Monday, February 3, 2014

His and Her Travel Review: Newport, Rhode Island

Last week's travel review took us to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island where Amanda's excitement at visiting Green Gables, home to Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne Shirley, had her jumping up and down with excitement. You can relive the joy here

On that cruise, where PEI was our second stop, our last stop was Newport, Rhode Island. Neither of us was overly excited about visiting this city and we almost didn't get off the cruise ship. We decided to take a walk to the Cliff Walk to see the ocean and the beautiful cliffs that border the water. It was not the experience we were hoping for.

View of Newport from the cruise ship.
Amanda: To start, the temperature was close to 100 degrees. It was swelteringly hot and we did not have water or drinks. Sean thought at most we would walk for 30 minutes to get there, walk a little while down the Cliff Walk, and then walk about 45 minutes back. He also thought that we would be in the shade for most of the walk to and from the Cliff Walk. Yep - that's what he thought. It was not, however, what we were in for that day.
Part of the Cliff Walk

The walk to the Cliff Walk took almost an hour (not the 30 minutes we thought). The Cliff Walk itself was very beautiful and very scenic. It made the walk there worth it because we don't have anything like this near home. The sights of the cliffs next to the water were gorgeous. I could live in any one of the houses that are on that Cliff Walk. 

A house on the Cliff Walk
The walk back to the ship was a struggle. We did not plan well because we thought the walks were shorter, so we had no water and no exact change for the bus. With the temperatures, lack of shade, and lack of water, the walk - which took a little over 90 minutes - was, in a word, miserable. We walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked.

Part of the Cliff Walk
Sean - There weren't many options for shore excursions in Newport and none of them really appealed to us. The main thing to do in Newport is to visit the mansions. Since I didn't like the sound of that, I figured we could head over to the Cliff Walk and then head back to the ship. The map showed that it wasn't that far and there were some buses and taxis that could bring us back if need be. As Amanda explained it was really hot and humid and the walk that I thought would take about 20-30 minutes took close to an hour.

The Cliff Walk was nice and we were able to take a lot of beautiful photos.
The Cliff Walk
As we were walking towards one of the exits from the Cliff Walk I saw a few pedicabs. Since we were both getting pretty hot and thirsty I thought this would be a great way to get back to town. However, by the time we got to that area, they had already picked up some fares and headed down the road. I figured we could just start heading back to the ship and another pedicab, taxi cab, or a bus would show up as it was a pretty busy road. We did see a bus after a few minutes, but it required exact change so we couldn't board. As time went on it seemed we weren't making any progress and we were getting very thirsty and tired. 

One of the mansions in Newport
We did get to see many of the mansions as we made the never ending journey to the ship so that was a bonus.

As we were walking the never-ending path back to the cruise ship, Sean did everything he could to cheer me up. He has a great sense of humor so it wasn't long before I was giggling hysterically as we walked (and walked and walked and walked) along. He was making up random and funny stories about the houses and their owners as we walked past. Here is my favorite one. It brings a smile to my face even today.

This house is the Isaac Bell House. 
The Isaac Bell house.
Here is Sean's (completely fictional) story - 
This house was originally owned by the great-great-granddaughter of Alexander Graham Bell. Why did the parents name the girl "Isaac"? When she was born, the doctor told the parents they had a beautiful baby boy. They named him Isaac. A little while later, the doctor come in and said, "Oops! I was wrong. You have a beautiful baby girl." The parents had already signed the birth certificate and were unable to change her name, so they sued the doctor for making the mistake. They used the money from the lawsuit to buy the house and named it after their daughter.

Finally, we came across an ice cream shop that was not far from the ship. Normally my frugal self would say wait and get an ice cream on the ship as it was free, but after this long adventure I was happy to walk inside, enjoy the air conditioning and enjoy a cold treat. The ice cream was pretty good and was a great pick me up after such a long walk in the heat with no water. I was very happy that we were finally back in town and that our long walkabout was finally over. After enjoying an ice cream we walking the last 400 yards back to the ship and enjoyed the rest of the day on board the cruise ship.

A house in Newport
The houses of Newport were absolutely beautiful and the CliffWalk had amazing views. If we took a cruise that went here again, I would for sure book a shore excursion. I do not recommend trying to take a self-guided tour. You will spend so much time walking that you will exhaust yourself before you see anything. If we go back I would want to tour a few of the homes or go whale watching. That sounds like a much better idea then endlessly walking around the town. Sean could still make up some funny stories from the inside of an air conditioned bus or van. The biggest thing we learned from our Newport trip is plan ahead - plan, plan, plan!!

Another mansions in Newport
I was not a fan of Newport. It didn't have a lot to offer; it was really just the houses (which were stunning, but not something Amanda and I were interested in) and the Tennis Hall of Fame (which we found on our long journey back to the boat). If we ever took a cruise that stopped there again I would likely stay on the boat, unless we found a shore excursion that appealed to us. If you go, I recommend you plan out your activities and transportation before you get there.

Have you ever been to Newport, Rhode Island? What were your thoughts about the town?

Happy Traveling,

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! Beautiful! I wish I had visisted there when I lived on the East Coast.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle


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