Thursday, July 26, 2007
Newport, Rhode Island June 2007
The drive from Andover to Newport isn't all that pretty but once we got to Newport we were rewarded with a gorgeous sea side town spotted with mansions everywhere! Our hotel, CastleHill Inn was one of these old mansions turned into a B&B with additional separate lodgings both at their beach and also on their yard. We had reserved a Harbor House which was gorgeously decorated and had a semi private balcony off the back with our own Adirondack chairs and views of Narragansett Bay.
We spent the first afternoon just walking around the old part of town. It's exactly how I pictured a New England seaside town! We loved driving the famous Ocean Drive back to the inn, passing amazing privately owned mansions that seemed quite out of place! Once back at the Inn we joined both hotel guests and people from town on the huge sprawling lawn for cocktails. It was sooooo relaxing to just sit and take in the amazing views of sailboats and watch the sunset. The hotel even has an outdoor fire pit which they keep going in case you want s'mores!
We had a very nice if a bit overpriced dinner at the hotel that night as they are known for their 3 and 5 course menus.
The next day was our perfect Newport day! First we went and toured the famous Breakers Mansion build for Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893. This was their summer cottage- all 70 rooms of it with not one guest room!! Breakers has all it's original furnishings still inside also which is quite interesting.
After our tour and a quick lunch back in town we boarded the Adirondack II sailboat for a couple hour sail in the bay. It was fantastic!!! The wind was perfect and we got to see more mansions from the water including the one that Jackie Onasis grew up in. There were only about 12 people onboard the 80 foot schooner! And did I mention the wine or beer for $1 each?
The rest of the day was spent walking around town more and checking out the White Horse Tavern- the oldest bar in America. That night we had a perfect dinner at Scales & Shells- steamed lobsters and a bottle of champagne!
Our last day in Newport we toured another mansion- Marble House another of the Vanderbilt cottages- this one designed by Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. There are so many mansions to tour! But even more impressive are there are many others that are private on Bellevue Ave. We also took a brief walk on part of the Cliff Walk which allows you to walk between the ocean and the "cottages" for a backyard view!
Lunch on the way out of town was at Flo's Clam Shack for a variety of deep fried goodies!
See all the photos of New England here!