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Category Archives: Outdoor Activities in Newport

60th Annual Newport Jazz Festival Lineup

February 7, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Tickets for the 60th Annual Newport Jazz Festival, one of Newport’s biggest music festivals, are already on sale and the lineup is here.  Fort Adams will be bringing amazing jazz performances to Newport once again from August 1st to the 3rd.  The music starts at 11:30am on Friday, August 1st and ends at 7:00pm on Sunday, August 3rd.

njf-big[1]George Wein produced the first Jazz Festival in 1954 in order to celebrate jazz music and to make a case for its relevance.  From then on, this festival has continued to showcase jazz icons and bring attention to up and coming performers.  The Newport Jazz Festival has provided many memorable moment for jazz history, such as the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1956 and the introduction of Esperanza Spalding.  Performers at this festival both respect the tradition of jazz and reflect the changes in the current musical trends.

Here’s a list of the artists who will be bringing their talents to the Fort Adams stages.

Firday, August 1st – Jon Batiste & Stay Human, John Zorn’s Madasa Marathon, Miguel Zenon Big Band, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Snarky Puppy, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Rudresh Mahanthappa – A Charlie Parker Project, Amir ElSaffar Quintet, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, URI Jazz Festival Big Band

Saturday, August 2nd – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dave Holland Prism, Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper Experiment, SFJAZZ Collective, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Pedrito Martinez Group, Dick Hyman, Howard Alden & Jay Leonhart, Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet, Newport Now 60 Band, Stefano Bollani & Hamilton de Holanda

Sunday, August 3rd – Bobby McFerrin spirityouall, David Sanborn & Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, Gary Burton New Quartet, Vijay Iyer Sextet, Danilo Perez Panama 500, Django Festival All-Stars, Ron Carter Trio, Lee Konitz Quartet, Ravi Coltrane, The Cookers, Migus Big Band, The Brubeck Brothers, George Wein & Newport All-Stars

New Year’s Day Polar Plunge

December 23, 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 15, 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.

 

Columbus Day Weekend in Newport

October 11, 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 18, 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 14, 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 6, 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 22, 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 14, 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 29, 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.

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