By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA
Newport RI is a vacation destination for so many people and Cathy and I unquestionably fall into that group. We have been there countless times over the years and most recently escaped for two nights during the week just before this past Memorial Day holiday. Even though we have been there numerous times, most of those jaunts have been during the height of the tourist season during the months of June, July and August. This trip, being just prior to the summer rush, was a very pleasant experience. Lodging prices were half of the summer pricing, parking in town was plentiful, crowds were minimal so both walking and shopping were enjoyable, and restaurants were not crowded so the dining options were “where did we want to go versus where can we get in”? Kelly and David gave us a gift certificate to our favorite hotel location in Newport out on Goat Island. It was a Hyatt Resort for years but was recently acquired by Gurney’s, which also has a location in the Hamptons.
Newport is probably best known for the elaborate mansions that line Bellevue Avenue. The area was where the extremely wealthy, such as the Vanderbilt’s, spent their summers during the Gilded Age. The mansions, such as The Breakers, Rose Cliff and The Marble House majestically dot the Cliff Walk, a 3 1/2-mile walking path boasting fabulous views along the ocean cliffs. We have done this beautiful walk many times over the years and it has been 3-4 years since our last hike and every time the beautify is overwhelming. This trip was no different as we walked along enjoying the ocean views, the fresh salt air and of course the magnificent real estate. What was different this time was the soreness in the muscles the next morning, an obvious and not pleasant reminder that we can not do as much as we used to.
No trip to Newport would be complete without seafood including clam chowder and lobster rolls. There are so many options for dining that the ritualistic conversation of “where do you want to eat” is inevitable. We have some favorite locations but always seem to explore and try somewhere new. We are yet to be disappointed with our selection. There is usually an ice cream indulgence (or two) at some point during the escape. Part of being away is getting up early and ordering a hearty breakfast such as Texas French toast or blueberry pancakes, which are welcome changes from Kashi cereal.
There so many neat little shops and boutiques alone Thames, America’s Cup, Brick Alley and Bellevue that even Cathy is challenged with how much shopping can be done. She does always give it her all. Bannister’s and Bowen’s wharf are always wonderful places to stroll along the waterfront and view all the beautiful yachts and sail boats. After a long day of shopping, hiking and boat viewing, there is nothing like a ride along Ocean Drive and ending the day with a cocktail at sunset at the Inn at Castle Hill, another of our favorite spots, before heading back into town for dinner.
I hope you enjoyed this little recap of our recent Newport escape and for those of you familiar with the area, hopefully you could envision some of the sights that we have grown to love so much and lived vicariously through our adventure.
Thank you again Kelly and David for helping us create a wonderful memory. Life is Good!
Until the Next Tom’s Take…