What better what way to kick off my series on Newport, Rhode Island than to feature it as a destination for this weeks Travel Tip Tuesday!?
Newport is a port city, surrounded on three sides by water-Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean to be specific. It is full of craggy coastlines, mansions, history, hauntings, shopping, galleries, restaurants, fishing and maritime fun.
There is so much to do there, one can certainly get overwhelmed. I spent four days, but one could easily fill up a week with all the wonderful activities available.
Here is an overview of the Best of Newport.
Cliff Walk. A stunning 3 1/2 mile walk along the eastern coastline, where you can enjoy wildflowers, birds, ocean views and a look at some of the famous mansions on the water. Most of the trail is a pleasant walk, but at some point it becomes more of a rock-climbing adventure.
Ten Mile Drive. A breathtaking drive around the entire Newport coastline. Enjoy passing ocean views, Fort Adams State Park, resorts, country clubs, golf courses, fishermen and huge summer homes overlooking the ocean. There are even a few up for auction, so you may be able to acquire some oceanfront property.
Mansions. Drive along Bellevue Avenue and drool at the site of the gilded gold wrought iron gates and ornate finials the size of your car. It you want a closer look, drive in the gates and wander around the grounds. You can have a tour of the inside, but you'll pay admission. A few of the best include The Elms, Marblehouse and The Breakers (Vanderbilt summer home). Visit the Newport Mansions website for more info.
Bed & Breakfasts. There are over 300 B&B's located in Newport. With that many to choose from, there is certainly one that will fit your needs. The downtown area as well as the historic architecture lends itself well to Bed and Breakfast accommodations. The area is loaded with tons of historic old houses. Our Inn was built in 1857 and had huge rooms with fireplaces and a large wrap-around porch. There is no other way to stay, in my opinion.
Fresh Seafood. Head downtown to the wharf area and see lobstermen hauling in their fresh catch of the day. Many will let you buy lobster right from the boat. The Aquidnick Lobster Company on Bowen's Wharf is another great option for lobster, crab, mussels and oysters. The area is also known for Quahog's, the largest in the clam family. Don't want the hassle of cooking on vacation? The Wharf area is loaded with seafood restaurants. The Landing and The Mooring are two great options, both with excellent harbor views.
Ghost Tours. Take a 90 minute lantern-led stroll through historic Newport in the evening and hear tales of the haunted city by the sea. Or why not check out the haunted chairs during a ghost tour of the beautiful Belcourt Castle. Bwahahahahaaa.
Local Events. Golf and Tennis tournaments, Polo matches, regattas and jazz festivals-Newport has it all. And it is not just a summer destination. There are tons of things to do all year long. Check here, here and here for more information on upcoming events.
Boating. Newport has every kind of boat tour imaginable. Try the Adirondack II Schooner for a sailboat ride in the harbor. Gansett Cruises offers a more relaxing experience. Try a sunset cruise or my favorite, a sunrise breakfast cruise. Or just head down to Bowen's Wharf for more cruising options.
The Beaches. Easton's Beach, also known as First Beach, is the only beach with a concession area, carousel and aquarium, making it the best for families. The Atlantic Beach Club on First Beach has live music on the weekend. Baily's Beach and Gooseberry Beach are located on Ocean Drive. Second and Third Beach are both located further out in Middletown. Surfers can be found at Second Beach. Parking rates are astronomical though, ranging from $10-$25.
Vineyards. The Newport area boasts two wineries, both give tours and tastings. Newport Vineyards is the closest to downtown and has a very large selection of wines. All grapes are grown locally. Greenvale Vineyards is five miles from Newport in nearby Portsmouth. Tour the beautiful vineyard and views of the Sakkonet River. Visit on a Saturday in the Summer to hear jazz.
Stay tuned for more in depth posts and pictures about Newport.
And don't forget to head over to My Bella Vita. Geggie is minding the store while Cherrye is away and she is reviewing seven US hotels.
Till next time….Happy Travels!