Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seven things you should do before you leave Newport, RI (and the summer ends)

Newport in Rhode Island is one of my favorite towns. Those are my personal recommendations of What to Do in Newport, RI, after numerous visits!

Hit for the Second Beach, slightly outside the town and officially located in Middletown. Slightly isolated and less exposed compared to the first beach, it is long, sandy and with clear waters. You will find a rather overpriced canteen and lemonade stand so pack your brown lunch bag or walk around and find something cheaper.

The Elms Mansion

The Elms Mansion

Check out the Mansions. If you don’t have time for all of them, just visit one. You will need about an hour with the audio tour and you will suddenly be in the world of the early century. At that time ladies invited had to change dresses five or six times a day according to the occasion, there was no email but personal post delivery and phone calls were precious. Glamor, luxury and elegance are all top of the list and be prepared to be envious!

Do the cliff walk. It is always busy but if you are an early bird get on the road before the crowds around 5ish. Enjoy the stunning view of the ocean while walking and get a glimpse of the wonderful mansions along the way. Don’t forget your coffee or water although there might be some vendors on the way.

Flo's Clam Shack

Eat some clam cakes at Flo’s Clam Shack. This cute, nostalgic shack is always busy and the line is long so go early or be ready for a long way. You can take them out or dine in. If you are not a clam cake eater, try the stuffies, the local specialty or the traditional lobster roll. Relax and enjoy. Winter is not far away.

Skip the tourists in the busy Bowen's Wharf area during the day and hit towards the Thames street where a series of lovely stores, boutiques and cafes are sitting next to the other. Window shop or just grab the first outfit of your preference. Stop for a drink  at the Café Zelda,  a traditional tiny restaurant and bar in Newport.

Genie's Hookah Lounge

For a unique and special evening, experience the Genie's Hookah Lounge on William Street. Staff will welcome you with pomegranate water to fresh your hands and the laid-back atmosphere will make you feel at home. The menu includes amongst others tea, coffee and delicious food. The Lounge is BYOB. And if you are up to it, try the hookah like a pro! Belly dancing performances are on Fridays and Saturdays only.

And if you have a car or are willing to visit a local winery, try the Newport Vineyards. Experience the local wine making by taking a wine tour and even better, when you actually do the tastings. Try the Newport Riesling, the semi-dry with melon and mineral flavors perfect for an aperitif or if you are into reds, the Blaufränkisch (also known as Lemberger), a grape of Austrian origin,  producing  rich red wines.