This past weekend, Newport RI had the pleasure to host the inaugural America's Cup World Series off of Fort Adams State Park. While the America's Cup has not graced Newport for almost 30 years, Newport is still considered the home of America's Cup. The World Series is designed to expose more people to the sport of sailing. The Cup was always designed with the intention of showing off not only the best sailors in the world but the latest in technology. The AC45 catamarans - a test run of designs to come for the AC72 did not disapoint. These boats are able to go double the wind speed.
Watching Team Oracle USA (Spithill and Coutts) not only was impressive but it gave you a sense that they have a huge advantage in defending the cup in San Francisco in 2013. While Newport lost out on hosting the cup, it is always advantagous for our city by the sea to have a U.S. team as the defender.
It's no suprise that the America's Cup chose Newport on its inaugural showcase, as many of world's best sailors call Newport home. Narraganset Bay provided great conditions for most of the week, including Saturday's speed trials, where Team Oracle USA Spithill proved to be masterful reaching a speed of amost 20 knots.
If you missed out on the America's Cup World Series stop in Newport, then at least make a point to experience Newport from the water when you visit, you won't be disapointed.
Here are a few great ways to experience Newport's wonderful harbor and sailing conditions:
Sail Newport - Rhode Island's Public Sailing Center is a great stop for the experienced sailor or families or couples looking to learn. They have a fleet of J22s that the experienced sailor can rent or choose to go out with an instructor to learn the basics.
Sakonnet Charters - Crewed day-trips and custom charters from Sakonnet point or for pickup at Third Beach in Newport. We have sailed on Eclipse, their 59' Hinckley, it is impressive to experience the waters around Newport in such a wonderful boat and friendly crew.
Sightsailing of Newport - Has a nice fleet ranging from Schooner Aquidneck, a historical touring vessel, to a newer cruising sailboat called Sightsailer.
12 Meter Charters - Experience Narraganset Bay in 70 foot yachts that are passed winners of the America's Cup.
Photo Credit: Richard Brown, Digital Eclectic - was a guest at the Ivy Lodge over the weekend as he covered the America's Cup World Series.
Summertime in Newport RI is always a great time, but this summer is especially exciting! Not only will the America's Cup events be held in Newport from June 22 to July 1, the Tall Ships America challenge will be coming to Newport from July 6-9! The last time Tall Ships America came to Newport RI was in 2007, and it attracted more than 200,000 spectators, and organizers for the event estimate that attendance will far surpass that number.
The 2012 Tall Ships event will be part of the Tall Ships Challenge sponsored by Tall Ships America. Participating ships will begin in Savannah, Georgia form May 3-7, go on to Charleston, South Carolina, May 10-14 and will then be in Greenport, New York from May 24-28 before heading to Newport. When the Tall Ships depart Newport, they will sail for Halifax and other Nova Scotia ports on July 18-2 and July 24-30th. These events are all part of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
(Pictured above: The HMS Bounty)
The scenic and historic waterfront of Newport is the idyllic setting to observe the splendor of the tall ships, and families delight in the majesty of the Parade of Sail through Newport Harbor. This event will also feature exhibits, food, music and family entertainment. Children especially enjoy boarding these remarkable vessels, and the opportunity to meet international crew members provides all visitors with insight into the many unique cultures that have helped to shape the past and future of sailing.
The Ivy Lodge currently has availability for the dates of these events, but we expect the months of June and July to fill up extremely fast, so if you're planning on visiting Newport for these events it's a good idea to start planning immediately, as the local hotels and inns will sell out soon.
The Newport Flower Show is pleased to celebrate its 17th year as America’s premier summer flower show. Themed "Salsa - A Celebration of Latin Cultures," the 2012 Newport Flower Show will be held on the historic grounds of Rosecliff in Newport, Rhode Island from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24.
The Show kicks off the Newport social season with the much-anticipated Opening Night Cocktail Party on Friday, June 22 at 6:00 p.m., featuring a cocktail buffet, live music and other exciting surprises, and continues through the weekend with themed floral designs, horticultural exhibits, garden displays, unique shopping and free lectures.
The show will also feature special appearances and lectures by famed floral designer Mario Fernandez and former director of the National Gardening Bureau Derek Fell. Tickets can be bought for the Luncheon and Lecture, or just the lecture, for both these reknowned gentlemen on the website for the Newport Flower Show. Mario's luncheon and lecture will be on Friday, June 22 and Derek's luncheon and lecture will be on Saturday, June 23.
The Horticulture Division at the 2012 Newport Flower Show will also be offering the general public the chance to bring their favorite plant or prettiest flower to be judged and displayed during the weekend’s festivities. To enter, gardeners are invited to bring their best-cut specimens and finely-planted perennials and annuals to Rosecliff on Thursday, June 21. Experienced horticulturists will be on hand to qualify entries and provide expert advice and gardening tips. For entry guidelines and submission timeframe, please visit www.NewportFlowerShow.org or call 401.847.1000.
All proceeds from the Newport Flower Show benefit the ongoing landscape restoration efforts of The Preservation Society of Newport County, a private non-profit organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area's historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts.
Friday, June 22, 2012 - 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Special “Bring A Friend” Day)
Opening Night Party:
Friday, June 22, 2012
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
When you come to Newport, you can easily tour the island by either walking, biking, or by car or bus. Why not try a new perspective and take a sailing tour around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay? Newport's heritage goes just as deep in the water is does on land, if not deeper. Before 1969 there was no bridge connecting Aquidneck Island to Jamestown – which has been connected to the main land by the Old Jamestown bridge since 1940 and the Jamestown Verrazano bridge in 1992 – so the only way to and from Newport was by boat.
The first attraction to see in Narragansett Bay is the Rose Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built back in 1870 to help sailors navigate the bay. It's more notable history is from World War I and II when the island was used as a torpedo storage station. In both world wars, many of the torpedoes used were manufactured on nearby Goat Island. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was abandoned after the construction of the Newport bridge in 1970 and fell victim to vandalism and went in to disrepair. In 1984 a group of citizens formed a non-profit organization (the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation) to restore the lighthouse to its former turn of the century appeal, and 9 years later the Rose Island Lighthouse was ceremonially lit once again and is listed on today's charts as a private aid to navigation.
Rose Island itself is a wildlife habitat as well as a protective nesting ground for birds from August 1st – August 15th. When on the island, visitors are allowed to walk the beaches around the island, but may not leave the beachs or lighthouse because of the unsafe buildings left over from the two world wars.
Now there are many ways to get around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. If you fancy yourself an intrepid sailor then Sail Newport, a non-profit organization and the largest public sailing center in New England, offers 22 foot and 19 foot sailboats for rental. They also offer both public and private instructional classes for those that wish to learn how to sail. Sail Newport is located right at Fort Adams State Park, which makes it very easy to find.
If you're looking for a more relaxing experience then you should definitely check out Madeline of Classic Cruises of Newport. Madeline is a 72 foot sailing yacht that was built specifically to carry passengers comfortably and safely through the waters of Newport. Classic Cruises of Newport offers both harbor tours and sunset sailing cruises aboard Madeline with her experienced crew. It will make a memory you'll surely never forget.
Although, you may be looking for a more private experience on the water, then Sight Sailing of Newport is what you want. They offer up their 34 foot sailboat Starlight only for private 2 and 4 hour charters, complete with a captain, for up to 2 – 6 guests. This makes Starlight the perfect romantic getaway on the beautiful waters around Newport and Jamestown. From Castle Hill Light to the shores of Ocean Drive, to passing along the shoreline of Jamestown and the magnificent estates of Brenton's Cove, Sight Sailing will take you to wherever you wish to go. This luxurious and comfortable sailboat is bound to be the highlight of your next trip to Newport
Newport is such a beautiful place to stay and visit. Arguably the best way to enjoy Newport is by bicycle. On a bike you can still appreciate the outdoors like walking, but you can also get to places in a quicker fashion than if you were on foot.
Newport is a very bike-friendly place. In the summer months biking is actually peferable to driving to avoid the traffic and congestion on the roads; not to mention you save at the pump, with summer gas prices always being so high. Biking in Newport is so enjoybale, in fact, we have a company devoted to it: Bike Newport.
Bike Newport describes itself as “everyone in Newport who cares about improving bike friendliness, safety, access, courtesy, health, fitness, enterprise and planning.” Their mission is to make Newport, our City by the Sea, a model of bike smarts and bike friendliness.
On Friday, May 18th Bike Newport, along with others, will be sponsoring “Newport Bike to Work Day.” There will be many events during the day kicking off at Washington Square, such as bicycle tours to the Newport Mansions, a bike fair featuring music, food, vendors and many more things bicycle, or free admission to The Breakers if you show up on your bicycle.
Bike Newport's website is a wealth of information, with a bike map of Newport that details the best bike-friendly routes in the city. They also have oodles of safety information and a full list of upcoming bike related events, such as group get-togethers and rides. There are also many bike racks around Newport for you to hook up to.
(A bike rack in Newport)
“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” ~James E. Starrs
Here in Newport we have a rich and diverse history, so much that you may feel overwhelmed when figuring out what you should see and when to see it! You could go on a convential tour and be scheduled for so much time at a certain site and then move on to the next. Convential tours also have many people at a time in large groups and sometimes uncomfortable bus rides. But don't despair, thankfully there is the Newport Tour & Guide Company, who specialize in small, private tours of Newport.
The Newport Tour & Guide Company specializes in small, private tours of 2-5 people. They offer driving tours, but also include over a dozen opportunites to stop and visit historical sites, not just drive by. They can accommodate anything: photography, culinary delights, rest stops, shopping. Anything that you want to do, they'll make the stop; whenever and wherever. If there's someplace you want to spend more time, it's your tour.
Along with creating your own tour, the Newport Tour & Guide Company offers two pre-planned tours: Colonial Newport Tour or Queen of Resorts Tour. The Colonial tour is a 3 hour journey that immerses you in the most historically intact city of America. Newport is home to the largest number of pre-revolutionary buildings, and this tour allows you to enjoy the culture and history behind them. You can visit places such as the Redwood Library, the oldest lending library and oldest library building in continuous use in the country, or the Touro Synagogue, America's oldest synagogue.
The Queen of Resorts tour is a trip through the Gilded Age of Newport. Newport was once known as the “Queen of Resorts,” and has the densest collection of grand homes in America, hence the name of the tour. In this tour you will have the opportunity to visit my personal favorite, Marble House mansion. It is a grandiose estate, with over 500,000 cubic feet of marble. The cost at the time of building was around $11 million, which in today's money is around $300 million. One of the rooms, the Gold Room, is modeled after the Salon De Hercules at the palace of Versailles, France. The greatest part of this 3 hour tour is that is private with you and your personal guests.
If you wish for more information about these tours, the Newport Tour & Guide company is open every day from 8am - 7pm and can be contacted at (401) 864-0392
Newport Arboretum Week kicks off this Friday, April 20th and will run through the following Friday, April 27th. It is a week of events in celebration of Newport's urban forest and New England's first city-wide arboretum, courtesy of the Newport Tree Society and all those who volunteer to make it possible.
During the week there will be many free events to attend, like a tree walk that will tour the grounds of the famous Chateau-sur-Mer, or the equally idyllic Belleveue House.
The greatest part about Arboretum Week is that the Ivy Lodge is located in the heart of the Mansions District, where many of Newport's iconic copper beech trees are located. There are actually a few beech trees right across the street! These trees are extremely large, with great canopies that provide much of the cover and shade around Newport and along Bellevue Avenue. Many of the trees were imported from Europe during the Gilded Age, between 1853 and 1914.
The unfortunate truth about these majestic wonders is that they won't be around for much longer. Like us, trees too have lifespans. A typical copper beech tree will live anywhere from 100 to 125 years. Also like us, they are subject to disease as they get older. Oddly enough, a very high percentage of Newport's trees were all planted around the same time, and most are old and dying now; many suffering from a disease, an algae, that destroys their circulatory system. Without these beautiful plants, Newport's cityscape will be much different. There have been public initiatives for the past 20 years to plant new growth trees in expectation of this, but it is a little late. Also, many of the best specimens are located on private property. Seeing the majesty of Bellevue Avenue should be something at the top of a vacationer's check list this spring and summer, as there may not be another chance for a long time.
Kicking off Irish heritage month in Newport, RI and a preamble to our 56th annual Newport St. Patrick's day parade is an international exchange of culinary expertise. Chef's from Newport RI & Kinsale Ireland show off their cooking talents at local Newport restaurants. You can be sure this same week, the Ivy Lodge bed and breakfast will carry this culinary theme into our gourmet breakfast each morning.
Celebrate the culinary expertise of Newport’s sister city Kinsale, Ireland known as the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland”, and Newport chefs as they create “Irish “ inspired menus at local restaurants. Experience Newport‘s rich Irish heritage, the port town of Kinsale and the great commonalities shared by both destinations.
Starting March 8- 11 Kinsale Festival of Fine Food: The chefs have prepared specialized Irish inspired menus. The following restaurants will be participating, we do advise making reservations.
Fathoms at the Newport Marriott Hotel
401-849-7788 • www.NewportMarriott.com
Chef: Eric Steinhauer
La Forge Casino
401-847-0418 • www.LaForgeNewport.com
Chef: Nick Violette
One Bellevue at the Hotel Viking
401-848-4824 • www.HotelViking.com
Chef: Kevin Thiele
Windward at the Hyatt Regency Newport
401-851-3325 • www.Newport.Hyatt.com
Chef: Kyle Ketchum
Saturday, March 10
2-3:30pm: First International Cook-Off, Newport Marriott, 25 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport. The
Cook-off will test the culinary expertise between Chef David Rutkowski of the Newport Hyatt Regency
Hotel and Christine O’Sullivan, the Iron Chef- Ireland contender from Kinsale. Each team will receive
4 food items that they must use in four separate dishes. Our elite panel of judges will taste the
creations and determine the winner! Sample some of Ireland’s best Kerrygold Dairy cheeses, such as
Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese and the Dubliner, and savor a wee bit of Irish Whiskey at our Jameson
Irish Whiskey tasting table. GoNewport.com
Sunday, March 11
9am-Noon:Traditional Irish Country Breakfast, at La Forge Casino Restaurant, 186 Bellevue
Avenue, Newport. Reservations Suggested 401-847-0418
Lace-up those skates for another season of winter fun at the Newport RI skating center. The Newport skating center celebrates winterfest in Newport, RI. Surround yourself with the colonial charm and ocean view of our outdoor waterfront rink, just a stroll away from the Ivy Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy the surroundings of majestic architecture and vibrant history of this famed colonial port town. The rink is located next door to two of the most visited of the Newport commercial wharf's: Bannister's and Bowan's wharfs, were a vast array of fantastic shops and tasty restaurants are all within walking distance. There's free parking, on site concessions, regular admission discounts, professional instructors, a warming room, a large on-site viewing area, skate sharpening and an ice surface area of ,90' x 100' that accommodates up to 150 people.
With over one hundred and fifty individual events, this Festival has become "New England's largest winter extravaganza. The Winter Festival offers a unique winter experience combining food, music, and entertainment, with fun for all ages. Sand sculptures, a Chili Cook-Off, city-wide Scavenger Hunt, and an Ice Sculpting Competition, and a Children's Fair are just some of the many colorful and exciting events that will captivate you.
The Winter Festival features an exciting Concert Series with a diverse selection of musical performances by BeatleMania, and new this year Tequila Sunrise, a tribute to the Eagles.
The Newport Winter Festival is proud to have been the recipients of the 2004 Governor's State Tourism Award. In the past the Festival has been voted "Best Off-Season Event" by Newport Life Magazine's "Best of Newport" Awards. The Winter Festival was also chosen by the American Bus Association as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, and named the 34th out of the Top 250 Events in the Country by Events Business News! Whether you seek dining, dancing, or ice carving…The Newport Winter Festival has it all!
Purchase a Winter Festival button and receive free admission or significant discounts to events listed in this brochure, plus additional discounts at restaurants and retailers throughout the city. Be sure to refer to the On-Going Activities page for additional events. Buttons offer over $500 value for only $9.00. Partial proceeds to benefit local charities.
Buttons May be Purchased At:AAA Southern N.E. • 99 East Main Rd., Middletown
Accidental Artist • 516 Thames St., Newport
Bailey T's • 3 Long Wharf Mall, Newport
Clements' Marketplace • East Main Rd., Portsmouth
Cookie Jar • Bowen's Wharf, Newport
Hampton Inn & Suites • 317 West Main Rd., Middletown
Hotel Viking • One Bellevue Avenue, Newport
Hyatt Regency • Goat Island, Newport
Mole Hole of Newport • 21A Long Wharf, Newport
International Tennis Hall of Fame • 194 Bellevue Ave.
MWR ITT • Newport Navy Base
Newport Gateway Center • 23 America's Cup Avenue
Newport Harbor Hotel • 49 America's Cup Avenue
Newport Marriott (gift shop) • 25 America's Cup Avenue
Shaw's Supermarket • East Main Rd., Middletown
Wag Nation • 92 Williams St., Newport
Walgreens • East Main Rd., Middletown