We at Carry On To are firm believers in independent travel. Saving up for a trip and traveling on your own is one of the most valuable ways to learn about yourself.
However, traveling with your boo or, in certain instances, your parents, can help test, strengthen, repair, and/or solidify bonds. And, when the S.O. or kinfolk are willing to – better yet, excited to – foot the bill for your trip, then count your lucky stars and get to packing.
This was the case for my recent trip to Newport, Rhode Island. Originally booked as my parents' 31st wedding anniversary getaway, I happily crashed the occasion upon my mom's invite.
Newport is perceived as a summer destination, but it has a permanent population of over 30,000. Though its breathtaking beaches aren't utilized to their fullest potential in off-season, the city has equal – but different – appeal come Fall.
Sea air, lovely locals, and the most gilded mansions of the Gilded Age make Newport rich in New England culture. And, I mean it when I say rich. Newport was the summer playground to the sort of super-wealthy elite that simply doesn't exist – thankfully so – in America anymore (think houses that cost $15MM to build pre-1900 and before property taxes).
And, while the grandeur of some of these mansions (dubbed "summer cottages") is gross at times, the imagination required to architect their ornateness is quite remarkable.
Gawk and stare at these cribs alongside Newport's natural beauty by visiting the places below:
- Cliff Walk for an outside look at all the Newport mansions.
- The guided tour of The Breakers (former home of the Vanderbilts).
- A booze cruise around Newport Harbor on The Rum Runner II.
- Castle Hill Inn for a bougie cocktail or two.
- Newport Sea Foam Trading for organic, handmade soap and other deliciously smelling goods.
And an honorable mention goes to the National Museum of Illustration, as not everyone is as enthusiastic about the art form as my mother or I (shoutout to my fellow Maxfield Parrish fans out there).
Walk around Bannister's Wharf and you'll find a handful of shops and restaurants to stumble into. Grab a non-basic-bitch pumpkin spiced latte at The Coffee Grinder for a quick breakfast with a view. Bannister's is also home to The Black Pearl, a restaurant that provides my perfect mix of cozy ambience and comfort food.
Some other nearby places for nibbles include:
- The Mooring: two words...lobster croissant.
- Midtown: a boisterous oyster bar that's perfect for large groups.
- Diego's: once the sight of New England Clam Chowder makes your stomach cry, grab brunch at Diego's for really good Mexican food and a Habenero Bloody Mary.
Though the trip is totally doable over a long weekend, getting there isn't accessible by public transportation. Split the cost of a Zipcar for your stay.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.