Pack the car, fill up, and hit the road for Newport!
The Car: 2003 Chevrolet Corvette C5 (courtesy of Hillcrest Chevrolet, Salem)
Destination: Newport, Rhode Island
The gist: Tooling around the summer playground of the rich and famous.
Newport glitters like a diamond overlooking the Narragansett Bay. Barely 90 minutes from Boston, the place seduces travelers with its fascinating history and culture. Newport is as luxurious today as it was when the Vanderbilts and Ascots built their stunning “cottages” there.
This resort town has lovely white sand beaches, continental boutiques, noble inns, discriminating restaurants, and mansions so elaborate we thought surely we must be in another world.
Seated in the low cockpit of our luxurious ‘Vette, we tested the engine on the open road and marveled at how “smart” the car was with its built-in memory system. This model even had the capacity to remember our seat positions upon reentry. Getting there really was half the fun!
We tooled around Newport, exchanging the “sports car nod” with other drivers until we discovered Vincent’s on the Pier for lunch. Service was attentive, the surroundings pleasing, and the food delicious and attractively presented.
For accommodations, we chose the 13-room Adele Turner Inn for its interesting architectural elements (tall arched windows, inviting porch and rooftop deck), luxurious amenities (fine linens, chocolate-coated strawberries, and daily wine and food pairings) and intriguing history (Adele Turner was mother of Beatrice Turner, an eccentric Newport artist who painted more than 1,000 self-portraits). All rooms have fireplaces, period antiques, private baths, and media centers.
After checking in, we wandered over to The Elms on Bellevue Avenue, one of America’s most famous streets.
A National Historic Landmark, The Elms is a French-style chateau built in 1901 by architect Horace Trumbauer as a summer cottage for entrepreneur Edward Julius Berwind. The home showcases exquisite imported furnishings, marble pavilions, fountains, a sunken garden, carriage house and garage, and every technological marvel of its time.
A short walk from the Inn led us to LaForge Casino, where we dined on a tender rack of lamb, thickly packed lobster roll, and delicious bread pudding and ice cream. Owner Paul Crowley has helped develop a sister city relationship with Kinsale, Ireland, and his menu reflects many recipes native to the Emerald Isle.
The next morning, a steaming pot of coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice delivered to our door was the perfect wake-up call.
After a leisurely breakfast of fresh fruit, omelets, and egg-topped croissants, we checked out of the inn, put the Corvette’s top down, and climbed back into the cockpit.
On the return to the North Shore we tested the cars ample get-up-and-go while listening to jazz on the impressive Bose sound system. Zooming along in “touring” mode, we were back home in no time.
NOT TO BE MISSED
JVC Jazz Festival – August 11-13 @ Fort Adams State ParkCome groove to the sounds of John Pizzarelli, George Benson, Dr. John, The Bad Plus, and Dave Brubeck, at one of America’s oldest and most storied music festivals.
For more information: 401 847 3700 or www.festivalproductions.net
Bannister’s Wharf – From Ben & Jerry’s to Mark, Fore & Strike to the Newport Preservation Society Museum, this colonial wharf is the place to dine, shop, and stay in Newport.
For more information: 401 847 0298 or www.bannisterswharf.net
Sailing Newport – Step aboard the Rum Runner II or Madeleine from and cruise past Newport’s world-famous mansions and Castle Hill. See Newport the way the first founders saw it.
For more information: 401 847 0298 or www.cruisenewport.com
Green Animals Topiary – Wander through one of the nation’s oldest horticultural collections while marveling at the lifelike shrub statues. A great stop for flower lovers and families alike!
For more information: 401 847 1000 or www.newportmansions.org
Newport Grand Jai Alai Entertainment Center – Try your luck at Newport’s fabulous casino. From slots to simulcasts, the Grand is filled with excitement!
For more information: 401 849 5000 or www.newportgrand.com