonderland at Slater Park (Armistice Blvd., 401/728-0500, www.pawtucketri.com ), a small and festive village erected around a carousel, with live entertainment and plenty of food.
Ship a little slice of the Rhode Island  coast home through Clambakes to Travel (560 York Ave., 800/722-2526, www.clambakeco.com ). The company will send a full clambake—lobster, corn, clams, potatoes, and all—straight to your address.
And given Pawtucket’s claim to textile fame, it’s no shock to find an inordinately extensive selection of fabrics at Lorraine Mills Fabrics (593 Mineral Springs Ave., 401/722-9500, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; noon–5 p.m. Sun.). While you shop, get a bonus history lesson: The store is housed in an original mill.