Get Out There

Water, History and Leaves in Rhode Island

This week we are headed to Rhode Island, and we could not be more excited to go! The country’s smallest state is jam-packed full of exciting things to do and see!

We always advise avoiding spots that are popular with tourists, but missing out on the beautiful mansions-cum-museums of Newport would be a crying shame. There is no way we’ll pass up visiting Belcourt Castle — a 60-room house that was owned by a horse racing empire’s heir. It was built as a summer cottage. Now, it’s open to the public as an architectural and antiquities museum. There are so many other gorgeous houses, and we’ll head over to The Breakers, the summer cottage of the Vanderbilts. With 70 rooms styled like a 16th-century Italian palace, this is a place that must be seen to be believed.

We’ll head to a much less grand spot in Newport after that, the Cornè House. It’s the home of Michel Felice Cornè, the man who brought tomatoes into the American diet. We’ll see the house and historical plaque, but it isn’t open to the public. Then we’ll walk two blocks to see the site of the U.S.’ first gas streetlamp. Afterward, we’ll go for a walk along the Newport harbor to watch the tall ships sailing and grab some delicious seafood to enjoy.

Our road trip has hit the state slightly too early for leaf-peeping. This year, because the hot, long summer, the change in the foliage is delayed. The fall colors should be making their appearance mid to late October. If you go around that time, you must go to Ocean Drive. You will see beautiful ocean views on one side, and gorgeous fall leaves on the other! Another amazing spot for leaf-peeping is Neutaconkanut Hill Park. There are walking trails, built by the WPA in the ‘30s. But, it is largely left alone, making it a haven for plants and animals.

Enjoying the sights, we’ll cruise around to see some of the historic lighthouses of Rhode Island. We might spend the night at Rose Island Light, a lighthouse with rooms to rent for a night. Even though it’s not fall quite yet, and the leaves aren’t red and gold, there are plenty of spots open for apple picking. It’s such a lovely tradition to go apple picking with friends or family, and we cannot pass up the opportunity. Some spots have hayrides, corn mazes and other produce and products to buy!

Any way you slice the apple, it’s going to be a wonderful weekend! We hope you’ll be visiting soon!

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