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Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

Orlando, Florida
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Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

Hello! Some quick background - i grew up in Rhode Island until age 12 and then moved to Florida. This will essentially my first time in the city as an adult and my wife's first time ever.

Waterfire: We did plan this trip around Waterfire as neither of us have been. We are most likely staying at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown the entire 4 days/3 nights which should be pretty good for this. Is it possible to surprise her with a gondola ride on the river? If so, do you recommend doing this at a time OTHER than the event so we can enjoy both things separately? Any other things to know about Waterfire?

Transportation Part 1: Looking forward to not having a car unless necessary. I've found RIPTA route 60 as a way to get to Newport in an hour. From what I've heard about the beaches in summer, a car may not be faster anyway. My question is - does Newport have a downtown? Will it be walkable and worthwhile once we are there if we don't have a vehicle?

Transportation Part 2: We will probably take 1 day and go to Boston. Using google maps, I see that I can take the MBTA Providence/Stoughton Line to Back Bay or South Station. Any recommendation? Head to one station and head back from the other? We'd probably do this on Friday?

DELS: OK, this is an important one. Again, using Google, I don't see any locations in the walkable city center. Can this be right? Definitely something I plan on having a few times while up there. Del's website isn't working (the location finder anyway) so any local advice?

I think that's it for now! I appreciate your feedback - it will be invaluable.

Jamestown, Rhode...
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1. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

There's a lot more to see and do walking around the city of Newport than Providence, even though it's bigger. Narragansett Bay, unfortunately not in Providence, is one of the more beautiful places in the US.

Del's? Maybe downtown Prov, or on Thayer St. for sure. Narragansett Beer has just introduced the Del's Shandy, which I have yet to try. If you want to try some RI seafood, Blount Seafood and the place across the street are bit of Florida in downtown Prov.

RI is really beautiful in the summer, you may not want to go to Boston.

Not sure where the 60 goes, via 95 West Bay, or the slower but shorter route through Bristol which is very scenic are both fine.

Birmingham, Alabama
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2. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

Water Fire is really a big sidewalk festival with fire baskets in the river - pretty and fun. It'd be nice to do the gondola to firelight - though it won't be too private with folks lining the river.

Brown U is beautiful and you should walk around College Hill. RISD's museum is very nice and very doable. Perhaps a visit to the First Baptist Church in American should be on the list - building dates to 18th century but the congregation was founded by Roger Williams. Thayer St and Wickerman St have student-type shops and restaurants. Federal hill has many Italian restaurants.

Newport is really nice. Don't miss the Touro Synagogue - the first schul in America. RI was religiously very tolerant. Way ahead of the rest of the country. Indeed, Brown was the first Ivy to accept Jews as students. The Cliff Walk is spectacular.

MBTA to Boston - either South Station or Back Bay - it only matters depending on where you are/want to go. South Station is downtown and connects to the Red Line. Back Bay is in the Back Bay (sort of Downtown) and connects to the Orange Line. South Station is the terminal and is a much bigger building. The Boston Forum will have lots of suggestions on things to do in Boston - pick the ones you like.

Rhode Island
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3. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

Hi Steve,

Sounds like a busy trip! I thought your Waterfire gondola idea was incredibly romantic. Here is where you can book a ride


I had heard they book weeks and months in advance, so not sure if it's going to work for you, but I would definitely consider doing it during times other than Waterfire. The whole Water Place Park is beautiful.

You can easily take the 60 to Newport. It drops you off at the Visitor's Center which is a great place to start a day in Newport, which most definitely has a downtown with tons to do. If you wanted to just go to the beach, however, then you have to wait there for the trolley, and take that. It's really too far to walk, especially on a hot summer day. But if you wanted to do a Newport day, you can start by grabbing a map, maybe talking to the staff about what you'd like to do, and most is within walking distance. Just mansions and beaches require the trolley.

There are also scooter rentals in Newport which would allow you to get around, plus see Ocean Drive, which no buses travel on (other than private tour buses). They have these little scoot coupes which look like a lot of fun and rent by the hour.

One thing I'd definitely do on a nice summer day is a boat tour, at least of Newport harbor, although many take you out onto the bay.

There are Del's EVERYWHERE in RI. Little stands, hand trucks, roaming trucks... you'll get plenty of opportunities.






The last one just because I like the picture!

Have fun!


Birmingham, Alabama
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4. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

Make that "Wickenden" as i apparently conflated Wickenden and Waterman :-)

Exeter, Rhode Island
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5. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

Regarding the Boston trip, if you don't have a car, then I would say it would be much easier to take the Peter Pan bus in Newport to South Station. It's about 1.5 hours and pretty hassel free.

You do also have the choice for the T, which leaves out of North Kingstown on a limited schedule. Without a car, it's not cheap/easy to get over to NK.

Rhode Island
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6. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

I took the bus from East Providence to Newport. It's a beautiful scenic route across the Bay. I highly recommend it. Then I took the trolley to the mansions. I got a RIPTA day pass so I didn't have to keep paying $2 every ride.

There's plenty of places to walk in downtown Providence. I've done several walking tours and walk around frequently. Try Westminster Street, Weybossett Street and Burnside Park. The Arcade just reopened after being closed many years. The Providence Public Library is open for architectural tours of their 19th century building. It's so beautiful and very Downton Abbey-esque!

I find Waterfire is overrated. I avoid it at all costs except for the Breast Cancer themed one which I only go for the cause.

I've taken the train to South Station from Providence and South Attleboro. It's a quick and easy trip but they hiked the rates up recently and it's getting very expensive. I take the green line, get off at the Common and walk the Freedom Trail a bit, get back on at Government center and back to South Station.

7. Re: Visiting 7/24-7/27 - Any feedback appreciated

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