Friday, August 29, 2008

Newport, Rhode Island

We spent our last full day of vacation in Newport. During the morning, we drove all the way around Ocean Drive and spent some time at Brenton Point State Park. We watched the seagulls, walked on the rocks, shared a Del's Frozen Lemonade, and watched folks flying kites on the windy point. We skipped touring the famous mansions, as we have visited them previously.

Newport (long-time former home of the America's Cup) is synonyous with boat-building and sailing. We enjoyed strolling the wharves and admiring yachts such as this elegant one.

Bowen's Wharf and Bannister's Wharf are loaded with shops and restaurants. We chose Cooke's Tavern for lunch, as they are dog-friendly. They have a "Dog Bar" outside with fresh water and we were able to sit outside and keep Duncan with us while we ate. Food was delish - I enjoyed a seafood salad sandwich made with shrimp, Maine crab, and scallops.

After lunch, we boarded The Gansett for an hour and a half tour of Newport harbor.

We were delighted to learn that Gansett Cruises is also dog-friendly. They provided a blanket and fresh water for our boy. They even requested that we send them a picture of Duncan on board!

Our tour began as we backed out of Bowen's Wharf into the harbor.

Newport is home to commercial fishing boats...

...and, on the other end of the spectrum, gleaming yachts such as these.

Our tour guide was great, very knowledgable about the history of the homes, building, lighthouses and natural landscape features that we could see from the water.

For example, here is the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, with Lime Rock Light incorporated into the building. It is the only Yacht Club named for a woman. Ida Lewis is credited with saving at least 18 lives during the years she tended the lighthouse.

Here is the summer home of the New York yacht club.

This is the only Chinese junk in all of Newport.

This house has been called "The Parthenon of Newport" for its Greek columns.

Rounding the point, we passed Fort Adams State Park. If you watched my video taken from Fort Weatherwill, you saw me trying to zoom in on Fort Adams from across Narragansett Bay. This view is much better! The good news is, never a shot was fired in battle here.

Next up, we passed Hammersmith Farm, childhood summer home of Jackie Kennedy. This was her playhouse.

Hammersmith Farm hosted Jackie and John Kennedy's wedding reception and was the "Summer White House" during Kennedy's presidency. The boat house was featured in the film "The Great Gatsby."

The Inn at Castle Hill is an elegant hotel and restaurant.

Beyond Castle Hill lies open ocean. For years, the owner of the original home refused to allow a lighthouse to be located here. Finally, a compromise was reached. The lighthouse could be built as long as it was not visible from the main house. So, here it is! I've been to the Inn and never even knew the lighthouse was right here.

At this point, our tour boat turned around and headed across the bay. I was fascinated by this house, aptly nicknamed "Clingstone." A google seach turned up "The Old House and the Sea" an interview with the owner, published in the NY Times a few weeks ago.

As we neared the harbor heading back to Bowen's Wharf, I caught this view of another lighthouse, the Rose Island Light. Who doesn't love a day on the water and lighthouses!!

1 comment:

RVing Toadless said...

Wow, interesting. I'm 52, and I have started a blog on RV'ing without a tow car, which shows how to get around in various places. So far, I've only been in the Western states. This was the only "niche" in the RV world I could find that hadn't been "touched" with a blog yet.

Mine is at:

I'm glad you were able to find a way to support yourself while RV'ing, the "portable" RV repair thing is great!

JJ Dippel