On a sunny day, Newport, Rhode Island, has the atmospheric brightness of the French Riviera. Glints of silvery light play on the deep blue ocean and animate the waterfront. No matter the Fahrenheit, somewhere there is a breeze, and this contributes to making Newport a great yachting destination. If arriving by car, it is worthwhile to take the Newport Bridge with its $4 toll to enjoy the magnificent panorama of boats plying the harbor, many of which are beautiful under sail.
Other options for travel might be by private yacht, cruise ship or taking a ferry from Providence, Block Island or Jamestown. “The City by the Sea” is cosmopolitan. It is a destination for events, day trips or a summer, autumn or even a winter getaway. Home of the U.S. Naval War College, and also the Pell Center for International Relations, it has varied cultural institutions, including museums, galleries, excellent shops, boutiques and the mansions, which offer a glimpse of Newport’s Gilded Age. There are foodie tours and all sorts of restaurants between Bowen’s Wharf, Broadway and Lower Thames, which are trendy districts for eating out.
Queen Anne Square on Thames Street was fairly recently remodeled by Maya Lin to honor the legacy of heiress Doris Duke, who was influential in preserving Newport’s historic waterfront. This park beautifully acknowledges Lin’s career-long relationship with the Newport based Benson family of stone carvers who created and cut the calligraphy on her Vietnam Memorial. They have worked closely with Lin on many of her other large commissions. The serenity of this park makes it a place to relax between shopping and sightseeing.