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Trip Report Short Trip Report to Newport, RI

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We just returned from a wonderful weekend birthday celebration to Newport, RI. People on the forum were very helpful in helping me plan our weekend getaway so I thought I would write a short trip report that I hope will be helpful to future travelers. Therre were 4 of us: myself (of course), my husband, his brother & his wife. We were celebrating my birthday and my sister-in-law's birthday.

We arrived early Friday evening in Newport and stayed at the Hotel Viking at One Bellevue St. We stayed in the older section of the hotel & really enjoyed our stay here. The hotel is centrally located & we would definitely stay here again. We got an excellent rate ($104 per night). We have been to Newport before but it was always in the summer and only for a day trip. It was very nice spending 2 nights and 2 days here, which made for a leisurely trip and visiting in January is perfect; it was very quiet & we didn’t have to wait for restaurants or wait in any lines. The weather was perfect: sunny both days; chillier on Sat & warmer on Sunday. There wasn’t any snow, either.

SIGHTSEEING:
For sightseeing on Saturday, we toured the Marble House, which is very lavish and ornate. In the past we have toured the Breakers and Rosecliffe, but the Marble House is by far more ornate. We walked along the Cliff Walk on Sat & there were a lot of people enjoying the beautiful scenery as well. There wasn’t any snow or ice on the cliff walk so it was very comfortable & safe walking. We walked around Thames St and the wharf area & did some shopping. We also saw a movie, “A Single Man”, at the Opera House Cinema 3 on Touro Street.

On Sunday, we drove along Ocean Drive to Fort Adams, which was closed, but we walked around the fort. The fort is on the water so we had beautiful views of the bay, Newport Harbor and the Claiborne Pell Bridge (formerly Newport Bridge). There were many people walking here, too, because the weather was perfect, sunny & not too cold.
Then we drove to Newport Vineyards in Middletown; we originally planned on doing a wine tasting but decided to save our money & have wine with lunch but we did browse through the gift shop & we bought a few items. We then drove back to Newport, did a little more shopping, & also visited the Seamen’s Institute & the chapel there. The library had photos of sailors and fisherman lost at sea, including some young men & women, so this was sad.

RESTAURANTS:
Because it is so soon after the holidays, we didn’t want to spend a fortune on dining out, so I looked for inexpensive/reasonable restaurants. On Friday night we ate at Puerinis, which the four of us all thought was ok. The food certainly wasn’t awful but we didn’t think it was anything to rave about either. I had the veal with artichokes & tomatoes in a wine sauce served over pasta. My husband and his brother had the shrimp & calamari in a red sauce served our pasta. I forgot what my sister-in-law had but we all felt the food was average.

On Sat morning, we had breakfast at Annies on Bellevue St, within walking distance of the Hotel Viking. Yankee Magazine recommends Annie’s but we thought it was only average. I had Eggs Benedict with a crabcake, which was good but the home fries were awful. Late Sat afternoon we had appetizers at the Wharf Pub & Restaurant & we enjoyed the nachos and calamari. After the movie, we had dinner at the Fastnet Pub and we all really enjoyed our meals. The food was very tasty and inexpensive. My SIL & I had the shepherd’s pie, which was very good & my husband & his brother had fish & chips. The fish was fresh & perfectly cooked, the cole slaw was good & they substituted baked beans for the French fries. Then we had coffee & dessert at the Empire, which is across the street from Fastnet.

Our best meals were on Sunday at Benjamin’s on Thames Street. First we had breakfast there, & all 4 of us loved what we had. My brother-in-law & I had a breakfast sandwich,( eggs, sausage, cheese & green peppers on sweet Portuguese Bread) & it was delicious!!! The home fries were great, too! My husband had Portuguese sausage, eggs & home fries & my SIL had banana pancakes. We loved the food so much that we decided to return for a late lunch. My SIL & I had homemade macaroni & cheese with lobster chunks for $7 each, & my husband & his brother both had the lamb shank for $7 each. All of us loved our meals!!! We would definitely return to Benjamin’s. Before leaving for home, we stopped at the Red Parrot for winter warmers. Two of us had Nutty Irish Woman, (hot coffee, Baileys Irish Cream & whipped cream – DELICIOUS), my BIL had the Ultimate Irish Coffee (more alcohol than the Nutty) & my husband had brandy. It was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend. Red Parrot seems like a very nice restaurant, pricey I think, but I would like to have dinner there some day when we want to splurge.

Thanks to everyone who helped with sightseeing and restaurant suggestions. I love visiting places during the off season. As everyone knows, Newport is extremely CROWDED during the summer so it was a nice change of pace to visit during January, & there is plenty to do at this time of year. Next time I would like to visit the Art Museum, which we didn’t get to see this time

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