How about a visit to the smallest state in the United States of America, only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long? Little Rhody has the longest official name of any states in the union, i.e. the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Dutch explorer Adrian Block had named the island “Roodt Eylandt” (Red Island), possibly referring to the red clay that lines the shore. Rhode Island is also nicknamed the Ocean State, boasting 400 miles of seemingly endless shoreline on Narragansett Bay in the Atlantic Ocean. By now, you would probably understand our reasons for visiting Little Rhody, the celebrated “Ocean State” at the start of our New England autumn road trip. Besides, I love the sea for always and I always will!
Having flown into Boston Logan International Airport from London Heathrow, it’s an hour’s drive to NYLO Providence/Warwick hotel, a place to call home for 2 nights. This luxury boutique hotel is located on the banks of the Pawtuxet River, with contemporary industrial vibes. NYLO Providence/Warwick is located a barely 10 min gentle stroll to the Warwick Mall, where the Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar hits just the right spot for a taste of America after a hard day’s travel. Which signature sauce or dry seasonings would you choose? Mmm….Explore, taste, discover!
For breakfast, only an American diner would do. I’m fairly pleased to note that T’s Narragansett had retained it’s Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence since our last visit 3 years ago. We chose the E.G. Platter (with warm cinnamon apples) and the Park Avenue Platter (with home fries). Guess which one is mine? I absolutely adore waffles. I could still remember the warm apple cider up to this very day. Taste autumnal New England in a glass, with a delicate cinnamon sugar rim. Nothing sings the song of autumn like the taste of a warm apple cider… Aah sheer bliss…Do you love apple cider as much as I do? The bottomless coffee was served in the ever so cute T’s signature stone mug, lovingly handcrafted in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The first stop after breakfast was the famous Point Judith Lighthouse. It was a pleasant sunny day even on the last week of October. Admire the seaviews, hear the gentle roar of the waves crashing on the shorelines…I feel relaxed just imagining the experience, do you feel the same too? For lunch, you can choose from the many clam shacks in Narragansett where you’ll be spoilt for choices. If you visit in the right season, Monahan’s does come to mind. Clam chowder, clam cakes, lobster roll, lightly fried wholebellies clams, fish tacos, shrimp basket, scallop roll, classic fried oyster po boy… I’m officially hungry now, are you hungry yet? We must have root beers, probably influenced by the Snoopy cartoon.
After lunch, we took Rhode Island Route 138, bypassing magnificent sea views over the island town of Jamestown before reaching Newport, a New England enclave and sailing capital of the world, set on Aquidneck Island. Do drive along Bellevue Avenue and then along the Ocean Avenue, a shoreline drive showcasing exquisite Gilded Age mansions. The Breakers, is one of Newport’s most elegant private homes, and a fine example of Vanderbilt mansion built in 1895. The Newport city has miles and miles of unspoiled beaches. Stop and admire the Goosneck Cove Salt Marsh. Salt marshes, found between land and sea, are highly productive habitat for the Great Blue Heron, fish, crabs and other wildlife. Continue the journey to the midway point of the Ocean Drive, the Breton Point State Park. Breton Point State Park is located where the Naragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
The next stop is Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard for a spot of winetasting in Little Compton. We were very impressed by pumpkin stalls on the roadside of Little Compton which were operated on an honor system basis. Each of the pumpkins were priced accordingly but no stall owner could be found. The highlight of the day was a taste of the famous Gray’s deliciously creamy homemade ice cream in the Historic Tiverton Four Corners. It’s open 365 days a year, quoting Gray’s motto ‘Because Ice Cream is good every day!’ It was a little windy, so we ate our ice-cream in the car. Why not, eh? So far, it’s still mainly seaside feel all around up until we reached leafy Bristol. The trees lining the streets and particularly Colt State Park Bristol gave us a true taste of fall foliage. Halloween was barely 5 days away, so the fine houses of Bristol and Warren were draped to its finest with pumpkins and miscellaneous no expense spared ghastly decor. Trick or treating had started that very afternoon on Bristol high street, the young children of Bristol were suitably dressed up for the festivities. Heading back home to our hotel, we were beaming with joy. Little Rhody, your charm will stay in our minds for a lifetime.
Job done and we’re as happy as can be ?! Hope you’ve tasted autumn the Little Rhody way… Until we meet again, take care and enjoy autumn!
- NYLO Providence/Warwick
- T’s Narragansett
- Gray’s Ice Cream
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Point Judith Lighthouse
- The Breakers Mansion
- Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards