We have frequented several of the Historic Inns of Newport; Adele Turner, Abigail Stoneman and Cliffside. We have always stayed in suites with beautiful decor, fireplaces and large bathing salons. We love staying in small B&B's with their personal service and friendly staff. I couldn't imagine staying in a regular hotel in Newport especially if it was for a special occasion.
Fondest memory: Some of my favorite memories are from the Abigail Stoneman Inn. We were staying in the beautiful Vanity Fair Suite (which is our favorite). It was a beautiful day and we had just returned to the Inn to relax before dinner. Liz and I curled up on the couch in from of the fireplace, put on some background music and enjoyed each other's company for a few hours. We almost lost track of time just sitting in the dark room with the fireplace glowing bright and warm.
We both love a good bubblebath and every Inn we have stayed has had large jacuzzi tubs perfect for a bubble bath for two. The Inns provide wonderful bubble bath and soaps (you can chose from a menu of products). It is heaven to relax in a wonderful bubble bath as the fireplace glows in the room.
From my understanding RI does not have an official baseball team and this is evident as you will see the REDSOX emblems everywhere.
Ferni and I were walking from our hotel on America's Cup to the Bowens Wharf when we heard this cute little girl walking with her parents slightly ahead of us singing the "7th inning" stretch athem.
She absolutely blew us away as she started singing the song in it's entirety knowing all the words, and at the end....GO REDSOX, now that is a young fan :)
Of course, we now have internet cafes and wireless access in some coffee shops, but to the real budget traveler, libraries are not just about borrowing books. They provide internet access to the public free of charge and they provide a more or less quiet place for people to read,reflect and research mid- adventure as well as pre-adventure. If you have a laptop and it has a wireless card, you can even access the interrnet outside the library on the grounds, or nearby under a shady tree. Daily newspapers are free as well as the latest magazines ,and public notices of events are posted. And don't forget, as a friend has reminded me, the bathrooms are usually clean and are also free. The main public library in Newport is on Spring St.. and it is quite roomy, has a fine thrift book shop and is heated in winter and air conditioned in summer. I try to make a trip to the public library in any town I spend a bit of time in. I would especially recommend this to long distance travelers who want to get a feel for the place they find themselves in. Newport has a second library of note, called the Redwood library. It is open to the public, but not for take out. That's for members only. It has it's own Art Gallery in the lobby and in a separate room that used to be an office. It is the oldest functioning library in the United States.. It has just been renovated with climate control to protect the artwork.
Fondest memory: A ride on the old train along the shoreline.St. Patrick's Day is pretty fun too. This year (mid-march) it didn't snow and there was a wonderful Parade. Many people dress with the color green, or wear some kind of costume. High Harry Potter Hats in green are acceptable. Bars and restaurants do a brisk business. The skating rink is cool too. People walking in droves up and down Thames street in warm weather; shopping, talking, eating ice cream, etc.. is a common site..
Favorite thing: Book at least 4 to 6 months in advance. Rooms fill up fast here. I booked 3 months ahead all the places I wanted were already filled. I spoke to other travelers and they said all of the hotels were taken even the expensive ones.
One of my favorite things during our trips has been the awesome breakfast in bed provided by the Inns we have stayed. There is nothing better than waking up and being served a tasty breakfast on silver trays without having to get dressed. Enjoying a good meal while the fireplace crackles is absolute heaven to me. After this treatment you never want to leave...I know we didn't want to.
The breakfast were very good and my Favorite was the French Toast with apples and caramel sauce. I was surprised the food was so good at the Inns.
Definitely stop in the visitor's center and pick up a map of Newport, get oriented with what you'd like to see and do, buy tickets to the various mansions and you can also purchase the trolley tickets here.
The visitor's center also sells postcards, souvenirs and other trinkets. During the peak summer season park your car here and just hop on the trolley, or better yet, walk.
Favorite thing: Here is a little map to get your bearings. My village of Pawtuxet is just below the word "Providence" on the map. You can see why we have so many miles of coastline with all those inlets and islands all over the place. If you were flying in, you would land about 5 mi. south of Prov. and it would take approximately 3/4 of an hour to drive to Newport. CLICK on pic to increase size/readability
I quote from the web site....
Old Stone Mill
Built by ancient astronauts?
In a town bursting with historic buildings, this structure may be Newport's most controversial. Known variously as the Old Stone Mill, the Norse Tower, the Viking Tower, or the Mystery Tower, this cylindrical stone artifact stands at one end of Touro Park. Its twenty-four-foot-high walls are made of lime-mortared fieldstone and its interior is open to the sky. Arches separate the legs and small, square openings are scattered in the wall above. The puzzle is that no one knows for sure when, or by whom, the tower was built. Or, for that matter, why.
Colonial stone masons
Of the two most popular theories, the simpler one, and the one favored by academics, is that the tower was of Colonial construction. It may have been built by Governor Benedict Arnold (great-grandfather of the patriot/traitor) around 1675, after a wooden windmill belonging to Peter Easton blew down in a hurricane. Its design may have been patterned after a mill near Arnold's boyhood home in Chesterton, England. Support for this theory comes from Arnold's 1677 will, in which he twice refers to his "stone built windmill."
Viking stone masons
Then there are those who claim the tower was built by Vikings who visited North America 1,000 years ago. They point out that while Arnold may have used it as a windmill, there is no proof anywhere that he actually built it. Perhaps he merely used an otherwise abandoned ancient ruin. This view is supported by some suggestive evidence. Broad interpretations of vague references in historical Norse sagas have led some to believe that Vikings visited Mount Hope Bay between the years 1000 and 1004 AD. .......
Portuguese stone masons
Another less popular theory, but one which may be more rooted in reality, is that the tower was built as a fortified church and watchtower by Portuguese explorer Miguel Corte-Real, who disappeared in the North Atlantic around 1502. Physician/historian Manuel Luciano da Silva, in his book Portuguese Pilgrims and Dighton Rock, argues that the tower and its stonework resemble structures which were then prevalent in Portugal. He also notes that carvings found on a boulder in Berkley, Massachusetts, have been linked with Corte-Real's ill-fated expedition and that a cannon and sword unearthed at Fort Ninigret, in Charlestown, also appear to be of Portuguese make.
Other stone masons
Everyone wants to claim credit for the Old Stone Mill, or ascribe its construction to one pre-Columbian group or another. Did druids build it? Was it the Knights Templar, fresh from the Crusades and looking for new heathens to convert or kill? Could it be that the Chinese, who, according to author Gavin Mendie, circumnavigated the globe in 1421, constructed the tower as a device to determine longitude? Or were local Indians, many of whose descendants are today skilled stone workers, responsible for this enigma?
The debate shifts back and forth to this day, with one theory or another seeming to gain ground with every new bit of evidence that comes to light.
The Romance of the Myth
Still, the Viking theory seems to be the one that fuels the imagination. In the late 1840s Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized the tower in his poem, The Skeleton in Armor. Today, a number of local businesses, including the nearby Hotel Viking, Viking Cleaners, and Viking Tours, continue to trade on the romance of the myth; at one time, the Hotel Viking even had a mural that depicted Norsemen building the tower.
Further information, as well as an extensive list of resources regarding the Old Stone Mill and theories on its construction, can be found in the Old Stone Mill Finding Aid on the Redwood Library and Athenaeum website.
Old Stone Mill
Touro Park, Bellevue Avenue, Newport
Favorite thing: My favorite thing about Newport is that each time I go there are more memories that will drag me back here. It is the type of small historical town where you can just get away and see a little today, a little more next time and no one ever hassles you. I do love this town and enjoy it each and every time I go.
Pack a little picnic and enjoy the beautiful scenery. During one of our visits in the winter, there were surfers out practicing their skills. During the summer you catch fisherman's casting their lines and you can also glimpse at people diving as well.
I love the beach, ocean and anything that has to do with water....an afternoon of just kicking back and gazing out yonder is a great way to relax.
Favorite thing: Newport is a harbour city, so you'll find yourself at some point glazing over the harbours. After walking around why not stop and enjoy the beautiful waterfront at Newport? Its a great way to relax and enjoy the world go by.
I thought this was such a great idea. There are times when I walk my little Cookie girl and she decides to poop more often than the bags I have, so I usually wind up having to dig into my purse and reach for a tissue.
I hate walking around a beautiful city and seeing dog poop on the ground, it is disgusting and I wonder how the owers are with their own personal property.
Newport makes sure that each and every owner of a dog cleans up after them and to ensure this, they have these little boxes with "Mutt Mitts".
So, the week before Memorial Day weekend, my friends Praveen and Rinu gave me a call and asked if I'd be up for a road trip. Of course!!! I'm always up for a road trip. I had always wanted to visit Newport, Rhode Island to see the amazing mansions. The root of this desire was my visits to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, which happens to be America's largest privately owned home. I remembered learning about the riches of the Vanderbilt family and their other summer home up in Newport and ever since then, I had always wanted to see it for myself.
Visiting Newport with good friends was a great way to spend the weekend.
If you have never been to Newport before, you will need to visit the town which if full of activities in summer. If you love shopping, this is it. Also the bellevue Avenue is a must. Then you go to the beach, and get close to nature. During the height of the Victorian Age, between 1840 and 1900, the rich, powerful and famous made Newport the country’s premier summer resort, and Bellevue Avenue the center of society, sport and fashion.
The hour-long tour begins and ends at the Preservation Society’s offices at 424 Bellevue Avenue, with a knowledgeable guide describing each property along the way. Following the tour, visitors receive a ticket to tour The Breakers and any second property of their choice, at their leisure.
Fondest memory: The Bellevue Mansions ofcourse, and my former school. Also, the Newport Beach.
I took the ferry from Fort Adams State Park to Block Island in July, leaving at 9.15am and returning to Fort Adams at 6.45pm. Because I went in July the ferry was crowded and anticipating this, I arrived, with my bike, at 8.45 at which point they were starting to board. There were enough seats on the top outer deck for everyone, esp. when after leaving Newport it turned cold and foggy. Most people retreated to the snack bar inside! The ride took 2 hours and wasn't rocky at all. I normally get a bit sea sick and felt o.k. Arriving into Block Island harbour you have the option of renting a bike or a moped and walking it. I took my bike which saved me time and money and let me ride off to other less crowded parts of the island whilst those on the ferry waited to rent theirs. Personally, if you can't bring over a bike, then I would rent one because if you're stuck with just your feet, you're limited to certian parts of the island. The shops and restaurants all seemed to be along Water Street, the 1st street you come across after walking out of the ferry dock. If shopping and eating are your main interests, then you'll probably be happy just to walk around here but BE WARNED. It's crowded! If you want to visit one of the beaches, see the lighthouse or just take a look at more rural and far less commercial parts of B.I., then you'll need 2 wheels. And I recommended getting off the beaten track as you really don't get to see the best parts of the island staying in that one area.
Fondest memory: I loved Crescent Beach and cycling around quiter parts of the island. Disliked the urbanites roaring around on their mopeds. When I visited in July it was VERY CROWDED. If you can, visit September (ferry runs JULY 1ST- SEPTEMBER 6TH). Or avoid weekends. Also, 2 sales assistants in 2 different stores were quite unhelpful and seemingly had no personal service skills. O.k, it's peak season and the store is busy, but that's not my fault. COST: $13.80 per adult return, plus around $5 for a bike, which is definitely a saving on renting a bike the other end.
The Hotel Viking opened in May 1926, and the two wings of rooms were added in the 1960s and 1970s....more
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