Archive for the ‘Outdoor Activities in Newport’ Category

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.

 

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.

Newport Restoration Foundation

May 30th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The non-profit organization – Newport Restoration Foundation – was founded by Doris Duke in 1968 with the purpose of preserving, interpreting, and maintaining landscape and objects reflecting architectural culture of the 18th and 19th century on Aquidneck Island.  It maintains this mission by being a leader in historic preservation in Newport Country, preserving a collection of the arts of cabinetmaking and art and artifacts from Doris Duke and using these collections for educational purposes.  Since its start, the Newport Restoration Foundation has preserved or restored 83 buildings, and owns 78 historic buildings, most of which are rented as private residences.  This is one of the largest collections of period architecture in the country owned by a single organization.

Besides their commitment to maintaining the historic architecture of the area, the Newport Restoration Foundation also owns and operates three properties that are open to the public as museums.  These include Rough Point – the mansion owned by Doris Duke, the Whitehorne House - which houses a collection of 18th Century Newport furniture, and Prescott Farm – an example of early American architecture and landscape.

The Newport Restoration Foundation also runs a variety of history tours that help visitors learn about different aspects of Newport’s magnificent history. “Discover Colonial Newport,” is a tour that involves revolution and ruin and the struggles for religious liberty in Newport.  “From Golden to Gilded” takes visitors through the transformation of Newport from a colonial age to a gilded summer colony. “Rum and Revolution” discusses the booming rum trade and its activity throughout the Prohibition era.  “Souls & Stones” takes guests to the Common Burying Ground and explores the art of gravestone carving and discusses the diverse group of people buried there.  These are just a few of the great historic tours offered.  All tours leave from the Museum and Shop at the Brick Market Place on Thames Street and last about 75 minutes.

The Great Chowder Cook-Off and Oyster Festival

May 23rd, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

For the past 32 years, The Great Chowder Cook-Off helps kick off summer in the beginning of June.  This year, the 33rd Annual Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off will take place on Saturday, June 7th, from noon to 6pm, at the Newport Yachting Center.  As an added bonus, the Newport Oyster Festival will coincide with the Chowder Cook-Off and your ticket to the cook-off will get you in the festival as well.  The Oyster Festival will last until 8pm.

The Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-off has been featured on both the Food Network and the Travel Channel and is the longest running chowder championship.  It draws its competitors from across the countrchowder picturey such as California, Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, as well as New England favorites.  Those in attendance get to taste endless samples of traditional chowders as well as “exotic” variations.  Voting will take place for three categories: clam, seafood and creative.  The great restaurants who win end up with prizes and bragging rights for the next year.  Among the chowder tastings, many other things will be happening.  There will be a “Clamcake Chow Down” where participants race to consume a half-dozen clam cakes.  Live music will be performing on various stages, and Stop & Shop will be sponsoring culinary demonstrations throughout the day.

When you’re all chowdered out, or the cook-off is over, your ticchowder cook-offket gets you into the Newport Oyster Festival.  Local shellfish and seafood will be available, farmers market style.  Some highlights of the Festival include: raw bars and other seafood favorites, full bar, live acoustic music, bistro-style seating, educational presentations and contests.  You can compete in oyster and beer shucking or oyster slurping competitions.

For more information or to see who will be competing this year, check out the Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off website here.

 

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]

Newport’s Very Own 3rd Annual Craft Beer Festival

April 25th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 26th, Newport Storm and Pour Judgement Bar and Grill are sponsoring the 3rd Annual Newport Craft Beer Festival to benefit the Rhode Island Brewers Guild and Newport Historical Society. There will be two sessions, one from 12pm to 3pm and the second from 4pm to 7pm at the Great Friends Meeting House. This is a 21 and over event.

This festival is a celebration of Newport’s brewing history, which dates back to before the American Revolution. Brewers from all over the country will have samples of a variety of different craft beers for attendees to try. Food from local restaurants will be available for purchase, and music will be going throughout the event. It’s a great opportunity to mingle with American Brewers and try a great selection of craft beers.

Some of the brewing companies that will be in attendance are: Newport Storm, Union Station Brewering, Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island, Revival Brewing, Bucket Brewery, Sebago Brewing Company, Woodstock Inn Brewery, Stone Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Green Flash, Lexington Brewing Co., Harpoon Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Boulder Brewing Co., Clown Shoes, Goose Island, Heavy Seas, and many more.

Tickets are available until the sell out. They can be purchased here through tonight, or at the event tomorrow, again, until they are sold out.bridge festival logo

Cliffwalk Set to Reopen in June

March 21st, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Cliffwalk is probably the most popular attraction in Newport, and it may just be the most popular attraction in all of Rhode Island.  It is one of the most scenic trails in the state and offers 3.5 miles of ocean views on one side, and historic mansions on the other.  The walk starts at the west end of Easton’s Beach on Memorial Boulevard and ends on Bellevue Avenue at the east end of Bailey’s Beach.  There are multiple access points along the way, including Narragansett Avenue and Ruggles Avenue. cliffwalk picture

Cliffwalk was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1975 and is in a National Historic District.  It is the 65th National Recreation Trail and the first one in New England.  Although much of the trail is easy walking, the southern half had some rough terrain and proper footwear should be worn.  Unfortunately, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the southern half of the trail and since then only the section from Memorial Boulevard to Ruggles Avenue has been open.

Reconstruction of the southern end has been in the works, and it is projected to be completed by June.  Supplemental funding has been found for the project, which increases the budget by $2 million.  Most of the time projects need to be downsized, but since the addition of funds, they will be able to add a 60-foot section of stone masonry at the corner of Rough Point and a 200 foot form liner at Miramar, which will better stabilize the path.  The official reopening of the damaged portion of Cliffwalk is set for June 13, 2014, just in time for the 2014 summer season.

Newport Folk Festival: Festival of the Year

March 7th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Folk Festival recently won the 25th Annual Pollstar award for Music Festival of the Year.  Pollstar is the only trade publication that covers the concert industry worldwide.  For 30 years, they have been a fountain of information for concert promoters, booking agents, managers, facility execs and other live entertainments executives.  Each year, Pollstar invites a group of international music professionals to come up with nominations for the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards.  These awards honor artists, managers, buyers, venues and support services.  Winners are determined by votes from the readership of Pollstar.  This year’s awards were held on February 21st, 2014 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

newport folk fest logo

The Newport Folk Festival won Music Festival of the Year, beating out the Boston Calling Music Festival, Electric Forest Festival, Hardly Stictly Bluegrass, and the Treasure Island Music Festival.  This is the second year in a row that The Newport Folk Festival has won this award.

The Newport Folk Festival has been around since 1959, when it was founded by George Wein.  The festival became known for introducing some major stars in the Folk world, such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.  This festival stretches the boundaries of folk music, incorporating blues, raggae, rock and indie artists to its lineup.  Some of the most notable performances of the festival throughout the years have been Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Pixies, Pete Seeger, and The Avett Brothers.  Thanks to the work of George Wein and the Newport Festivals Foundation, the Newport Folk Festival will continue for years to come.

This year’s festival will be held July 25th through the 27th at Fort Adams.  Tickets generally sell out early.  The lineup for this year is still in the works, however some performers have already been announced.  So far – Band of Horses, Jenny Lewis, The Devil Makes Three, Death Vessel, Nickle Creek, Shovels & Rope, Houndmouth, The Oh Hellos, Benjamin Booker, Mavis Staples and Hurray for the Riff Raff – have been added to this years lineup.  Check out www.newportfolk.org for more information about the festival and additions to the lineup.

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