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Where to Stay in Newport, RI, What to Know

 

Washington Post
June 8, 2008

 

Want a cheap weekend in New England?

 

Travel section writer Scott Vogel recently spent two days touring the mansions of Newport, R.I.
His reporter's notebook:

 

FLYING TIME
1 hour 10 minutes from BWI.

 

DRIVE TIME
45 minutes from Providence to Newport.

 

COST
$363 Airfare: $139 Rental Car: $49 Hotel: $144 Tour ticket: $31

 

FLYING TIME
1 hour 10 minutes from BWI.

 

GETTING THERE
Multiple carriers fly from the Washington area to Providence, about 33 miles north of Newport. Flights start at about $175 round trip; I flew Southwest and paid $139, and then $14.95 per day plus tax for an Avis subcompact. From downtown Providence, take Interstate 95 south 12 miles, and then go south on Route 4 for 10 miles and then east on Route 138 for 9 more miles.

 

WHERE TO STAY
There are lots of lodging options in Providence and Newport. I stayed at the Renaissance Providence (5 Avenue of the Arts, 800-468-3571, http://www.renaissanceprovidence.com), a former Masonic Temple that has been spiffily renovated, for just $60 a night by bidding on Priceline. If you'd prefer to stay in Newport, the Burbank Rose Guest House (111 Memorial Blvd. W., 888-297-5800, http://www.burbankrose.com) is a cheerful, flower-bedecked inn where rooms start at $129 and include a continental breakfast. Right in the center of Newport's main drag you'll find the Admiral Fitzroy Inn (398 Thames St., 866-848-8780, http://www.admiralfitzroy.com), a comfortable place where rooms start at $135, also including breakfast.

 

WHERE TO EAT
Seafood lovers will find something to tempt them at every turn. I enjoyed the clam chowder ($4.99 per cup) and fried clams ($14.99) at the Rhode Island Quahog Company (250 Thames St., 401-848-2330), which has a wonderful, if small, patio that faces all the action on Newport's busiest street. Outdoor dining can also be had at Christie's (14 Perry Mill Wharf, 401-847-5400), which serves a superb lobster roll that's stuffed with meat ($18); almost as good is the crispy, tangy coleslaw that comes with it. There's only one way to dine at one of the mansions, and that's at the Carriage House on the grounds at the Elms (367 Bellevue Ave.), which is open for lunch daily through September.

 

WHAT TO DO
There are various packages available for touring the mansions, from a one-property visit ($11 for adults; $4 for ages 6-17) to a premium package ($49; $19). I purchased the Newport Mansions Experience ($31; $10), which buys you admission to five houses of your choice. (Ticket packages may be purchased at any of the houses and have no expiration date, so there's no need to cram all of your tours into one day.) Information: 401-847-1000, http://www.newportmansions.org.

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