Newport Rhode Island, the Ocean State
It’s the middle of summer and the heat is rising. What is the best way to escape? Traveling north to Newport, Rhode Island. This coastal city, located in Aquidneck Island, is not just a relaxing getaway with resorts, restaurants and amusements, but also an area that is rich in history. Enter through Bellevue Avenue and you’ll instantly see how history effortlessly converges with the present.
Activities and Eateries One of the first aspects of Newport you are bound to recognize are the grandiose architectural structures. After the Revolutionary Era, the city entered the Gilded Age and flourished with summer retreats like the The Elms and The Marble House. In the 1980’s, these estates were estimated at most, $11 million dollars. Now, reappraised at double or even triple the amount, the Vanderbilt mansions are open as historical landmarks.
In addition to the Mansion viewings, there is also the Newport Art Museum and Art Association, located just a short distance from the mansions, at another historical landmark called the Griswold House. There, you will have a chance to see the current work and versatile skills of other Newport artists.
To get an in-depth view of the mansions plus Newport’s natural surroundings, it is highly encouraged to leisurely walk along the Cliffwalks. Along this eastern shore, you will also catch refreshing, ocean breezes and breathtaking views of the water.
There are more recreational ways to appreciate the city besides walking and site seeing. Visitors can golf a full round of holes at Newport National Golf Club, play tennis at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, or participate in sailing tours leaving Bannister’s Wharf.
There are lists of unique Newport restaurants, each set apart very differently from the next. David Ray’s Clark Cooke House, located by the Bannister’s Wharf, is a perfect example. It is a quaint, five-level restaurant famous for tender meat and fresh seafood. You can choose to dine in your own fashion: eat privately in The Club Room or eat and dance it off at the discotheque in The Boom Boom Room. A second place is La Maison du Coco’s truffles and French pastry shop. Because the shop is found only in Newport, it’s the perfect excuse to try one of pastry chef Michele Luca-Verley’s delicate sweets. Make the dessert trip even more exciting and exclusive and ask to learn how to make a puff pastry.
Hideaways The resorts in Newport are impeccable. If you wish to stay at the bucolic Castle Hill Inn, a beachside 19th century mansion, then you will have six different types of rooms to choose from. In addition to its award-winning resort, the Castle Hill also has a fine-dining restaurant for guests. With their food, diners can enjoy a complimentary view of the sunset.
Forty 1° North Marina Resort is indeed “not just a location, it’s a destination,” as their tagline states. The Marina is also located next to the water, however unlike Castle Hill, it has a more modern flair. If the interior décor does not show it enough, then maybe the Apple iPads placed in each guest room will. During your stay, take advantage of the resorts two restaurants: The Grill, which provides a more up-scale dining experience; or Christie’s, where the atmosphere is filled with lively color.
A third hotspot is the Viking Hotel, which is re-vamped and better than ever. This past March, the hotel completed the last of their renovations. Now, if you are looking for something that encompasses both traditional and modern elements, this luxurious hotel is a good choice. An added bonus to this hotel is that it’s found to be particularly accommodating because of its easy accessibility to other fine-dining restaurants and amusements.
The Best of Both Worlds While the once family owned mansions remain as public attractions, there are other Victorian houses like Thomas Quinn’s Laurelawn, also along Bellevue Avenue, which are still homes. Quinn, a lawyer and Georgetown resident, was born in Rhode Island and grew up spending many summers spent in Newport.
Though he says that he holds D.C. close to his heart, he cannot deny the other weight of sentiments attached to his private summer getaway. It is where five Quinn generations have shared memories, such as engagement parties for his two sons and a post-debut party for his niece. He summed up Newport saying, “It’s not just one thing, but a variety of things including the weather, the old world charm, architecture, the variety of interests, the colorful people, top notch golf, tennis, sailing, and most of all, the fresh air and ocean.”