A Wine Lovers Guide: the Newport County Wine Tour

August 15th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Usually wine isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Newport.  However, if you’ve already hit the mansions, Cliffwalk, Ocean Drive and the downtown wharfs, or are a big wine enthusiast, the Newport County wine tour might be for you.  Newport Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards and Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards each offer something a little bit different and are a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

First stop on the Newport County wine tour is Newport Vineyards, located at 909 East Main Road in Middletown.  This vineyard was originally planted in 1977 with the goal of preserving agricultural land from rapid development by producing fine wines.  Since the 70′s it has grown to 60 vineyardphoto (16) acres under the ownership of John and Paul Nunes.  Their store is open year round, 7 days a week, and they offer vineyard tours daily.  They have an extensive wine list ranging from their gold medal Great White to Newport Merlot.  They also have sparkling wines, dessert wines and their very own Cider, Rhody Coyote.

Next on the Newport County wine tour is Greenvale Vineyards, located at 582 Wapping Road in Portsmouth.  Greenvale Farm has been in the same family since 1863 and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  Their goal is to produce great wines while maintaining a piece of American history.  They have 24 acres of grapes and produce about 7 types of wine including Skipping Stone White and Rosecliff Pinot Gris.  They are open daily year round for tastings and offer guided tours once a day at 2pm.

The last stop on the Newport County wine tour is Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, located at 162 West Main Road in Little Compton.  This vineyard was founded in 1975 on historic land and has 150 acres of land, 36 of which are used for the production of grapes.  Their wine includes Rhode Island Red, Blessed Blend and Sirius, among others.  They are open 7 days a week and have 3 tours daily.

Visit one, or make a day of it by renting a wine bus and spend the day visiting all three.  Just remember, to be safe and have a designated driver!

 

 

Bristol’s Herreshoff Marine Museum

August 8th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

It’s nothing new that Rhode Island and Aquidneck Island have a rich history in sailing, especially with the America’s Cup frequenting Newport.  The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company has played a major role in the manufacturing of a variety of vessels including eight consecutive defenders of the America’s Cup from the years 1893 to 1934.  They also manufactured the largest America’s Cup boat, the Reliance, Rhode Island’s oldest boat, Sprite, and the first United States Navy torpedo boats.

Due to their heavy involvement in much of Rhode Islands boating history, Herreshoff-Marine-Museum-logo[1]A. Sidney DeWolf Herreshoff and Rebecca Chase Herreshoff founded the Herreshoff Marine Museum in 1971 in order to preserve and spread the accomplishments of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.  The Museum showcases over sixty significant boats, including the Aria, a restored Buzzards Bay 25, Torch, a Fishers Island 31, Clara, and Thania, the 1905 motorlaunch.  The museum also displays hundreds of significant artifacts and memorabilia through a variety of changing exhibits.

In 1992, the Herreshoff Marine Museum added the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.  It was founded by Halsey Herreshoff who was a four-time America’s Cup defender.  The Hall of Fame honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to this yachting competition.  Almost 80 America’s Cup “legends” have been inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and include crew members, designers, builders and supporters who showed outstanding abilities, had international recognition, character, performance and contributions to the sport.

Both the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame are located in Bristol, Rhode Island, a short drive from Newport and are open everyday from 10am to 5pm.

 

 

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

Newport Festivals Foundation: Jazz and Folk

July 25th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival are two of the most popular festivals that happen in Newport every year.  Both festivals started in the 1950′s and attract thousands of people from all over to celebrate jazz and folk music.

George Wein produced the first Jazz Festival in 1954 and five years later, with the help of Pete Seeger, he founded Newport’s Folk Festival.  In 2010, Wein realized that the best chance for these festivals to continue after his passing was to create a non-profit corporation.  Since he’d been in the business for quite some time, running a for profit business, he knew the best way to keep his festivals alive was through grants and donations through foundations and fans.

The mission of the Newport Festivals Foundation is to maintain both the Jazz and Folk Festivals in perpetuity and to keep them at historic locations.  They want to present all forms of jazz and folk music from the past and present and showcase performers who recognize the freedom of creativity that is necessary to grow in these styles of music.  This foundation brings together traditional jazz and folk music with new contemporary versions of these styles.  Performers come from all over the world and this foundation hopes to create partnerships around the world.

The Newport Festivals Foundation also hopes to educate young people about these types of music through partnerships with local grade schools and universities.  In association with Salve Regina University (located in Newport), this foundation has put together an annual jazz workshop for high school students.  Most recently they have started a family concert at Fort Adams in order to introduce children to jazz and folk music.  The Newport Festivals Foundation also brings in local jazz bands to the Jazz Festival, which gives them a chance of a lifetime.

Thanks to George Wein, generations will be able to enjoy jazz and folk music for years to come.

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Newport Antiques Show

July 18th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

St. George’s School in Middletown will be hosting the Newport Antiques Show from July 25th through the 27th, with a Gala Preview Party kicking things off on July 24th.  This show began in 2007 and has become one of the nation’s premier antiques venues.  It showcases a wide variety of important American antiques from over forty of the top dealers in the country.  There will be a variety of paintings, folk art, jewelry, furniture and more on display over the weekend.  This show benefits both the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.

The exhibit “Fifty Objects That Shaped Rhode Island History,” presented by both the Rhode Island and Newport Historical Societies, will be making its debut at this years Newport Antiques Show and will tell the story of Rhode Island’s founding through its 20th century history.  Themes such as tolerance and freedom, ingenuity and entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, immigration, revolution and the sea will be used to help share the story.  Some of the featured items are Roger William’s compass-sundial and the shirt worn by Governor Garrahy during the Blizzard of 1978.   On July 25th at 11am there will be a presentation called “Big History, Little State, Smaller Booth: 375 years in 50 objects.”  The objects in this exhibit will have been selected from thousands of objects, which takes a lot of thought, research and discussion.  At this presentation, Kirsten Hammersrom, the Director of Collections at the Rhode Island Historical Society, will be discussing the process used in selecting the items for the exhibit.

Some of the many exhibitors for the Newport Antiques Show include: Antique American Wicker, Sue Brown, Essex Antiquarians, J. Gallagher, Hanes & Ruskin, Hill-Stone, Inc., Johanna Antiques, Kelleher Fine Art, Leatherwood Antiques, Malcolm Magruder, Oriental Rugs Ltd., Rehs Gallery, Stephen Score Inc., Jayne Thompson Antiques, The Silver Vault, Jeffrey Tollou Antiques, Village Braider Antiques, Inc., White’s Nautical Antiques and many more.

Tickets are available for both the show and the Gala.  One day passes can be purchased, as well as a three day unlimited pass.

The 46th Newport Music Festival

July 11th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Music Festival has been around since 1969 and has produced over 2,100 concerts in a variety of venues throughout Newport, including the Preservation Society’s Historic Mansions.  They have brought over 1,000 artists to the stage, including over 100 who made their American debut.  While the first Music Festival took place in 1953, the festival as we know it today didn’t start until 1969, three years after the non-for profit, the Rhode Island Arts Foundation at Newport, Inc. was incorporated.

The early years of the Newport Music Festival were an important part of romantic revival and included many members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  They partnered with the Preservation Society of Newport County, which brought the music back to venues that it was created to play in.  Dr. Mark P. Malkovich III became the Festival’s General Director in 1975 and remained in the position until 2008 when his son, Mark Malkovich IV assumed the role.  Dr. Malkovich became well known for introducing young international artists and showcasing emerging American artists.stacks_image_3382[1]

The Newport Music Festival showcases music from the Romantic era (1820-1910), but has also expanded and includes a wide variety from Bach to Bernstein. This years festival will be held from July 11th through the 27th and will include 68 concerts, about 3-5 per day.  Morning concerts will be held at 11am, afternoon at 4pm, and nighttime performances will be held at 8pm or 9pm, depending on the location.  Concerts will include chamber music, ragtime and tango and several concerts will occur as tribute to the 150th anniversary of the German composer, Richard Strauss.  Around 80 musicians from 18 countries will be performing, 30 of which will be making their Newport debuts.  The festival will open on July 11th with the Hungarian pianist, Gergely Bogányi, and will end with a two piano, two percussion ensemble “extravaganza.”

Concerts will be held at a variety of locations including: Aldrich Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, the Newport Grand Events Center, Rosecliff, the Breakers, the Elms, Casino Theater, Redwood Library, CCRI, St. George’s School Chapel, Saint John the Evangelist, Edward King House, Touro Synagogue and the Newport Art Museum.

 

Top Five Newport Views

July 4th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

There are many reasons to visit Newport, one of which is taking in the various views around town.  The scenery is one of my favorite parts about living here so I’ve put together a list of my favorite Newport views to make your visit even more enjoyable.

5. Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge: Technically located in Middletown, the Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge offers two different walking trails, with varying views and lookout points.  From one side you get a great view of Second Beach, while the other takes you down towards Third Beach.  You can watch the waves crash and the boats setting sail. Since it’s a nature preserve, you’re also able to enjoy the wildlife and birds that are protected within the sanctuary.  You may even run into some bunnies or a deer or two.

sachuest

4. Brenton Point:  Located along Ocean Drive, this offers a great view of the bay turning into the ocean as well as Jamestown across the way.  This is an incredible place to sit and enjoy the sunset.  You can also catch the light of the Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown lighting up the sky just past dusk.brenton point sunset

3. Cliffwalk: Not only does Cliffwalk afford you great views of the ocean, but on the other side you can enjoy all the historic mansions along the way.  Since the walk is 3.5 miles, the scenery changes and you can enjoy the view of the cliffs, first beach, waves crashing over rocks and a seemingly endless number of grand houses.cliffwalk

2. Goat Island:  Various views range from the harbor downtown, to the beautiful Pell Bridge, the Goat Island Lighthouse and over to Jamestown.  Right as the sun sets, head over to the Hyatt where the lighthouse is located and take in both the lighthouse and bridge.  Pineapples on the Bay is an outdoor bar located at the Hyatt and you can enjoy the sunset and a nice cocktail, the best of both worlds.goat island

1. Fort Adams State Park: Fort Adams is my favorite place in Newport, so there may be some bias in me selecting it as the best view in town.  Not only is there the historic fort to lay your eyes on, but Baywalk, a two mile walk around the park, offers a variety of scenic views.  You can catch a beautiful view of the downtown harbor area, a perfect view of the Newport Pell Bridge, and views all along the bay and over into Jamestown.

fort adams

When it comes down to it, there are dozens of spots to see incredible views in Newport.  Almost anywhere you go you’ll be able to see something beautiful, but this list will give you a starting point for your scenic exploration.

Photo Credit: Lauren Finnessey

Farmers Markets of Newport County

June 27th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

One of the great things about the summer season in Newport is the great local products that can be found at various farmers markets throughout the area.  You can find farmers markets to go to on almost every day of the week and choose from a selection of locally grown products.  The biggest farmers markets are the ones put on by the Aquidneck Growers Market, but there are a few other markets that go on throughout the summer season.

Aquidneck Growers Market (Wednesdays (2pm-6pm, June-October) Memorial Boulevard /Saturday (9am-1pm, June-October) Newport Vineyards).  The Aquidneck Grower’s Market offers fresh, locally grown food as well as flowers and plants.  All of their products are grown or made by them and nothing is brought in from other regions.  They have been operating summer farmers markets in at Newport Vineyards in Middletown (Saturdays) since 1995 and one on Memorial Boulevard in Newport (Tuesdays) since 2000.  Their goal is to provide access to seasonal, locally grown products to the community and increase awareness of the benefits of buying and eating local.  Their markets have over 25 vendors and create a fun atmosphere for people to shop, snack and listen to live music.  Some products you might find at one of the Aquidneck Growers Market are fresh vegetables, flowers, herbs, plants, eggs, bread and baked goods, meats, seafood, cheeses, prepared food and more.

Some other markets in the Newport area are: Island Farmers Market: Thursdays 2-6pm, 499 East Main Road, June to October, and Newport/Long Wharf Farmers Market: Friday 2-6pm (July 25th-October 31st) Long Wharf at Washington Street.

 

Broadway Restaurants

June 20th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

When visiting Newport, most people tend to head down towards Thames Street and the Wharf area to grab a bite to eat and it can get pretty busy.  If you’re looking for something a little different head to Broadway, which is less than a half a mile from the Marshall Slocum Inn.  There are a bunch of different restaurants that will feed whatever you’re craving that day.  Here is a list of just a few of the great Broadway Restaurants:

The Fifth Element: The Fifth Element is a “casual-hip hangout” where bar meets grill.  The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with eath tones, water walls and a combination of rustic and industrial decor.  You can enjoy live music here or just the company of those around you.  Dinner options include Fresh Tagliatelle and House Made Beer Braut. 111 Broadway.

Salvation Cafe: Salvation Cafe is an eclectic restaurant servings creative dishes.  They have a very unique and fun atmosphere.  Dishes include Oxtail Bolognese, Buttermilk Brick Chicken and Vegan Risotto. 140 Broadway.

Norey’s: The goal of Norey’s Chef, Tyler Cullen, was to create a memorable night out by introducing Newport to the very best craft beers, the finest wines and a dynamic Modern-American menu.  They have a huge craft beer selection and dishes such as Lobster Mac and Cheese and Thai Curry Stir Fry. 156 Broadway.

Pour Judgement: Pour Judgement is a popular bar where you can have “a night out without spending a days pay,” and is popular with the Newport Locals.  They have a great beer selection, delicious food and a great atmosphere. 32 Broadway.

The SVF Foundation’s Annual Visitors Day

June 13th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

On Saturday, June 14th, the SVF Foundation will be opening its doors to the public for their annual visitors day celebration.  The event will take place on their 35-acre property near Fort Adams State Park from 9am to 3pm.  Visitors will be able to take self guided tours through the historic Swiss Village, view the state of the art SVF facilities and meet the laboratory, veterinary and animal care staff, attend cryogenics and sheep sheering demonstrations, visit Chip, a Tennessee myotonic goat born from a frozen embryo, learn about endangered breeds of livestock and shop farm products and heritage breed meat.

The SVF Foundation’s goal is to preserve rare and endangered breeds of livestock.  They focus on genetic preservation of cattle, sheep, and goats.  They store semen, embryos, cells and blood in liquid nitrogen until those genetics are needed for agricultural use. This program was a 20 year project focused on preserving endangered breeds.  On average, 1 breed goes extinct per month, and the SVF Foundation is working to eliminate that.  There is no other program like this one. They improve the environment around the animals and keep the genetics ready for when they are needed.

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