considered the playground of the rich and famous. Newport, Rhode Island has far
more than a storied party past to its name. Home to America’s first Synagogue,
past home to the Navy, site of Rochambeau’s landing to help America win
independence during the American Revolution, summer home to those whose wealth
one can’t even imagine and site of Salve Regina University, Newport is a must
on your to do list.
fabulous is that the famed mansions of Newport, now mostly owned by the Newport
Historic Preservation Society, are open to the public. The Breakers built by
the Vanderbilt’s is a 70-room Italian Renaissance style palazzo modeled after
16th century palaces in Genoa and Turin, Italy. Theresa Fair Oelrichs modeled
Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon in Versailles and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius
Berwind built The Elms in the style of the mid-18th century French chateau
d’Asnieres. The summer “cottages” as they were referred are perhaps just a part
of Newport’s history but a trip without venturing inside the grounds or
mansions themselves is akin to going to Val d’Isère and not skiing.
Newport is also famous for it’s Tennis Hall of Fame, oft home to the America’s
Cup and home to the best chowder on this planet. The Jazz and Folk Festivals
have an entire life of their own and have been going strong for over 50 years.
Honored with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Judy Collins, more
recent years have included talent ranging from the roots of folk with Bluegrass
musicians whose prowess on a banjo will leave you staring in hypnotic
those who grew up in Rhode Island, as did I, seafood, the ocean, beach and sailing is in
your blood. They don’t call it the Ocean State for nothing! And there are
certainly enough of all of the above for any visitor. Charter a boat for a day,
take a tour around the island or just lie out and enjoy the sand and sea.
Although not technically still in Newport, (it’s in Middletown), and certainly
not prettiest, a stop by Second Beach will give you a taste of Rhode Island
that’s hard to find anywhere else in the country, Del’s Lemonade. The frozen
concoction of lemons, sugar (yes good old-fashioned sugar) is like nothing you
have ever tasted. There’s also little stand that sells lobster rolls. But
get there early, as parking is limited. If you missed out landing your car in
the lot, there are certainly enough other options. Middletown, in all of its
creativity named it’s beaches First, Second and Third, the latter being where
many learn to wind sail due to being on a semi-protected inlet. For a beach
with amenities in Newport proper, head over to the other side of the island and visit Gooseberry Beach, which sells
Day Passes. Letting you in on a poorly guarded secret, is Rejects beach, appropriately named for those not members of the exclusive Beach Club next door. Unfortunately Rejects has no amenities, is a bit hard find and parking is nearly
impossible. But you can take the Newport tram and it will drop you right off in
front of it.
tennis is your thing, a stop by the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a must and if you’re
lucky you’ll actually be able to catch a match. Originally opened in 1880 as a social club for Newport’s Summer Elite, the grass courts are now open to the public to either oggle the prowess of some of tennis’ top players or to experience a slice of history by booking your own court time.
Newport is also home to fun boutiques, nightlife, great
food, restaurants and a town is a town filled with more options than most, Can’t make it
this year? Fret not, there’s always off-season or next summer but if you’ve
never been, you’re missing out! Plan ahead, hotels and rentals are snagged up early. And if you do make this trip and fall in love with it’s charm, here is a fabulous website called, ‘Moving To Newport’ which can help you with everything from renters agreements to local laws and how to register your dog. http://www.movingtori.org/cities/newport/
Dream, Travel, Explore!