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Road Trip: Newport, Rhode Island

October 27, 2010 12:22 AM

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Breakers Mansion/ AP

(credit: AP)

Breakers Mansion/ AP

(credit: AP)

Head to our neighbor in the south for a vacation filled with fun, adventure and traditional New England charm. Newport, Rhode Island is not only a place with fantastic beaches and award-winning restaurants; it is also a destination where you can vacation out of the ordinary.

Although it is only a little over an hour away, you will feel like you are thousands of miles from work, worry and stress. Welcome to Newport, Rhode Island.

Related: Dog-Friendly Trip To Newport

Getting There

Distance (roundtrip from Boston): 141 miles
Travel Time: 2 hours 44 minutes

Newport Vineyards

Started in the 1970s, Newport Vineyards is the largest grower of wine grapes in New England. Vineyard owners John and Paul Nunes have worked together to expand their farms to 60 vineyard acres and produce some of the finest tasting wines in the area.

Tours of the vineyard are offered everyday of the week and group tours are also available. You will learn how locally grown grapes are transformed into wines, and how the land plays such a pivotal role in grape production. The vineyard is located on a wonderful piece of land some consider the most desirable farming area in the country.

And don’t forget to pick up some of your favorite wines. Newport Vineyards produces a wide variety of vino, including red, white and blush wines. They even make their own hard cider. Their entire inventory of wines is very reasonably priced, so stock up and enjoy!

Newport Mansions

When many people think of Newport, they automatically think of the area’s magnificent mansions. Each property is rich with history and depicts life from the Colonial era through the Gilded Age — a period in which railroad development, iron and steel production and oil made many people very wealthy.

Guided tours take you through the memorizing mansions and allow you image what it would be like to live in such a grand home. The Preservation Society of Newport County runs the tours and provides several viewing options for visitors — whether you want to spend a whole day walking through the spectacular homes, or just a few hours.

During the holidays, several of the mansions are decorated for the season in period décor.

Sightsailing Of Newport

For the final stop on your trip, head to the coast and take a relaxing cruise on the water with Sightsailing of Newport.

Board one of Sightsailing’s three boats for a trip you will not soon forget. Take an hour ride, or embark on a sailing trip that will last for hours. Whatever time frame you choose, you are guaranteed a relaxing and quiet adventure off the coast of Newport.

The company’s biggest boat only holds 16 people and others can set sail with just two to six people on board. The small number of passengers will ensure you have a peaceful and enjoyable excursion through Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. Boaters can even take the wheel and feel what it is like to sail such a magnificent vessel.

Boats set sail every two hours during throughout most of the year. During the summer, the first boat heads out at 10 a.m. and the last boat leaves at 7 p.m.

The cost of sailing varies, depending on what kind of trip you would like to take. Regular tours cost about $35 a person, but the prices do increase when you schedule a personal charter and extend the hours at sea.

Make sure you schedule your trip in advance to ensure a spot, and try to get a boat taking off around sunset. The view is absolutely spectacular and will prove to be an experience you will not soon forget.
Whether you are looking for a place to spend the weekend, or a weeks-long vacation, Newport, Rhode Island is the perfect destination. Filled with old New England charm, marvelous vineyards and breathtaking homes, Newport is a place where you can enjoy the splendors that Rhode Island has to offer.

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