Archive for the ‘Outdoor Activities in Newport’ Category

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.

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

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

July 14th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

There are a lot of outdoor activities in Newport, RI, including a variety of different scenic walking routes.  Most people head straight for Cliff Walk to enjoy the views of rugged cliffs along the water on one side, and the magnificent mansion on the other, however, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge offers views that are just as grand.  sachuest-point-national[1]

Sachuest Point occupies the peninsula between the Sakonnet River and the Rhode Island Sound, just past Second Beach in Middletown, RI.  A newly renovated visitors center welcomes you to the 242 acre Wildlife Refuge.  There are over 2.5 miles of nature trails with various viewing platforms along the way.  This Refuge is popular for saltwater fishing and has the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the East Coast. The refuge supports over 200 bird species in its saltmarsh and beach strand habitats as well as its upland shrub dominated land.  Some notable birds include: peregrine falcons, northern harriers and snowy owls.

This land started out as farming land and was later used as a horse racing area.  During World War II, the Navy used this land as a communications site and rifle range.   In 1970, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge was established after a donation from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

Rocks and ocean at Sachuest

Brenton Point State Park

July 6th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Located on Ocean Drive, Brenton Point State Park is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon in Newport.  Brenton Point is located right where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic and has one of the greatest views in town. Picnicking, hiking and fishing are some of the activities that can be enjoyed here, as well as simply sitting back and enjoying the cool ocean breeze. Brenton Point State Park

Brenton Point’s history dates back to early Rhode Island history. Brenton Point State Park was named after Governor William Brenton, a religious refugee from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  After living in Boston for four years he was “vigorously excused” in 1637 and spent time in Anne Hutchinson’s Portsmouth community before settling at the southern end of the Island in 1639.  He divided his land, which today would not only be Brenton Point, but Castle Hill, Hammersmith Farm and Fort Adams, into two farms.  Brenton understood that this area was very good for raising sheep (one of Rhode Island’s earliest economic export), and eventually he was raising 11,000 sheep.  Brenton not only became a prosperous land owner, but also a prominent political figure in the colony.

William Brenton became the governor of Rhode Island and served from 1666 to 1669.  Brenton happily took chances in annual elections and held office under the Charter of 1663.  He died in 1674.  Two years after Brenton’s death, Newport faced its first real challenge when the Wampanoag Indian Chief, Metacomet, united Indian tribes to expel white settlers in the mainland Massachusetts and Rhode Island towns.  Fortunately, Newport and Portsmouth avoided massacres and being burned to the ground, and instead took in refugees from the areas that did.  During the time that followed, Brenton Point and Castle Hill held their guard against pirates who were also seeking refuge in Narragansett Bay.Brenton Point State Park WWll Batteries

In the first half of the eighteenth century, Brenton point became a “portal” to the Privateers (commercial ships ready to wage war on England’s enemies).  In 1776, Newport was a captured town, behind enemy lines, in the American Revolution.  Cannons at Brenton Point and Castle Hill defended any attempts of the Americans to free the inhabitants under British garrison control for three years.

When the war was finally over, Newport and the surrounding farms were devastated for decades.  Eventually the city was rescued by those seeking summer fun.  Farm houses from before the civil war were transformed into guest houses.  Wealthy industrialists from New York and Pittsburg began building mansions along Cliff Walk and Ocean Drive.  Theodore M. Davis from Boston built a house known as “The Reef” in 1885 at Brenton Point, which became famous for its walled gardens and green houses.  The estate took up eighteen acres, and after Davis’ death it went to Mr. and Mrs. Milton Budlong who used it until 1941.

During WWII, the site was one of the gateways to Narragansett Bay, making it an ideal location for coastal artillery battery.  The house was returned to the Budlongs in 1946, but remained unoccupied and thus continued to deteriorate, until finally, a fire destroyed the villa in 1960.  In 1969 the site became “open space property ,” under the control of the State of Rhode Island as part of the Green Acres Program.  It became a Brenton Point State Park in 1976.

 

Source: http://www.riparks.com/History/HistoryBrentonPoint.html

Greenvale Vineyards

June 22nd, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Greenvale Vineyards is located five miles from Newport, RI, along the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth.  Greenvale is one of three Vineyards in Newport County and is committed to producing fine wines as well as conserving open space.  Listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, this farm has been owned by the same family since 1863.  In the beginning, this land was intended to be a 50 acre, self sustaining, family run operation.  The combination of water, rich soil and temperate climate make Aquidneck Island the perfect place for farming and growing grapes for wine production.

Greenvale’s mission in simple: they want to maintain their historic farm by producing world class wines and selling them from their Tasting Room, which is a restored stable, as well as various locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  At the Vineyard, they provide recreation and education to visitors while alsosunrise-1[1] focusing on the preservation of beautiful buildings and the conservation of open space.

Cortlandt and Nancy Parker, fourth generation farmers began growing grapes as a hobby in the 1960′s.  About 20 years later, they recognized the pressure that farm land was facing on the Island and decided to develop a commercial vineyard in order to have a viable farming operation.  They started growing their grapes for Sakonnet Vineyard, located in Little Compton, across the river.  In the 90′s, with the help of their daughter and her husband, the Parkers set out to develop Greenvale’s own wine after hearing that their fruit was “too good” and should be produced under a Greenvale label.  In 2000, the Stable at Greenvale Farms was restored, which allowed the farm and vineyard to be open for tours, tastings and music.

Greenvale produces 3, 500 cases of wine annually from grapes grown on 24 acres of farmland.  All the harvesting is done by hand and the wine is produced right on Aquidneck Island and processed the old fashion way, in a basket press.  Greenvale Vineyards produces seven types of wine including: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay Select, Greenvale Chardonnay, Elms Meritage, Greendale Vidal Blanc, Skipping Stone White and Rosecliff Pinot Gris.

 

Newport Flower Show

June 14th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Preservation Society of Newport is hosting its 18th Newport Flower Show from June 21st to the 23rd at Rosecliff Mansion.  This year, the theme is Jade: Eastern Obsessions, which will take attendees on an exotic journey through Far Eastern traditions and beauty.  Floral designer Hitomi Gillian will be sharing her skills on the latest techniques and designs while Harriett Henderson will be there to share her experiences throughout the Far East and how Western gardens have been influenced.  nfs-2013-rack-card[1]

The weekend kicks off with the Opening Night Cocktail Party held on Friday, June 21st at Rosecliff Mansion.  The cocktail party lasts from 6pm to 9pm.  Guests can enjoy fresh floral arrangements, “horticultural extravaganzas,” a cocktail buffet and shopping.

As you enter the Moon Gate into Rosecliff on Saturday and Sunday, you will be greeted by “zen-full” inspired gardens.  There are a variety of events happening throughout the weekend to keep you entertained and enjoying the flower show.  Lectures and Demonstrations will be happening throughout the weekend and will cover topics such as; Chinese Brush Painting, Florals inspired by Far East Traditions, the Spirit of Jade in Newport Landscapes, “Asian Small Bites,” A Tree Tour of the Elms and Chepstow, Jade Garden Plants, and many more.  There is also shopping at the Oceanside Boutiques, which is an anticipated Newport tradition. Garden accessories, clothing, gifts, jewelry and decorative items will be available for sale.rosecliff-people[1]

Newport Lighthouses

May 29th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Rhode Island is home to a number of lighthouses, four of which are right here in Newport.  The Rose Island Lighthouse, the Lime Rock (Ida Lewis) Lighthouse and the Newport Harbor (Goat Island) Lighthouse can all be seen from various spots in downtown Newport, while the Castle Hill Lighthouse is located off Ocean Drive, next to the Castle Hill Inn.

Castle Hill Lighthouse photo

Castle Hill Lighthouse

Rose Island Lighthouse – This lighthouse was built in 1870 and stands 35 feet tall.  It was abandoned after the Pell Bridge was built and was the victim of scavengers, vandals and the weather until the Rose Island Lighthouse foundation was founded and restored it in 1984. This lighthouse can be accessed by ferries from Newport and Jamestown.  Tours are held in the lighthouse museum from 10am to 4pm, and features rooms that were restored to replicate what it would look like if the lighthouse keepers still lived there. The lighthouse and museum run on wind power electricity and a rainwater collection system.

Lime Rock Lighthouse – This lighthouse station was established in 1854, but was discontinued in 1927.  Standing 13 feet tall, it is now the home of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.

Goat Island Lighthouse – The Goat Island lighthouse is situated on Goat Island, and while it is not open to the public, the grounds adjacent are.  The current lighthouse was built in 1842 and is 35 feet high.

Castle Hill Lighthouse – The Castle Hill Lighthouse was established and built in 1890 and stands 34 feet tall.  While the lighthouse itself is not open to the public, the grounds around it are.

There are many boat tours that highlights these lighthouses and if you want to see all the lighthouses of Narragansett Bay, there is a 90 minute boat tour – “10 Rhode Island Lighthouses of Narrangansett Bay” – which operated out of Quonset Point, North Kingstown, which is about a 30 minute drive from our Newport Inn.  Many of these lighthouses can also be seen from tours that are right out of the downtown Newport area, such as Newport Majestic Cruises or Classic Cruises of Newport.

The Atlantic Cup

May 17th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Atlantic Cup – the only dedicated Class 40 sailing race in the US – will be leaving New York on May 18th and heading to Newport for an inshore grand prix, Memorial Day weekend (May 25th and 26th).  The race started on May 11th in Charleston, South Carolina, where competitors began their race to New York City, and will soon head to Newport.

A Class 40 yacht is a “monohull” racing yacht with a maximum length of 40 feet. Racers can create their own boat designs as long as they do not exceed the maximum overall size for their class. Designers can focus on technical aspects of the boats such as type of sail and mast height and weight, without being restricted.  This makes for very competitive racing that is extremely close over long distances.  Class 40 was established in 2004 and is designed for short-handed offshore conditions and will guarantee fast, competitive racing.

The Atlantic Cup includes both off-shore and in-shore races, which ensures that the winner is a complete sailor.  This race tests competitors on two different sailing disciplines, ocean racing and buoy racing.  Having two different races also helps level the field between different yacht designs, again making it a close competition.logo[1]

This is the third time the Altantic Cup has come to Newport and it’ll be here from May 20th to 26th.   From May 20th to the 24th, the racing boats will be open for viewing from 11am to 5pm at the Newport Harbor Hotel Marina.  On the 22nd, everyone 21 and older is invited to celebrate with all the Atlantic Cup crew and teams at the International Yacht and Athletic Club.  The party starts at 7pm. The actual race takes place at Fort Adams on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday May 26th between 11am and 4pm.  The finish line is just off the north lawn of Fort Adams and there will be commentary, food and vendors, making Fort Adams the place to be during race time.  To wrap everything up, The Landing is hosting a “Prize Giving Party” from 6pm to 9pm on the 26th.

Newport Vineyards

May 12th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

What’s better than a nice relaxing evening, sitting on the porch, drinking a nice glass of wine after a busy day of cliff walking and mansion visits?  For many of our guests the answer to that is, nothing.  While there is no lack of liquor stores, you may find visiting the source to try some local wines more appealing.

The seeds of Newport Vineyards were planted in 1977 in a field that overlooks the Rhode Island Sound.  The goal of the planters was to produce wine in order to save precious agricultural land from development.  Aquidneck Island has one of thnewportvineyards3[1]e best growing climates, allowing for a long, cool growing season for the grapes.  These first grapes were planted by Captain Richard Alexander who later teamed up with the Nunes family to build a winery in 1988.  That same year their first vintage was produced.  In 1995, When Alexander retired from wine making, the winery was aquired by John and Paul Nunes.  It was then that they established the brand “Newport Vineyards”, which now encompasses 60 vineyard acres.  Newport Vineyard wines have won many awards throughout the years and the most popular wine is their “Great White”.  They have a large selection of white, red, blush, dessert, sparkling, and reserve wine, as well as their own brand of hard cider called “Rhody Coyote”.

Newport Vineyards is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm (Monday-Saturday), 12pm to 5pm (Sunday), with summer hours extending to 6pm starting Memorial Day weekend.  They offer guided tours of the vineyard at 1pm and 3pm Sunday-Friday and hourly on Saturdays between 11am and 4pm.

Viking Trolley Tours

May 11th, 2013 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Tours a great way to get an overall view of an area – you can see the main attractions, and then plan which ones you think are worth heading back to on your own.  Here in Newport, one of the best ways to see the highlights of the city is by taking a Viking Trolley Tour, which depart from the Visitor’s Center - just a short walk from our Newport Inn.

Viking Trolley tours have been giving visitors an inside look at Newport since 1962  They offer three different tours ranging from 1.5 hours to 4 hours.  All tours start out with a narrated scenic overview of the area including Ocean Drive and Bellevue Avenue, and you can include a visit to either one or two of the mansion with Tour 2 or 3.

Currently, only Tours 1 and 2 are available and run twice per day, 10:00am and 1:30pm, but starting on June 16th, all three tours will be available.  Tour 1 – narrated scenic overview - runs five times per day (10am, 11am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 3pm), Tour 2 – scenic overview plus choice of one mansion, four times a day (10am, 11am, 12:30 and 1:30) and Tour 3 – scenic overview plus choice of two mansions, once per day (12:30pm).sightseeing-pic1[1]

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