Today’s guest post is from Anuja. I first met Anuja on twitter (you can follow her here or check her out on Facebook or even on Tumblr). She loves to travel with family and hasn’t let her newest addition stop her! She’s such a sweetie and has great travel advice.
I’m so excited to share her experiences at Newport. I know you’re going to enjoy it.
So…take it away Anuja…
Since my first visit to Newport the summer before our wedding, it has been one of my all time favorite destinations. The old world charm amidst beautiful surroundings makes Newport such a unique place to visit. It is great for a couple’s getaway as well as for a multigenerational family outing.
The mansions of Newport are its legacy. A visit to Newport is not complete without a drive along Bellevue Avenue which epitomizes the gilded age against a naturally spectacular setting. These “summer cottages” were the focal point of the elite American society in the late 19th to early 20th century where entertainment, fashion, sports and business intermixed with ease.
The Preservation Society of Newport has taken great care to protect, preserve, and present ten of these exceptional house museums and landscapes which are integral to American history in terms of architecture, arts and design. Taking a stroll on Bellevue Avenue can transport you back in time and leave with you with a sense of longing and awe for a time in history we will only know through books and period films.
The Preservation Society of Newport offers a variety of mansion tours to suit everyone’s time, taste and money. When I visited my husband and I visited in 2008, the summer before our wedding, we did the Newport Mansions Experience which included touring any five mansions.
We enjoyed the guided tours that included personal family histories from dedicated, local tour guides who were clearly knowledgeable and proud of their heritage. When we came back to visit with our sixth month old four years later, we decided on the two mansion pass to accommodate his temperament and schedule.
Strollers were not allowed inside the mansions so the baby carrier came in handy.
Since my mom accompanied us on this trip we decided on touring The Breakers, considered to be the grandest of the mansions to provide the perfect introduction to any first time visitor. At first I was disappointed to learn that the guided tours have been replaced with self guided audio tours, but quickly realized how convenient this was when visiting with a baby.
We could be flexible with our tour, avoid crowds and take breaks as necessary. For our second visit we decided on the Green Animals Topiary Gardens as a way to enjoy the outdoors and keep our baby entertained.
It turned out to be the perfect choice as this estate was located a further away from the cluster of mansions in Bellevue and hence was free of crowds with plenty of parking. Street parking was free on weekends through out the city but due to large crowds during the busy season it was not as easily available.
Since our first visit was dominated by the mansions, we were eager to find more activities on our second trip. We explored the downtown area and the waterfront for a variety of mostly seafood themed restaurants.
The ten mile drive along the scenic ocean beach was the perfect activity for us during baby’s nap time. It was free and provided access to several local beaches, look out points and picnic spots. The drive was peaceful and picturesque and enjoyable whether you decide to stop and explore or keep driving along.
Newport also boasts of the first national recreation trail in New England. Known as the Cliff Walk it is a path along the along the eastern shore of Newport overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Taking a walk along it provides a breathtaking juxtaposition of this city by the sea.
It also gives a different perspective of the mansions as you see the view from behind. There are several access points to public and we found a good part of it to be stroller friendly.
This walk was a great way to end our day in Newport which turned out to be a great multi-generational vacation destination.
Thanks, Anuja (by the way, you look stunning in that orange dress)! We can’t wait to visit…I think my daughter would love the Animal Topiary Garden.
If you’re traveling in the New England area, you might want to check out these posts too:
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