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Special Trip for In-Laws to RI and Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket

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May 11th, 2006, 08:48 AM
  #1
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Special Trip for In-Laws to RI and Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket

My in-laws will be visiting the beginning of June. They are both in their 80s and my mother-in-law needs someone to hold her hand and steady her as she walks. They haven't visited us in several years and this may be their last visit, so I want it to be special and memorable. My husband mentioned the mansions in Newport, RI and that really interested them. We planned to take them to Newport June 5-6. However, I see that there is an International Film Festival that week. Should we move the dates to 4-5 to avoid crowds? Any suggestions for places to stay? Cost is not a major concern, but I would like to keep it about $200/couple/night. They are not B&B types; at least not into canopy beds . . . Father-in-law likes small meals/snacks and coffee. Both always want breakfast to start the day.

We plan to do 1-2 mansions - one each day - Breakers and maybe the Elms depending on their stamina. Visit the Cliff Walk, but probably won't go very far; more for the scenic view. Drive along Ocean Ave. for views. Do some limited shopping and enjoy meals together. Any other suggestions?

Since they are from the mid-west, we thought we would take them to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket for 2-3 days. We have never been to MV and the last time we visited Nantucket was about 20 years ago. In-laws have been to lower- and mid-cape before. Which island would you recommend?
MIWinnie is offline  
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May 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Well, I live in Nantucket, so naturally I think they would like us best!

Good things here: it is very compact whereas the Vineyard is spread out. If they see Nantucket town and take a bus tour to Sconset, they will have seen picturesque places that are very different from home within a very brief period of time. Downtown is well furnished with benches for a stop and rest, and there are lots of places to eat and shop. There are large numbers of historic houses of all sizes and types within three or four blocks of the Pacific Bank at the top of Main Street, and the new Historical Association Museum is nearby as well.

The downside of Nantucket: restaurants can be expensive, weather can be unexpectedly cool early in June (and foggy to boot, though that is picturesque!) and the cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks can be problematic for some older people as well as for dopy girls in trendy shoes!

The hotels generally have good breakfasts, the B&B's have continetal breakfasts only owing to the lack of commercial kitchens, but there are plenty of places to get breakfast -- Arno's being particularly good on Main Street.
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May 11th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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Go to www.newportreservations.com and call the 800 number. They will help you find lodging and book it for you (no charge for this service.) They can cater to different needs, price ranges, etc.
Your plan is good. The mansions are terrific and Breakers and Elms are great. The Elms has spectacular grounds and gardens (it does not overlook the Ocean the way most of the others do).
Don't be turned off the "special events" going on. There is something going on almost every weekend. If you can avoid weekend you will be fine.
Parking is a major problem so if you can get a Hotel/B&B centrally located, do so. (Slight plug for recently refurbished Mill Street Inn).
Marthas Vineyard is larger, more spread out and you will need to drive around, which means you will need to take a car over on the ferry (reservations a must).
On the other hand, the main town in Nantucket is centrally located. No car needed. Lots to see in do in the town.
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May 11th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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No reason to avoid Newport during the Film Festival. Most of the parties are held in private function rooms at restaurants or hotels....no real problems...
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May 12th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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Absolutely agree with most of what John and Marker0. In fact, if you move your trip back one day from Mon-Tue to a Sun-Mon, you will be hitting a day of weekend crowds in summertime Newport....not the best plan! But I will point out that as your in laws are elderly and have a little trouble walking, a "right in the center of town" location loses much of it's usefulness (that is, being able to walk to everything!). For the main reasons you are coming to Newport (the mansions) you are going to be getting into the car anyway.
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May 12th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for the helpful info and suggestions. I am booking rooms in Newport for when we originally planned. My husband suggested the Marriott as we can use points. However, I see that renovations are on-going until June 1st. Think they will be finished before our visit?

Ackislander and John_T_C, I was originally leaning toward MV, but am now giving serious consideration to Nantucket. The smaller scale of the island is appealing and not needing a car is a definite advantage. Cool weather is fine as my in-laws are from Michigan. I do have some concerns about the sidewalks and streets as m-i-l's vision is limited. Someone always holds her hand and warns her about stepping up/down. She is steady on her feet. If the bricks are level, she should be OK. Is Main Street the only one with cobblestones? Any recommendations for lodging?
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May 12th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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Sounds like a great trip. Does your MIL have a wheelchair you could use? Reason I ask is that Thames St in Newport has a lot of bricks and cobblestones and also gets very crowded so I think walking may be difficult. Also, the Breakers mansion is huge. I think you'll be ok in Nantucket, just because the town area is smaller and in general not as crowded as Newport.
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May 12th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Yes, Larry, you are right about driving to the mansions. That's what we plan to do. However, I thought we would be closer to shops and restaurants if we stayed near Thames Street. MIL likes to shop, so my husband and I could take her out if FIL wants to nap. She gets around without a wheelchair, Wyatt; just needs a hand for reassurance and to steady her on uneven pavement. Do you have any favorite restaurants? FIL is not a big eater. Everyone likes seafood. Husband likes Asian/eclectic. We like casual but nice places.
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May 12th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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The Cooke House is nice for lunch, it's right by the water on Thames St. For seafood, Scales and Shells is excellent. I also like the Red Parrot on Thames for a casual lunch or dinner.
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May 12th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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i think the Marriot would be a good place to be for all of you. The Breakers does have an elevator which would be helpful because there are a lot of stairs and walking. Another less visited mansion is Doris Dukes mansion, I think it's called Rough Point. I found it VERY interesting, intimate and less crowded.
I would go to Nantucket too. There is a great B&B there called Union Street Inn that we love. Has a great breakfast too. I always take the fast ferry. It's well worth the extra $$. Have fun!
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May 12th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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The Marriot is a good location. You know what your MIL can and can't do. But if you are saying they wouldn't be able to go very far on the Cliff Walk, I can't see how they would make the walk from the Marriott to the places on Lower Thames like Scales and Shells. But since you have points at the Marriot, sounds like the extra money to stay "near the action" isn't a big consideration in this case. A very little off the beaten track place for dinner near the Marriot is called The Rhumbline...ask the concierge. It's tucked away about 2 blocks away from the Marriot but in the opposite direction from the all the action. Anyway, I'm sure your in laws and you will have a wonderful time in Newport.....enjoy!
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