Travel Thoughts by Kim
Let’s go on an adventure together….to Rhode Island!
Rhode Island – the smallest of all the United States – is jam-packed with beauty and history. I had been to Rhode Island before, but both times gave me very limited time and experiences. The first time, I spent a few days at a seminar in Providence for work. The second time, I was on a New England States adventure in the motor home with my brother and sister-in-law, but we didn’t make any major stops when passing through Rhode Island. So, it was on my list of states I’d like to return to for a closer look, someday. Well – “someday” came the week of October 18th. I was booked to go on a group bus trip to Maine with a friend that week, but the trip was canceled by the tour company. I had the time and money set aside, so I decided to go to Rhode Island, instead.
This was definitely a “fly by the seat of my pants” trip. I hadn’t done a lot of research and just had a rough list of possible things to do. Once I got there, the list pretty much stayed in my purse and I just started exploring and one thing lead to another and I did whatever caught my interest each day. I ended up putting 572 miles on my rental car over the time I was there – flew in on Monday, spent three days exploring, and flew home Friday.
I chose to fly into Boston Logan airport, instead of Providence – mainly because I could get a non-stop flight and it saved me a bit of money. It was a bit of a drive, though, from the airport to Newport and arriving after dark resulted in a stressful drive – Providence airport would have been much closer. The other decision was whether to stay in Providence or Newport – my original plan was to stay in Providence, but I wasn’t liking the idea of staying in a big city, so I chose Newport – a smaller, quaint little harbor city and was so very happy I did – I absolutely LOVED Newport!!!
I stayed at a lovely Bed & Breakfast Inn called the Artful Lodger. It’s in a perfect location, my room was large and comfortable, and breakfast was amazing – definitely a good choice and one I highly recommend! Restaurants I enjoyed were The Lobster Bar and The Mooring in Newport and The Olympia Tea Room in Westerly.
Some key points of interest: Newport is famous for their gilded age mansions – some of America’s wealthiest families of the mid-19th century had what they called “summer cottages” on the coast of Newport. I took a city trolley tour that took us by these homes and ended with the opportunity to tour one of them – WOW. The harbor and wharfs are a big part of the Newport experience. I took a sailing cruise on a schooner that was amazing – I used Classic Cruises of Newport. I saw the church where John and Jackie Kennedy were married, I borderline trespassed to see the mansion used to film outdoor scenes in the 1960’s TV series Dark Shadows, shopped on Thames Street – a lovely cobblestone street full of shops and restaurants, and crossed the bridge to Jamestown to visit America’s third oldest lighthouse. I also walked a ways on the Cliff Walk – a great way to see the beauty of Newport. It is a 7 mile round trip walk, so I only did part of it, but what I saw was amazing. I enjoyed navigating the narrow one-way streets of Newport, walked around downtown, and, of course, I ate lobster! I also visited Providence and took a drive up Cape Cod.
Newport and Providence also played a major role in the establishment of religious freedom in America – I visited the first and second American Baptist churches and the first synagogue in America. Be sure to click on the link for my blog post about the churches – I give a brief overview of two men who were pioneers in the movement of religious freedom, founded Rhode Island, and formed the American Baptist denomination. Their stories are fascinating.
For a tiny state, Rhode Island has so much to see and do and enjoy and Newport is wonderful! Check out my blog posts to see all the stories and photos from this amazing trip. I hope you enjoy reading them.
First American Baptist Churches In America