Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From sailing to mansions...


Newport, Rhode Island has so much to offer!

This coastal town a half hour south of Providence known as a summer resort is sure to take your breath away. With an abundance of sailboats decorating its waters, the picturesque scenery will delight its visitors no matter their ages. 

The Harbour is surrounded by many shops and restaurants, as well as sail boat companies.  Take some time to sail the Rhode Island Coast, enjoyiong the many lighthouses and scenic beauty of the area.  You will also enjoy strolling the many streets and shops by the Harbour.  Our daughter particularly enjoyed Magic Studio- a small "magic shop" selling kits, supplies and many prank gifts and toys.  Not only did her purchases serve as a souvenir of the trip but also provided her, us, and the hotel employees with hours of laughter and fun!

Our sailing adventure began with Sightsailing of Newport Co., which sails from May through October.  We sailed on the Aquidneck, an 80 ft gaff-rigged schooner. Our very knowledgable crew shared stories and history of the harbor and bay as they took us to see , among other attractions, Goat's Island, Fort Adams, and many yachts belonging to the rich and famous. For $27.50 adults and $20.00 children, our family sailed through Newport Harbor into Narragansett Bay and continued to cruise along the shoreline of Newport's Ocean Drive. 

If you are up for a walking adventure, tour the Cliff Walk. This 3.5 mile trail will allow you to not only enjoy the Atlantic Ocean but will provide a sneak peak into the backyards of the "Cottages" as the mansions are referred to by the locals.

A trip to Newport would not be complete without visting at least one of the "cottages."  My wife's mother had seen a program about "The Breakers,"  the Vanderbilt's family summer home in Newport and she was eager to see it.  The Breakers is one of Newport's largest "cottages."  A self guided tour which you can choose to hear in either adult or child friendly versions allowing  you to discuss it with your kids later is very educational.  The audio tour contains narratives of employees detailing what life in The Breakers was like.  The family audio tour also includes things like a "Where's Waldo" portion, asking the kids to find certain things in some of the rooms, thus making the tour more interactive and fun for even young children.

The Breakers is a truly amazing mansion.  The views of the ocean, gardens, the children's playhouse, a miniature version of the home, all make for a fun-filled tour which all your family membres, both old and young, will enjoy. 

Newport is absolutely fabulous! It offers great food, outdoor activities, and plenty of entertainment. Our family loved it so much, we would love to move there!

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