Newport Escape Again

May 1, 2024
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By: Tom Morrone

By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA

Newport RI is a vacation destination for so many people and Cathy and I unquestionably fall into that group. Even though we have been to Newport numerous times, most of those jaunts have been during the height of the tourist season during the months of June, July, and August. This trip, being just prior to the summer rush, was a very pleasant experience. Lodging prices were half of the summer pricing, parking in town was plentiful, crowds were minimal so both walking and shopping were enjoyable, and restaurants were not crowded so the dining options were “where did we want to go versus where can we get in”?

Newport is best known for the elaborate mansions that line Bellevue Avenue. The area was where the extremely wealthy from the Gilded Age spent their summers. Names such as the Vanderbilts and Astors were from that era. Most recently, Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, purchased one of the majestic homes (Beechwood, formerly owned by the Astors) on Bellevue Avenue overlooking the cliff walk. Ellison purchased Beechwood in 2010 for $11 million and has since spent more than $100 million on renovations for a planned Beechwood Art Museum. Ellison now owns four properties between Rosecliff and the Marble House. These mansions, as well as The Breakers and many others majestically dot the Cliff Walk, a 3 1/2-mile walking path boasting fabulous views along the ocean cliffs. We have done this beautiful walk many times over the years and every time the beauty is overwhelming. This trip was no different as we walked along enjoying the ocean views, the fresh salt air and of course the magnificent real estate.

There are so many options for dining that the ritualistic conversation of “where do you want to eat” is inevitable. We have some favorite locations but always seem to explore and try somewhere new. We are yet to be disappointed with our selection. An ice cream shop in nearby Middletown called Clementine’s was recommended to us by some people that were sitting next to us in a restaurant while having dinner. We tried it and it was well worth the short drive from Newport to Middletown. Plus, it was some place new other than a Kilwin’s, which are everywhere.

There are so many neat little shops and boutiques along Thames, America’s Cup, Brick Alley, and Bellevue Avenue. Bannister’s Wharf and Bowen’s Wharf are always wonderful places to stroll along the waterfront and view all the beautiful yachts and sail boats. After a long day of shopping and hiking, there is nothing like a ride along Ocean Drive and ending the day with a cocktail at sunset at the Inn at Castle Hill, another of our favorite spots, before heading back into town for dinner.

I hope you enjoyed this little recap of our recent Newport escape and for those of you familiar with the area, hopefully you could envision some of the sights that we have grown to love so much and lived vicariously through our adventure.

Life is Good!

Until the Next Tom’s Take………………………….

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