Newport & Jamestown, RI • July 3, 2017 • Written by Curtis
On Monday, July 3rd, we tried to reason with ourselves that less people would be out and about and we could get away with going to some more touristy New England attractions. We had originally intended on going to Block Island, RI, but the night before, we realized that the ferry tickets were booked until after noon. Not to be dissuaded, we decided to instead visit Newport, RI and visit some old sites and some new ones from our visit in 2015.
We met up with Lars again and started heading out on US 1 towards RI. In hindsight, we should have realized from our trip to Maine that driving along US 1, while scenic, can get bogged down with stop and go traffic. We made good time through Connecticut, but right on the RI-CT border we got caught up in traffic. Fortunately, we were able to dog leg around the town and managed to pick up 1 again after it turned into a four lane highway in Rhode Island.
The Cliff Walk – Newport, RI
We made it onto the Aquidneck Island right before lunch time and attempted to go eat at Anthony’s Seafood, a place we had eaten after my OCS graduation. But we arrived before opening, and they didn’t have outdoor seating anyway, so we instead found another seafood place down by the water called Flo’s Clam Shack.
After filling ourselves with greasy battered seafoods, we made our way back to the Cliff Walk and The Breakers. We had done the ‘first half’ of the walk back in 2015 and decided to continue it down towards the South. This time, instead of parking at the North end around the beach, we found free parking on a side street in a neighborhood further South and made our way East to the Cliff Walk. It was an easy, breezy walk past these elaborate Gilded Age mansions. Even though we’d visited before, we enjoyed it just as much today, and definitely recommend it as a must-see when visiting Newport. Be forewarned though, it is a popular spot.
Fort Adams, Newport, RI
After we returned to the car we made our way to the West side of the island and to Fort Adams State Park. I’ll write more about the history in another post, but for our visit, because we were only allowed to tour the fort with a paid guided tour, we opted to view the fort externally only. We had also just visited Fort Trumbull in New London, which looked similar and was free, and had plans to visit Fort Griswold the next day. Still, this one is substantially bigger than both of those forts, so it may be well worth a visit. For today, we enjoyed walking by the water and watching the boats sailing in the harbor, with a great view of the Pell Bridge.
Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, RI
As the day moved on, the crowds in Newport only grew larger. Apparently we were not the only ones with the idea to visit Newport. So, content we had seen all we would be able to in Newport, we navigated our way through the traffic and crossed back over the Claiborne Pell bridge to Jamestown on Conanicut Island. There were much less people here than on Aquidneck and we easily made our way to the southern tip of the island to visit Beavertail State Park and the lighthouse, which happens to be America’s third oldest lighthouse. The park was even free and dog friendly! We took in the views and walked along the rocky coast. We were surprised by the lack of people here compared to Newport, and made a mental note to come back here again rather than returning to Newport. The park is free to visit and has plenty of space to wander. We returned to Connecticut after our visit here, happy to have seen old places that rekindled fond memories, as well as discover new favorite spots along the coast of Rhode Island!