Newport Rhode Island: Weekend Trip Series

For those that know me, know I work full time so most of my traveling is by weekend trips. Thankfully, I live in the northeast and you can get to a lot of different places by car in about 3-4 hours. It was the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend and I wanted to get away but wasn’t sure where we should go or what we could afford so last minute on a holiday weekend. I thought of going up north to New England because I figured there would be less traffic than going down south towards Maryland. Knowing little to nothing about the state of Rhode Island, I did a three minute google search and saw we can go to Newport, RI which was a cute little beach down and decided we should do it. After seeing that most hotels were around $185 per night (during a holiday weekend), I impulsively booked our trip several minutes after the idea popped into my head #yolo. We were only there for a short weekend so I thought it was best to book and then figure the rest out later.

The ride up there was beautiful, Michael and I kept commenting how peaceful the drive was. There was hardly any traffic for a Saturday morning in summer, just open roads with beautiful greenery on either side. Since there was no traffic, we got there super early and headed straight to the beach. There are plenty of really beautiful beaches in Rhode Island but we went to Belmont beach which was right by the Mansion Row Cliff Walk. It was a nice beach with super soft sand, the one issue was that the water was way too cold. There were only three younger kids in the water in the whole beach, I guess because kids are the only ones who can tolerate that temperature. I’ve heard that the water doesn’t get to a tolerable temperature until August so if you think you’ll be jumping waves all weekend, go down south instead. We stayed at the beach for a couple of hours and then checked into our hotel. 

After laying down for a little while we went to the Newport Winery. The winery is technically in Middletown, RI, not Newport, RI. Middletown is a mile or two out of town or about an $8.00 Uber ride. Something that I wanted to start doing while traveling is checking out local wineries. I appreciate tasting new types of wine and learning about how it is made. I also simply love being at wineries – just hanging out in the grass, eating the flat breads they serve, and sipping on wine. I have only been to a few wineries in the NJ/ NY area and one in Greece, but the Newport Winery is by far my favorite winery I’ve been to. The difference between wineries in the NJ/ NY area is that they are over crowded, filled with trash (literal), and just an empty lot to get drunk on. There is nothing special, fun, or relaxing about the ones I’ve been to. The Newport Winery is exactly what I imagined Napa Valley is like, minus it being pretentious. First off they have rows and rows of actual grape vines, which is not something I’ve seen in other wineries. I’m sure there are vines at every vineyard, but the ones I went to in NJ/NY don’t let you near them. Secondly, people are just casually laying in the grass, eating lobster rolls and sipping on sauvignon blanc. It wasn’t overly crowded or loud; just chill vibes. 

After hitting the winery for you a few hours, we ubered on over to the “main area” of town which is Thames Street. It is a street filled with seafood restaurants and gift shops with fresh fudge. As we walked closer to the water, there were little piers with outdoor bars and nicer restaurants where you sit by the water and watch the boats. We had dinner and then walked around, we were thinking of going to one of the trendy outdoor bars. They all looked super sleek and they were playing music but not too loud where you had to scream over each other. People were wearing white jeans, but in a cool way. After thinking about going in for about 30 seconds, we decided to stay on brand and went to a local bakery instead. We went and got fresh baked cookies instead which were the size of our faces and absolutely worth the 3000 calories (not that we count).

The next day was our last. We got breakfast and then went to the Mansion Row Cliff Walk which is a 3 mile stretch of breathtaking mansions on the edge of the cliff. On one side you have the view of the ocean, on the other, you walk passed dozens and dozens of mansions. The views are amazing and make you feel like you are in the scene of a movie. I learned that these homes were originally built as “summer homes” in the early 1900s. If these are their summer homes, I’d love to know what their winter homes look like! These Newport Mansions have been preserved and are open to the public. There are audio tours available to learn the history of each mansion as well. Some of the most famous ones are the Vanderbilt, Rosecliff and The Elms. We didn’t have much time so we didn’t go into the mansions, we just walked down the row which was a great time as well. 

Overall, I really loved Newport, Rhode island and would definitely recommend checking it out for a weekend. It was clean, not overly crowded, friendly and seemed sleek but not pretentious. It is a totally different culture than the one we have here in the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT). One thing that I noticed that I had an issue with was the lack of diversity. I can only tolerate a weekends worth of everyone wearing white jeans but hey that’s me!


Finding Francesca 

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