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Category Archives: Outdoor Activities in Newport

Halloween Happenings in Newport

October 10, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

It’s almost Halloween and Newport offers a variety of different spooky and “haunted” activities during October.  Here is a list of a few fun Halloween activities to fill your time in Newport with this October.

FEAR at Fort Adams, formerly known as the Fortress of Terror, is open on select nights from October 10th to the 26th from 6pm until 10pm.  There are a variety of scary activities including the tunnel of terror & haunted officers quarters and ghost hunts.  The tunnel of terror is a “high startle” attraction including theatrical fog, strobe lights and loud noises.  After you can explore the Officers Quarters on an unguided advenimages[8]ture, which is more low-key and shows guests a view of how the Fort Officers once lived.  If that isn’t enough, on some nights they will be taking groups out on 2-hour long Paranormal Investigations, led by the Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group.

Newport Ghost Tours have two different tour options: the Old Town Ghost Walk and Carved in Stone. The Old Town Ghost Walk is an hour an a half walking tour that takes you through historic Newport to discover “ghosts, ghouls, and legends.”  The Carved in Stone Tour is also an hour and a half and tours the Common Burying Ground, Newport’s oldest and largest colonial burying ground.  On this tour, you will find the final resting place for many of Newport’s famous souls and see interesting grace carvings, some dating back to 1672.

If that isn’t enough, on October 25th, take the Rum Runner II to Rose Island and spend the evening learning about Haunted Folklore.  This adventure includes a tour of the lighthouse and a visit to the haunted barracks that were once used as a quarantine hospital during the cholera epidemics in the 1820’s.  You’ll also learn about the spooky experiences of ghost hunters, staff and visitors.

If you want to be spooked this October, Newport has plenty of options for you!

 

 

Orchards for Picking Your Own This Fall

October 3, 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 26, 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.

44th Annual Newport International Boat Show

September 5, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The 44th Annual Newport International Boat Show will take place on the Newport waterfront September 11th-14th.  This is one of the largest in-water boat shows in the country and will take up 13 acres of Newport’s waterfront.  There will be all sorts of makes and models of powerboats and sailboats from 16ft to 85ft.  When you aren’t out on the water boarding and viewing a large selection of boats, there will be a variety of marine services and products being showcased on land.  Both international and domestic dealers will be present, available to answer questions and to give loads of information.

There will be a variety of events and seminars happening throughout the weekend.  Some of the highlights are: the “At the Helm” training program, the 4th annual cruisers party, a chance to meet author, Judy Silva, and more.  Hundreds of vendors will be there showcasing their products.  Whether you’re looking to buy a boat for the first time, purchase a new boat or are just looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, the 44th Newport International Boat Show is the perfect place to be.

Race through the Fall

August 29, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

There are a variety of races happening throughout Rhode Island this fall, which allow walkers, runners and bikers to enjoy Rhode Islands landscapes.

Women Run – The Sanity Chase: This race will be held on Sunday, September 14th at Fort Adams State Park.  This event benefits the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, Lucy’s Hearth and the Fort Adams Trust.  The day kicks off at 8:30 with a 4.4 mile road race, followed by waves of sanity chasers from 9:30 to 1:30.  These sanity chasing women will complete a 4 mile obstacle course which will include running, paddle boarding, rock climbing, hula hooping, tricycles and slides.  For more information and tickets, check out the Sanity Chase website.

Harvest Wine Run: Newport Vineyards sponsors the Harvest Wine Run when the grapes are ready for harvest.  This years wine run will be held on Saturday, September 20th at 3pm.  This event includes a trail run through the vineyard (approximately 4 miles), post race wine tasting and BBQ and live music.

4 Bridges Ride: On Sunday, September 21st, cyclists can participate in a 26 mile charity ride that takes them along the Jamestown, Newport, Mount Hope and Sakonnet Bridges.  The race is sponsored by the Rhode Island Turnpike and bridge authority to raise money for a variety of their non profit partners.  It is a unique experience for experienced bikers.

Newport Rhode Races: This race will be held on Sunday, October 12th and will include a marathon, half marathon and a 5k.  The marathon and half marathon courses will take runners on a scenic run through Middletown and Newport.  They start at Easton’s Beach and hit some beautiful areas such as the beaches, Fort Adams, Brenton Point and the Bellevue Mansions.  The 5k course will start and finish at Brenton Point and take runners along Harrison Avenue and along Ocean Drive.

Pell Bridge Run: This year’s Citizen’s Bank Pell Bridge run will be held on October 26th and is one of the most unique road race experiences in the northeast.  This 4 mile course is the one opportunity for pedestrians to cross over the Newport Pell Bridge.  It is produced by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority and supports local non profit organizations.

 

A Wine Lovers Guide: the Newport County Wine Tour

August 15, 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!

 

 

Newport International Polo Series

August 1, 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 25, 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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Top Five Newport Views

July 4, 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 27, 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.

 

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