slides: 18 Secret Summer Spots
Friday, July 20, 2012
Belle's Cafe in Newport
Grab some breakfast or lunch at Belle’s Café. Build your own omelet, eat a panini fresh off the press, try a delicious salad, or just stop by to relax and enjoy the shipyard.
"This much-loved local gem is located in the heart of Newport Shipyard, where crews are active tending to sails, varnishing wood trims and decking, and making sure every yacht sparkles," said Andrea McHugh, Marketing & Communications Manager at Discover Newport. Clearly, these sailors agree. As soon as they were in port from a major race, they grabbed the best breakfast sandwiches on the waterfront. You can find the full menu here.
Newport Shipyard, 1 Washington Street, Newport. Mon-Saturday 7am-3pm. 401-846-6000.
Clamming in Jamestown
Go clamming on a beach in Jamestown! While Jamestown is well-known for its picturesque harbor, the town also has great beaches for clamming, said Allison Terhune from Parks and Recreation in Jamestown.
Try Shores Beach (Head's Beach) for starters, but consider any and all of the beaches.
Go Squid Jigging
For an offbeat Block Island experience, go squid jigging, says Jessica Willi, executive director of the Block Island Tourism Council. "Grab some squid jigs from Block Island Fishworks or Twin Maples and head down to the docks after dark," she recommends. The kids will go wild!
Block Island Fishworks: Ocean Avenue, Block Island. Sun-Th 8am-5pm; Fri-Sat 8am-6pm. Twin Maples: Beach Avenue, Block Island; open daily, 8am-5pm.
For nature-meets-adventure, check out Pettaquamscutt Rock in Narragansett. Here is where Roger Williams and William Coddington are considered to have completed purchase of Providence and Aquidneck on March 24, 1637-8. There's also a 50-foot cliff for rock climbers. A 3/4-mile trail leads from the parking lot to the cliff.
Treaty Rock Park, Middlebridge Road, South Kingstown. See a map here of the park areas in South Kingstown. More questions? Call 401-789-9301.
South County Gem
Myrna George, President of the South County Tourism Council named this great South County gem for the whole family: the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum in Exeter. This is RI's only museum operated by and dedicated to the state's Native people, and has more than 20,000 cultural objects and hundreds of thousands of pieces of archival materials focusing on the Natives of New England and RI.
Visitors come from throughout the world to this respected museum. Don't miss Family Day, which includes tours, films, storytelling, scavenger hunts, and more fun activities. 390 A Summit Road, Exeter. 2012 Summer Hours: Wednesdays 10am-2pm, Saturdays 9am-1pm. Family Day: July 25 and August 15, 10am-2pm. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children/seniors. For more information, go here or call 491-9063.
Kites on Block Island
Go fly a kite! Block Island is full of breezes just waiting to lift your kite to life. "It's a simple pleasure that many people forget is such a joy," said Block Island Tourism's Jessica Willi. Block Island has an abundance of open beach space and many retail stores on the island sell inexpensive kites and other fun things. If you want to find a wide assortment of games, toys, and kites, check out Building Blocks for starters.
232 Water Street, Block Island. Open daily, 9am-10pm. Call 401-466-8697 for more information.
Lake Retreat in Coventry
Take a breather at Maxwell Mays Retreat, a lake cottage on 300 "private" acres and part of the Maxwell Mays Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can canoe, bird watch, and go on nature walks along the countless trails and bike paths near the property, as well as watch "spectacular sunsets," according to South County Tourism's Myrna George.
2082 Victory Highway, Coventry, RI. Free.
Elevation Studio & Cafe
Try some freshly squeezed juice and island baked goodies at Elevation Studio and Cafe. "This new establishment offers yoga and Pilates classes but also Dave's organic coffee, fresh squeezed juices (Block Island-grown kale!), and a variety of other healthy snacks," Willi said.
Entrance to Champlins Marina, Block Island. Open daily 7am. See their Web site or call 466-9642 for more information.
Visit Whitehorne House--built for one of Newport's merchant princes--to see some of the Ocean State's best furniture from the late 1700s. The mansion boasts some of the most highly regarded examples of American furniture, and is the only Federal period mansion open to the public in Newport today.
"More than 200 years after their creation, these examples of Newport furniture are highly esteemed as enduring symbols of American creativity and craftsmanship," according to Andrea McHugh at Discover Newport.
416 Thames Street, Newport. 847-2448. $12 adults guided tour, $6 self-guided tour, free children 12 and under. For tickets and schedule, go here.
Best Sunset Spot
Watch some fabulous sunsets from Dories Cove, a black-sand beach, or Gracie's Cove on Block Island, recommends Jessica Willi at the Block Island Tourism Council. "There is something magical about being able to watch the sun set right into the ocean with no obstructions to the view," Willi said.
Cost? Absolutely free!
Westerly Food Find
South County Tourism expert Myrna George shares a culinary gem tucked away in Westerly--Markos Restaurant. Mark Awad, owner & chef, is committed to preparing dishes that are fresh & authentic Near East-inspired cuisine, with an array of choices for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike.
55 Beach Street, Westerly. Tuesday-Sunday 11am-9/10pm. 401-348-6200.
Newport Shopping Treasure
For a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, according to Andrea McHugh, Aardvark Antiques is "a menageries of rare finds and funky treasures, many from old mansions." Established in 1969, the shop has over 65,000 square feet of display area and draws customers from around the world.
9 JT Connell Hwy, Newport. M-F 9-5pm, Saturday 10-3. For more, call 401-849-7233. For directions, go here.
Manisses Animal Farm
Take the kids to visit Manisses Animal Farm on Block Island, next to Manisses Hotel. The free farm is full of exotic animals ready to be petted, such as camels, llamas, lemurs, and emus. "The recent highlight has been the alpacas," according to Willi. North Light Fibers, a retail store and mill, uses the alpacas' hair in their knitting and weaving. "You can meet the alpaca that your sweater is made from!" Willi said.
The meadow next to Manisses Hotel, Spring Street, Block Island. Free 24/7. For more information, call 401-466-2421.
The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed, made up of 300 square miles, offers "unlimited recreational opportunities: mostly flat-water paddling on the rivers; numerous streams in pristine forest for fishing native brook trout and stocked brown and rainbow trout; and five state management areas for hiking, biking, hunting, birding and natures studies," according to Myrna George.
203 Arcadia Road, Hope Valley. 401-539-9017.
Newport Artillery Museum
"The Artillery Company of Newport Museum houses one of the country's most extensive collections of military uniforms and memorabilia," according to Andrea McHugh. The museum has many artifacts, including four bronze cannon cast by Paul Revere in 1798, three Civil War artillery pieces, a letter written to the men of the Artillery Company in 1794 by George Washington, a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington.
For more information, go to their Web site or call 401-846-8488.
The Narragansett Cafe
A great off-the-beaten-parth hangout, complete with great music, is Narragansett Cafe, according to Allison Terhune. The cafe offers the floor to live bands Thursdays through Sundays, with blues bands performing Sundays. The cafe has been recognized by RI Monthly Magazine as a Best Blues Hangout, Best Neighborhood Bar, and Best Place for Live Music.
25 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown. M-F 11am-1am; weekends 7am-1am. 401-423-2150.
Fort Getty Pavilion
Go to Fort Getty, which is always a great place to explore the coastline, and get a peek at the city of Jamestown's recently renovated pavilion, added Terhune. According to Terhune, the city spent a lot of money on its renovation, so don't let it be for nothing!
Fort Getty Park, Jamestown. Go here for more information.
Captain Nick's Piano Bar
For a new spin on Block Island nightlife, check out Captain Nick's Piano Bar, held every Tuesday and Wednesday night. "Think martinis and wine in an intimate atmosphere," said Willi. "Overstuffed couches, lounge chairs and candles complete the feel."
34 Ocean Avenue, Block Island. Piano Bar is Tuesday and Wednesday 9pm-1am. See schedule for more times. 401-466-5670 (summer only).
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