A Great Weekend Destination
Beyond the pull of the large Gilded Age mansions that draw so many visitors to Newport, it is a terrific place to spend a Saturday night having a beer and a burger. The Thames Street area is great for strolling. Bars, restaurants and shops line the cobbled roadways. The small city is rich in American history and boasts many restored buildings in the National Historic Landmark district.
Because of their age many of the buildings have a rich and storied history. One evening over the weekend we took a walking “ghost tour” after dark. It proved to be a great way to keep young’un entertained and to learn something at the same time. I don’t know if you believe in that sort of thing, but we definitely caught an orb or two on film. 😉
No first time visit to Newport is complete without visiting any of the Newport Preservation Society Mansions that line the Bellevue Avenue area. The largest of the summer cottages is The Breakers, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in the late 1890s. The Italian Renaissance styled home’s interior is a sight to behold. No expense was spared.
As we sat and enjoyed our $12 sandwiches at the carriage house of the Elms we tried to really grasp the magnitude of the style of living these people were accustomed to. The idea of living in a home that is bigger than most public libraries really boggles the mind. Could that have possibly felt like “home”?
It’s the Simple Things – My Favorite Parts
When you come back down to earth after such wealth and decadence, Newport offers some very simple and lovely recreation as well.
Along the southern shore of the peninsula is the 10 mile drive. A scenic route that brings you past Fort Adams State Park, Hammersmith Farm and on to Ocean Avenue where you are treated to a gorgeous view of the breaking waves on the coast. While it is not a fast-paced or technical ride, it is wonderfully scenic view of the Atlantic. Do yourself a favor and pack a lunch in your tankbag to eat along the rocky shore. The free show that the ocean puts on is better than anything you could pay for in town.
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