Explore Fort Adams and Discover Fort Adams’ Bay Walk

September 15th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Fort Adams in Newport, RINewport, Rhode Island’s Fort Adams is a former U.S. Army post turned park that hosts both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival. More than that, it is a National Historic Landmark and the Fort Adams’ Bay Walk is known for its panoramic views and eye-popping sunsets.

Fort Adams has been standing guard at the entrance to Narragansett Bay, in one form or another, since the late 1700’s. It became a state park in 1965 and a National Historic Landmark in 1976. While it is probably most famous for hosting both Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival, it easily stands as an attraction of its own and is well worth a day’s visit.

Read the rest of this page »

Attend the 2016 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

August 29th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

2016 Newport Mansions Wine & Food FestivalThe Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, scheduled for September 22nd through the 25th, 2016, has been called “the best wine and food festival in the country.” We think you’ll agree!

The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is celebrating its 11th year, this year and looks to be better than ever.

Two days of Grand Tastings, a gala cocktail party, special wine dinners, seminars, and more!

Read the rest of this page »

Life’s A Beach On Newport County Beaches!

August 19th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Newport County BeachesNow is the perfect time to take that beach vacation you’ve been dreaming of! Among other attractions, Rhode Island has many beaches – and Newport County beaches are some of the best the state has to offer – so what are you waiting for?

Is there anything more relaxing than the beach? Stretching out on a blanket or lounger near the waves, the soft susurrus of the surf, the sun baking sand to your toes – aaaahhh.

Now is the perfect time to plan your Newport County beach vacation. It is with that in mind that we offer you this short guide to Newport County beaches.

Read the rest of this page »

Beavertail Lighthouse – Third Oldest Lighthouse in the U.S.

July 29th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Discover Beavertail LighthouseBeavertail Lighthouse, in Jamestown, RI is the third oldest lighthouse in the United States. Come see the panoramic views of Narragansett Bay from Jamestown’s most visited landmark!

Beavertail Lighthouse was built in 1856, making it the third oldest lighthouse in the U.S.. Only Boston Light on Little Brewster Island (1716) and Brant Point Light on Nantucket Island (1746) are older. Beavertail Lighthouse remains Rhode Island’s premier lighthouse, marking the entrance to Narragansett Bay.

Read the rest of this page »

Get A Taste of Newport Vineyards And Wineries

July 15th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Visit Newport Vineyards And WineriesVisiting a winery is a great way to make a memory, see beautiful country, and discover new wines. Newport vineyards and wineries are open and eager for you to drop by!

Nothing makes a great wine better than when you taste it at its source. It’s not that it actually does taste better, it’s the experience of seeing where and how it was made and meeting the winemakers. The experience, in other words, informs your taste buds in a way that a trip to the grocery or wine shop does not.

Read the rest of this page »

Discover the 10th Annual Newport Antiques Show

June 24th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

The Newport Antiques Show 2016The Newport Antiques Show is one of America’s biggest, upscale antiques events, attracting some of the industry’s most distinguished antiques dealers, and collectors like you – July 22 – July 24, 2016 in Newport, RI!

Not your ordinary antiques event and miles above your average “flea market masquerading as an antiques show” affair, the annual Newport Antiques Show is always worth attending. Add in the fact that this is the 10th anniversary of one of the country’s biggest and most prestigious antiques shows, and you have an event no collector should miss.

Read the rest of this page »

Experience Japan at Black Ships Festival 2016!

June 17th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

2016 Black Ships Festival

Enjoy the drama of Japanese Taiko drumming and more
at the 2016 Black Ships Festival!

Come experience and celebrate Japanese culture and at the 33rd annual Black Ships Festival in Newport, RI – July 14th through the 17th, 2016!

Newport’s annual Black Ships Festival celebrates America’s friendly relationship with Japan and commemorates Newport’s native son, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who was instrumental in the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa, which opened trade between Japan and the United States.

Read the rest of this page »

The Newport Flower Show 2016

May 23rd, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Newport Flower Show 2016The Newport Flower Show, held every year at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, is the “must see” event of the season – scheduled this year for June 24th through the 26th, 2016.

A superb seaside flower and garden show, the Newport Flower Show is unlike any other event of its type.

“Gilded: Artful Living” is the theme for Newport Flower Show 2016. The Gilded Age was a time of intentional beauty among the upper-classes. Nearly every aspect of life was elevated to an art form, with gardens, homes, and fashions serving as treasures fit for a carefully curated gallery.

This year’s theme is quite apropos, given where the show is held each year. A good percentage of what makes this flower show stand out from its peers can be chalked up to the venue – the opulent, Gilded Age setting of Rosecliff Mansion, with its classic architecture, sweeping views, and delightful ocean breezes.

Read the rest of this page »

Step Into the Past on a Newport History Tour

May 14th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Newport History Tour

Start off your Newport history tour with a visit
to the Brick Market: Museum & Shop

There’s so much more to historic Newport than Gilded Age mansions and the best way to learn about the significant role the city played in American history is on a Newport History Tour.

You can’t come to a place rich in history like Newport and not take a walking tour. Most people don’t realize how significant the area was in America’s early days. A Newport history tour will introduce you to times long gone by but whose echoes are still heard today.

Read the rest of this page »

Attend the 2016 Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival

April 25th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

2016 Newport Waterfront Oyster FestivalThe first annual Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival, scheduled for May 21st and 22nd, 2016, is a great opportunity to sample oysters from some of Rhode Island’s many oyster farms!

Many folks don’t realize it but Rhode Island is home to nearly 50 oyster farms, with each one producing its own, signature oyster. The Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival is your opportunity to sample many of these varieties – and all in one sitting!

Read the rest of this page »

2016 Aquidneck Island National Police Parade

April 4th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Aquidneck Island National Police ParadeCome salute the brave men and women of law enforcement at the Aquidneck Island National Police Parade, May 1st, 2016.

The Aquidneck Island National Police Parade commemorates National Police Week and is dedicated to police officers killed in the line of duty. One of only a handful of police parades held outside of Washington D.C., this popular event draws a large crowd of police officers, their friends, families, and fans from all over the US, Canada, and the Bahamas. Close to 70,000 are expected to attend!

Read the rest of this page »

Newport’s Best Restaurants

March 25th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Newport's Best RestaurantsNewport, RI is a natural draw, with our sunny beaches, storied history, vibrant cultural scene, and a seemingly endless list of dining choices. It is with this last in mind that we offer a short list of Newport’s best restaurants.

Newport, RI has a large selection of truly great dining venues – so many so that making a short list of Newport’s best restaurants was rather daunting. How to choose? What we came up with is a list of local eateries that are popular with visitors for providing a true taste of the city, as well as a consistent record of stellar service – and often a unique or historic setting, as well!

Given our location, one shouldn’t be too surprised to see a lot of seafood in the list but we’re confident you’ll find the selection diverse enough to please virtually anyone’s tastes. Bon appetite!

Read the rest of this page »

Get Daffy at the Newport Daffodil Days Festival!

March 14th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

2016 Newport Daffodil Days FestivalThe third annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival is 10 days of fun events and well over 500,000 daffodils in Newport, RI – April 16th through the 24th, 2016.

Newport is a lovely city no matter when you visit but during spring and summer, when the greens are greenest and the buds and blossoms are bursting with their bounty of beauty? Well, I think I can safely say that’s the time to catch the City by the Sea at her best.

The Newport Daffodil Days Festival capitalizes on this fact and one other, which some visitors may not be aware of: Newport has set herself a goal and it’s a bit of a daffy one. Actually it’s a very daffy idea – a DAFFODIL idea!

Over the last nine years, Newport has been hard at work to earn the unofficial title of “Daffiest City in America.” How? By planting more than 250,000 daffodil bulbs around town in various public areas, with an end goal of … one million daffodils.

While not quite having reached that goal yet, Newport is packed with these bright and cheery, yellow daffodil blossoms throughout two and, so, too, will it be with events during the annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for April 16th at Bannister & Bowen’s Wharves between 2 and 3pm, and will kick things off with a firing of muskets. While the full 2016 Newport Daffodil Days Festival event schedule has yet to be announced, attendees can look forward to live entertainment, refreshments, contests with prizes, sales around town, parades, the crowning of the Daffodil King and Queen and other special events.

Newport Daffodil Days Festival

April 16th through the 24th, 2016
Newport, RI
For more information and updates, be sure to check daffodillion.com and the Newport Daffodil Days Facebook page.

Newport Daffodil Days Festival Lodging
You’ve come to Newport to experience Newport – so why would you want to dull that experience by staying at some national chain’s, impersonal, cookie-cutter hotel or motel room? Locating your lodging through Newport County Inns and Bed & Breakfasts is the best way to avoid mediocre accommodations and put you in touch with the real Newport.

Newport Distillery Tours and Tastings

February 26th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Newport Distillery Tours and TastingsSee the revival of an old, Rhode Island tradition first hand with a Newport Distillery tour and tasting!

It comes as a surprise to many but America and rum have a long, deep history together – so long and deep, in fact, that rum might very well have become America’s drink over whiskey, had the vagaries of history been a little kinder to the industry.

Rum was invented in 17th century West Indies and caught on quickly in the American colonies, because it was so cheap and easy to make, with cane sugar or molasses as its base. At its peak in 1770, America’s colonies were importing six million gallons of molasses from the Caribbean a year – most of which was distilled into rum.

Read the rest of this page »

Celebrate Newport Irish Heritage Month!

February 12th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

2016 Newport Irish Heritage MonthMarch 2016 marks the arrival of the 39th annual Newport Irish Heritage Month – more than a month’s worth of celebration and recognition of the Irish American influence in Newport and beyond!

Newport Irish Heritage Month is jam packed full of events and celebrations – big and small – and no wonder: Newport was Rhode Island’s first community to have a substantial Irish population, a population that started as far back as the 1600’s but really began to take shape in the 1820’s as workers arrived to help construct Fort Adams.

Consequently, Rhode Island’s oldest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is in Newport – but that’s just one of many of the events scheduled for Newport Irish Heritage Month. Below we’ve compiled a short list of just a few of the highlights of Newport Irish Heritage Month 2016!

Read the rest of this page »

11th Annual Illuminated Garden at Ballard Park

January 22nd, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Illuminated Garden at Ballard ParkCome see Newport’s Ballard Park all a-glow with beautiful and artistic light displays composed of thousands of bulbs at the 11th annual Illuminated Garden event, scheduled for February 18th through the 20th, 2016.

Newport’s only nature preserve, Ballard Park, is always worth a visit. Its 13 acres of views, trails, natural pool, diverse foliage and wildlife make it seem far more vast than it actually is. During the annual Illuminated Garden event, however, you wont believe your eyes as the otherwise lush and verdant quarry meadow is transformed from an unencumbered green-space into a magical land of light and wonder.

Read the rest of this page »

Attend the 28th Annual Newport Winter Festival!

January 18th, 2016 by Corey Edwards

Newport Winter Festival 2016Newport, Rhode Island’s 28th annual Newport Winter Festival, February 12-21, 2016, is ten days and over 150 events of food, music, festivities, and fun throughout Newport and Newport County.

Newport Winter Festival is billed as “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza” and its easy to see why, with this much fun and festivity crammed into ten days! This year’s Newport Winter Festival theme is, appropriately enough, “May the Frost be with you,” and once again promises a unique winter experience with something for everyone.

Read the rest of this page »

Newport by the Month

October 2nd, 2015 by laurenf

Planning a trip to Newport is always a good idea, but there are many things to consider when doing so.  Newport changes with every season and depending on the atmosphere and what you want to be able to do, picking the right time of year is crucial.  If you’re looking for a quiet get away without a lot of crowds, the spring is best.  If you want a bustling city with plenty of sunshine to head to the beach, the summer is yours.  If you’re looking for something in between, think about visiting in the Fall.  Here’s a quick glimpse into what you can look forward to when visiting Newport throughout the year:

January: January is perhaps the slowest and coldest month of the year.  Some Inns and Restaurants will be closed for vacations or renovations and many attractions are closed.  The only mansion open in January is the Breakers.  The good news is that rates are the lowest this time of year and there is no trouble with crowds.  For those interested in very quiet getaways, January might be for you.  My suggestion: book a room at an Inn with a fireplace and treat yourself to spa treatments.

February: February is another slow and quiet month, but with the two-week long annual Winter Festival, there is plenty to do.  Planned around February break for schools, the Winter Festival offers discounts at local stores and restaurants as well as a variety of events and concerts. My suggestion: Purchase a Festival button/bracelet and take advantage of as many activities as you can.  It’s a great opportunity to do something you probably wouldn’t have done before.  I have made soap, watched ice sculptures being created, had free mini spa treatments, eaten endless chicken wings and free nachos, and enjoyed a cocktail by an outside fire pit at an ice bar during the Winter Festival.

March:  The highlight of March is St. Patrick’s Day.  This is one of the biggest days for locals in Newport and is taken very seriously.  Events start early with Irish brunches before the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade which usually lasts around 2 hours and runs from Bellevue to Carroll Avenue.  After the parade, restaurants and bars will be open celebrating until close.  After St. Patrick’s Day, things slowly start to pick up and make way for the new season to start.  My suggestion:  Arrive early for the parade to get a great spot and take advantage of the great brunches and Irish specials.

April: Spring is in full swing in April, with daffodils everywhere you turn.  Blithewold Mansion celebrates with Daffodil Days, a month long celebration with various activities.  April is also host to Newport’s Spring Restaurant Week, where three course lunches and dinners are served at Newport’s best restaurants.  My suggestion:  Take advantage of the slower pace and enjoy activities such as Cliffwalk and Ocean Drive with smaller crowds.

May: I would consider May a transition month, where the crowds slowly start to pick up and things become more lively around Newport.  Memorial Day is the first big holiday weekend that brings people to town.  My suggestion:  Come in the middle of the month to enjoy Newport with good weather and small crowds.

June:  June is the jumpstart to summer.  The Chowder Festival unofficially kicks off the season at the beginning of the month and crowds grow as the month goes on.  The Newport Flower Show is also held in June, so many visitors come to enjoy the great garden displays at Rosecliff Mansion.  Sailing races start to become more frequent and Newport comes alive.  My suggestion: Book a stay for 3-4 nights and enjoy everything you can.  The weather is usually great and everything is open and in full swing.

July: July is probably the busiest month in Newport and rightly so.  With the month starting off with the 4th of July and ending with two of the most popular events in town, the Folk and Jazz Festivals, reservations should be made as soon as possible as July weekends seem to fill up the fastest.  The Tennis Hall of Fame Championships lasts for a week in July and fills another weekend with activity.  This month is also great for heading to the beach.  Expect large crowds and high energy. Restaurants will be busy, so make reservations if you do not want to wait to be seated.  My suggestion: Come during the week if you can, but if you can’t rent bicycles to get around town as traffic gets backed up during the summer.

August: Another busy summer month, but with less weekend festivals than in July.  August is usually the hottest month of the year, making it a great time to visit for beach days, boat rides and sipping cocktails at sunset.  First, Second and Third Beach are great beaches just over the Newport/Middletown Line with large parking lots and facilities.  Gooseberry and Reject’s Beach are along Ocean Drive and are smaller than the first.  Newport offers a variety of boat rides, from morning mimosa cruises, to sunset cocktail cruises and everything in between.  Take advantage of the sunshine and stay cool on the water.  My suggestion: Get to the beach early and take a bike if you can, enjoy lunch outdoors on the waterfront and end the day with a sunset sail.

September:  September sees the end of summer over Labor Day weekend, and gears up for the beautiful Fall season.  Cruise ships are frequent in September so the downtown shops and restaurants, as well as the mansions stay pretty busy.  The Newport Mansion Wine & Food Festival is held in late September and weddings keep the weekends busy as well.  My suggestion: Enjoy the last few warm days on the beach after Labor Day when parking is free and enjoy al fresco dining.

October:  In my opinion, October is the best month to visit Newport.  Unless your heart lies at the beach, October offers it all, beautiful crisp weather, festivals, and lesser crowds.  The holiday weekend and the Seafood Festival act as an unofficial end to the busy season.  The Harvest Fair at the Norman Bird Sanctuary starts off the month and the wharfs offer live music and activities.  Many restaurants close for the season after Columbus Day, so check with your Innkeeper or online to see what has closed.  My suggestion: Come for the Seafood Festival and head to Fort Adams for Baywalk and enjoy the beautiful Fall scenery.

November: November is another transition month.  After things slow down in mid-October, the crowds dissipate and Newport gears up for the Holiday Season.  The highlight of November is Fall Restaurant Week.  Metered parking downtown is free from November to April, so if the weather is too cold to walk, try to snag a spot without having to pay.  My suggestion: Enjoy the quiet and participate in restaurant week at a restaurant you usually wouldn’t think of going to.

December: December is all about the charm of the Holiday Season.  Downtown is filled with lights and it’s a great time to get your holiday shopping done.  The Breakers, Marble House and the Elms are all decked out with trees and poinsettias and are beautiful and unique experience this time of year.  My suggestion: Choose a mansion to visit in the morning and spend the afternoon and evening strolling through Newport’s unique shops, picking up gifts here and there for your loved ones.

Fall In Newport

September 10th, 2015 by laurenf

After a wonderful summer season in Newport, fall is upon us and with it a variety of great festivals and activities to get us to winter.

The Newport International Boat Show will be back for its 41st year September 17th through the 20th. It is one of the country’s largest in water boat shows, covering 13 acres of Newport’s waterfront. All sorts of boats from power boats to sailboats, from 16 feet to 100 feet will be showcased on the water for guests to board and buy. International and national vendors will be on the shore with marine products and services that enhance the boating experience. Different seminars will be held at Christie’s at 41 North each day, with topics including: how to use radar effectively, cruising the Bahamas, suddenly singlehanded, outfitting above and below deck, catamaran cruising, wind and wave concepts, and full length battens. There will also be sailing for those looking to get a taste of the sport, a treasure hunt, and a cruisers party.

Wine and Food Festival September kicks off on Friday, September 25th with seminars at the Hotel Viking and the Wine & Rosecliff event followed by two days of grand tastings, wine dinners, seminars and more. Grand Tastings are held on Saturday and Sunday at Marble House from 12pm to 4pm and feature hundreds of wines, food tastings, cooking demonstrations, book signings, and a silent auction. On Sunday at 11am, Martha Stewart and Jacques Pepin will be talking about what is hot or not in lifestyle and food trends. Guests will be able to listen to their ideas while sipping champagne in Marble House’s Gold Ballroom.

Newport Vineyards will be celebrating their 20th year on September 27th with a “20th Anniversary Bash” held at the Vineyard.   The event starts at 2pm and tickets include wine tastings, food samples from Brix, Fatulli’s Deli & Bakery and Rhody Fresh Cheese, and a commemorative glass. There will be live music from the Little Compton Band and a Great Grape Stomp-Off.

The Norman Bird Sanctuary’s 41st Annual Harvest Fair starts things off for October. October 3rd and 4th from 10am to 5pm, this old fashion fair will be bringing all the colors of fall to life. This fair offers something for everyone – from the “Mabel Express” barrel train, to the monkey bridge and mud pit for children to local artisans and vendors for adults. All can play games at the Midway game area, listen to live music and enjoy food and drinks from various vendors. There will also be a home and garden competition, hay rides and more.

Nothing says fall quite like the Bowens Wharf Seafood Festival. This year’s Festival will be held on October 17th and 18th. Coastal Living Magazine called the Bowens Wharf Seafood Festival one of the “10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast.” From stuffed quahogs to clam cakes, shrimp to raw oysters and clams, and clam chowder to full lobster dinners, this festival has all the seafood a person can dream of. Local restaurants come together on Bowen’s Wharf for a weekend of celebrating great seafood and a great season. Beverages and non-seafood options are also available. There will be live music on the waterfront as well as children’s activities. The Festival starts at 11am and ends at 6pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.

This year’s Fall Restaurant Week will be held from November 6th through the 15th. Local restaurants will be offering three-course lunches and dinners for $16 and $35, respectively. Newport Restaurant Week is a great way to experience seasonal dishes and try restaurants that you might not have tried otherwise.

Mark your calendars, the next few months are filled with great activities for the whole family.

Off the Beaten Path

July 26th, 2015 by laurenf

Historic mansions, waterfront dining and Cliffwalk are all things that come to mind when someone says they are visiting Newport, Rhode Island, and while visiting them will fill up plenty of time while here, there is lot more to Newport than just that. For those visiting for a second or third time, there are a variety of “off the beaten path” places to go and things to do. From vineyards, nature preserves, food tours, and more, you’ll be coming back again and again.

A ten minute drive can take you to two wonderful wineries with completely different styles. Both Newport Vineyards and Greenvale Vineyards produce a variety of great wines and offer daily tours and tastings. Newport Vineyards, located on East Main Road, is newly renovated and includes a new tasting room, marketplace and restaurant, Brix. They produce the greatest number of wine grapes in New England and have a large selection of wines. Daily tours leave at 1pm and 3pm, with tastings all day long. Greenvale Vineyards is located on Wapping Road and has a more country feel to it. They produce seven varieties of wine and offer daily tours at 2pm and tastings all day. On Saturday evenings, they host Jazz nights.

Sweetberry Farm is a 10 minute drive from Newport and depending on the time of year, you can pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, apples and pumpkins. They also have a small market, cafe, ice cream and a summer dinner and concert series every Tuesday night until September.

Cliffwalk may be the gem of Rhode Island but it isn’t the only scenic walk in town. The Sachuest Nature Preserve, the Normal Bird Sanctuary and Baywalk at Fort Adams all offer a different take on the scenic walk. The Sachuest Nature Preserve is just past second beach and offers two different trails, with about 3 miles of trail total. There are great views of second and third beach as well as the ocean, the Sakonnet River and over into Little Compton. The Norman Bird Sanctuary is in Middletown and offers seven miles of hiking trails, bird watching and hosts various events throughout the year. Baywalk at Fort Adams is a two mile loop that takes you around the whole park. This walk along the bay gives you great views of downtown Newport, the Newport Pell Bridge, Jamestown and the Historic Fort itself.

For those who aren’t sure where to eat, a food tour might be the thing for you. New to Newport, Newport Food Tours and Rhode Island Red Food Tours both offer great tastes of local foods. Newport Food Tours run Tuesday through Saturday at 5pm and takes guests on a two hour tasting tour of the Broadway area. Guests enjoy food and drinks at a variety of locally owned restaurants during this two hour tour. The Rhode Island Red Food Tour is a combined history, walking and food tour that lasts about three hours. They run on Fridays and Saturdays at 12pm. This tour teaches you about historic sites, architecture and folklore and you get to enjoy food from at least 6 different locally owned restaurants.

While the main beaches are located in Middletown, Ocean Drive has some great hidden beach gems. Both Gooseberry Beach and Reject’s Beach are great alternatives and are a little calmer and quieter. Gooseberry has a parking lot and some amenities, while Reject’s Beach can only be accessed by foot or bike. It is located at the end of Cliffwalk and is the public end of a private beach.

Sometimes the best way to end the day is with the sunset and a nice cocktail. While there are plenty of great waterfront restaurants downtown to enjoy a drink at dusk, Pineapples on the Bay , Castle Hill Inn and the Roof at the Vanderbilt Grace offer some of the best views in town. Pineapple’s is located at the Hyatt on Goat Island and offers picturesque views of the Newport Pell Bridge as well as the Goat Island Lighthouse. Castle Hill Inn is located on Ocean Drive and overlooks the bay. Sipping a cocktail in one of their Adirondack chairs on the lawn is a great way to end the day. The Roof at the Vanderbilt is located on Mary Street and has an incredible “top of Newport” view.

With so many things to do and see, we wouldn’t be surprised if you needed to extend your stay!

Festival Season has Arrived

June 2nd, 2015 by laurenf

Once June hits, and summer is in sight, Newport comes alive with festivals and special events occurring almost weekly.  From seafood to sports, land to sea, Newport’s festivals keep everyone entertained year after year.

The summer’s unofficial kickoff is at the Chowder Cook-Off, whose new home is at Fort Adams.  Enjoy endless samples of traditional chowder along with creative spins on the classic on Saturday, June 6th from 12pm to 6pm.  This is the longest running chowder championship and has been featured on both the Food Network and Travel Channel.  After sampling, vote for your favorite to win the cook-off.  Along side the Chowder Cook-Off, the Newport Oyster Festival will also be taking place, where local shellfish and seafood are presented farmers market style.  Enjoy various oyster varieties and participate in educational presentation and contests such as the oyster shucking and slurping contests.

The Newport Flower Show will be held from June 19th to the 21st.  Join the Preservation Society at Rosecliff to celebrate their 20th anniversary and the American Beauty Rose.  Rosecliff was the birthplace of the American Beauty Rode, which became a symbol of excellence.  Flower Show highlights include: floral designs, horticulture exhibits, garden displays, shopping, lectures, childrens activities and special guests, Jane Godshalk, Peter Hatch and P. Allen Smith. Things kick off Friday Night at the Opening Night Cocktail Party.  For tickets and more information, click here.

Clay Fest at Rough Point will be held on Saturday, June 27th.  Partnered with the Newport Art Museum, see the exhibit: Fired and Inspired: Ceramics at Rough Point and then try your hand pinching, coiling, throwing and firing on the lawn to celebrate the art of clay.  Various activities will be happening throughout the day for all-ages.

Kite Festival will be held at Brenton Point State Park July 11th and 12th.  This free event is held every year and people of all ages can come together to fly kites to fill the sky with all shapes and sizes.

The Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Championship takes place every year after Wimbledon, and is the first stop in the United States pro-tennis summer season.  This tournament is the only event outside of Europe to be played on grass courts and is the only chance to see professional men’s tennis in the Northeast before the US Open.  The Championship starts on July 11th and goes until the 19th.

The 32nd Annual Black Ships Festival will take place from July 17th through the 19th.  This festival commemorates the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854, where Commodore Matthew Perry of Newport, which opened up trade between Japan and the United States, ending two centuries of Japanese isolationism.  To celebrate, the Black Ships Festival offers a weekend of events focusing on Japanese Art and Culture.  Some of these events include a formal gala, arts and crafts, martial arts and a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

This is only the start of all the fun activities that take place in Newport during the summer season.  Check back for more event information!

 

Volvo Ocean Race – Newport Stopover

April 24th, 2015 by laurenf

The Volvo Ocean Race started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race with 19 teams and a 27,500 nautical mile course starting in Portsmouth, UK.  324 sailors set out on the first race, many not knowing the conditions that they would be facing on the open water. Three men lost their lives during this race with many other facing injury and disasters.  Sayula II was the first victor in this Ocean race, skippered by Roman Carlin, a Mexican business man.  His crew consisted of two Britons, a Dutchman, and Australian and five other Mexicans including his wife and son.  The next race started in 1977 and subsequent races every 4 years.

The race sponsorship was taken over by Volvo starting with the 2001 race and various stopover points were added.  Focus shifted and a new points system was created.  Since then, this round the world race takes place every 3 years, generally starting in Europe and stopping in various and changing cities each time.

This year’s race is set to be the longest course yet – 39,379 nautical miles.  This year’s race started in Alicante, Spain in October and has thus far seen Cape Town, South Africa, Abu Dahbi, United Arab Emirates,  Sanya, China,  Auckland, New Zealand, and after the longest leg of the race, Itajai, Brazil.  On April 19th, the teams started their 5,010 nautical mile journey to Newport where they will remain until May 17th when they will continue the race to Lisbon, Portugal, Lorient, France, and finally end in Gothenburg, Sweden at the end of June.

Seven teams started in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race, with crews from 19 nationalities and the first all-female crew to enter the race in over a decade, making it the most diverse fleet in years.  This year’s teams are Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team, Team Brunel, Team Alvimedica, Mapfre, and Team Vestas Wind. Vestas Wind’s boat is currently under repair after being stranded on a reef at Cargados Carajos Shoals in the Indian Ocean.  The crew had to abandon the boat, which has since been recovered and brought to Italy for repair.  They are working to get the boat back in the race for the last two legs starting in Lisbon.

Racing crews consist of eight sailors and one non-sailing multimedia reporter.  The all-woman teams can race with 11 sailors and a multimedia reporter.  Every team must have two members that are under 30.  Each vessel qualifies by sailing 2,000 nautical miles non-stop.

Teams are estimated to arrive between May 5th and 9th and will remain in Newport until May 17th with various events leading up to the In-Port Race and the start of the Newport-Lisbon leg of the journey. Race Village will be open every day at Fort Adams State Park from 11am to 7pm.  Guests will be able to see the race vessels docked at the pier, enjoy views of the racing action, hear commentary about the on-water activity, see team exhibitions and enjoy food and entertainment.  Both weekends will feature youth sailing races and exhibition sailing.

The Pro-Am Race 1 will be held on May 14th and the Pro-Am Race 2 and 3 on the 15th.  The Sailors Parade will be held on Saturday, May 16th leading up to the In-Port Race followed by the IPR Prize Giving Ceremony.  The teams will then start the race to Lisbon on the 17th, following a Leg Restart Dock-Out Show from 11:30am to 12:15pm.  Newport is going to be bustling with activity and in the racing spirit.

Newport’s 27th Annual Winter Festival

January 23rd, 2015 by laurenf

After the holidays, things in Newport slow down quite a bit as the town gets ready for the new season.  Many attractions and restaurants close down for a winter break or some renovations. However, don’t write off Newport in the winter, especially February, when the February Winter Festival takes over for 10 days.

The Newport Winter Festival offers a variety of great events as well as restaurant and retail discounts to those who purchase a festival bracelet.  The bracelet costs $10 and can be purchased online or picked up at a variety of places in Newport, such as the Visitors Center.  You can still participate in Winter Festival Events without a bracelet, but you won’t get the great discounts that come with it.  The Festival will be held from February 13th, through the 22nd and includes over 150 events.

The Festival brings a variety of events to Newport from contests, to comedy, so there will be something for everyone.

Each Saturday during the festival, there will be a different cook-off.  On the 14th, the 20th Annual Samuel Adams Chili Cook-Off will be held at the Newport Harbor Hotel. Various restaurants, catering companies, and the local fire department will bring their best chili creations to see who makes the best chili in town.  The following Saturday, the 21st, the Hyatt Regency will be holding the 4th annual Chicken Wing Cook-Off, where you can vote on which local restaurant serves up the best wings.

There are also a variety of drink contests, such as the Tropical Drink Contest on Sunday, the 15th at the Gas Lamp Grille, the Martini Contest at the Barking Crab on the 18th and the Best Hot Drink Contest at the Red Parrot on the 19th.

For those who enjoy wine or a nice cocktail outside, Newport Winery is holding its annual “Wine-ter-fest” on the 14th and 15th. Guests can enjoy the outside wine bar while tasting a variety of Newport Vineyard wines, cheeses, chocolates and other edibles from local purveyors.  If that isn’t enough, the Hyatt Regency will have its Polar Pineapples on the weekends – an outdoor ice bar for those brave enough to endure the cold, while those who prefer the warmth can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate inside.

For those visiting with children there is a child fair at the Hyatt on the 15th and 16th with music, face painting, art, crafts and more.  OceanCliff is hosting a Princess Party on the 18th.  Anna and Elsa from Frozen will be there for a “royal” afternoon.  Festival Day will be held at Easton’s Beach on the last day of the Festival, the 22nd.  There will be a Children’s Block Hunt, Sand Sculpture Contest, and a Polar Plunge for those brave enough.

For those who are looking for music and entertainment, there will be a few concerts throughout the Festival, as well as an Illusionist and Comedy Show.  All shows will be held at the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island.  Beatlemania kicks things off on the 13th  There will also be an Eagles tribute band, “Another Tequila Sunrise” on the 14th, as well as a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, “Changes in Latitude,” on the 21st.  David Garrity, a professional illusionist will be entertaining on the 19th and on the 20th the Winter Festival Comedy Show with Kevin Meany and Kerri Louise will have people laughing all night long.

The Winter Festival bracelet also gets you great discounts and deals at your favorite restaurants, attractions and stores such as: free small plate appetizer at Deigo’s, 15% discount at Cupcake Charlie’s, free nacho sampling at The Brick Alley pub Tuesday – Friday 2-4pm, 20% off lunch, dinner and afternoon tea at the Hotel Viking, $2 off admission to the Newport Mansions, $2 off Seal Watching Tours, 15% off wine purchased at Greenvale Vineyards, 15% off at Bailey T’s Resortwear and much, much more.

For a complete list of discounts and all events, check out the Festival Website.

Holiday Happenings in Newport

December 4th, 2014 by laurenf

The holiday season is in full swing and there are plenty of fun things to do in Newport to celebrate.  Decorated mansions, historic tours and tree lightings are just a few events to look out for when visiting  Newport in December.

Christmas at the Newport Mansions lasts until January 4th.  Marble House, the Breakers and the Elms are all decked out with thousands of poinsettias, fresh flowers, wreathes and a total of 24 Christmas trees. Windows of all the mansions are lit with white candles, in order to keep with colonial traditions.  Local pastry chefs have created gingerbread mansions that are on display in the Breakers’ kitchen.  The mansions also host holiday evenings where guests can enjoy live music and light refreshments as they enjoy the beautifully decorated mansions.  Rosecliff will be hosting the Nutcracker, where you follow the performers through the mansion.  It’s last show is Friday, December 5th.

This year the theme for Christmas at Blithewold is “You are Invited,” where they will celebrate the Van Wickle family’s love of entertainment.  Every room will be an interpretation of a festive occasion that happened at Blithewold in the early 1900s.  Such occasions include: tea, garden parties, and sailing parties.  Events for Christmas at Blithewold includes afternoon teas, Santa sing-alongs, musical performances, and creative workshops for adults and children.   They are open from Tuesday through Sunday.

Undecked Halls at Rough Point is a behind the scenes tour of Doris Dukes Mansion in the wintertime.  Doris Duke spent her winters in her Hawaii home, so this tour showcases the quiet house, with decorated staff wing and stories about her holiday in the sun.  The tour includes the staff dining room, which is not normally open to the public as well as information about Rough Point’s winter caretaking.

The 44th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on December 6th, with events starting at 4:30 with Frosty the Snowman.   The tree lighting will take place at 6pm after a Christmas Carol sing-along.  Santa will be there after the lighting and local shops and restaurants will be open.

The Newport Historic Society will be sponsoring Holiday Lantern History Walking Tours, which will share the history of early American holiday traditions.  The tour includes how people of Colonial Newport recognized the holidays.

On New Year’s Day, those who wish can participate in the Polar Bear Plunge, which benefits A Wish Come True.  The plunge happens at 12 noon, followed by an after party.

For more information and more events happening during the holiday season in Newport, click here.

Fun Fall Festivities in Newport

September 30th, 2014 by laurenf

There is no shortage of things to do in Newport now that it is officially Fall.  Fall in Newport is filled with a variety of festivals to keep you occupied from the Harvest Fair at the Norman Bird Sanctuary to the ever popular Oktoberfest to the Fall’s Restaurant Week.  You can spend your days picking apples and your nights drinking the latest pumpkin beer, enjoying the beautiful fall weather here in Newport.

Apple and pumpkin picking are fall favorites, and there are a few places in Newport County where you can do that.  Rocky Brook Orchards and Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown have plenty of apples for the picking.  You can spend a weekend with the family picking from over 60 varieties of apples from Rocky Brook Orchards, or spend an afternoon picking and then relaxing with a tasty meal from Sweet Berry Farm’s café.

Every weekend in October there’s a festival happening in Newport, starting with the Norman Bird Sanctuary 40th Annual Harvest Fair.  This year’s fair will be taking place October 4th and 5th on the grounds of the Norman Bird Sanctuary.  Family friendly games and activities will be available all day long as well as competitions to see who has the best fruit and vegetables on the island.

Columbus Day brings Oktoberfest to Newport.  The Newport Yachting Center will be taken over on the 11th and 12th and will bring the site, sounds and beer of Bavaria to you.  It’s Newport’s “official sendoff to summer” and will include three Biergartens showcasing a variety of seasonal beers and German food.

The third weekend in October, the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival will be taking over.  Local restaurants get to showcase their best seafood all day long.  Two days of seafood and live music will keep Bowen’s wharf buzzing.

The 3rd Annual Foodtruck Festival will be making its return on October 25th.  More than 20 of New England’s best food trucks will take over the Yachting Center to serve up great food ranging from BBQ to ice cream sandwiches.

This years Fall Restaurant week will be held from November 7-14th and is the perfect opportunity to visit some of those restaurants that were just out of your price point over the summer.  Three course lunches and dinners will be available at Newport’s best restaurants.  For participating restaurants and menus, click here.

Summer may be over but there’s still plenty to do to keep you busy on your trip to Newport.

»