Recently … on a hot summer day in August, Joan Laramie, Director of Sales and Account Management took Mary de Ridder, owner of our new representation firm Travel and PRomotion by Mary de Ridder, found themselves venturing south, beckoned by the lure of the perfect incentive and meeting escape in Newport, Rhode Island, boasting some of most charming seaside restaurants, beaches, magnificent mansions alongside ocean walks and some of the prettiest pictures one can take on the east coast!
Mary and Joan started out with Ocean Drive – where you can walk, bike or drive, for the views and spectacular “cottages”! Then onto Newport’s “Ten Mile Drive” where history and homes of a wealthy summer community blend with the public parks and miles of public access shoreline. A must see is Rejects Beach where you can take a dip after a long day in the sweet sun – unless of course you have “old Newport” friends that will take you next door to Bailey’s Beach and Beach Club!
Mary and Joan found out that if you prefer a more relaxing day – a classic Newport weekend would not be complete without time on the water. Head out on a harbor cruise aboard a friend’s boat or local charter. Pack up the cooler with some refreshments, motor around to Brenton Cove for a swim, or if you have more time, over to Jamestown’s Mackerel cove. No interest in boating? Another favorite beach for lounging, surfing or bird watching is Sachuset or Second Beach - only 4 miles from the center of Newport.
One thing the gals felt would really interest those groups seeking a competitive or teambuilding gathering was the “Your Own America’s Cup Regatta” which allows you and your group to race 3-4 of their 12-meter yachts against each other! For those who would rather watch The Pam is the spectator boat that goes out to watch and photograph the racers. Who doesn’t love a little salty air and Yankee flare in the spirit of racing ?
For those seeking a more landslide experience, Mary and Joan felt you could go back in time with a jaunt down Bellevue Avenue or a walk on the “Cliff Walk”. The views are stunning and you will experience the Newport Mansions of famed names such as the Eisenhowers, Vanderbilts, Astors and Widener families who constructed the largest “summer cottages”, such as The Breakers, Rosecliff, Marble House and Miramar.
Wind whipped and salt sprayed, the only remedy, is a members’ only Bloody Mary at the New York Yacht Club with our favorite Newport Gal – Ashley Farrington Take in the great lawn overlooking Newport Harbor (best view in town). The NYYC Harbour Court location is a beautiful Renaissance Norman-style mansion sitting on 8 acres on a hill overlooking the harbor.
By this time, the appetite has kicked in and you are probably ready for a classic bowl of clam chowder and nowhere better to get it with simultaneous people watching than the Black Pearl. Located in the heart of Newport’s bustling waterfront, this well-loved restaurant has something to offer everyone. Grab a table on the Waterside Patio and raw bar for great people watching, sipping and supping paired with a local brew, and experience what has made the “Pearl Girls” famous.
As evening comes, head over to Bannister’s Wharf for a snack before dinner. The Candy Store is a must for some summer sushi – a sake and a roll will tide you over ’til dinner. The Candy Store, also known as Clarke Cooke House, is an institution with its many levels often described as a mirror of Newport’s Social hierarchy.
Moving down the harbor, take in The Mooring for dinner – one of our favorites! Sit at the bar and get some Littlenecks or if a more classic experience is required, grab a table on the amazing back deck overlooking Narragansett Bay and be sure to order a bag of doughnuts. The Mooring provides the freshest and most creative local, regional and international fish and seafood selections paired with an award winning 900+ label wine list.
22 Bowen’s, located on Bowen’s Wharf is relaxed, upscale and sits directly on the water with an inviting atmosphere, dim lighting and candlelit tables. In the warmer months, don’t miss out on the waterside tables, for the marine and boating activity as well as the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the wharf. From fresh seafood raw bar appetizers to the main courses, Bowen’s will surely please the visiting traveler.
The nightlife is great for all ages, and if you don’t tire easily, the ladies recommend Dockside Downtown hosts live music of all genres, comedians, festivals celebrating cultural and harbor side lifestyles, and the latest happenings in culinary, wine and art!
After whirlwind 36 hours, Mary and Joan agreed … whatever your mood, Newport offers your adventure and PLENTY of things to do and see.
Our favorite destination and hotel venues in Newport!
The Newport Marriot located in the heart of downtown Newport, RI offers a nautical flare with bright colors and murals boats of fish. This modern hotel also hosts an onsite restaurant, Fathoms, which features fresh traditional seafood dishes. The Newport Marriott is also conveniently located on the Newport Harbor which is perfect for a group interested in doing water activities (sailing charters or races) as many of the boats leave from the dock adjacent to the hotel. This hotel is in the middle of Newport’s action and a great option for a group interested in experiencing downtown.
The Hyatt Regency Newport, located on the private Goat Island is minutes from downtown Newport and is surrounded by stunning views of the Narragansett Bay. This hotel is also adjacent to one of our other favorite venues, Belle Mer, and would be a great option for accommodation. One neat feature – the option for a traditional lobster pit and dinner in a wooden pavilion overlooking the water – nothing like some fresh seafood and ocean air!
Located on the edge of Narragansett Bay on Goat Island, Belle Mer is a chic, sophisticated, ocean side venue for all types of events. From launch parties to client or employee appreciation events, to corporate retreats, meetings and outings – the fire pit, sweeping views and 6 acres of land make Belle Mer an ideal location for any time of year! With over 14,000 square feet of function space, it captures Newport’s timeless elegance with a contemporary flare.
“One of the most romantic, picturesque, comfy and cozy hotels in Newport!” was what our team member Joan reported back to us. The Chanler hotel looks out over First Beach (Easton’s Beach) and the Atlantic and is located right at the start of the famous Cliff Walk. The breathtaking views from the outside dining area, Cliff Lawn and The Terrace make the Chanler a gem for smaller groups looking to stay the night or have a meeting or event!
Voted as one of the top 50 meeting hotels in the Northeast by Meetings East Magazine, The Hotel Viking is a great option for events small or large. The Viking Ballroom is ideal for exhibits or multi media presentations or if you are looking to have an event with a historic setting, the Bellevue Ballroom is a great option with its “Old Newport” grandeur. Leading from the function rooms, our favorite location for an event is the courtyard in the back that is perfect for a warm evening reception or meal!