Archive for the ‘Newport County Inns and Bed & Breakfast Association News’ Category

Spending the Summer Outside

June 29th, 2014 by laurenf

Summer is officially here and the weather is beautiful.  Newport is a beautiful, historic destination, with plenty to do if you like to spend as much time as possible outdoors during the summer.  Whether you like to walk, lay on the beach, be out on the water or sip cocktails from an outdoor patio, Newport has you covered.

Cliffwalk is one of Rhode Island’s most popular attractions, and while parts of it are still closed until mid-July, the section from Memorial Boulevard to Marin Avenue offers spectacular views.  As you walk, you’ll get picturesque views of the water and cliffs you’re walking along, as well as the historic mansions on your other side.  When Cliffwalk re-opens in its entirety, the full 3.5 mile walk is a must.

If you’re looking for more, Fort Adams’ Baywalk, the Norman Bird Sanctuary and Sachuest Nature Preserve are all great places to get in a couple miles of walking, while enjoying different breathtaking views.  Not only can you tour the historic fort at Fort Adams State Park, relax on the beach, or learn to sail, there’s also a 2 mile walk called Baywalk that affords views of the downtown waterfront, the Newport Pell Bridge and views over into Jamestown.  The Norman Bird Sanctuary offers a variety of walking trails, one of which takes you on the rocks that overlook Second Beach.  If you’re not satisfied with those, the Sachuest Nature Preserve offers two trails, with views of Second Beach, Third Beach and the ocean.

If laying on the beach and swimming is more your style, there are plenty of beaches at your disposal in Newport.  First, Second, Third, Gooseberry, and Reject’s Beach are all open to the public and each offer something a little different.  First Beach, also known as Easton’s Beach, is located on Memorial Boulevard.  This Beach offers a snack bar, carousel, aquarium, skate park and gift shop and hosts a variety of tournaments and concerts during the summer.  Second Beach, or Sachuest Beach, is located in Middletown, past First Beach and is quieter than First Beach.  It’s bigger and offers better waves for those who enjoy surfing.  Third Beach is past Second Beach and offers calm waters without many waves.  It’s a great spot for windsurfing or SUP and also has a public boat ramp. Gooseberry Beach is located along Ocean Drive and is in a cove so the waters are calmer.  This beach is great for families and has a cafe where food can be purchased.  Finally, Reject’s Beach is a public section at the end of Bailey’s Beach, which is private.  You can only access it by walking or biking and is usually less crowded.

If you’d rather be on the water than in the water, Newport offers a variety of boat tours for every taste.  Whether you’re looking for a sunset sail with a cocktail, a boat with a story to tell, or a private charter, Newport has it.  Classic Cruises of Newport offers outings on both their Schooner Madeline and Rum Runner II.  The Schooner Madeline is a 72 foot rig schooner that allows you to experience a 19th century Bermuda rig schooner.  They offer day tours and a sunset cocktail cruise.  If sailing isn’t your thing, they have a classic speedboat, the Rum Runner II, which is a high speed motor yacht that will bring you back to the days of rum smuggling during the prohibition.  Day sails and cocktail cruises are available.  The Adirondack II is an 80-foot, turn-of-the-century-style pilot schooner where you have a choice of mimosa sails, dark and stormy sails, day sails and sunset sails.  On Watch Sailing offers private charters of their Lyra, a 6 passenger sailboat for those who want to spend the day on the water with a close group of friends or family.  These are just a few of the wonderful boating options Newport has to offer.  For other options and more information, click here.

Finally, for those who just want to relax all day with a cocktail, or wind down after a long day of exploring Newport, there are some great outdoor bars that offer some of the best views in town.  Pineapples on the Bay on Goat Island, The Lawn at Castle Hill,  Top of Newport at the Hotel Viking, and the Roof Top Bar at the Vanderbilt Grace all offer great cocktails with incredible views.

 

June and July in Newport

May 30th, 2014 by laurenf

The summer season is fast approaching and there are many events happening around Newport to keep you occupied through the end of July.

The events kick off with the Great Chowder Cook-Off and Newport Oyster Festival on June 7th at the Newport Yachting Center.  The Chowder Cook-Off draws competitors from around the country and is the longest running chowder championship.  If you’re attending, get ready to sample endless amounts of traditional and exotic chowders in three categories: clam, seafood and creative.  There will be live music and alternative food and bar options throughout the festival.  The Oyster Festival takes place along with the Chowder Cook-Off and includes great local shellfish and seafood presented farmers’ market style.  The Oyster Festival continues after the Cook-Off comes to an end so it’s a great “after party.”  For more information, click here.

If you’re looking to get all dresses up and attend a Gala, then consider the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry Underwater Gala happening on July 5th.  This event is sponsored by the non-profit Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island in order to celebrate their 200-foot square rigged Tall Ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry’s first summer.  The Gala will take place at the Newport Shipyard and will pay tribute to the completion this official Sailing Education Vessel.  Guests of the Gala will be able to enjoy cocktails, dinner and dessert while touring the ship and participating in live and silent auctions.

Come July, the summer season is in full swing, and festivals become more frequent, starting with the Newport Kite Festival.  The Newport Kite Festival will be held July 12th and 13th at Brenton Point State Park.  This events is just what it seems, a weekend spent flying kites and enjoying the outdoors.  A variety of kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors will fill the sky on Ocean Drive.  This event is free and is always a great site to behold.  For more information, check out the official Newport Kite Festival website here.

On July 17th, the Preservation Society of Newport County and Designer Angela Moore will be hosting their first fashion show and champagne brunch that will be held at Rosecliff mansion.  The theme is “Newport Forever,” to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Newport and the city’s “nautical chic resort style.”  Angela Moore will be showing her new collection as well as debuting limited edition Newport Forever jewelry.  The doors open at 9am with cocktails and will proceed to the ballroom for the fashion show and brunch.  For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

The Black Ships Festival will be held from July 17th through the 20th.  This festival is a celebration of the friendship between Newport and Japan and includes events that emphasize Japanese Art and Culture.  It commemorates the achievements of Commodore Matthew C. Perry of Newport, who negotiated the Treaty of Kanagawa, ending two centuries of Japanese trading isolation.  Events during this festival include: a formal Gala, Japanese arts and crafts, martial arts, tea ceremonies and Taiko Drums. For the full calendar of events, click here.

One of, if not, the most popular Festival that takes place in Newport is the Newport Folk Festival, which will take place July 25th through the 27th.  This music festival has been a Newport tradition since it was founded in 1959.  This festival is known for introducing some major stars to the folk world such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.  This years line up includes Nickel Creek, Deer Tick, Jenny Lewis, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Houndmouth, Phox, The Oh Hellos, Benjamin Booker and many, many more.

If you weren’t able to get tickets to the Folk Festival in time, the Newport Antiques Show will also be in town from July 25th through the 27th and will take place at St. George’s School in Middletown.  This is one of the nation’s premier antiques venues and it presents a large selection of American antiques, from over 40 of the country’s top dealers.  This event benefits both the Newport Historical Society and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County. For a list of exhibitors and ticket information, click here.

With summer rolling in, make sure you check out some of the great festivals and events happening to round off a great Newport vacation.

Newport Preservation Society Mansions

April 27th, 2014 by laurenf

In the early 1900’s, Newport transformed into a summer resort area for many of America’s wealthiest.  Families from the Vanderbilt’s to the King’s and Griswold’s, built their summer “cottages” on the streets of Newport, many overlooking the ocean.  Today, many of these mansions have been preserved by the great work done by the Preservation Society of Newport County, and have become one of the most popular attractions when visiting Newport.

The Breakers is the most popular mansion due to its size and amazing location, but there are many other great mansions to visit.  The Elms, Marble House, Rosecliff and Chateau-sur-Mer are also very popular and are among the main five that are open for the majority of the year.  Later in the season Kingscote, the Green Animals Topiary Gardens, the Isaac Bell House, Chepstow and the Hunter House open for tours.  All of these mansions offer something different and take guests back in time to see what life was like and how architecture and has developed throughout their history.

The Breakers is the grandest of the “summer cottages” in Newport.  It was built by the Vanderbilt’s in 1893 and is a symbol of the family’s social and financial superiority.  The current version was built to replace an earlier wood-frames house that had been destroyed by a fire.  The 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin inspired the Breakers and it was kept in the family until 1972 when it was purchased by the Preservation Society.

Marble House was a social and architectural landmark that helped set the tone for Newport’s transformation into a summer resort area filled with lavish mansions.  It was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K Vanderbilt.  William gave the house to his wife as a 39th birthday present, however they divorced in 1895 and Alva remarried to Oliver H.P. Belmont and moved down the street to Belcourt Castle.  She later added the Chinese Tea House to the property and held rallies for women’s rights.  She sold the house in 1932 and it was acquired by the Preservation Society in 1963.

The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York.  Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry and had his house designed in 1898, after the mid 18th century French Chateau d’Asnieres.  Construction ended in 1901 and the house remained in the family until it was purchased and opened to the public in 1962.  The Elms not only offers an audio tour of the property, but also a behind the scenes Servants Life Tour, which allows you to see a different side of the mansions.

Rosecliff is well known for its movie history.  Movies such as Amistad, 27 Dresses, True Lies, and The Great Gatsby were filmed there, and it is also a popular venue for hosting various events throughout the year.  It was completed in 1902 and Theresa Fair Oelrichs, a Nevada silver heiress, hosted grand events and had famous guests, such as Harry Houdini.  It was given to the Preservation Society in 1971.

Chateau-sur-Mer was the most palatial residence in Newport from 1852, until the completion of the Breakers in the 1890’s.  It is a showcase of High Victorian architecture and furniture.  It was built for William Shepard Wetmore, a China trade merchant, as an Italianate-Style Villa. It remained in the family until the Preservation Society purchased it in 1969.

Other Preservation Society mansions include: Kingscote, Chepstow, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House and the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, which open up later in the year.  For a complete operating schedule, click here.   To look at ticket options and purchase, click here.

Spring Happenings in Newport

March 21st, 2014 by laurenf

The cold weather is starting to turn warmer, and soon enough spring will be in full force.  Newport is waking up and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy this spring.  Whether you enjoy great dining options, historic mansions, or great sailing, Newport has something to offer while the flowers start to bloom.  Here are just a few of the great events happening between now and the end of May.

The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, Rosecliff and Chateau-sur-Mer are all open daily from 10am to 6pm, except the Breakers, which opens at 9am.  On May 10th, two more mansions will open for the season: Green Animals Topiary Garden and Kingscote.  Rough Point will be opening for the season on Friday, April 11th.  These mansions are full of beauty and history and you can see what life used to be like in Newport.

It’s not surprise that Newport is home to fantastic restaurants with varying cuisines.  One of the best ways to enjoy these restaurants is during Spring Restaurant week, which will be held from April 4th through the 13th.  You can enjoy three course lunches and dinners for $16 and $35, respectively.  It’s a great opportunity to try a new restaurant you’ve never been to before.  To see participating restaurants, menus and to make reservations, click here.

Blithewold Mansion in Bristol will be celebrating it’s annual Daffodil Days from April 1st through the 27th.  You can enjoy thousands of yellow daffodils as you welcome spring and move on from the cold winter we’ve had.  Various events will be held during the month, including afternoon teas, April vacation camp and hands-on workshops.  Daffodil Days ends with the Fairy Festival on April 27th, which celebrates spring with a “play-day” for all.  For more information about Blithewold and Daffodil Days, click here.

This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 20th.  On April 19th, the Newport Preservation Society of Newport will be hosting its annual Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch at Rosecliff.   Children will get to take part in a giant egg hunt and meet the Easter Bunny.  On Sunday, follow up Easter Sunday mass with a brunch.  Many hotels offer great brunch options, such as the Hotel Viking, Vanderbilt Grace and the Hyatt.

In May, the Atlantic Cup is back during Memorial Day weekend.  This event is a carbon neutral sailing race.  The race starts in Charleston, SC, heads to New York and ends with the final stretch here in Newport.  Teams will race in Narragansett Bay for the third and final leg of the Class 40 sailing race, the only one of its kind held in America.  There will be activities for everyone to enjoy, on and off the water.  To learn more about this race and see a schedule of events, click here.

Did Somebody Say Festival?

July 2nd, 2013 by blogwriter

Summer certainly is the season of festivals here in Newport. This summer has been off to a great start with lots of warm sunny days and beautiful starry nights perfect for enjoying just about everything Newport has to offer . This time we’ll be highlighting events from July 15th to August 15th and as always there’s sure to be something for everybody.

All sorts of music festivals abound this time of year! The Newport Music Festival allows concert goers to enjoy chamber music in the historic mansions from July 10th-28th. See their website  to buy tickets and view the complete schedule. The Newport Blues & BBQ Festival on July 20th  is sure to be a delicious treat for ear and palate alike! Just like all events at the Newport Yachting Center, it’s sure to be a hit. Click here to get your tickets now! Just a week later is the not to be missed, world famous Newport Folk Festival out at Fort Adams from July 26th-28th. Hurry to their website because tickets for Friday are still available to an otherwise sold out event which will feature acts such as The Avett Brothers, Beck, and The Lumineers. The lineup is always spectacular so it’s never too early to start planning for Folk Fest 2014. For another famous festival out at the fort, check out the Newport Jazz Festival on August 2nd-4th. Several great acts are on their way and tickets for all days are still available at their website.

Looking to celebrate a bit of local culture? These festivals will have something in store for you! The Black Ships Festival celebrates a history of friendship between Newport and Japan which began when Commodore Perry was the first foreigner to trade with Japan after nearly 200 years of isolationism. Stop by Touro Park on Pelham Street on July 18th-21st and see some fine examples of Japanese art and culture and check out their website for more details. Once you’re ready for something more Mediterranean, head over to the Hellenic Fest at the corner of Thames and Brewer Streets on July 19th and 20th. Experience the finest food, music, and ouzo that Newport’s Greek Community has to offer! Get your preview of the festivities here. Lastly, you haven’t been truly immersed in Newport’s local culture until you consider the pull the that the tides and the surf have on this community. Water Bros will be hosting their third annual Surf Fest on July 20th. Click here to learn more!

The summer is also the season fantastic parties and important galas. Have an eye for fine art? Help us celebrate Newport Art Museum’s 100th year on July 20th. Come participate in Newport’s tradition of fine art by clicking here for more details. Or support the Newport Music Festival at the Sapphire Gala on July 29th. Tickets are available here. On July 27th the Aquidneck Land Trust hosts Fiesta Verde, their annual summer fundraiser which helps raise the money to protect Aquidneck Island’s remaining green space. To contribute to this important cause and to attend what has recently been named one of Newport’s best summer parties click here and scroll down to the “Fiesta Verde” section.

Is it time to kickback and just enjoy summer? Newport’s famous cliff walk, which gives breathtaking views of ocean and historic properties alike, is in great shape despite some damage from Hurricane Sandy. Most of the 3.5 trail is still open! So get out your walking shoes! After you’re done you can always head to the beach! Newport is blessed with many fantastic beaches. Easton’s (First) Beach is a short walk from Bellveue Avenue right on Memorial Boulevard. After a good long day outside in the sun, be sure to catch a Newport Gulls game in historic Cardines Field! Click here to see their schedule.

There is plenty going on here in our little city by the sea. We hope that you join us, whether for a day or a week, and come explore. See you on the beach!

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