Rhode Island, has an embarrassment of attractions, from its gorgeous coastline to its opulent mansions and charming downtown. When the weather is warm, Newport, Watch Hill and other areas allow for sailing along the coast, sipping cocktails on the waterfront and enjoying the bounty of seasonal seafood. So, even though it’s mid-August, there’s still time for you to take advantage of all the celebrating along the coast.
Educate Your Palate
The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ocean House, a stunning renovated 1900s Victorian hotel overlooking the water on the bluffs of Watch Hill, is not just a lovely place to rest your head, it also offers a fascinating culinary program. Called Farm and Vine, the year-round program is a series of dinners focused on everything from wine-pairing tips to visiting chefs who whip up a meal with local ingredients. Other special foodie events, like a Culinary Institute of America’s Boot Camp and seasonal workshops with the hotel’s resident food forager, feature various topics with area experts. You’ll never walk away bored or hungry.
A visit to Newport isn’t complete without getting on the water. For more than five decades, Newport was home of the America’s Cup regatta and it’s still a huge sailing city today. Book a private charter or sign up for a special race experience with America’s Cup Charters, which has the largest fleet of legendary America’s Cup 12 Meters in the world. Each was designed and built specifically for the prestigious sailing event. If names like Arthur Knapp, Bus Mosbacher, Ted Hood, Bill Ficker, Ted Turner and Lowell North mean anything to you, you’ll be especially excited to board their former yachts. Reserve a three-hour racing experience, where you’ll sail against another yacht (on select Sundays) or simply relax on a two-hour charter and take in the sights.
At downtown’s Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, which is owned by the same people who run the nearby Four-Star Castle Hill Inn, you can expect similarly high levels of service and food. With indoor and outdoor seating with panoramic views of Narragansett Bay, this is the perfect place to watch the sun set and try fresh seafood paired with an amazing wine list of more than 600 labels. There’s a rotating list of raw bar offerings that’s appealing, but whatever you do, make sure to order the “bag of doughnuts” appetizer, a delicious fritter made from lobster, crab and shrimp served with chipotle-maple aioli. All the usual seafood suspects are available on the entrée menu, from pan-seared scallops to fish and chips, but nothing beats the steamed Maine lobster with warm drawn butter and potatoes. It’s summer on a plate.