Marshall Slocum Inn
Marshall Slocum Inn

Category Archives: Outdoor Activities in Newport

Historic Fort Adams

October 23, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

If you’re driving around Ocean Drive, one of the best stopping points along the way is Fort Adams State Park.  With beautiful views of downtown and Narragansett Bay, this Fort is filled with history and culture.

Construction on the Fort that is there today did not begin until 1824.  Prior to this, a smaller fort, with 17 cannons, was used during the War of 1812.  Made of granite, brick and shale, the new Fort Adams was constructed over thirty-three years and cost over three million dollars.  It was built as a major coastal defense system, in a location that was able to shelter ships when violent storms hit, and was considered a proper site for the Navy.  When first completed it was able to mount 468 guns and house 2,400 men during war times.

In order to protect from land and sea attacks, Fort Adams was built with various tenailles, bastions and redoubts to protect from land attacks and bomb proof casemates, housing two cannons, helped protect from sea attacks.  Over time, with advances in artillery, strengthening the fort was necessary.  In the 1880’s, improvements to the outside of the fort, including new batteries, occurred, while internal improvements occurred around 1906.

Fort Adams was active during the Civil War, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Spanish-American War and both World Wars.  It was most active during World War II when the entire state was a military district, manufacturing various war materials and having a chain of coastal defenses.  The army used the Fort until 1953 when the Navy took charge.  The land and building surrounding the Fort were used for Naval Housing and a summer White House for President Eisenhower.

You can tour the Fort year round.  The tour showcases the following: the Officers and family quarters, a scenic overlook to view the Harbor and Bay, and underground tunnels.  The tour teaches guests about Fort Adam’s past, with American History and military culture, and discusses the architecture and future plans for restoration.  For more information, click here.


Photo From

Clip Clop – Coaching Weekend is Back.

August 14, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Preservation Society will be hosting, once again, a Weekend of Coaching August 20th-23rd.  Approximately 12 coaching teams will be driving through the streets of Newport, bringing the sporting tradition to life.  These authentic 19th century coaches and their whips, or drivers, will be traveling around Ocean Drive and around the Bellevue area everyday of the event.  On Saturday, the 22nd, the Elms will be hosting a free driving exhibition at 10:30am.

Photo from the Preservation Society

Photo from the Preservation Society

The English tradition of coaching started in England as a way to deliver mail, which later made it’s way to the United States.  While coach mail delivery was replaced with railroad delivery, coaching transformed into a sport.  In the late 19th century, the Coaching Club of New York was formed and became an important part of Newport’s summer social scene.  Coaches were used to go to places like polo matches and the Casino.  Some notable Newport members included the Wetmores, Bells, Belmonts and the Vanderbilts.  Alfred Vanderbilt was a leader in the sport and his coach,  and had his coach, Venture, built by the Brewster Company of New York. He took this coach and a large crew to England every year to for a day-long ride from Brighton to London.   Venture is now on display at the Breaker’s Carriage House.



Lafayette’s Hermione is Paying Newport a Visit

July 2, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

A twenty year old dream has finally reached fruition as the replica of the Hermione, Marquis de Lafayette’s French warship that helped the USA be victorious over Great Britain, is sailing into Newport.  The ship will be sailing into Fort Adams on July 8th and there will be a two-day celebration, complete with a cast of French sailors, historic interpreters, spies, cavalry, chefs and barmen, to honor Hermione.

Activities start at the Fort both days at 10am and include: Military Drills, Military encampments, an outdoor tavern, more than 60 historic interpreters, the 2nd Regiment Light Dragoons Cavalry Unit with horses, the “Spymaster,” historian and author programs and music.  On the 9th, the Hermione, as well as the Oliver Hazard Perry, will be open to the public for free tours from 10am to 4pm.

There will also be three private, paid events occurring both nights.  These include: the Colonial Soiree, the Sailors and Soldiers Supper and Lunch with George Washington.  The Colonial Soiree will take place on Thursday, July 9th at 6pm, inside the Fort.  This event is to honor the Hermione on its first goodwill visit to the States.  The Hermione was built by the Republic of France as a way to honor the friendship between our countries.  50 uniformed historic interpreters will be present.  The dinner will end with a salute to the Hermione as she prepares to depart Newport.  For a more casual event to honor the Hermione, the Sailors and Soldiers Supper will be held on the grounds of Fort Adams.  This is a picnic style event where all can gather for a good meal and drinks.  Lunch with George Washington will take place on both July 8th and 9th.  He will be speaking about his life followed by a lunch at noon.

Be sure to check things out if you’re in town for the fun!



Races and Regattas

June 21, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Newport is known for it’s sailing, so it’s no surprise that during the summer it’s home to a variety of competitive sailing races and regatta’s.  The Volvo Ocean Race kicked things off in May, and there’s no shortage of sailing competitions in the upcoming months.  The following are coming up at the end of June and into July: Newport Sailing Week, the 2015 Transatlantic Race and the Newport Regatta.

Newport Sailing Week, sponsored by Bacardi and EFG will take place from June 26th to July 5th, with the regatta taking place June 26th-28th.  This is the event’s fifth year and more than 60 boats from a variety of one-design classes will be competing.  This event attracts some of the best International and National Sailors.

The Transatlantic Race is back and over 40 boats will set out to cover the 2,800 nautical mile route from the Castle Hill Light House to The Lizard, the most southern point on Great Britain’s mainland.  The last race was held in 2011.  The Transatlantic Race is organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club.  The race has three separate starts, June 28th, July 1st and July 5th for the different sizes and classes of yachts participating.  The purpose of the staggered start dates is to have all the boats arrive in the same time frame.  Smaller boats will depart first, completing the race in 15-20 days, while faster and larger boats will start on the 5th with the goal to beat the record, set in 2011, of 6 days, 22 hours, 8 minutes and 2 seconds.

The Newport Regatta will be held at Fort Adams State Park July 10th through 12th.  This is one of the country’s premiere one-design regattas.

There’s plenty of ways to get your sailing fix this summer in Newport.  Be sure to check out some of the races and regattas during your stay.



June Festivals In Newport

May 22, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

As Newport heads into the Summer Season, take advantage of the many festivals that June has to offer.

The Great Chowder Cook-Off:  Despite the location change, the Great Chowder Cook-Off is back to kick off the summer season here in Newport.  It will be held on June 6th at Fort Adams State Park, with endless chowder samples, live music and activities.

British Motorcar Festival:  Held at Colt State Park in Bristol, from June 12th-14th, this three day festival showcases over 300 vintage British Motorcars. There will be a variety of events taking place all weekend such as the British Car Corral, a Friday Night Street Party, The British Racing Paddock, Motorcar Display, The Concours D’Elegance (the only one in the United States), a Ladies Hat Competition, and a Sunday Morning Drive.

Newport Flower Show:  Celebrating it’s 20th year, the Newport Flower Show held at Rosecliff from June 19th-21st, will be showcasing the American Beauty Rose.  Rosecliff was the birthplace of the American Beauty Rose and it is now a symbol of excellence.  The weekend will be filled with a variety of events and special guests celebrating this classic and timeless flower.

Clayfest on the Lawn at Rough Point: Rough Point and the Newport Art Museum will be celebrate the art of clay with their exhibition of: “Fired and Inspired: Ceramics at Rough Point,” on June 27th.  Enjoy a day full of pinching, coiling, throwing and firing clay while relaxing on the lawn at Rough Point.

The Volvo Ocean Race Heads to Newport

April 19, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

5[1]The Volvo Ocean Race started in 1972 as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race with 17 yachts and a 27,500 nautical mile course starting in Portsmouth, UK.  The race sponsorship was taken over by Volvo in 2001 and various stopover points were added.  Since then, this round the world race takes place every 3 years, generally starting in Europe and stopping in various and changing cities each time. This years race is set to be the longest course yet – 39,379 nautical miles.  This year’s race started in Alicante in October and has thus far seen Cape Town, Abu Dahbi, Sanya, Auckland, and after the longest leg of the race, they are currently in Itajai.  On April 19th, the teams started their 5,010 nautical mile journey to Newport where they will remain until May 17th when they will continue the race to Lisbon, Lorient, and finally end in Gothenburg at the end of June.

Seven teams are competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, with crews from 19 nationalities and the first all-female crew to enter the race in over a decade, making it the most diverse fleet in years.  Crews consist of eight sailors and one non-sailing multimedia reporter.  The all-woman teams can race with 11 sailors and a multimedia reporter.  Every team must have two member that are under 30.  Each vessel qualifies by sailing 2,000 nautical miles non-stop.

The Volvo Ocean Race will be in Newport from May 5-17 with various events leading up to the In-Port Race and the start of the Newport-Lisbon leg of the journey. Race Village will be open every day at Fort Adams State Park with various events such as Race Show Studio – final-of-volvo-ocean-race[1]an hourly quiz show about the race and life on board, A Dock Party with live music, a pancake breakfast, and Exploration Zone,  A Youth Kids Regatta, A combat Wounded Veterans Challenge Regatta, Team Racing, a Lobster Boat Race and more.

The Pro-Am Race 1 will be held on May 14th and the Pro-Am Race 2 and 3 on the 15th.  The Sailors Parade will be held on Saturday, May 16th leading up to the In-Port Race followed by the IPR Prize Giving Ceremony.  The teams will then start the race to Lisbon on the 17th.  Newport is going to be bustling with activity and in the racing spirit.

For more information about the Volvo Ocean Race, click here.  And for live updates and commentary, follow them on twitter @volvooceanrace.


Celebrate Spring with Daffodil Days at Blithewold

April 1, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

It might not seem like it, but spring is here and one of the best ways to celebrate is by heading to Blithewold Mansion in Bristol for their annual Daffodil Days.  Daffodil Days is a month long celebration of spring and the beautiful Daffodils that are blooming.  Blithewold has thousands of Daffodils throughout the property to help forget about winter and embrace the warmer months to come.

There are a variety of events happening for Daffodil Days, such as Daffodils at Dusk, Workshops, Walking Tour of the Mansion and Grounds, a Jazz Celebration of Spring, Afternoon Teas and more.  Daffoldils at Dusk takes place every Friday from 5-7 through May 1st.  Enjoy a cocktail or lemonade as you wander the property at dusk, accompanied by music from Luke Renchen Entertainment.  The Walking Tour will be held on April 11th and 15th, where you can hear about the history of the Van Wickle/McKee family as you tour the house and gardens.  On Sunday April 12th, they will be hosting a Jazz Celebration of Spring from 3 to 4:30. The Lois Vaughan Jazz Trio will be playing a variety of classis jazz and Latin music.

Afternoon teas start on April 14th through May 15th from 1 to 4.   Traditional afternoon tea treats will be shared along with a cup of tea for a relaxing afternoon.  There are also a variety of workshops being held throughout the month, such as: Preserving America’s Beauty: a Horticulture Workshop and Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers.  Other events can be found here.  Daffoldil Days are a great way to move on from the harsh winter we’ve had and look ahead to the warm summer months we’re all craving!images[9]

Celebrating Irish Heritage Month in Newport

February 27, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest and most looked forward to days for locals in Newport.  March is also Irish Heritage Month in Newport, and there will be various activities happening throughout the month in order to celebrate Newport’s Irish roots.  The highlight of these events is the 59th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will be held on March 14th.  The parade lasts around 2 hours, starting at 11am at Newport City Hall.  Various Pipe Bands, Marching Bands, Clowns, reenactment units, local organizations, school and non-profits will be participating in this years parade.  Events start early in the morning for various Irish Breakfasts and continue well into the night.shield[1]

Many other Irish events will be taking place throughout the month.  Irish Heritage Months kicks off on March 1st with Dancing at the Forty Steps.  Live traditional music and dancing will be held here, weather permitting in order to honor the informal dances that were once held here by the Irish in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Hour long guided tours of Fort Adams  discuss the importance of Irish labor in building the Fort in the 1800’s.  On Thames Street, the Museum of Irish History will be open for visitors who would like to learn about Irish immigration to Newport from the 1600’s to the present.  On March 7th, Viking Tours and the Museum of Irish History will be sponsoring the free Bus Tour of Irish History.  The tours begins at the Museum of Irish History and visits many locations important in the Irish History in Newport, such as the Forty Steps, Ochre Courts and the Barney Street Cemetery.

There will be various musical performances throughout the month including Traditional Irish Music at Fastnet Pub on the weekends.  There will also be Irish radio on various days during the month.

March is filled with many events to honor Newport’s rich Irish heritage.  Be sure to check out some of the events while you’re in town!


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)