Newport, Rhode Island

Growing up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, and having an avid sailor for a father, my family took many a day trip to visit Newport, Rhode Island. I can remember touring the mansions as a child, admiring the boats at the Newport Boat Show with my dad, and enjoying the beaches, restaurants, and various outdoor recreational activities during the summer. As an adult, I have returned to Newport many time, with my husband for a weekend getaway and with girlfriends as an escape from the duties of motherhood. Recently,  my family spent Thanksgiving weekend celebrating the start to the holiday season in the “City By the Sea.” You can read all about our holiday celebrations here.

However, you would need months (possibly years)  to explore every place in the city, so I think Newport should be on everyone’s list; better yet, if you live within a few hours, it’s worth making visits each season. The city is filled with visitors during the summer months and you absolutely should visit during the summer. However, there is also plenty to do during the winter.

If you need help planning a visit to Newport, DiscoverNewport.org is the perfect planning tool. It’s extremely easy to navigate and full of ideas based on your preferences for activities, food, accommodations, and budget. There is also a massive directory for weddings planning. The online calendar was up to date and quickly linked me to websites and phone numbers. It also covers more than “just” the city of Newport, by including both Newport and Bristol Counties. I’ve organized suggestion based on two popular areas of town:

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Celebrating the Holiday Season in Newport, RI

Founded in 1639 and known as the “City by the Sea”, Newport, Rhode Island has been welcoming beach lovers to its sandy shores every since that time. During the famous “Gilded Age” in America, business tycoons built summer “cottages” to retreat to during the summer months. Today, the mansions of Newport are still the most visited spots in the city; however, there is so much to do in Newport after touring the mansions and surfing in the ocean waters.

Growing up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, and having an avid sailor for a father, my family took many day trips to visit Newport. As an adult, I have returned to Newport many times: with my husband for a weekend getaway and with girlfriends as an escape from the duties of motherhood. This past weekend, I took my husband and children to explore Newport in the “shoulder season” and usher in the holiday season. Today’s post begins a series of all Newport has to offer:

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Minute Man National Historic Park Lexington & Concord, MA

Concord and Lexington Massachusetts are two towns located northwest of Boston steeped in the history of the “birth” of America. The National Park Service has done a wonderful job of preserving many important sites in these towns associated with the battle of April 19, 1775, when colonial milita fought British troops (called “regulars”) in a battle that began the American Revolution. Collectively, these sites are known as the Minute Man National Historic Park. It’s well worth your family’s time to spend a day (or two or three!) visiting the area. Here are my top picks:

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Bristol, Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, size wise, in the country, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in inviting beaches, interactive history, and plenty of family friendly activities.

Bristol, a town of about 23,000 people, is located between Newport (look for upcoming posts!) and the state capitol, Providence. A few years ago, my husband and I taught academic courses for Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth summer program on the campus of Roger Williams University. We were able to spend time getting to know this beautiful town that separates Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay. Here are some of our favorite spots: (and I did fact check to make sure information is up to date as of June 2017)

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