Archive for January, 2014

Winter Getaway in Newport

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Sakonnet-RiverThe seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island has a long history as a summer destination, with wealthy socialites of the past flocking to their mansions to spend the season on the coast.  However, Newport’s many attractions don’t disappear with the warm weather.

Unlike many beach cities, Newport does not shut down in the off season.  It remains a vibrant destination, with plenty of things to do! Touring Gilded Age mansions such as The Elms and The Breakers remains a favorite tourist attraction throughout the year, as does Newport’s famous Cliff Walk and Ocean Drive and the Newport Harbor Walk!  Some activities are reserved only for the colder months, such as seal watching tours!

Newport is a college town, and a thriving center of arts and culture.  There are plenty of museums and galleries to brows and a walk down Thames Street is a treat in any season.

A walk through Newport’s thriving downtown will show you that there are plenty of places to eat, whether you’re looking for a bar, coffee shop, or a sit down meal.  Newport is full of delicious bakeries, fine dining, casual haute cuisine, and great gastropubs.  Try local beers paired with tasty pub grub or treat your taste buds with a fantastic meal made with local ingredients and perfectly paired with fine wine all while enjoy gorgeous views of Newport Harbor.

There are many beautiful places to stay in Newport.  Step back in time and stay in lovingly renovated Gilded Age “cottages” which once played host to lavish parties for the rich and famous.  Enjoy romantic getaways with sweeping views of Newport Harbor and the Bay. Or enjoy stay right on the waterfront and just a few blocks from Thames Street, in the heart of Newport, so you’re never far from any of the action!

Newport has a reputation as a summer destination, but it’s a great place to visit in the winter! You can do many of the same activities, and even have a few more options open to you! If you’re looking to getaway to a town with lots of things to keep you busy this winter, Newport is the perfect place!



Places to Stay in Newport

Posted on: January 30th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Newport_shoreline_of_Easton_Bay_looking_south_from_cliffside_overlook_at_east_end_of_Narragansett_AveNewport has plenty of old town charm and so do its many hotels and bed and breakfasts. Gilded Age mansions will help you take a step back in time and add a touch of luxury to your holiday, while boutique hotels will help make sure that all of your needs are met.

41 North  – Forty 1° North places casual luxury at the waterfront to bring you a new breed of eco-conscious hospitality. Enjoy gorgeous view of Thames Street and Newport Harbor from the floor to ceiling windows and large balconies that adorn each suite.

Hotel Viking – A member of Historic Hotels of America, the Hotel Viking was built in 1926 as one of Newport’s grandest hotels.  Experience Newport in all its Gilded Age splendor when you stay here, as many famous celebrities and dignitaries have done on their trips through Newport.

Mill Street Inn – Operating as a mill in the 19th century, the Mill Street Inn has turned a beautiful historic building into a charming and luxurious hotel.  Located just a block from the waterfront and Thames Street, Mill Street has everything at its doorstep.

Oceancliff – Designed by the same architect who built The Breakers, Oceancliff will take you back to another time.  Sitting on 10 beautiful acres, this hotel features stunning ocean views, amazing food, and world class service.  It’s architecture and styling may take you back to the 19th century, but its amenities are 21st century.   It’s the perfect hotel for a romantic getaway!

For more places to stay in Newport check out our previous post here.


Places to Eat in Newport

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

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Newport offers every culinary experience that you could be hoping for.  Whether you’re looking to lavish fine dining, casual haute cuisine, or just a delicious pastry, you’ll find it in Newport with ease.

22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille – Located on busy, vibrant Bowen’s Wharf, 22 Bowen’s serves New England’s best seafood, USDA prime beef, and pairs it all with an award winning wine list.  Enjoy fabulous views of the harbor while dining on a seasonal menu inspired by local ingredients and created with produce and products from New England.  They are happy to provide a Gluten Free menu, and a delicious 3 course prix-fixe menu.

Castle Hill Inn – Local meats, fish, and produce are all featured in this strong, seasonal menu served at the Castle Inn.  There is no better place to go in Newport for perfectly crated cocktails or fantastic appetizers.  From your aperitiff to your digestif, each detail of your meal is carefully thought out and created to give you the perfect dining experience.  Take in stunning views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay whilst you eat from the heated Sunset Terrace Bar.

La Maison De Coco – If you’re craving something sweet, there is no better place to go than La Maison De Coco. Pastry chef  Michele De Luca-Varley is a master of her craft and creates madeleines that are as light and airy as a cloud, and chocolate so decadent you won’t be able to stop at just one piece.  Sit in the shop and enjoy a pot of tea, or a delicious coffee with your sweets.

Spiced Pear – Enjoy sweeping views of Easton’s Beach and the Atlantic Ocean in this beautiful dining room.  Sit next to the fireplace or by the open-air kitchen and get a great view of the goings on.  Try their ‘New England Tasting Menu’ and sample 6 to 9 courses of New England specialties, or try something from the a la carte menu which features Continental cuisine.

Jo’s American Bistro – Located in downtown Newport, Jo’s American Bistro is casual, upscale dining.  Chef Matthew Preble grew up on his family farm and knows what a difference using fresh, local ingredients makes.  Highlighting local farmers and producers, their menu is sculpted around seasonally available produce to bring you the freshest, best tasting experience possible.  All meats are hormone and antibiotic free.

The Fifth Element – This trendy spot is a favorite among locals and tourists.  Chef Chris DePerro has built his menu to reflect some of your home cooked favorites, but re-imagined by a professional.  Like the space it is served in, the menu is a unique blend of rustic flavor and modern ingenuity.

For more place to eat in Newport check out our previous post here.


Things to Do in Newport

Posted on: January 28th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

There is almost no end to the number of things you can do in Newport.  There are tons of ways to explore the bay and learn about local wildlife and history, or to get gorgeous views of the water.  There are also endless ways to explore Newport’s extensive history, through visiting museums, forts, mansions, and other historical sites.

One activity reserved exclusively the for colder  months of the year is seal watching. Depart from Wharf Dock and take a cruise of Newport Harbor.  You’ll sail over to Rose Island and Newport Bridge keeping an eye out for seals! Tours are available in one or two hour rides.  Lighthouse tours are also available for anyone curious about lighthouses in the area. Take a 3.5 hour tour and learn about local lighthouses, or take the ultimate 7 hour tour and see everything there is to see in the area, included non-functioning lighthouses and more.

If you’re interested in learning about the bay, the Exploration Center and Aquarium is an excellent place to visit! Though it is not a large aquarium there is plenty to see and learn.  The science center houses more than 140 different kinds of critters that call Narragansett Bay home, giving visitors a chance to learn all about local wildlife in the bay.  Also learn about preservation and conversation efforts and what you can do to help!

Fort Adams State Park is open year round and is a great place to go for gorgeous views! It provides panoramic view of the East Passage of Narragansett Bay and Newport Bay.  The Fort itself is also an excellent place to visit, offering tons of attractions! Tour the fort and learn all about its history and how it was the “NASA of its day.” Fly along the fortress’s outer walls along a zip line, take a ghost tour, or visit at dusk  and take the Fort Adams Bay Walk for a spectacular sunset view!

The Cliff Walk remains popular in winter, though requires some caution as some parts of the bath are over the natural rocks of the beach and are slick even in the best conditions. Newport’s Ocean Drive is a great way to see the coast, especially if you don’t want to walk around in the elements or risk the walk.

Trinity Church is a beautiful historic church in Queen Ann Square.  The Church was built in 1726 and has had many famous visitors including George Washington, Queen Elizabeth II, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who visited just after receiving the Noble Peace Prize.  Though the church is still in operation, they are happy to give guided tours to share its beauty and history with you.

Newport has tons of mansions to tour! Chateau-Sur-Mer is one such mansion.  Built in 1852 it is a perfect example of High Victorian architecture and style.  It was one of the grandest homes in Newport until the arrival of the Vanderbilts.   It was well known for being the site of grand parties and hosted the debutante ball for Miss Edith Wetmore in 1889.  Chepstow is another Gilded Age mansion.  Though less grand than many of the others in the area, its history is equally as detailed and interesting and it is well worth a visit.  The Elms is yet another Gilded Age mansion, but there you can take a behind the scenes tour and learn about the lives of those who spent their lives downstairs.

For more things to do in Newport, check out our previous post here.

Experience Winter in Newport, RI

Posted on: January 27th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Newport_Rhode_Island_Aerial_ViewNicknamed “the city by the sea”, Newport, Rhode Island is just 75 miles outside Boston and just a few hours outside New York City.  This charming coastal town offers gorgeous architecture, beautiful scenery and great nightlife that make it the perfect place to getaway.

Unlike most beach resort towns, Newport does not shut down during the off season, but remains an exceptional place to visit during winter.  The University keeps a steady year round population and winter is welcomed and celebrated by this vibrant community.  Many of the things that draw tourists in summer remain just as fun in winter, such as visiting the great summer “cottages” of the Gilded Age, Newport’s excellent museums and it’s famous Cliff Walk.

It also has a very rich history which can easily be explored as you walk its streets.

Founded in 1639 by a diverging sect of religious men from Massachusetts, political tensions were strong in Newport from the get go.  However, eventually the settlers were able to overcome these and helped to develop Newport into one of Colonial America’s most important trade ports.  It received so much trade that it easily rivaled New York and Boston.

In 1663 Rhode Island received its royal charter and Benedict Arnold was elected governor in Newport.

From 1776 – 79, during the American Revolution, the British occupied Newport and used it as a base to attack New York City.  In 1778 Americans and French allies began the Battle of Rhode Island.  However it was unsuccessful due to France’s reluctance to go through with the plan and the Americans were driven from the city.  However, the following year the British abandoned the Newport in favor of New York City.

For the next year the city served as a base for Lieutenant General Rochambeau.  Though he moved his base to Providence in 1781, Newport continued to serve as a base for French forces for the rest of the war.  A monument to Rochambeau now stands in Kings Park in honor and thanks to his contributions to the war.

Newport is perhaps best known for its many Gilded Ages mansions, which began to be built during the Industrial Revolution.  Robber barons and members of the social elite, drawn by the quiet charm of the city began building large summer “cottages” to spend the season.

Edith Wharton, one of Newport’s many famous residents, described this social scene in her novel The Age of Innocence, which she is believed to have written in her cottage Land’s End.

In more recent history Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower both had “Summer White Houses” in Newport.

During the mid 20th century Newport was home to a Naval base, which today houses the Naval War College.

While Newport may seem to be primarily a summer destination, it is actually a great place to visit in winter.  Many of the same activities can be done, and there will be less crowds.  The city looks especially charming covered in snow, which is certainly a view you won’t see in summer!

Newport is an easy drive from Boston or New York City.  It’s also easily accessed by Providence Airport.

Have a Fabulous Winter Vacation in Lincoln

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

796px-Sandwich_RangeNestled in the White Mountains and Franconia Notch State Park, Lincoln, New Hampshire is a great place to getaway for a winter vacation, especially for the outdoor activity enthusiast.

There are plenty of things to do in Lincoln. Skiing at Loon Mountain is a popular pastime, and Loon Mountain sees more traffic than any other ski resort in New Hampshire.

Currently on exhibit are the Ice Castles at Loon Mountain which offer a unique opportunity to walk through walls made from massive icicles.  This installment was created by artist Brent Christensen and is especially dazzling at night.

Places to eat in Lincoln.  Whether you’re looking for some tasty home cooking, delicious pub grub, or fancy fine dining you’ll find it in Lincoln.  If you’re looking for a really special night out, The Restaurant at Sunset Hill offers spectacular views of the mountains as well as the best gourmet fine dining in the region, using the finest ingredients.

There are lots of great place places to stay in Lincoln and around Lincoln.  If you’re looking for easy access to Loon Mountain, you can find ski in ski out access at The Mountain Club on Loon which also offers everything you could want right at the hotel.  Staying at the one of the many other inns or hotels in the area you’ll find great, personalized service, and charming atmosphere all close to shopping, restaurants and Loon Mountain.

Lincoln offers plenty of great activities, restaurants, and wonderful places to stay. Whether you’re looking for a fun family vacation or a romantic getaway it is the perfect place to go, especially if you like skiing or other winter sports!

Places to Stay in Lincoln

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-White_Mountains_panoramaLincoln and the surrounding area have many lovely places to stay.  From former Guilded Age hotels turned  bed and breakfast  to modern ski resorts with everything you could need right in the hotel.  Stay right on the slopes with ski in ski out access or stay close to the city center with great shopping and dining just a few minutes away!

The Mountain Club on Loon  – If you want easy access to the slopes you can’t get anything better than this! Get ski in ski out access to Loon Mountain at the Mountain Club.  You’re just a few steps away from the lifts at any time! Enjoy on site dining, indoor and outdoor pools, a full service spa and more! You’ll find everything you need right at the resort! And of course you’ll have stunning views of Loon Mountain right outside your window.

Indian Head Resort – This lakeside resort offers beautiful views of Shadow Lake and Franconia Notch State Park.  Enjoy the heated pool and the sauna after a long day on the slopes, or take advantage of the nightly kids activities while you take some time alone with your special someone in the dining room.   All rooms feature 50″ Plasma screen TVs.

Red Sleigh Inn –   Built by J.E Homestead, a dairy farmer and lumber baron from Lincoln, the Red Sleigh Inn is a beautiful historic home that will transport you to the Guilded Age, when wealthy socialites escaped claustrophobic cities to indulge in simpler mountain life. Take in beautiful views of the mountains and begin each day with a hearty country breakfast before heading off to enjoy Loon Mountain.

Snowy Owl Inn –  One of New England’s finest country inns, The Snowy Owl Inn is in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest.   Staff are courteous and knowledgeable and are happy to help you plan your vacation and accommodate you in any way that they can with any special requests you might have.  Town Square is just next door where you will find plenty of great shopping and dining, and skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are never far away.

Sunset Hill House – Located in Sugar Hill, Sunset Hill House is an historic home with roots in the Grand Resort Hotel days of the White Mountains.  In the early 20th century it played host the elite members of society from New York, Boston, and Newport who traveled to stay at beautiful country “houses” for the season and take in the clear air of the mountains.  Allow yourself to be transported back in time in this 1880 mansion with beautiful views of the White Mountains and Green Mountains.  Start each day with a spectacular full breakfast and relax after a long day on the slopes in your whirlpool tub or on your private deck.


Places to Eat in Lincoln

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

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Lincoln has no short supply of great restaurants ready to host you.  Whether you’re looking for a place to try a delicious local beer and some creative cuisine or somewhere to relax with some great home cooking you will find something to suit your tastes.

CJ’s and Brittany’s: Sports Bar and Restaurant – A sports bar that is never short on fun and great atmosphere.  Stop by for Taco Tuesdays, delicious steaks, ribs, mac n cheese, and other tasty American favorites.  Stop by and watch the game, catch up with friends over a drink, or listen to some local musicians!

Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery –  Woodstock Station is housed in a refurbished train depot, creating fun and unique place to go for lunch or dinner.  Woodstock Station uses fresh, local ingredients to craft delicious, high quality cuisine. The menu is full of great appetizers, sandwiches, soups, burgers and entrees that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.   They also serve beer from their own brewery offering a chance to try some delicious local brews.

Gordi’s Fish and Steak House – Established in 1986 by Gordi & Karen Eaton and longtime friends Muffy and Bob Copenhaver, Gordi’s has a strong love for skiers because Gordi and Karen were both on Olympic ski teams for the United States.  Memorabilia and photos of ski heroes grace the walls and guests are encouraged to walk through and explore.  Enjoy Apres Ski specials perfect for a snack after the slopes, or stick around for dinner and try some delicious homemade clam chowder, jump shrimp, or filet mignon.

Profile Dining Room – Indian Head Resort’s premier restaurant, Profile Dining Room is the winner of 2011 Best of Chefs competition.  Enjoy creative sandwiches like a BBQ pulled pork sandwich with avocado, brie cheese and red pepper aioli, delicious entrees like grilled filet mignon and wild mushroom ravioli with “diablo” sauce.  Chef Nate Moore’s creations are both innovative and delicious and will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Truant’s Tavern – Opened in 1978, Truant’s is the oldest operating restaurant in the Loon Valley! In that time it has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.  Stop by for a bowl of homemade chili, seafood stuffed mushrooms, or their homemade “crabby patty” sandwich! Stay for a game of pool or to sing karaoke!

Things to Do in Lincoln

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Loonmtn_northpeakMuch of the entertainment in Lincoln revolves around its stunning natural beauty.  In winter includes hikes to frozen waterfalls, exploring dark caves, skiing through alpine forests, or even flying high above them as you fly down a zip-line! One o Lincoln’s most popular attractions is

Loon Mountain Ski Resort.  It is the most popular ski resort in New Hampshire, hosting more skiers than any other ski resort in the state.  It has 12 ski lifts and 53 trails over its 324 acres.  It also features two terrain parks on the Octagon Lodge side. While over at Loom Mountain be sure to visit the

Ice Castles at Loon Mountain there for the first time this year. Utah-based artist Brent Christensen built this spectacular installment through the use of a large sprinkler system to create mass icicles.  Some walls reach as high as 25 feet tall! This fortress is a site to behold, especially at night when the dazzling lights turn it into an enchanted castle of frosted glass.

Franconia Notch State Park  is one of Lincoln’s most famous attractions.  It was home to the “Great Stone Face” as made known by Daniel Webster and Nathaniel Hawthorne, before it crumbled.  It is a spectacular park in the White Mountain National Forest stretching from Echo Lake to Flume Gorge.  Take a ride in the aerial tramway, stop at Echo Lake, go snowmobiling or snowshoeing, or stop at the New England Ski Museum.

Snowmobiling is a popular pastime but if you don’t know a ski-do, or if you’ve never ridden one before SledVentures Snowmobile Rentals and Tours is a great place to start.   Offering group and private tours appropriate for riders of all levels, SledVentures can show you the ropes and the best places to go snowmobiling in the area!

The Hobo Railroad and The Cog Railway are both beautiful way to see the scenery of the forests and mountains in comfort and warmth.  Ascend Mount Washington on the Cog Railway and snake through the forests on the Hobo Railroad.  A ride on the Cog offers a unique opportunity to ride on the world’s first mountain climbing railway! Ascend in a steam locomotive as passangers did in 1869 when the railway was opened, or a more modern and eco-friendly model.  When they reach the top they can expect spectacular panoramic views!

Those who are really adventurous should visit Alpine Adventures.  Fly over the forests on a zip-line, scale the top of Barron Mountain in an off-road safari that feels more like a low-speed roller coaster, or put your agility to the test in the aerial park.  Obstacles include rope bridges, cargo nets, free falls, and even sledding!  It’s an adventure that is fun for the whole family.


Lincoln, New Hampshire

Posted on: January 20th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Pemigewassett_covered_bridgeNear the White Mountains in New Hampshire, Lincoln is primarily thought of as a premier summer destination, well known for its great outdoor activities.  However, in winter it also offers plenty of entertainment, including the ski resort at Loon Mountain, interesting snow sculptures, and much more.

Founded in 1764 by a group of 70 land investors from Connecticut, the town was named for Henry Fieness Pelham-Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle, 9th Earl of Lincoln, who was at the time comptroller of customs for the port of London.  However, the town was not settled until 1782.

The area was poor for farming, but timber was plenty, and the Pemigewasset River made water power available to run saw mills.  Within the next century Lincoln developed a booming logging industry.  Railroads, originally installed to transport freight increasingly began to bring tourists to the mountains who wished to take in the scenery and fresh air.

In 1892, James E. Henry purchased 100,000 acres of timber new Lincoln, establishing what remains one of its most important logging enterprises to this day.  In 1902 he built a paper mill, and the following year built the Lincoln House Hotel.  The company was sold in 1917 to Parker Young Company, and again in 1946 to Marcalus Manufacturing Company.  Papermaking remained an important industry in Lincoln until 1971 when the company was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Today most people come to visit Lincoln to admire its natural beauty and practice their favorite outdoor recreations.  Loon Mountain draws skiers and snowboarders all winter long, while Flume Gorge and Fraconia Notch State Park draw visitors with their natural beauty throughout the year.