New England Road Trip 2016: Day 2 (Part 2) – Historic Newport

Hey everyone, this is Scott here with another blog post. In this post, I will continue talking about day 2 as I make my way into Rhode Island and eventually Massachusetts.

(Date: April 22, 2016)

Not too long after I headed east on I-95 from New London, I eventually crossed the state border into Rhode Island. I knew at this point that I was in the Ocean State or should I say the “ShadowMarioXLI State”. This is a reference to my good friend Eric’s nickname on the Internet; he is from Rhode Island. Anyway, my destination in Rhode Island is to check out the beautiful, coastal city of Newport. However, I-95 does not go directly over to Newport. I had to take a couple of side roads to get over to Highway 3 to eventually head down over to the main highway which goes over a couple bridges going over the Narragansett Bay leading first to Jamestown and then to Newport. The first bridge going over the bay (leading to Jamestown) was pretty breathtaking. What I did not know was that there was a larger bridge east of there leading the way into Newport. The views from the top of the bridge are absolutely stunning!

I had finally made it into Newport. I followed the signs leading to one of the main parking areas. I found a parking garage next to the Marriott. What is nice about parking at this parking garage is that during the off-season and the shoulder season (November to April), parking is free. As I came near the end of April, I did not have to pay for parking at this garage which was nice. After getting out of the car, I walked east toward Washington Square where I was able to get a great view of the Newport County Courthouse (1927) from the middle of Eisenhower Park which is placed in the center of Washington Square. Near the courthouse is the historic Newport Colony House. Completed in 1739, the statehouse is the fourth oldest standing statehouse in the United States; however, the capital of Rhode Island was moved to its current location, Providence, in 1901. After viewing the colony house, I walked northeast on Broadway admiring the beautiful buildings along the way. I made it over to the Newport City Hall which is another beautiful building.

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I made my way back to Washington Square, and I ventured south on Clarke St over to where it ends at Mary St. At the northeast corner of the intersection lies the Vernon House (1708) where General Rochambeau and George Washington planned the final assault to end the American Revolutionary War. After that, I walked west to Thames St where the brick-paved roads provided a beautiful scene with the many restaurants and stores. Further south, I made it over to Bannister’s Wharf which houses many shops and places to eat along the water. This is one of many wharves along the Narragansett Bay, and I was able to get a great view of the bay with the boats sailing on it. As I walked back to the car, I was quite happy to see all the great historical buildings.

I got back in the car, and I made my way over to the Cliff Walk, one of the most famous attractions in all Newport. I was able to easily find a parking spot on the eastern end of Webster St at the side of Ochre Court, the main administrative building for nearby Salve Regina University. Not limited to Ochre Court, there are numerous beautiful mansions along the Cliff Walk as they overlook Easton Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. I decided to walk south along the Cliff Walk to the area around Ochre Point. I highly recommend this walk as it contains beautiful scenery all over. Be prepared to walk up or down some steps as the cliffs are not a flat walk. When visiting Newport, make every effort to visit the Cliff Walk as it provides some of the best walks in all of New England. If the wind is coming from the Atlantic Ocean, you might need to wear a jacket as it can get cold with the wind; however, I did not need a jacket as I was the Scottman!

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I walked back to where I parked my car, and I continued my drive along the coast. I came across Ocean Ave which features a very scenic drive surrounded by beautiful homes and the outstanding coastline. The drive was so fantastic that I had to press the record button on my camera while mounted to the dashboard to record the drive. I got out of the car at one point to get kissed by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. As I stood on the rocks facing the ocean, I was standing within centimeters from the ocean. The scenery was just absolutely breathtaking!

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Alas, as it was getting late in the afternoon, I needed to get back into the car because I still had at least a two-hour drive north to the Boston metro area where my second hotel is. One attraction I would have liked to have visited was Fort Adams, the largest coastal fort in the United States; however, the fort itself does not open until May. Anyway, I drove back over the main bridge going west out of Newport (you may also go north and east out of Newport), and I thought to myself that Newport was definitely worth a visit. I highly recommend visiting Newport on your next vacation to New England!

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I began driving north to the Boston area. As I got to Providence, the current capital city of Rhode Island, I noticed that the darker clouds were moving in. I had realized that the rain clouds I faced at the start of my journey the previous day finally caught up to me. Thankfully I was not doing any sightseeing the rest of the day as I knew it would be getting dark once I got to Woburn, Massachusetts where my hotel was. Sometime in the future, I would like to visit Providence. Once I got through Providence and Pawtucket, I made it into Massachusetts! It was the first time I was in the state since I went to the video game convention, PAX East, in April 2014 (two years prior). Shortly after crossing the state line, I encountered some light rain showers. Thankfully, it did not affect the traffic at all. Also, as I drove east of nearby Foxboro, I did not see any sights of deflated footballs. Once I got to the I-93/I-95 interchange, I continued along I-95 instead of taking the more direct route through Boston. I know that I-93 in downtown Boston can be very hectic with traffic especially since the Boston Celtics were playing a playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks (the Celtics won the game that night although Atlanta would eventually win the series and face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals).

I finally made it up to Woburn where the Best Western Plus hotel is located. I noticed that the hotel is undergoing some renovation on the outside. Thankfully, the room itself was very nice. Shortly after I dropped off my bags, I went across the main street to Bickford’s Grille, a local chain of family restaurants. As it was late in the evening, I was quite hungry. Before leaving for the trip, one of my aunt’s was telling me to try the lobster roll while I was over in New England. Especially because the restaurant was advertising the lobster roll outside, I had to order it. I could not wait to try it. Thankfully while I was waiting for my food, I was able to catch a glimpse of the Red Sox game as they were playing the Houston Astros (in Houston). My lobster roll finally came, and it was quite good although I was not aware that lobster rolls were served cold. I even asked the server if the lobster roll was supposed to be cold. I breathed a sigh of relief and embarrassment when I was told that this is perfectly normal. A local who was dining near the table from me could easily detect that I was not from the area after that incident, but he was quite nice, and he was telling me about some different landmarks to see in Boston including Fenway Park. The people in New England are very friendly as long as you are not driving in downtown Boston.

I made it back to the hotel, and I watched a little bit of the Celtics game which I mentioned about earlier as well as some of the Detroit Pistons game which they ended up losing to Cleveland. I knew it was time for me to get some sleep as I was going to have a busy day the next day as I would be spending the day in Boston! Plus, I needed a better night sleep after not getting the best night of sleep the previous night.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and this is Scott signing out!

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