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.

 

Newport Restaurant Week is Just Around the Corner

October 24th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The season may be slowing down, but for all of you foodies out there, Newport Restaurant Week is just around the corner.  From November 1st through 10th, enjoy three or four course meals from some of Newport’s best restaurants at a great price.  Enjoy lunch for $16 or dinner for $30 (beverages, tax and gratuities excluded).newport-restaurant-week-logo[1]

There are a bunch of new Restaurants joining the line up this year as well as old favorites. A few of our favorites include The Brick Alley Pub, The Mooring Restaurant, Diego’s, Tallulah on Thames, Thames Street Kitchen, Café Zelda, The Fifth Element and Salvation Café.  All these restaurants are just a short walk away from the Inn.  Wherever you decide to go, you’re sure to get a great meal at a great price.

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.

Where to Find Antiques in Newport

October 4th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

antiques-newport[1]Among the restaurants, mansions, scenic walks and various boats you’ll find when in Newport, you’ll also find a large selection of Antiques to peruse. Here’s a list of a few of Newport’s premier Antiquing locations.

Armory Antiques (365 Thames Street): This Antiques shop is located in the heart of downtown Newport, in the Newport Armory, which functioned as a military armory from 1894 to the 1980′s.  The Armory has been showcasing antiques and collectibles since 1994 and feature items from over 70 dealers.  They are open 7 days a week and feature nautical and military items as well as a fine selection of furniture, art, vintage clothing, jewelry, coins, books and much more.

Aardvark Antiques (9 JT Connell Highway): In 1969, this shop was established by Arthur Grover. They specialize in stained glass, iron gates, fencing, but have been developing their line of bronze furnishings for the home and garden.

A & A Gaines Antiques (40 Franklin Street): Alan and Amy Gaines have been buying and selling antiques from around New England since 1980. They are closed on Mondays and open 1-5 Tuesday through Sunday. They have a selection of furniture, clocks, jewelry and Asian Exports.

Other shops around town: Antiques at the Drawing Room (152 Spring Street), Seahorse Antiques (91 Long Wharf), Cottage & Garden (9 Bridge Street) and Mark Jager Antiques (25 Mill Street)

 

White Horse Tavern

September 27th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Most people don’t think about history when they go out to eat, but at the White Horse Tavern it’s hard not too.  This Tavern is the oldest, still running Tavern in the United States, rich with history and still serving excellent food.

The White Horse Tavern has only had 6 owners since being built in 1652 as the two story home of Francis Brinley.  Just over 20 years later in 1673, this property was acquired by William Mayes, Sr., who transformed it into a tavern, identifying it with a white horse – the symbol of a tavern during that time.

For about 100 years before the Colony House was constructed, this tavern was a meeting place for the Colony’s General Assembly, Criminal Court, as well as City Council.  When William Mayes Jr., a notorious pirate, became the innkeeper in 1702 after his father, he was granted a license to sell “all sorts of Strong Drink.” William caused much embarrassment to the British officials and William’s sister Mary and her husband Robert Nichols soon became the tavern’s innkeepers.  City councilors continued to dine here and charged their meals to the public treasury.White_Horse_Tavern_in_Newport_RI[1]

In 1730, a new tavern keeper, Jonathan Nichols, gave the tavern its present name, The White Horse Tavern.  He was followed by Walter Nichols, who left Newport in 1776 to avoid the British, but returned later. When he returned, he added a gambrel rood and re-opened the tavern.

The Nichols family sold the tavern in 1895 to Thomas and Bridget Preece and it became a rooming house.

The structure suffered from use and neglect by 1954, but was acquired by the Preservation Society of Newport and was restored.  In 1957 it re-opened as the White Horse Tavern.  In 1981, O.L. Pitts and three partners purchased the Tavern and continued the tradition of “good fellowship, good food and good cheer.”  O.L. Pitts gave the tavern over to Paul Hogan, a native of Newport on his 90th birthday, and the White Horse Tavern continues to thrive.

 

 

 

 

The Whitehorne House

September 19th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Whitehorne House, located on Thames Street, was built in 1811 and is a rare example of a Federal-style mansion.  It features a formal garden, a hipped roof and classical entry portico, as well as a grand central hallway featuring hand carved details.  This house is home to a large collection of 18th century American furniture, including works from the Townsend and Goddard workshops and Benjamin Baker.Whitehorne House Newport

Samuel Whitehorne Jr. made his fortune through various commercial enterprises, such as rum distilling, banking, shipping and most likely slave trading.  Whitehorne was one of Newport’s last great merchant “princes” due to the collapsed economy after the American Revolution.  The Whitehorne House was a symbol of his prosperity.  However, it was short lived after two of his ships were lost at sea.  Whitehorne went bankrupt and his house was sold at auction in 1843.  It was converted to shops and apartments and gradually deteriorated.  Thankfully, in 1969, the Newport Restoration Foundation purchased and restored the property.

Not only is the Whitehorne House now home to some of the best examples of Newport and Rhode Island furniture from the late 18th century, but it has a magnificent garden, which is an interpretation of a Federal period garden for an affluent, urban family.  The garden is filled with antique roses, blueberry bushes, fruit trees and various perennials and annuals.  The garden maintains a rustic quality despite its “refined geometry”.

 

Fall into Newport

September 14th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Even though summer is basically over and school has started, there are still plenty of things to do in Newport during the fall season.  Here is a list of some of the upcoming festivals to look forward to as the leaves start to fall and the nights begin to cool down.

September 20th-22nd: The 8th Annual Newport Mansion Wine and Food Festival

Enjoy hundreds of wines from around the world as well as great cuisine.  There will be cooking demonstrations by world renowned chefs, auctions and various gala events throughout the weekend. Tickets start at $150.

October 5th-6th: Norman Bird Sanctuary’s 39th Annual Harvest Fair

Start your fall off right by attending and old-fashioned Harvest Fair.  There will be crafters, pony rides, music, and food for all ages to enjoy.  The event is from 10am to 5pm and tickets are $6 for adults.

October 12th-13th: International Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is Newports “official” sendoff of summer and welcoming of fall.  Seasonal beers, German Cuisine and lively music will be available to all who attend.  There will be two Biergartens this year in order to make more room for the festivities. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

October 19th-20th: Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival

Local restaurants celebrate the “harvest of the Sea” on Bowen’s Wharf.  There will be a variety of seafood and baked goods for everyone to enjoy.  Live music will be playing all day long and the event is rain or shine.

October 26th: Newport Food Truck Festival

A variety of food trucks will be rolling into the Newport Yachting center to serve up great food such as grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, lobster mac and cheese and desserts such as whoopee pies and homemade ice cream sandwiches. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

November 1st-10th: Newport Restaurant Week

Enjoy three course lunches and dinners at some of Newport’s best restaurants.  Three course lunches are $16 and dinners are $30.

Chateau-sur-Mer

August 31st, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Since it’s completion in 1852, Chateau-sur-Mer has undergone a major transformation.  Chateau-sur-Mer was first built by Seth Bradford, for William Shepard Wetmore, as a romantic Italianate villa.  Wetmore wanted something a little more than the ordinary summer home and therefore had his made of rough-cut, Fall River granite, giving it a more rugged look, which wasn’t found in any of the other seaside villas.  Though smaller than it is now, it was expensive and substantial enough to be considered palatial.  It became a turning point in domestic architecture and triggered an architectural competition among summer residents.

Wetmore was a great entertainer and was featured in the New York Times for his “fete champetre,” held in 1857, and attended by over 3,000 guests.  This party was the “start” of Chateau-sur-Mer.  Unfortunately, when Wetmore died in 1862, his estate was passed to his son, George Peabody Wetmore, who undertook a major rebuilding of his fathers estate.

Richard Morris Hunt was the architect hired for the project.  He altered the appearance of the Chateau so much that many believed the original had been torn down and replaced.  His revisions began in 1871.  He switchedchateau-sur-mer-newport-ri[1] the main entrance from the west side to the north, built a grand carriage entrance, and replaced the gambrel roof with a steeper mansard roof.  Hunt tore out the old service wing and replaced it with a billiards room, added a wing on the north side for a service area and new dining room, and created a dramatic entrance hall three stories high with balconies, skylights and an imperial staircase.

Several years later he continued the transformation of Chateau-sur-Mer and added another floor above the dining room and service wing as well as raising the mansard roofs.  Critics have since used words such as “stern” and “severe” to describe this impressive mansion.

George Peabody Wetmore died in 1921 and left the estate to his two daughters, Edith and Maude, who began adding some softer touches to the very masculine residence.  The house gradually filled with contemporary paintings and drawings and Chinese porcelain.  The furnishings of the house were auctioned off after the death of Edith Wetmore in 1968, many of which were purchased by the Preservation Society, whom also purchased the estate.

Newport Beaches

August 18th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Summer in Newport is winding down making way for Fall, but there’s still time to enjoy the beach!  Newport has various beaches to satisfy any ocean lover.  While there are a few private beaches around town, most beaches are open to the public.

First Beach – Also known as Easton’s Beach is located just a mile from our Newport Inn.  It’s located on Memorial Boulevard, where you can also find the beginning to Cliff Walk. This is one of the more popular beaches and has a snack bar, carousel, skate park and gift shop.  Many events take place on the beach such as concerts and volleyball tournaments. Parking costs between $10 and $20 and metered street parking is available.

Second Beach – Also known as Sachuest Beach, this beach is located in Middletown, next to the Norman Bird Sanctuary.  This is a quieter beach with less seaweed and better waves for surfers.  There is a snack bar and Del’s Lemonade available. Parking is between $10 and $20.

Third Beach – Third Beach is past Second Beach in Middletown. This is a small beach but is very peaceful and offers calm waters without many waves.  It’s a good spot for wind surfing and there’s also a public boat ramp. Parking is between $10 and $20.

Gooseberry Beach – Gooseberry Beach is located along Ocean Drive and is set back in a cove so there aren’t many big waves.  Many families come to enjoy this beach. The beach club here is private, but food can be purchased at the Gooseberry Café.  Parking is $20.

Reject’s Beach – This beach is a public section at the end of Bailey’s Beach, which is a private beach.  This beach is only accessible by walking or biking so it is usually less crowded.Newport Beaches

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