Newport Travel Guide
Movie Set Travel / TV Travel / Dark Shadows / Castles / Historical Travel / Johnny Depp / → All Tags
This weekend's most anticipated movie is definitely Johnny Depp and Tim Burton's take on the 1970's soap opera Dark Shadows, about a vampire named Barnabas set free after being imprisoned for centuries. He returns to his ancestral home, where he meets his dysfunctional descendants.
The castle that Barnabas calls home acts like another character in the movie, and on occasion even comes alive. But, sadly, the house doesn't exist in real life. It was built for the movie at Pinewood Studios in the U.K, along with the town that surrounds it, Collinsport. After the movie wrapped last year, the fictional town of Collinsport was torn down, leaving nothing behind for would-be movie tourists.
If you've ever sat on a beach looking out at a lighthouse and wondered what it would be like to be to live there, now you can find out first-hand. Lighthouses across the country are now offering programs where you can stay, for a fee, in the keeper's house for a week and experience what it is like to both run the place and have run of the place.
Though lighthouses are no longer used to guide ships home, according to the The United States Lighthouse Society, "they remain symbols of our maritime heritage and should be preserved." Preserving the lighthouses has become increasingly difficult however, as there are fewer and fewer "manned" houses.
Some coastal communities have found a creative solution to this problem and are now seeking volunteers willing to stay at the lighthouse for a few days at a time and work on the grounds while getting the genuine experience of being a lighthouse keeper. Volunteer duties at the lighthouses usually include giving tours, working in a gift shop, landscaping or light maintenance.
This weekend gather your full skirts, vintage cardigans, and antique gems and head to see Evening, the film adaptation of Susan Minot's beautiful novel. It's the story of Ann Grant, a woman on her deathbed, who looks back on her life and tells her daughters about all her greatest moments, and memorable loves.
This one's full of tears and powerful leading ladies including Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, Natasha Richardson, and Glenn Close. The male leads are a little less memorable - Hugh Dancy and Patrick Wilson. We know, who?
Anyways, Evening was set amongst one of the most perfect summer backdrops ever - Newport, RI. In that vein, we offer you some cool things to do in Newport:
Where To Stay:
Castle Hill Inn
Set on a 42-acre peninsula overlooking the ocean at the end of tony Ocean Drive, Castle Hill was voted one of the top 500 in the world by T + L last year and offers charming beach houses and cottages, a chalet, and harbor house rooms decked out with cathedral ceilings, stone gas jet fireplaces, and stunning interiors. Bring your inheritance, it's not cheap - over $200 a night.
Where To Eat:
Flo's Clam Shack
Look for the peeling paint old boat in front and you'll find yourself at this local favorite. Snack on fried seafood, steamed clams, cold beer and the raw bar while you sit outside and enjoy live music (on Sundays). They don't take reservations or credit cards.
What to See:
One of the famous stunning mansions of Newport, Belcourt was originally designed as a summer cottage - to the tune of $3 million in the late 1800s. Rooms feature a vast collection of artwork, stained glass and carved woods.
Music / Bars / Cincinnati / Art / → All Tags
It may not be as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside, but Southgate House is still one of the Cincinnati area's premier rock 'n' roll venues. This old mansion, located across the river in Newport, Kentucky, hosts locals bands and big touring acts alike. It's right across the street from the consumer hell of an aquarium and bustling shopping complex, but you wouldn't know it once you step inside. What Southgate House lacks in interior architectural character, it more than makes up for with slacker charm. Concertgoers head straight for the Ballroom, but there are other interesting sections to the House: Junies Lounge, the Parlour, and the Gallery. The place has a storied past, and, haunted or not, it's a fine place to spend your night in town.
[Photo: Damon Green]
· Southgate House [Official Site]
Food / Hotels / → All Tags
A few years ago--and it pains us to admit this--we were a trifle obsessed with the McGriddle from McDonald's. We were only able to consume the product a single time--we blame our weak constitution and fear of fast food breakfasts--but the idea was enrapturing. Pancake dough with maple syrup as the bun for an egg or sausage McMuffin--you bet we were intrigued. It was quintessentially American--why not eat all different kinds of breakfast in a single sandwich?
As this photo from the menu at the Francis Malbone House proves, the McGriddle wields influence all over the country. The Malbone House--the estate dates to 1760--is a $400 a night B&B in Newport, Rhode Island. It was even cited by Gourmet Magazine as an "outstanding" example of the genre. Accolades or not, French toast stuffed with sausage sounds an awful lot like a McGriddle to us.
Remember being dragged along on that neverending historical tour when you were a kid? The only thing we can recall is finally getting to the gift shop and getting that classy keychain we promptly lost.
Well, it seems someone has finally caught on. The Breakers, the awe-inspiring 70-room summer home (well, isn't your summer home at least 50 rooms?!) of the Vanderbilts in Newport is now offering unique personalized tour packages guaranteed to keep everyone happy. They are run by the Preservation Society of Newport County and available at any of the city's 10 mega mansions.
For the kids there's a family tour peppered with relatable facts, for the adults there is an after-hours tour of The Elms, for the singles there's drinks at a 1920s speakeasy at the Astors' Beechwood Mansion and for the mother-in-laws there's a ladies who lunch terrace dining tour.
Admissions start at $18 to $25 and reservations are required. Oh, they do private tours too--so you can invite some friends, close your eyes and pretend that yes, you really do live there.
· Newport Mansions Offer Specialized Tours for Kids, Adults [CNN]
· Newport Mansions Offer Specialized Tours [Newport Mansions Official Site]