Every time I get back from a visit to Rhode Island, I am always asked, “What’s in Rhode island?” And honestly, I can’t even quite remember what made us travel here in the first place – but boy, are we glad that we did. This little gem has turned into one of our regular spots to visit over the years. Approximately 45 minute drive from Providence, it has all of the charm of a NewEngland seaside town plus the ocean, the mansions and more! Little Tip: if you’re ever thinking of doing a New England trip, the T.F.Green airport just outside of Providence is a great little airport to fly into (it’s easy to get in and out of, has an onsite car rental centre and it’s in a great location to get to many sites (Boston, Connecticut, Cape Cod, etc.)
Full of quaint little shops, restaurants, and unique, historic buildings – Baby Bug and I never get tired of strolling Thames Street
Downtown “Don’t Wanna Miss a Things“:
The Brick Alley Pub – best chicken nachos EVER in our lives!!! We eat here every time we visit
The Bugs are big fans of Alex and Ani bracelets, so it was pretty neat to stop in to the downtown shop where it all began. Newport is home to Alex and Ani and also it is home to their very first store ( 2 stories full of this unique jewellery.)
This gorgeous Roman Catholic church is the church where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in 1953. Because the Kennedy’s spent many summers in Newport, they would often attend Sunday mass here as well.
The Gilded Age (late 1800’s – early 1900’s) was an era of extreme wealth, and many of the wealthiest families of this era (the Vanderbilts, the Astors, etc.) chose Newport, Rhode Island to build their “summer homes” and would vacation here 6 weeks every year to escape the summer city heat – what???? (no, I’m not kidding). But you do not have to be a history buff to enjoy these “cottages.” The Newport Preservation Society has done an incredible job of preserving the mansions and stepping foot into one is truly like stepping back in time. There are at least 10 different mansions that have been preserved and are open for touring throughout the year, a few select ones are even decorated for Christmas. However, if planning a visit you may want to check newportmansions.org for scheduling. There are unique qualities of each but our favourites are The Breakers, Rosecliff, and The Marble House. *fun fact : the ballroom in the Rosecliff mansion was used in several movies including the 1974 version of the Great Gatsby and one of our all time faves, True Lies.
The Breakers – the former summer home of the Vanderbilts, (this is a side view of the mansion – the front of the home is to the right of the picture and faces the Atlantic Ocean.
The Music Room – just a small peak into one of the many extravagant rooms
The Cliff Walk
This 3.5 mile scenic walkway (most is paved but some parts are rugged and rocky), runs behind several of these spectacular mansions and offers amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. This pathway is open to the public and can be accessed at several different points.
Two of the most popular public beaches are Easton’s Beach and Gooseberry Beach.
Brenton State Park/ Ocean Drive (10 mile drive)
No visit to Newport would be complete without a drive on Ocean Drive, it’s basically a loop that starts on Thames St. Very easy, just veer to the right once you get to the end of the shops on Thames Street and follow the signs for Ocean Drive. This gorgeous, peaceful drive will take you past magnificent views of the ocean (and some pretty incredible homes),and will bring you right to Brenton State Park – where you can enjoy this awesome spot (or fly a kite), where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic. Continue on and you will eventually be on Bellevue Ave. – home to the mansions.
These little scooter/buggy rentals are on the top of our list for our next visit – they look like so much fun!