Archive for the ‘Newport Seasons’ Category

Haunted Newport

October 31st, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

In lieu of today being Halloween, I decided to put together a list of some of the haunted places that Newport has to offer.  Incase you don’t already have plans for the evening, you could decide to check out some or all of these places to see what ghostly vibes you can pick up.

According to hauntedplaces.org there are a bounty of haunted dwellings here in Newport.  The White Horse Tavern, Belcourt Castle, the Rose Island Lighthouse, the Redwood Library, Beechwood Mansion, and even the Breakers are just a few that have reported otherworldly sightings.

The White Horse Tavern, America’s oldest still running tavern, dates back to the 1600′s.  There have been reports of a variety of paranormal sightings, including an elderly man in Colonial clothing who died there, who appears near the fireplace, an entity that guards the building and the staff and a third, female ghost, who has been caught in a photo above a dining table.

Belcourt Castle itself is not said to be haunted, but rather the objects inside of it are.  Recently, the chairs of Belcourt Castle were named one of the “10 Most Haunted Objects in the World,” by Channel 24.  The chairs are said to send tingles up the spines of those who sit in them, or push them out completely.  There is also a suit of armor that screams and there have been sightings of a monk in a brown robe.

The Rose Island Lighthouse has a variety of ghosts ranging from exiled cholera sufferers and the lighthouse’s former keeper, Charles Curtis.  Overnight guests have reported hearing footsteps at midnight and others report hearing voices.  The Rose Island Lighthouse was featured on Ghost Hunters where they found evidence of a figure moving from the building.  They also found a photo of Curtis, who looked similar to an image from a photograph taken inside the innkeepers quarters.

In the Redwood Library, staff has sighted a male wandering around the library at night and there have been reports of the eyes of paintings following guests as they move.  At Beechwood Mansion, there have been sightings of apparitions in a maid’s outfit and another with a yellow ballroom dress.  Alice Vanderbilt is believed to haunt the Breakers after a fire destroyed the manor house that was there before it.

If ghost hunting is your thing, these places in Newport are a great places to start.

Happy Halloween!

 

Orchards for Picking Your Own This Fall

October 3rd, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

In my opinion, the best thing about fall is all the fun outdoor activities available, such as hay rides, scenic drives to look at the changing leaves and of course apple and pumpkin picking.  Newport County has sophotome great places for those who like to pick their own apples when the trees are full of fruit, or select the perfect pumpkin in a full patch. Whether you’re picking apples for pie or pumpkins for the perfect Jack-o-lantern, these orchards will have what you’re looking for.

Rocky Brook Orchards – (977 Wapping Road, Middletown) Rocky Brook Orchards is a family run orchard open on the weekends for picking.  They have over 60 varieties of apples, many of which are unique, and are constantly growing new ones.  They also have pears and quince available for picking. Special reservations for weekday picking can be made.

Sweet Berry Farm – (19 Third Road, Middletown) Sweet Berry Farm sits on 100 acres of land and includes plenty of seasonal pick-your-own fruits as wells as a farmers market and café.  Apples are available for picking through October as well as peaches and pumpkins.

Some other orchards in the area that offer apple and pumpkin picking are: Old Stone Orchard (33 Colebrook Road, Little Compton), Quonset View Farm (pumpkins) (895 Middle Road, Portsmouth) and Hodgkiss Farm (pumpkins) (305 North Road, Jamestown)

 

October Festivals in Newport

September 26th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

October is one of my favorite months in Newport, because while the temperatures are lowering, there’s still so much to do.  Every weekend in October is filled with fairs and festivals of all sorts, celebrating food, fun and the outdoors.  Here’s a list of what’ll be going on around town.

Norman Bird Sanctuary 40th Annual Harvest Fair:  This year’s Harvest Fair will be held on October 4th and 5th right on the grounds of the Norman Bird Sanctuary.  There will be a variety of activities and entertainment such as the Mabel Express Barrel Train, Monkey Bridge, mud pit and midway, pony rides, music, crafters from around New England and plenty of food.  There will also be a variety of competitions to see who has the best single fruit and vegetable, most unusual vegetable, jack-o-lantern, best fresh flower arrangement and more.

International Oktoberfest: This year’s Oktoberfest will take place on October 11th and 12th down at the Newport Yachting Center. It’s known as the waterfronts “official sendoff to summer” and includes the sights, sounds and tastes of Bavaria.  A variety of seasonal beers and German cuisine will be available along with music all day long.  There will be three Biergartens this year and plenty of space to enjoy a nice beer… or six

Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival: The seafood festival will be held October 18th and 19th.  This festival honors the “harvest of the sea” and includes a variety of delicious seafood options from many of Newport’s great restaurants.  Seafood such as clam chowder, stuffies, lobster dinners, oysters and more can be enjoyed on the waterfront and will be accompanied by live music both days from 11am until 5pm.

Third Annual Newport Food Truck Festival: From 11am to 4pm on Saturday, October 25th, more than 20 of New England’s best food trucks will be serving up great eats at the Newport Yachting Center.  There will be live music and drinks to accompany the wide array of choices from BBQ to seafood to ice cream sandwiches.

Newport International Polo Series

August 1st, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

If you’re looking for something a little different for your vacation to Newport, check out the Newport International Polo series held at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, just a short drive from the Inn.  Polo is held every Saturday until the end of September and games are held at either 4pm or 5pm and feature a variety of teams from around the globe. For more information about the schedule and to buy tickets, click here.

In 1876, the publisher of the New York Herald, James Gordon Bennett, held a dinner party where he introduced a dozen men to the sport of Polo.  The men immediately took to the sport and added it to their summer retreat in Newport.  They formed the Westchester Polo Club right in Newport, which was the first of its kind in the United States. This club started a trend and soon polo clubs were opening up and down the East Coast.  Ten years after the opening of the club, Bennett challenged the Englishmen, who introduced him to the sport, to compete in the first international polo match.

Newport gained a reputation as an international polo and recreation destination after the Westchester Cup in 1886.  The International Polo Cup was one of the earliest international sporting events, predating the Olympics.  The matches attracted large crowds who wanted to see who would walk away with the sterling silver trophy cup designed by Tiffany & Co..  The English won the match and this tournament helped popularize the sport of polo.

Newport remained the international polo capital of the world for almost 40 years, until WWI and the Great Depression took their toll.  Thankfully, the legacy of James Gordon Bennett was resurrected in 1992, on a much larger scale.  The current Newport International Polo Series brings teams in from six continents and features top-level amateur players.

international polo series logo

Green Animals Topiary Garden is Open for the Season

May 16th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Green Animals Topiary Garden opened for the season last week.  As part of the Preservation Society of Newport County, this mansion, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, gives visitors the chance to visit the oldest and most northern Topiary Garden in the United States.

This seven acre estate was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton as a summer home.  His gardener, Joseph Carreiro, and son-in-law, George Mendonca, were responsible for creating the topiaries.  The gardens, which include more than 80 pieces of topiary, almost completely outshine the house.  The estate includes sculptured trees and shrubs in the shapes of various animals like camels and giraffes, flower beds, and fruit and vegetable gardens.  The white wood frame house contains family furnishings and has become a small toy museum.green-animals-topiary-garden-main[1]

Brayton’s daughter, Alice, gave the estate it’s name, the Green Animals Topiary Garden, and became a permanent residence there in 1939.  At the age of 94, Alice passed away and left her estate to the Preservation Society of Newport County and is still considered one of the finest Topiary Gardens in the United States.

The Atlantic Cup is Back in Newport

May 9th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Atlantic Cup is a three-leg event held in Charleston, New York and Newport, that showcases some of the top Class 40 Sailors in the U.S. and world.  Presented by 11th Hour Racing, this is the only racing event dedicated to Class 40 sailing, as well as one of the most environmentally sustainable races in the U.S.  The 2012 race was the first carbon neutral race and this years race will aim for the same thing.  Participating teams will be required to have an alternative energy source, such as fuel cells or solar panels.

There are three legs of the Atlantic Cup, which begin in Charleston, South Carolina on May 10th.  This leg is a long offshore race that will be raced double handed.  The second leg starts on May 17th in New York and is a shorter, double-handed, offshore sprint.  Finally, the race ends in Newport and takes things inshore.  The last leg starts on May 24th and takes place in Narragansett Bay, with a maximum crew of six.  The race incorporates both offshore and inshore racing so that the competitors are skilled in two different sailing disciplines: ocean and buoy racing.  This makes the event competitive and guarantees the winner is a “complete sailor.”  The two types of racing also levels the playing field against different yacht designs and makes the competition extremely close.

The combined overall winner of the three legs becomes the Atlantic Cup Champion.  Last years winner was Bodacious Dream, who held the first place seat the entire duration of the race.  They had previously came in 2nd in the 2012 America’s Cup race.

The third leg in Newport spans two day, which are filled with sailing and events for everyone.  Racing takes place on May 24th and 25th from 11am to 4pm.  Other activities associated with the event will start as early as the 22nd.logo[1]

2014 Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade

February 28th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

To some, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the best days of the year in Newport.  This IMG_0781year, the 58th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 15th.  The Parade starts at 11am and will last about 2 hours.  Participants line up by City Hall, where the parade begins and travel down Broadway, through Washington Square to America’s Cup Avenue, and  down Lower Thames Street until it ends on Carroll Avenue at St. Augustin’s Church.

Participants this year will include: Pipe Bands, Marching Bands,  Fife & Drum Corps, clowns, local, state and regional organizations such as police and fire units, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, non-profits, schools and social organizations.

Every year a Grand Marshal is selected and the yearly button is a reflection of the interests or vocation of tSt. patrick's dayhat years Grand Marshal.  This year, Robert “Bobby” O’Neill takes that title.  He has been a member of the Newport St. Patrick’s Day committee for 15 years and has been involved with various local organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the Newport County Mental Health Outreach program.  He also spent many years working for the US Postal Service.  This year the button includes the Rhode Island Red, the Postal Service logo and Newport’s apostrophized zip code.

Many events are held throughout the year to raise money for the parade and many Newport Restaurants have brunches and specials going on before and after the parade.  There are various places to enjoy a great brunch as well as your favorite Irish beers.  The Irish spirit will be alive all day long, guaranteeing that it will be a great day for all.

 

New Year’s Day Polar Plunge

December 23rd, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Nothing says “Happy New Year” like a nice dip in the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean.  The annual Polar Plunge will be held on January 1st, 2014 at 12pm at Easton’s Beach.  The Newport Polar Bears welcome anyone who wants to brave the Atlantic in the winter. At this event, money is raised for A Wish Come True, a Rhode Island Charity that grants wishes to children suffering from life threatening illnesses.

A Wish Come True was started in 1982 by Rosemary Bowers, who wanted to make the lives of children suffering from severe illnesses a little brighter.  The mission of this charity is to, “grant every medically qualified child (ages 3 to 18) one memorable wish.”  In their first year, they granted 12 wishes and have increased that number to about 3 or 4 wishes per month.  A Wish Come True have completed over 1400 wishes since its start.

The Polar Plunge is a great way to kick off the New Year.  It is sure to be a great time for everyone, no matter if you brave the icy Atlantic or not.

 

 

The Holiday Season in Newport

November 15th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The holiday season is upon us here in Newport, and there are plenty of activities going on that will put you in the holiday spirit!  The following are some great holiday happenings in Newport:

The Polar Express: Every weekend starting now until Christmas, take the spectacular journey to the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Caroling, hot chocolate and cookies are all part of the experience.

Christmas at the Newport Mansions: From November 23rd to January 5th, three of Newport’s mansions, the Breakers, the Elms and Marble House will be decked out in holiday décor.  The houses will be filled with thousands of fresh flowers, poinsettias, evergreens and wreathes.  Each mansion will be open for tours daily.  You can also enjoy Holiday Evenings at the mansions on various dates, where you can enjoy light refreshments and music as you wander through the mansions.

Holly Days: On Saturday, December 7th, the Normal Bird Sanctuary will be hosting a holiday fair from 10am to 1pm.  Enjoy hiking, holiday crafts, games and more.

Bowne’s Wharf 43rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting – On December 7th, head down to Bowen’s Wharf for their annual Christmas Tree Lighting.  Festivities start at 4:30 with Frosty the Snowman and Christmas Carols.  The tree lighting starts at 6:00 and Santa will be paying everyone a visit.

 

Columbus Day Weekend in Newport

October 11th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

If you’re planning on spending Columbus Day weekend in Newport, but aren’t sure what to do, here’s a list of possible ideas:

Fortress of Nightmares: Head to Fort Adams State Park anytime after 6pm to experience the tunnel of terror, or join other ghost lovers for a ghost hunt starting at 10:30pm.  These terrors will be around every weekend of this month.

International Oktoberfest: Join your fellow beer lovers down at the Newport Yachting center on October 12th or 13th for music, food, and of course, beer. This festival is an official send off to summer and welcome to fall.

Festival in the Park: This free event will be held between 11am and 4pm on October 12th in Touro Park. Enjoy Italian music and food as well as dancing and raffles.

Live Improv with the Bit Players: Head down to the Firehouse Theater to enjoy live Improv by Newport’s best comedy crew.  Join them at 8pm on Friday or attend one of their Saturday shows at 8pm or 10pm .  This is a BYOB event.

»