No one knows exactly where he came from—perhaps a sailor taking shore leave, or maybe a wayfarer exploring the colonies—but locals think they know what he's waiting for. In the 1720s, two travelers checked into The White Horse Tavern—still functioning today since 1673. One murdered the other, fleeing into the night, never to be heard from again. Ever since, visitors have seen the ghost of the slain traveler, saying that he appears to be waiting the day for his companion returns and he may take his revenge.
This is just one of the tales shared by the guides of Ghost Tours of Newport. Cloaked in flowing black dresses, billowy capes, and top hats, they lead each tour by lantern light through Newport's historic colonial district, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the United States with buildings dating back to the late 1600s. Leading guests down easily overlooked alleyways still defaced by H.P. Lovecraft's tagging phase, the guides arrive at haunted locations, such as a wrought-iron-gated colonial cemetery neighboring a church constructed in 1726. The stories behind some sightings and locations even intersect with historical figures, such as George Washington and Lizzy Borden. Guides encourage picture taking and receive submissions each week of possible spectral figures caught during a tour, which they post to Ghost Tours of Newport's Facebook albums. These images range from the impression of faces in windows to orbs, believed to represent a spirit with a fondness for bowling.
Save The Bay has held to its mission since its founding in 1970: to protect, restore, and improve the Narragansett Bay region and its coastal waters through environmental action and stewardship. Save The Bay also defends the right of the public to use the Bay, encouraging visitors to act as responsible stewards of the Bay's bounty for future generations.
Today, Save The Bay's staff and volunteers continue their work from their Bay Center that serves as the heart of operations. Its stormwater-management system contains a vegetated roof, a coastal-buffer zone, swales, and basins that can absorb and filter rainwater. Made from recycled steel and metal, the center's interior hosts an array of educational programs for adults and kids. Save The Bay also maintains an Exploration Center and Aquarium, camps, and marine-life tours aboard its 45-foot US Coast Guard–certified vessel Alletta Morris, the 27-foot vessel Swift, or the 46-foot Elizabeth Morris.
One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.
Carol Russell comes from a long line of winemakers—her father, Herbert, and grandfather, Max, crafted sparkling wine at their vineyard in New York. After dreaming of rebooting the family tradition for quite some time, she moved to farmland in Westport, Massachusetts, in 1982 and her family planted their first vines four years later. Today, the winery family cultivates 80 acres of grapes including chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot noir, and riesling.
Made through a combination of old-timey and contemporary techniques, the sparkling wines, table wines, and aperitifs have earned more than 20 gold medals and twice-filled glasses at the White House. Wine flows year-round at the Westport Rivers’ store, which hosts tastings, an art gallery, and autumnal hayride vineyard tours where guests meet the giants who squash the grapes with a single stomp once a year.
• For $12, you get two adult historical-tour tickets (a $25 value). • For $25, you get four family historical-tour tickets (up to a $50 value). The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast and Museum's tour guides weave a tale of intrigue at the haunted scene of an infamous unsolved murder, garnering recognition as one of MSNBC’s top 10 haunted homes in the United States and on The Huffington Post’s list of the world's creepiest places. Built in 1845, the Greek revival home has been restored to better approximate its appearance on August 4, 1892, when wealthy businessman Andrew Borden and his wife Abby were mysteriously murdered, perhaps by Andrew's youngest daughter Lizzie. Meander through haunted hallways on a one-hour tour of the bed and breakfast while shouting out trivia questions to entice helpful ghosts from hiding spots. Brave visitors can ascend creaky stairs to the third floor, where the ghosts of two children and a former caretaker are said to entertain themselves by flicking light switches on and off, and mischievously scrawling visitors’ ATM pin numbers on walls. Tours depart on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Harbor Queen Cruises' namesake cruise boat Harbor Queen slices through the sparkling waters of Narragansett Bay during daytime jaunts or evening soirees. Passengers can take to the high seas for dining and drinks during dinner or brunch cruises, or wander the two climate-controlled decks during cocktail parties. Harbor Queen Cruises makes parties memorable with the help of an onboard chef, who crafts buffet-style meals and New England–style clambakes, and a complimentary parrot for every guest’s shoulder.