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Norman Rockwell in the neighborhood


Two Bellevue Avenue neighbors, the National Museum of American Illustration and the Newport Art Museum are hosting summer exhibits that not only showcase American art but celebrate the depth and variety of the American experience. If these shows don't make you want to break out the Fourth of July bunting a few weeks early, nothing will.

 The timing couldn't be better for "Norman Rockwell: American Imagist," a much acclaimed traveling exhibit that opened June 6th at the illustration museum. Rockwell's artistic reputation is at its highest point in decades. The NMAI show includes 60 Rockwell works, including dozens of rarely seen pieces on loan from private collections. Highlights range from Rockwell's first-ever magazine cover.

Just a short stroll from the Ivy Lodge, the Illustration museum "American imagist" runs through August 31st. at the National museum of American Illustration, 942 Bellevue Ave., hours Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 11-4 for general admission and for a 2 p.m. guided tour on Friday. The Newport art museum, "The Art of Life: Selections from the Terrence and Suzanne Murray Collection" runs through Oct. 12 at the Newport art Museum,  76 Bellevue Ave.

Historic Touro synagogue Newport RI


As the Innkeeper of the Ivy Lodge I try to commit to monthly marketing meetings the Newport visitors center organizes. I look forward to were each meeting will be held. The venue changes to highlight a specific topic. This month, the venue/topic was the Touro Synagogue; A short stroll for me from the Ivy Lodge to the Synagogue. Our meeting place this day was just outside the synagogue between the newly constructed Loeb visitor center. The topic: Loeb Visitors Center at Touro synagoge to open August 2nd.

The new center serves as a modern gateway to historic Touro Synagogue - America's oldest synagogue and a national Historic Site.

About Touro Synagogue

Historic Overview

The story of Touro Synagogue spans over 500 years. Although the first Jewish settlements in North America date to 1654 in New Amsterdam and 1658 in Newport, their narrative, one of perseverance, tradition and religious freedom, begins in 1492, the same year King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain both financed Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World and issued the Edict of Expulsion. All Jews, rich or poor, living in Spain were forced to "conversion or exile."

While many Jews in Spain were forced to convert to Catholicism, thousands fled seeking refuge in the Netherlands, Caribbean Islands, and South America. When the inquisition followed on their heels, they searched for sanctuary in the America's newly founded colonies.

I n 1658, a group of fifteen Jewish families, hearing about Roger William's "Lively Experiment," where the civil government was devoid of power over spiritual matters, sailed into Newport harbor. These Sephardim (the Hebrew word for Jews from the region in the Iberian Peninsula that is now Spain and Portugal), who like their ancestors were seeking a haven from religious persecution, founded the second Jewish settlement in the colonies and Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Salvation of Israel). In 1677, they purchased and consecrated property as a Jewish cemetery, a place where they could bury their dead according to Jewish tradition.

With the assurance of religious freedom and liberty of conscience, as promised by Governor Roger Williams, the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations offered more than a refuge; it offered unparalleled social and economic opportunities.

Over the next 100 years the Jewish population of Newport flourished. In 1758, a Dutch Jew named Isaac Touro, became the congregation's first spiritual leader. A year later the congregation purchased land and hired Peter Harrison, the preeminent architect of the colonial era, to design Touro Synagogue. The synagogue was completed and dedicated in 1763.

In 1776 the British captured Newport. A once vital and thriving commercial seaport, much of Newport was destroyed. Supporting the American cause, most Jews left. Until the French liberated Newport, the synagogue was used as a hospital for the British troops and was spared.

After the war Touro Synagogue served as a meeting place for the Rhode Island General Assembly, Rhode Island Supreme Court and the town of Newport. During George Washington's visit to Newport in 1781, to meet with Generals Lafayette and Rochambeau to plan the final battles of the Revolution, a town meeting was held at the synagogue.

Touro Synagogue took on a special significance in 1790 when President George Washington, in his letter "To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport," declared that the new nation would "... give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." These few words affirmed the founding fathers' commitment to the principals of religious freedom as a cornerstone of democracy in America.

The synagogue, which continues to serve an active Jewish congregation, greets approximately 30,000 visitors a year who come to see its magnificent interior and hear the remarkable story of its founding.


Visit Touro Synagogue

Tour Information

Touro Synagogue is a National Historic Site and an affiliate property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Every year approximately 30,000 visitors from around the world come to visit Touro Synagogue, delight in its magnificent architecture, and hear its remarkable and inspiring story.

Synagogue and Gift Shop Hours:

The tour schedule may vary due to Jewish holidays, ceremonial occasions and special events.
Unfortunately, Touro Synagogue is not wheelchair accessible. Public restrooms are not available on site.

DATES: May 3, 2009 - June 30, 2009

Sunday through Friday 12 Noon - 2:00 pm.
No tours on Saturday. No tours Friday, May 29th in observance of Shavuot.

DATES: July 1, 2009 - July 31, 2009

Sunday - Friday 10 a.m. 2 p.m.
Tours begin every half hour.
No tours on Saturday or Jewish holidays

DATES: August 1, 2009 - September 6, 2009

Sunday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tours begin every half hour.
No tours on Saturday or Jewish holidays
No tours on August 16 after 12:30

DATES: September 7, 2009 - October 31, 2009

Sunday - Friday 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Tours begin every half hour.
No tours on Saturday or Jewish holidays
No tours September 18, 20, 27, 28 or October 4, 11


Ticket Information:

Synagogue Admission & Twilights at Touro:
$5         Adults
Free     Youth (12 and under)
Free     Touro Synagogue Foundation Members
Free     NTHP Members
Free     NPS Pass Holders

Tickets may be purchased at the Touro Synagogue Gift Shop and at the Newport County Convention and Visitors Bureau. All group tours must be prearranged by contacting Malka Benjamin at 401.847.4794 ext. 23

Ivy Lodge minutes away from impressive New England Vineyards


Wine connoisseur and out door enthusiast you do not want to miss three wine vineyards just minutes away from the Ivy Lodge Bed and breakfast, Newport RI. The wines produced at these vineyards are very good and reasonably priced. You will be given an added bonus of an exceptional setting in which the grapes are grown.

There are trails to hike, views to behold and memorable moments to be capture with family, friends or that special someone.

The wine makers on these vineyards are doing an exceptional job of marketing their wine and juggling a host of in-door and out -door functions to entertain you while experiencing each unique wine vineyard.

For those seeking a venue for a special event, the wineries to follow all offer a one- of -a- kind setting for weddings and parties. To follow is a brief history of three Newport wine vineyards. 

Greenvale Vineyards produces small quantities of exceptional estate grown wines. The vineyard is located along the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth, RI, five miles north of downtown Newport.

You can tour the vineyards, taste and learn about delicious wines, enjoy the beautiful tasting room, the lovely views of the vineyards and the river and hear about a piece of cultural history.

Greenvale Vineyards located along the beautiful Sakonnet River in Portsmouth, RI, is just 16 miles north of the Ivy Lodge bed and breakfast Newport, RI. There are three wineries in Newport County and five wineries along our Coastal Wine Trail which traverses the coast of southeastern New England. The five wineries are all unique and committed to producing delicious fine wines and the conservation of open space.

Greenvale is a farm that has been in the same family since 1863. It is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Greenvale vineyard is offering Jazz on Saturdays from Memorial Day though October,book signings by local National authors throughout the year, or attend a Friday night concert featuring artists such as Blues Guitarist Paul Geremia or Irish and Folk Music with Maine musicians Two Old Friends. The Stable turned Tasting Room provides a wonderful venue for our entertainment. The Tasting Room has great acoustics and is an award winning restoration for Adaptive reuse. It is also a wonderful place for your own special event, wedding, rehearsal dinner - the list goes on.

The vineyard produces about 3500 cases of wine annually from 24 acres of grapes.

Greenvale Vineyards is open for Vineyard Tours and Wine Tastings from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Hours of operation:

Open For Vineyard Tours, Tastings and Sales

Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.

Tasting fee is $8.00 per person and includes 6 different wines and the wine glass.

Jazz Tastings, noon to 4 p.m., Saturdays, $15.00 per person includes award winning live jazz, 6 different wines and the wine glass.

Private tour and tasting $15.00 per person and must be scheduled two weeks in advance.

Looking for a unique venue to host your next event?

Greenvale Vineyards' breathtaking setting along the Sakonnet River, the delicious estate grown wines and the relaxed comfortable pastoral setting create the perfect backdrop for your special day. Whether it is a wedding, rehearsal dinner, anniversary or employee thank you, Greenvale is one of the most beautiful spots on Aquidneck Island for any celebration.

For more information or to schedule a guided tour, please contact us at 401-847-3777 or via email


Newport Vineyards

Newport Vineyards located 5.19 miles from the Ivy Lodge Bed and Breakfast Newport, RI, was originally planted in 1977 on a hill overlooking Rhode Island Sound with the goal of producing fine wines and as a way of preserving beautiful agricultural land from rapid development. Aquidneck Island is blessed with one of the most desirable farming areas in the country, if not the world. This extraordinary micro-climate is created by a combination of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream to the south and the moderating effects of Narragansett Bay. These conditions provide a long, cool growing season ideal for developing complex flavors in wine.

Store Hours
Open 7 Days A Week
Mon - Sat 10am to 5pm
Sunday Noon to 5pm.

Winery Tour Times
Public Tours Daily at 1 and 3 p.m.
Groups of 10 or more, please call for an appointment.
For additional information: (401) 848-5161



Sakonnet Vineyards

Sakonnet Vineyards, in Little Compton, Rhode Island is 22.58 miles from the Ivy Lodge. Founded in 1975 on the well-researched premise that the microclimate and soil conditions found along the Southeastern New England coast closely resemble some of the great wine regions of the world, particularly, the maritime climates of northern France. At present, fifty acres are planted with many Vinifera varietals including Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc as well as Vidal Blanc one of the French-American hybrids. Wine production has climbed to over 30,000 cases annually with many wines receiving awards in domestic and international competitions.

Sakonnet Vineyards is situated on 115 acres of beautifully manicured grounds just 30 minutes outside of Newport, RI. The breathtaking water views, beautiful sunsets and evenings filled with stars create the perfect place to celebrate the most important day of your life.

The Hospitality Center is open every day through all seasons for Tours (Noon and 3 pm), Wine Tastings & Retail Sales.

Summer Hours
(Memorial Day weekend to
Columbus Day)
10 am - 6 pm
Tours: Noon and 3 pm

Sakonnet Vineyard is minutes from historic Newport, Rhode Island.
Newport is home to spectacular coastal scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, a thriving waterfront downtown, and welcoming hospitality, Newport, Rhode Island is considered by many to be a shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. From weekend getaways spent touring the famed Gilded Age mansions that once were the summer playground for socialite families with names like Astor and Vanderbilt to an afternoon of wine tasting through Newport's three scenic vineyards, the options for interesting activities, distinctive stories, and enticing photo opportunities are countless!

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