Newport Rhode Island is a fantastic place to vacation. There are many ocean beaches to choose from (though parking is a bit expensive), a fun downtown and plenty of free ocean views.
The “campground” we are staying in (Paradise Park RV Camping) is quite different from the norm.
There are only 4 rigs here, and there are no facilities except for utilities, a picnic table and a nice plot of grass. There are a lot of rules too! No campfires, no motorcycles (that got us in trouble…see below), no pets, no doing laundry or washing your rig…NO! But, we knew that in advance and the owners have been nice. It’s a great location about a mile from several beaches. And it has very good Wifi so Jeff has been able to catch up on a lot of work!
While here, we have done a variety of road and mountain bike rides. Ocean Avenue goes several miles right along the south end of the island and has a nice, wide bike lane. We were able to ride to it from our campground. There’s a fantastic 14-mile dedicated multi-use path from Providence to Bristol called the East Bay Bike Path. Although there are quite a few road crossings which were challenging while clipped in, the old rail trail follows the shore all the way.
Kayaking has been fun too since we brought our own, and my brother is an ocean kayak enthusiast. The beaches are friendly for launching and there’s lots of rocky coastline dotted with amazing houses. Brother Rich and I participated in a 6-mile RICKA paddle (Rhode Island Canoe and Kayak Association) from Narragansett out around Dutch Island, stopping on the island for lunch. The weather was perfect and all 14 of us stayed right side up! I borrowed an ocean kayak which is longer and less stable than my kayaks and was happy not to have to practice a “wet exit” (ripping off the skirt and squirming out while up-side-down under water)!
We’ve had a lot of fun seeing family: 9 relatives came over for a BBQ one night and Jeff did a great job with the shish kebab on our new grill. Paul arrived on his motorcycle (NO!) and we got a friendly talking-to from the owner. To be fair, all these rules keep out the riff-raff and make it a nice, quiet place. Jeff’s sister Anne was also in town and spent 2 nights “roughing it” on our pull-out couch!
Vicky and I have had some fun at the beach and walking around downtown. We’ve been to two polo matches watching the Newport team Vicky used to play with. While the game can be exciting, it’s really about the tailgating! People dress up and bring all kinds of food, tents, tables and chairs and lots of wine! And it continues long after the teams leave the field.Vicky also got us an opportunity to try stand up paddle boarding one beautiful Monday night, which was…..different.
Newport also has a lot of parks: Sachuest Point Natural Wildlife Refuge sits right at the end of the island and offers a few miles of trails along the ocean. There’s also a bird sanctuary, and a 3.5 mile cliff walk sandwiched between the ocean and many of the famous mansions.
We’ve been able to see Jeff’s grandson Noah a fair amount – 8 months and too cute!
Probably the best thing about our visit so far is the amount of time we’ve been able to spend with our families. Usually these visits are so rushed because we have to drive back home. This time we got to see where my niece and nephew are living and have some quality time with them. Our last evening here we saw a performance of ‘Grease’ at the Theatre by the Sea (summer stock in classic barn theatre) with Rich and Lynn which was a lot of fun.
So we’re off to a roaring start on our journey. The next stop is the Lakes Region in NH where we hope so see more of Jeff’s family.