The Newport Beach Hotel & Suites
After visiting New Bedford and before going on to the Berkshires, we took a side trip of three days to visit Newport Rhode Island. We stayed at the Newport Beach Hotel & Suites, right across from Easton Beach (First Beach). (Don’t be put off by its “luxury hotel” status, you can get a good deal in the off-season) Despite the busy road beneath our window, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the beach. It’s a very nice hotel in a great location: a ten minute stroll to the famous Cliff Walk and less than ten minute drive to the Newport waterfront.
We went to Newport specifically to view Gilded-Age mansions, but before I get to that I want to talk about how much we enjoyed Newport’s waterfront.
The Newport Waterfront
There are charming shops and wonderful restaurants waiting for visitors at the waterfront. We didn’t take advantage of it, but there are lots of opportunities for sailing and fishing as well. We were happy to shop and eat.
The Black Dog
We discovered a great clothing chain called The Black Dog. Everyone back east is familiar with this chain but it was new to us. I first noticed it on Martha’s Vineyard (bar and shop), and then started seeing it everywhere. At first it really bugged me, who wants a shirt with a black dog on it? But then we walked inside and saw the quantity–and noticed the high quality–of their clothing. I know I sound like a commercial but I was really struck! And best of all, there’s a story to go with the business. Click here if you want to view it.
I also want to talk about our favorite restaurant on the waterfront:
The Southern Kitchen and Whisky Bar
The ambience of the Southern Kitchen and Whisky Bar is great. I loved its funky interior and tin ceiling.
They had a wide-range of choices for dinner; I can’t remember what my husband had, but I had the grilled shrimp and grits – delicious. We shared a drink for dessert–a whiskey of course! We had one called Scorched Earth, recommended by our waiter. It tasted like smoke from a campfire but was surprisingly good.
Shout-Out for Bruce and @Blackfangmorphs
We had fun talking to Bruce, our waiter/bartender. He and his sister Deanna have a side business breeding and selling reptiles. Bruce spoke enthusiastically about the business and how they try to vet any clients from Florida–they don’t want them releasing snakes into the Everglades. They specialize in Ball Pythons, which, he told me, wouldn’t survive in the Everglades anyway. I told him I’d give him a shout-out, so here is his instagram: @Blackfangmorphs
The Drift Cafe
I have to give a shout-out to another place just inland from the waterfront – The Drift Cafe at 190 Thames Street. They have the best blended acai bowls! We had never had them before (late to the party) and enjoyed them so much we went back the next day to have another.
We didn’t spend all our time at the Waterfront, like I said, we came to Newport to see the mansions. To get in you in mood for that upcoming blog, I’ll post some photos of Cliff Walk.
Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile walk that runs along Newport’s cliffs and just below the backyards of many Gilded-Age “cottages.” It’s an easy walk with gorgeous views; best of all, it’s free. We walked there from our hotel, but you can park on Memorial Boulevard at Easton’s Beach, or on Narragansett Avenue at 40 Steps. Here is more info on the walk. (Note – most of the photos below are by Bill Gough)
My next blog will be about the mansions of Newport. Stay tuned!