You can access some really cool places just a short drive away from New York. We wanted to have a quaint, English feeling getaway and after I got some recommendations, we chose Newport -Rhode Island to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. It was about a 4 hour drive from New York but well worth the beauty. Newport is is full of history, staged with Colonial houses, churches, mansions, museums and of course some really cool restaurants! With all that character, fun and adventure Newport is definitely not to be missed.
I absolutely love planning holidays whether it is a far destination vacation or a short weekend city break, I always research things to do, see and of course eat! Below is my little adventure trip to Newport and hopefully will inspire you with ideas and tips for your next little get away.
Where to stay:
I wanted to get a true experience of the old English town feel. So picking a hotel was proving quite difficult. I then had a brain wave. Instead of a going for a modern hotel, I convinced my husband to stay in a traditional Bed and Breakfast. Yes, he wasn’t a fan at first so it was a lot of convincing on my part. I had researched a couple of places and found the Victorian Ladies Inn had some really good reviews. We booked this hotel right away as I honestly think the best way to enjoy Newport is to go traditional and floral tea cosy it up!
The Victorian Ladies Inn was a brilliant choice.The best words I can use to describe this B&B are cute, Victorian, quaint, English, floral and very homely. After a long drive from New York, we were happy to arrive at our new home. It was walking distance to the mansions and marina area. The owners of the Victorian Ladies Inn were very friendly and they had a cute little dog too. They also were helpful in booking tickets to the local attractions and sometimes at a discounted rate, so if you visit don’t forget to ask!
The Victorian Ladies Inn has designed and decorated each room in a different and elegant way. We had chosen the Arthur room for our stay. Once we were checked in we made our way to the room and boy I was impressed. From floral tissue boxes, rich wall paper and a four poster bed, the room had a lot of character. There were two little chocolates left on our pillow as well. We also had our own little fire place and floral arm chairs. There was definitely a 1950’s English feel to this place. We were given our own set of keys to the house so we could come and go as we pleased. Every day at 3pm, tea, cake and freshly baked brownies were served in the living area. What more can this British girl ask for? This was literally my dream house!
Each morning, breakfast was freshly prepared by the chef and owners. We were served with tea/coffee, fresh omelette of the day, pancakes and waffles. There are breakfast tables seated outside, and we were lucky enough to sit outside one of the days. The homemade granola was delicious (I even asked the for recipe) along with fresh fruit, bagels and cake. They also have custom made Victorian Ladies Inn mugs- I bought one of course!
Newport -things to do:
Newport Mansions: We spent a day visiting the famous Newport mansions which were really close to our B&B. We were also only a 15-20 minute walk away from the Wharf (the harbor area) where all of the restaurants were located. I have to say the mansions are a must visit. You don’t have to see them all however, the main ones are worth a viewing. First we visited the Breakers Mansion. Mr Vanderbilt’s home was amazing. It has 15 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms and 40 servants, can I move in please? We also visited the Elms and the Marble House. Each house is exquisite and amazing in its own right. You are given a headset to listen to while you explore the house. It does take time to visit each house properly so I think three mansions is enough, however if you have more time you can visit all 5 of them. Other than extreme house and billionaire envy, it’s a really fun day out.
Cliff Walk: We decided not to do the Cliff Walk as we had seen some of the trail from the mansions. It is definitely a trail to walk if you have time!
Fort Adams: We spent an afternoon visiting Fort Adams. This is a great spot to see the Narragansett Bay, Newport Bridge, sailboats, and lighthouses. The 2.2 mile Bay Walk around the fort is completely paved and flat so you can take a relaxing stroll to enjoy the views. Admission to the grounds is free. There is a paid tour into the fort. It is another good place in Newport to see the sunset. The tour guide was great. He was extremely knowledgeable and engaging with the adults as well. He guided us through the officer’s quarters, kill zones and the underground tunnels. It was fascinating to think this was a real fort/war zone at one point.
As you may already know, I am a huge foodie. So I couldn’t finish this post without telling you were to eat! We visited Newport at the heist of summer, so be aware, all restaurants will have huge waiting lines unless you pre-book. Most restaurants are near the harbor area, however bear in mind due to the location, nearly all menus are mostly fish items.
Wharf Pub & Restaurant: This is a cute little place by the Marina. There is an outside and inside seating area. I would recommend the outdoor seating as inside is a little hot and sweaty on a hot summers day. We didn’t book in advance and had to wait 1.5 hrs. for our table, which was fine as we had a little walk around the Marina area and ended up having a drink at the Marriott hotel roof top (this was really lovely). When we were finally seated at the Wharf Pub, I ordered the falafel wrap and my husband ordered the pub wings. All washed down with a glass of prosecco. The food was really tasty. Service was good and the food arrived quickly. Great place for those looking for a less for a menu less fishy!
Pasta Beach. This is a small cute chic place with lots of people and gorgeous smells of Italian food oozing out. We came across this restaurant on our walk down the Wharf area. You should book in advance especially on summer weekends. We had to give this place a miss on the first night as there were no tables. On our date night, we got a table outside. Again highly recommend sitting outside as inside was hot! We ordered the bruschetta to start which was light and fresh. For main course, I ordered the penne al arrabiata and my husband ordered the four cheese gnocchi.
Diego’s. This was another great dinner spot. Mexican food galore. We were seated outside and my cocktail was served in a jar. We ordered a plate of nachos. These were scrumptious. The nachos were huge and baked with delicious, followed by Quesada’s. Diego’s is more of a Mexican/Asian fusion place than a traditional Mexican joint. Menu is a little pricey, but everything is extremely well presented.
Finally a walk in the Wharf (harbor) area of Newport is the icing on the cake and the end to a beautiful evening. As the sun sets, it glows against all the boats and yachts. It truly is a perfect picture.
Block Island – things to do:
We also ventured out of Newport and went on a day trip to Block Island. Not many people have heard of this little beautiful Island. It was only a short ferry ride away from the Newport harbor area. We booked our ferry tickets from the harbor area and took the 9am ferry to the Island. As soon as we arrived on Block Island, we went and hired our own bikes. There are a bunch of bike vendors everywhere so it is very easy to rent one. We got two bikes at around $30 each for the day hire. We got our bikes, we had our map and we were on our way! Newport is slightly hilly and there are some tough uphill biking roads. It was quite difficult at some points as it was so hot as well! But it was worth the fun and adventure. Block Island is gorgeous full of little quaint boutique shops.
We rode our bikes around the Island taking in its beauty whilst visiting the beach and the Southeast Light House (this is at the top of the hill). I had to nurse my bike all the way up! The lighthouse and views were beautiful.
Block Island Food
Payne’s Donuts. While riding our bikes around the Island, we stumbled upon Payne’s Donuts. Oh boy what a treat. I am not a huge donut fan, however the donuts from this place were exquisite. The donuts were fresh, warm extra sugary. If you are lucky enough to find this place, go have a KILLER donut.
Froozies Juice Bar is where we stopped for lunch while on our bike riding adventure on Block Island. This is an outdoor seating juice bar which makes only vegetarian food. This was a great little find and we had the veggie sandwiches and fresh smoothie to energize us for more bike riding. It’s a quick service/take away juice bar. Great for a short food stop. We strolled around the little souvenir shops along the bay and then hopped on our bikes to head back to the ferry port.
The Ice Cream Place serves some cool Dinosaur Crunch ice-cream, which was an amazing tub of great blue gooey ice-cream. This ice cream joint is located right near the ferry port. There are some tables and chairs outside for you to enjoy a last minute ice-cream before the ferry ride back .
We had an amazing couple of days in Newport. So if you are looking to get away from the corporate world, ditch the modern, visit some history and eat good food, visit Newport. If you need any ideas or help planning a vacation, please get in touch.
Happy Vacation Planning!
British Girl Blogging with a Cuppa