Been there, done that? I don’t think so. . .

“Been there, done that” does not apply to our City By The Sea. Even if you have been here before, each new visit will open new doors of exploration.

Newport, you see, has nine cities to explore. The “Nine City” legend comes from Theophilus North, a novel by Thornton Wilder published in 1973.

Wilder describes Newport’s First City as the town’s earliest beginnings. From the Old Stone Mill (link) which legend says the Vikings built it when they landed here 1,000 years ago. Others date it to around 1660 and credit Governor Benedict Arnold, great-grandfather of the famous traitor. Visit and decide for yourself.

Historic neighborhoods dating from before the Revolutionary War era still stand. You can dine in America’s oldest tavern – The White Horse Tavern, which opened it’s doors in1652.

Fast-forward a few years to Newport’s Second City, an “18th-century town.” Stroll the historic Point neighborhood with homes dating back to the 1700s that are still in use as private homes today. Walking tours are available for history buffs. ( Touro Synagogue ( is a must-see. The country’s oldest synagogue was built over 250 years ago.

Newport’s Third City, is all about our magnificent waterfront.Newport is the summer berth of sailing and mega yachts from all over the world. Tour the harbor by sail, motor yacht, schooner, catamaran or kayak (links).Newport still has a busy working waterfront with fishing vessels and lobster boats (links) unloading their catch daily.

Newport’s Fourth City shows its military history. Visit Fort Adams, the nation’s largest coastal fortification, which was pressed into service during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. Now it’s a Mecca for summertime crowds gathered to take photos of tall-ship (link) flotillas and attending the world-class Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Newport is home to Naval Station Newport as well as the Naval War College and the Naval Academy Prep School. The Tall ShipsÒ return toNewport this summer (link).

Newport’s Fifth City depicts Newport’s artistic side. Perhaps it’s because it is so picturesque, Newport has always drawn artists of all genres. Art galleries abound and if you are an art lover, then you must visit the Newport Art Museum, one of the oldest continuously operating art associations in the country. Don’t miss the National Museum of American Illustration (link), located in a Bellevue Avenue mansion. If you visit in July, you are extremely fortunate as this is the month of the Newport Music Festival; (link) Chamber Music performed in the venues for which it was composed.

Newport’s Sixth City features the world-renown Bellevue Avenue mansions and their eccentric cast of characters. The grand summer homes built for the likes of the Astors, the Vanderbilts, the Belmonts and others. Your visit would not be complete without touring the awe-inspiring Newport Mansions, Rough Point, the estate of heiress Doris Duke, and Belcourt Castle, with their infamous ghost tours. (link, link, link)

Newport’s Seventh City speaks of the servants who, in Wilder’s words, “never enter the front door of the house in which they live except to wash it.” Don a comfortable pair of walking shoes and explore the back doors of the Newport Mansions along Newport’s fabled Cliff Walk (link). Be sure to stop at the “40 stepsa dramatic stone staircase that drops down the side of the cliff to a balcony over the sea. This was the meeting place for the butlers, maids and footmen during their few hours of free time away from the eyes of their masters.

Newport’s Eighth City consists of gate crashers, fortune hunters, and “prying journalists.” You’ll find them all at Bannister’s Wharf and Bowens Wharf, today a cluster of upscale shops and restaurants along the city’s waterfront.

Finally, Newport’s Ninth City, “the American middle-class town … with little attention to spare for the eight cities so close to it,” wrote Wilder.  Newporters will welcome you to share their timeless City By The Sea.






 NEWPORT, R.I. (April 19, 2012)  — America’s Cup Event Authority today announced Taylor-Made Destinations has been designated the Official Reservation Service of theAmerica’s Cup World Series (ACWS)Newport. The company will provide lodging services and overnight packages for the 9-day event.

Taylor-Made Destinations was established in Newport in 1993. They are the largest reservation service and housing bureau in Newport, arranging accommodations for individuals and groups. The company represents over 85 quality hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts and all-suite properties in Newport County.

A festival of sailing will take place in Newport from June 23 to July 1 and will feature the America’s Cup World Series regatta involving the world’s top sailors competing on high-tech AC45 wing-sailed catamarans that are capable of speeds over 35 mph. The highlight of the regatta will take place during on the final Sunday, July 1, which will feature the sensational, winner-takes-all fleet race.

Taylor-Made Destinations owner Karen TaylorHowell says, “Taylor-Made Destinations is delighted and extremely honored to be named the official reservation service for this state-of-the-art regatta and world-class event.  Our team is gearing up to handle the record number of inquiries for accommodations the ACWS will draw. We are in the process of creating several unique and all-inclusive packages for spectators who will be visiting Newport from all over the globe.

TaylorHowell adds, “Our reservation service will provide visitors with special rates and packages that will not be available through any other source. We’re based in Newport and have a thorough knowledge of everything the City by the Sea has to offer, so we can provide our clients with options that will allow them to make the most of their time spent here. Our packages will provide our clients with the full America’s Cup Newport experience.”

“We are pleased to have Taylor-Made Destinations as part of theAmerica’s Cup World Series team” said Bob Basche, Project Leader for ACWS Newport. “Their services will make it easy for people who need accommodations for the ACWS Newport and we believe they will be an excellent partner in this exciting regatta.”

To learn more about Taylor-Made Destinations, visit or call toll-free (800) 847-6820 (US/Canada) or international (401) 847-6820.

For America’s Cup information, view the website

Categories: Uncategorized

Reasons To Visit Newport In March

During the month of March, all of Newport is Irish.   The highlight of the month is of course the St. Patrick’s Day parade: this year scheduled for March 17th. However there is more to Newport’s celebration of its Irish history than this one event.  Join us during the month of March to celebrate all that is Irish.

The month long series of events kicks off on the weekend of March 3rd  with a Saturday morning bus tour of Newport’s Irish history. Saturday evening Common Fence Music Presents Irish Super – Duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill at Channing Memorial Church. Sunday, March 4th starts off with the annual  “Green Eggs and Ham” breakfast at Hibernian Hall.  The Forty Steps, once a gathering spot for the Irish caretakers of the Bellevue Avenue mansions and their owners, will again host traditional Irish music and step dancing. Then it’s back to Hibernian Hall for an afternoon social with an Irish sing-along.  Cap off the day with an Irish music session at Fastnet Pub, every Sunday, starting at 5PM.

Beginning March 8th, Newport proudly hosts the chefs of our sister city, Kinsale Ireland, for a taste of Ireland. Participating restaurants are Fathoms at the Newport Marriott, the Windward Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Newport, One Bellevue Restaurant at the Hotel Viking, and La Forge Casino.  This year’s highlight will be an “Iron Chef” style cook off at the Newport Marriott on Saturday, March 10th from 2:00 ‘til 3:30. Start you day off on Sunday, March 11th with a traditional Irish country breakfast at LaForge Casino from 9AM until noon.

Parade day, March 17th, begins with a Catholic Mass in honor of St. Patrick at St Joseph’s Church on Broadway at 9AM. This will be followed by the mayor’s reception at City Hall.  The 55th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade will kick off promptly at 11AM. It will follow its traditional route, through Washington Square, down Thames Street, to the heart of Irish Newport, ending at St. Augustin’s Church in the 5th Ward. There are many options after the parade, with many local spots, both along the parade route and off, offering Irish entertainment and spirits.  An alcohol-free option is the post-parade family party at The Hut (adjacent to Newport Public Library).

On Friday, March 24th join the Ladies of the Ancient Order of Hibernians for a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner at St. Augustin’s Church.

While you’re in Newport for our Irish History Month, be sure to visit the Museum of Irish History on Lower Thames Street to experience their interpretive center.  Reservations strongly suggested for all dining events. Guest rooms are rooms still available for any of these events, but remember this is the start of the season in Newport and many events are so to sell out.  Don’t miss out! Visit our website or give us a call today. And if you visit us in March remember to wear the green!

–Kathy Hallgring

Categories: General Newport

Release Date for Moonrise Kingdom Announced

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Last winter, The Ocean State played host to some Hollywood royalty – Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand (who shares my birthday). They were here filming scenes for the Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom. Scenes from the movie were shot at locations including Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, Lincoln Woods State Park and Prudence Island.  The May 25th release date of the film has just been announced.

<–Nice mug shot of Bill Murray wearing a t-shirt from a local surf shop.

Click here for set photos from the movie.



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Making the Most of the Holidays In Newport

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I know, I know! It feels like only yesterday, we were sitting on our porches complaining about the heat, but suddenly, here it is – mid November and they’re already playing Christmas music in the local stores. You’ve just about finished your lunch and it’s already cold and dark outside. You get home from work and it feels like midnight. Take heart. There is a bright side to winter and it’s called Christmas In Newport!  Stroll along the gas-lit, cobblestoned streets of Newport, the smell of wood burning in the fireplaces, the crunch of leaves underfoot, homes, businesses and boats decorated with twinkling white lights. It’s downright magical.  As if it couldn’t get any better, this is our value season with fabulous off-season rates at our Newport area hotels, our charming inns, delightful B&Bs and spacious harbor-front all-suite properties. Call us at 800-847-6820 or visit our website at

Harbor Lights

Thanksgiving In Newport – a wonderful place to spend this holiday with family, friends and loved ones.  It’s a special day where everyone gathers as one in expressing gratitude for all the blessings received. This year, take the day off from all that cooking and baking and enjoy the feast at one of Newport’s fine restaurants.

Castle Hill Inn, the Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, and the Boat House in Tiverton will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with a selection of seasonal specialties.  Waterman Grille, Trio, and Hemenway’s will be closed.

Castle Hill Inn will feature an elegant Thanksgiving Day dinner, beginning with a choice of three appetizers for the table served family-style, including Rhode Island Stuffies with oyster-pecan stuffing and spicy aioli; Dirty Rice Croquettes with smoked tomato fondue; and House-Made Antipasto: Black Bird Beef Bresaola, Mortadella, and Cotta Salami.

The carving station will feature Helgar’s Farm Turkey with traditional gravy, Hereford Beef Rib Eye with horseradish cream and au jus, and Lemon Sole Roulade with lobster filling and lobster cream. Accompaniments will include Traditional Bread Stuffing,Collard Greens with bacon and cane vinegar; Brussels Sprouts with roasted mushrooms, and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.  Desserts will feature a selection of cakes, tarts, pies, and pastries, including traditional Pumpkin Pie, Apple-Cranberry Tart, Devil’s Food Cake, and Hazelnut Cream Profiteroles.

Castle Hill will be serving dinner from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving.  The cost of the buffet is $70.00 for adults and $25.00 for children eleven and under; beverages, tax, and gratuity are additional.  For more information or to make reservations, please call 401-849-3800 or visit

At The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, located on Sayer’s Wharf in Newport, in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu of top-of-catch seafood, prime cuts of beef, and locally grown, organic produce, guests will be able to enjoy a traditionalThanksgiving Dinner featuring herb butter-roasted Baffoni Farms turkey, fennel and leek stuffing, roasted Schartner Farms sweet potatoes, sautéed Confreda Farms green beans, homemade Meadow Farms organic cranberry sauce, and triple chocolate pumpkin pie with Farm Fresh sugar pumpkins. The Mooring will be serving dinner 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and the cost of the dinner is $24.00 per person, excluding dessert.  A child’s portion is also available for $12.00. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 401-846-2260 or visit

22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, located at 22 Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, will offer Thanksgiving Day specials in addition to its regular menu of USDA Prime beef and New England’s finest seafood, including a complete Turkey Dinner of roasted all-white meat turkey, stuffing, green beans, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, house made cranberry sauce and gravy, finished with a selection of Aunty Amanda’s seasonal desserts.  22 Bowen’s will be serving dinner from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and the cost of the Thanksgiving menu is $27.95. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 401-841-8884 or

Thanksgiving at the Boat House, located at 227 Schooner Drive in Tiverton, will begin with a selection of appetizers, includingAutumn Squash Soup with chestnuts and a thyme biscuit; a Harvest Salad of Baby Greens lettuce, walnuts, apples, Simmons Farm goat cheese, pastured egg, and cider dressing; and a Charcuterie Plate of pork terrine, smoked rillettes, salami, pickled vegetables, country mustard, and bread.

Entrée selections will include Helger’s Farm Turkey with bread stuffing, mashed potato, glazed carrots, cranberry chutney, and pan gravy; Prime Rib of Hereford Beef with potato ragout, creamed spinach, and au jus; and Native Sole with scallop and shrimp stuffing, spaghetti squash, pea greens, and lemon-chive beurre blanc.

Holiday desserts will include Aquidneck Island Pumpkin Pie with Gray’s eggnog ice cream and a cinnamon anglaise and semifreddo with Fresh Meadows Farm cranberries, Aquidneck honey, apple jam, and pecans.

The Boat House will be serving dinner from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  For more information or to make reservations, call 401-624-6300 or visit

Thanks to Newport Restaurant Group for providing this information.

In between Thanksgiving and the start of Christmas in Newport is the Newport Harbor Boat Parade on November 25th. The Newport waterfront community will launch the holiday season with the annual Holiday Harbor Lights Boat Parade at 6:15 p.m. Illuminated boats will circle the harbor and compete for best holiday decoration prizes awarded by the Newport Harbormaster and community judges. Newport Yacht Club is open to the public that evening and spectators can also watch the parade from Bowen’s Wharf, Bannister’s Wharf and waterfront points around Newport Harbor. In case of severe weather, the parade will sail the following dayat 6:15 pm.

2011 marks the 41st year of Christmas In Newport the city-wide celebration fostering the historic traditions of the holiday season. Though there are holiday  happenings in November, the official kick-off of Christmas In Newport is on December 1st across from our office in Washington Square. We wrap ourselves up, don scarves and mittens, grab a mug of hot cocoa or hot cider and head outside to join hundreds of locals and visitors for the annual tree-lighting event. This night includes a proclamation from our  mayor, a canon salute (which scares the bejesus out of my little Maltese) and live entertainment. This event is free to the public.

Many of the Christmas In Newport events sell out well in advance so don’t wait to make your reservations. For example The Polar Expres Train Ride, a perennial favorite, starts promoting the event in June and is already sold out for December dates. A few November dates are still available.  For the full schedule, visit

Christmas at the Newport Mansions

Another attraction not to be missed is Christmas at the Newport Mansions, November 19 – January 2. The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House will be decked out in glitering Yuletide regalia. Thousands of poinsettias, spectacular evergreen trees, wreaths and fresh flowers and 19th century style ornaments turn the houses and their grounds into a Christmas wonderland.  All three houses will be decorated and open daily for tours from Saturday, November 19 through Monday, January 2, 2012.   The Breakers opens daily at 9 a.m., The Elms and Marble House open at 10 a.m.   The last tour admission at all three houses is at 4 p.m., and the houses & grounds close at 5 p.m.

Enjoy an authentic view inside a Newport mansion in winter.  Heiress Doris Duke spent Christmas in sunny Hawaii far away from Rough Point, her Newport estate.  Experience the quiet house, see the decorated staff wing, and hear about Miss Duke’s tropical holiday.  Learn how Rough Point’s winter caretaking traditions have remained the same for the past half century.  Tour the first floor and enjoy refreshments in the staff dining room, not normally open to the public. Tours offered every 1/2 hour.  Questions? Email Liz Spoden or call (401) 847-8344.

Christmas at Blithewold (Bristol, Rhode Island) – Gifts of Nature

Friday, November 25, 2011 to Sunday, January 01, 2012 at 10:00AM – 5:00PM Phone: (401) 253-2707

For a complete listing of Newport and Bristol County events, please click here.

Categories: Uncategorized

A Delectably Delicious Reason To Visit Newport

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

For a gastronomic good time, visit Newport between November 4- 13 to take advantage of Newport Restaurant Week. This event features 54 wonderful restaurants throughout Newport and Bristol Counties. Enjoy three-course prix fixe meals for only $16 for lunch and $30 for dinner (beverages, gratuities and taxes extra).

If you’ve ever wanted to experience some of these outstanding restaurants, there’s no better time. Make it a getaway for a night or two and we can offer you fantastic off-season rates on hotels, charming inns and spacious all-suite properties.

Click HERE for a list of participating restaurants and menus.

Should you patronize any of these great restaurants, we’d love you to post your dining experience here.

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Welcome To Our New Website and Blog!

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Ta-da! Our beautiful, new, functional website! Everyone that saw the site before the launch looked at the beautiful splash page (photographed by Alexander Nesbitt) and said (in the words of Tina Fey) “I want to go to there!” That’s just the effect we were going for.

Newport – Always In Season. Fall is a very special time of the year here. The weather is still pleasant, but the crowds of summer have thinned. The trees take on spectacular aureate colors.  You can walk your dog on our beautiful beaches.  It’s easier to get a reservation at our better restaurants. Parking is less of a hassle – in a few weeks, they’ll turn off the meters and street parking will be free. It feels like Newport has exhaled.

Fall events feature harvest and Halloween themed events like the 9th Annual Ballard Park Pumpkin Tour, Greenvale Vineyards Live Jazz Saturdays, Newport’s spooky ghost tours, the Tunnels of Terror and the Fortress of Nightmares. For a full schedule of seasonal events, click here.

Room rates will be dropping soon and the local lodging establishments are busy dreaming up wonderful packages to entice you to The City By The Sea.

We hope you like our new site and blog and will return every time the urge to visit Newport strikes you.

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