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.
Shopping excursions embark everyday except holidays and New England Patriots home-game days. Direct Boston hotel pickup is available for nonresidents, and area residents can embark at either the Back Bay station on Dartmouth Street at 8:30 a.m. or the South Station on Atlantic Avenue at 9 a.m. and head back to Boston at 4:15 p.m.
Launched in 1948 by Chicago shipwright Henry C. Grebe, the Full Moon is an antique, 65-foot motor yacht that ravels constantly. In the winters, it cruises the waters of southern Florida, but it returns to New England once it gets warmer, taking passengers on voyages throughout Boston Harbor. Onboard the Full Moon, passengers can take in skyline views and sunset vistas from the sea.
The refitted vessel features wooden decks and varnished rails, as well as intimate gathering areas and seating scattered across the boat. A sun-soaked bow presents passengers with unblocked views of the surroundings. The covered aft deck and indoor salon areas let passengers relax away from the elements.
Every year come springtime, Jamestown Newport Ferry's vessels wake from their winter slumbers to tote passengers around lower Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor. Since 1974—when boats finally replaced motorized sea turtles as the main form of water transportation––the service has made summer travels a cinch with one-way and round-trip ferry rides to the region's scenic shores. Passengers enjoy unlimited hop-on, hop-off capabilities that allow them to sightsee, join historical tours, visit museums, and savor new dining experiences. Jamestown Newport Ferry rents out its ships, Jamestown and Katherine, for special events, too, including birthdays, weddings, and company outings.
Since 2007, the team behind Historic Tours of Newport has carefully consulted literature and publications documenting Newport’s heritage in its effort to chart engaging and enlightening van tours that propel passengers through more than 365 years of history. Expert guides dispense factoids about Newport’s social, religious, and architectural past on 60- to 90-minute Ten Mile Ocean Drive tours, which whisk visitors past a plentitude of sites including Bellevue Avenue’s 17th-century buildings and mansions, Chateau-sur-Mer’s dainty gardens, and the tree stump where town loon Humphreys McCaw declared himself king. Guests eager to peek inside one of myriad mansions detailed on the tour can opt for a Majestic Mansion tour, which permits escorted entry into one of six elegant manors during Ten Mile Ocean Drive excursions. Patrons purchasing private tours can additionally elect the two-hour Newport Now tour, which explores the city’s contemporary shopping malls, farmers' markets, and secret Redcoat-revivalist meeting places or custom design a tour around whatever sites and they yearn to behold.
When the Newport Historical Society and the Newport Restoration Foundation joined forces, the result was Newport History Tours. Founded to celebrate the region’s rich and vibrant history, Newport History Tours designed more than a dozen tours that explore the city’s landmarks, historic sites, and more than 300 pre-Revolutionary War–era buildings. The tours touch on just about every aspect of the city’s past, with themes that range from the colonial era and Golden Age to prohibition smuggling, historical criminals, and lantern-lit holiday strolls.