As we near the end of 2018, a time for reflection, goal-setting, redefining our purpose and commitment to becoming a better version of ourselves, I am reminded of all of my blessings and the friends and family that I am truly grateful for. The opportunity to travel and experience a new adventure is something that I am always grateful for and will never take for granted. Actually, didn't even leave the country this year--only traveled within the US which again proves that you don't have to go far or spend a lot of money to experience a new adventure and enjoy life.
Although hoping to travel abroad in 2019, I am grateful for all the places I got to visit this year—some right within my own backyard literally. There are times when all you need is a staycation to focus on rest, relaxation and self-care! Part of the reason for not traveling abroad is that I started a new job in January and as the "new kid on the block" didn’t want to be out of the office for long extended periods of time.
This year, traveled to Florida twice (West Palm Beach at the beginning of the year and Miami towards the end of the year), visited New Orleans for some Creole vibes in the summer and for my winter holiday, decided on Newport, RI. Each destination very different and with something unique to offer visitors. I enjoyed Newport and look forward to maybe going back in the summer.
Below, are my top 5 reasons you should add this lovely New England City to your 2019 travel plans:
Newport is within driving distance from NYC which makes it the perfect destination for any long weekend getaway. Took approximately 3 1/2 hours to get there. Left NYC around 10:00am to avoid the rush-hour traffic and made it to Newport by 1:30pm for lunch. Driving was also great for exploring at own pace and also afforded the opportunity to travel to different parts of the State which was nice (also visited the City of Providence and Bristol). The drive was smooth and only needed to add a little air in our tires upon arriving to town (evidence below lol).
Newport is a beautiful coastal city in the New England State of Rhode Island. You will feel like you’re somewhere far away and abroad. I don't know the air was just different, crisp and clear and truly felt like a breath of fresh air. The city is so quaint with beautiful architecture and historic Victorian and Italian Renaissance style homes, including several mansions.
As with all my previous travel posts, location of where to stay is important. I stayed at the Hotel Viking which is located in the Bellevue Avenue Historic District, at the heart of downtown Newport--conveniently located within walking distance to dining and shopping. Also, close to some of the famous mansions in Newport—some of which are now museums opened to the public. On this trip, visited the Breakers mansion, best known as the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, and passed down to various family members after his death (you know that generational wealth thing). In the old days and to some extent still true today, most of the mansions and homes in Newport are summer vacation homes and playground for the wealthy upper class and modern day 1% percent. The Breakers mansion represented a symbol of the Vanderbilt's family social and economic status in American society. For Christmas, the Breakers is decorated for the holiday and was worth the visit-though we decided not to see the other mansions.
A vacation isn't complete without good food and drinks. Newport checked-off those buckets, especially great destination for seafood lovers, chic cafés and great afternoon cocktails. Our first meal in Newport was at the Red Parrot Restaurant; reportedly, a beloved spot of Chrissy Teigen! Indulged in some wine-tasting at the Newport vineyards which was a special treat and highly recommend especially if you decide to visit in the spring/fall when the weather and vineyards are perfect for a tour.
If you love Christmas like I do, visit Newport during the holidays! Absolutely breathtaking elegant holiday décor on all the homes, beautiful wreath on the doors, and the shops, restaurants and everywhere really had the Christmas songs playing, truly felt the Christmas spirit!!! Walking down the streets felt like I was in a Christmas movie. This time of year is considered off-season and after the Holiday, we were told that some of the shops/restaurants will close for a few weeks. However, spring and summer is also a lovely time to visit, though the summer is the busy season--again most of the wealthy home owners return home in the summer so keep in mind the crowds and pricier accommodations if you visit during peak season.
What other getaways from NYC that you have taken and would recommend? Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy 2019! Let me know if you decide to visit Newport!