American Locations 13 – Newport, Rhode Island

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

We have made several trips to Newport, Rhode Island. This is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in. For starters, we drove the 10 mile Ocean Drive along the coast. It provides some great views.

There is also the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk, a paved path between the ocean and some of the historic ‘cottages’ (mansions, actually) that Newport was known for at the end of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The ocean is on one side and these Gilded Age mansions on the other. A great stroll.

We toured Breakers, the largest of the cottages. BTW, the NFL owners held their annual meeting at the Breakers this past week. Pictures are not allowed inside, so I could only photograph it from the outside. The front.

The view from the back porch. The Cliff Walk passes just below the hedge and fence at the back.

This is from the yard looking at the back of the building.

From other sides.

A neighboring cottage.

We also toured Rose Cliff.

Imagine sitting on this balcony with such a view out over the ocean.

The back lawn of this cottage also overlooked the ocean.

There were more extensive gardens here than at Breakers.

The back of the cottage was more impressive than the front.

Besides these cottages – there are 14 of them open to the public – there are many other preserved historic buildings in Newport.

There was a church.

Many notables, including American Presidents, have attended.

But the most interesting area of this most interesting city was the waterfront.

And the harbor.

One of our visits coincided with a gathering of tall ships. They had all gathered in Boston for the 4th of July, but the waterfront there was mobbed. So we didn’t go, instead driving to Newport to see them on our way home from a family visit. The tall ships had sailed directly there from Boston. They are something to see. And it wasn’t nearly as crowded as Boston had been.

As we were leaving Newport we drove across the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge to the other side of the harbor. The bridge can be seen in the back of the photo.

I pulled over here because one of the largest tall ships was under full sail cruising through the harbor. The wind was blowing so hard and the sails were catching it in such a way the entire ship was listing at more than 45 degrees, nearly parallel to the water, and it was moving really fast. It was amazing to see. The tall ships were giving cruises, and the people on this ship were getting a good one. The reason I didn’t get a photo or movie of it was there were no public areas on this side of the harbor. This place I did get a photo of was private, and I was promptly chased off as soon as I stopped. But I still got to watch the tall ship for a short while. To think something that big could move so fast.

Then we made a mistake. Heading back home, we just punched our destination into the Garmin and didn’t think about our route. We were used to leaving for home from the Boston area, which took us on I-90. This far south, we were plotted to go west on I-95, which took us into New York City. We were caught in a massive traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge. While we were stuck on the bridge we could look south down the Hudson River and see the skyscrapers of Manhattan. We sat there for hours. My wife kept urging me to get off the Interstate and find another way, but I couldn’t see myself wandering around lost through Brooklyn, or the Bronx, or wherever we were. So we endured it. Once we got across the bridge and into New Jersey we got off and checked into the first motel we came to. It was pricey, but we were exhausted. We finished the rest of the trip home the next day without incident.

Next Location – Mystic, Connecticut

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