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Need Itinerary Help

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Charlotte, NC
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Need Itinerary Help

Looking to plan a first time trip to Newport in late August with my husband. Thought we'd fly in to Providence and maybe spend the night. Next to Newport for 3 or 4 days, then to Block Island for a night or two and then fly home. How many days for Newport? We want to tour the mansions, bike the RI path, etc. Thinking about staying at Francis Malbone Inn. Any thoughts? Should we spend a day or two on Block Island? Or it is better for just a day trip? Any thoughts about inns there? The 1661 Inn gets good reviews. Would like to keep to the $250 - $275 range for inn stays. I'd appreciate any help.

Newport, Rhode...
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1. Re: Need Itinerary Help

The Francis Malbone House consistently gets great reviews here on TA. Unless you have a specific reason to check out Providence, the drive from the airport to Newport is only about 40 minutes, and an easy drive.

3 - 4 days in Newport is certainly enough to do the things you're looking to do, however the Bike path (if you're talking about the East bay bike path) starts over in Bristol. About a 20 minute drive.

If you like the laid back island type of vacation, Block Island would be ideal...not nearly as busy as Marthas Vineyard or Nantucket if you've ever been to those islands. You can also just go for the day, right from Newport.

The Cape might also interest you, that would be about 1 1/2 hrs drive (at least to the mid-cape area) and is about 1 1/2 hours to the airport in Providence too (if you were to go out to the Cape and head back to Providence from there) The Cape has a nice bike trail as well.

Charlotte, NC
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2. Re: Need Itinerary Help

Thanks for the advice. We've never been to this area before and didn't think about visiting the Cape. Any thoughts about accommodations? Is it crazy crowded in the summer?

Boston...
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3. Re: Need Itinerary Help

Late August for Cape Cod is often a quiet week to go since many people with school age children are getting them ready for school and therefore aren't vacationing. You'll still have to get your accommodations beforehand but that week may be more options than other times in July/August.

I would suggest staying at least 2 nights in any place. Seems like a waste to stay just one night and hassle. Remember the distances from Newport, RI to Cape Cod, etc. are a lot less than you are probably used to in NC!

Newport, Rhode...
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4. Re: Need Itinerary Help

For Cape advice, check over on the Massachusetts/Cape Cod forums....lots of great advice.

If you're looking for commercial activity, then the mid-cape area would be good for you (Hyannis, Yarmouth, Dennis) Chain restuarants, lots of shopping, bigger hotels, miniature golf, etc..

Falmouth also is a commercial area in the Upper Cape area, although it has quiet parts too.

Lower Cape area is a little more quiet with quaint shops and restaurants. (Orleans, Chatham, Brewster, Harwich)

Outer Cape has the National Seashore and is alot less developed, (Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown)

Unfortunately since I have places to stay in both areas (Cape and Newport), I do not have much first hand experience with much lodging in the areas, except for what I hear word of mouth.

What sort of things are you looking for in accomodations? Inns, B&B's, Hotels, Motels, on the beach? All of those things will determine your $$ and what location is best...again, look over on the Massachusetts forums for some advice.

Newport, Rhode...
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5. Re: Need Itinerary Help

Oh, and as far as crazy crowded, it all depends when in August you are looking at. Generally speaking the first 2 weeks of August are still very busy in all the summer spots. Towards the end of the month there is a little drop with kids heading back to school and such, but nothing that a first time visitor would really notice...it would still probably seem pretty busy to you, and "deals" are still generally hard to find. It's still considered that "high" season.

Check out some of theese links for some ideas:

www.gonewport.com

www.capeguide.com

www.capecodchamber.org

Boston...
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6. Re: Need Itinerary Help

Hi carolinagirl,

I'm going to suggest not visiting the Cape if you decide to visit Rhode Island next summer. I feel there's plenty to keep you occupied for a week without cruising over to Cape Cod. While the Cape is a wonderful place to visit, your R.I. vacation will provide you with everything you seem to be looking for in your vacation. There would be no reason to pack up and drive to the Cape IMO.

Newport is a great town. It will surely keep you and your husband happy for a few days. Whether you like to keep busy or just unwind, there's plenty of both in Newport. Things to love about Newport in the summer:

1. The great atmosphere

2. The scenery

3. The festivals

4. The shops

5. The restaurants

6. The mansions

7. The cliff walk

8. The nightlife

9. The harbor cruises

10. The surrounding towns of Jamestown, Little Compton, Portsmouth and Bristol. They all have that New England charm and there's lots to see and do in all of them if you so choose to explore.

I would suggest settling into Newport for 4 nights. Francis Malbone would be perfect. Be sure to dive along Ocean Drive and stop at Brenton Point park for some nice views. Fort Adams park is another nice park to explore while in Newport. Great sunsets can be had from both. When your ready to take the car and go exploring elsewhere, head off to Little Compton or Portsmouth and enjoy the Vineyards there. Or cruise over to beautiful Bristol Harbor to take in some sights. You could also cross over the Newport bridge into Jamestown and enjoy Beavertail State Park. You can also cross both bridges (newport and jamestown) and take a spin over to Wickford Village or Narragansett. I highly recommend Narragansett if you enjoy top notch beaches. I will put there beaches up against anything Cape Cod has to offer. They are simply gorgeous. Providence is definitely worth a daytrip visit. If you can plan the visit around one of their WaterFire events, along with dinner in Federal Hill, that would be a definite winner.

Block Island should be seen and enjoyed. You simply can't enjoy it by taking the ferry over for a daytrip. I'll guarantee that if you do that, you will be kicking yourselves for not planning a stay. You won't want to hop back on the ferry once your there! It's hard enough getting on the ferry after staying a few days. So, I suggest a 2 night stay for B.I. This will allow you enough time to enjoy the island and see most of the "must see's". Where to stay is important. While the island is small, there is really one main area that is bustling. That would be Old Harbor, where the ferries come in. That's the area that everyone congregates to, where you'll find the majority of everything, from restaurants, shops, nightlife and anything else going on. The rest of the island is all about scenery and tranquility. So, while there's nothing wrong with staying at the 1661 Manisses, be advised that it's a good mile from the action. If this doesn't bother you, then stay there by all means. If you want to be in the thick of things, then a stay at the Old Town Inn would be a better choice. It should be noted that Block Island is best explored by bicycle or moped. There's really no need to bring a car to B.I. for a short stay. There's other things to consider, like whether to leave from Point Judith or Newport and what to do with the car, but we can get into that if you indeed want to go through with doing an overnight there. Hope this helps you out some. Best of luck planning and feel free to ask away. We'll be here!

Boston...
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7. Re: Need Itinerary Help

Just to clarify, I meant to say The Inn at Block Island, not The Old Town Inn. Another good place to consider is The Blue Dory Inn.

Boston...
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8. Re: Need Itinerary Help

I stand corrected - by stating that last weekend in August in Cape Cod is 'quiet' should have said 'less busy week' during the peak summer season. All summer on Cape Cod is busy and stays busy until after Columbus Day weekend. We have often gotten last minute rentals this week that is why I mentioned it.

May be consider Will007's suggestion to just stay in RI whole time? If you wanted you could always do a day trip over to Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard island for a day trip and return to your hotel in RI. Thus saving the hassle of moving your room.

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9. Re: Need Itinerary Help

Francis Malbone Inn is really nice. I am staying there for the second time this weekend.

10. Re: Need Itinerary Help

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