Ann and Michael Martini have long shared a love and familiarity with Rhode Island's culinary landscape. Ann left her post at Rhode Island Monthly to work with chefs, restaurants, and food events, and Michael, a professional chef, has let his knives fly at upscale Rhode Island eateries for more than 25 years. Together, they bring outsiders into New England's culinary gems to sample signature dishes, tour kitchens, meet chefs, and get lucky guests’ tongues autographed. Ann coordinates each tour, then sends Michael off with up to a dozen people to receive insider access to restaurants, gourmet shops, and other palate-pleasing stops. For two hours, groups cover about 2 miles of ground at a leisurely pace. There are treats to sample at each stop—although, according to the Sun Chronicle, "What's almost as good as the food is the fact that the chefs welcome tour guests into their kitchens, which in many cases have sous chefs and other personnel beginning to prepare for dinner service."
With everything from wings to mussels, the eclectic Ciara Restaurant and Lounge helps satisfy any number of cravings. Grilled pizzas, sandwiches, and pasta round off the menu, with plenty of hearty offerings to keep bellies full. Live music on the weekends accentuates the feasts.
Snappa Charters specializes in giving people the thrill of their lives. This boat charter team runs shark-cage-diving tours, where patrons can swim with blue, mako, and basking sharks from the safety of an anodized-aluminum cage in the water or from a snorkeling platform above the water. To be the hunter instead of the hunted, attend a sports-fishing excursion and seek out sea bass, cod, and fluke. Those wanting more time on the water can also go on whale-watching, lighthouse-spotting, and birding tours. Snappa also happily organizes private boating excursions for fun corporate events or bachelor parties for bachelors wondering exactly how many fish are in the sea.
The Preservation Society of Newport County protects and showcases Newport's one-of-a-kind architectural heritage. During tours of Newport's museum-houses, visitors get a glimpse into three centuries of American history, from the French Baroque styling of Rosecliff, high-Victorian splendor and fancy French name of Chateau-sur-mer. Tourists can trace the steps of some of America's most wealthy families as they explore latter-day castles such as Cornelius Vanderbilt II's The Breakers or the Isaac Bell House. Special events give guests a hands-on insight to the everyday people that worked in New England's most famous mansions, while annual occasions such as the Newport Flower show celebrate the treasured traditions and landscapes of Newport each year.
Eco Pedicab melds eco-friendly travel with engaging urban tours. Its squad of cyclists and city guides usher riders along city streets in pedicabs that eliminate the release of harmful emissions produced by cabs or buses. Knowledgeable guides share the sights and tastes of the area during tours of historic locations, chic eateries, or local breweries. The bike pilots are also on call throughout the week to take riders for quick trips around town and to save them from having to track down a taxi or weightlifters willing to give out piggy back rides.
From spring through autumn, morning through nightfall, the M/V Gansett can be spotted skimming gracefully atop the tides of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay's east passage. Built in 1969 as a passenger vessel and later altered into a working lobster boat, it was completely restored with modern amenities before returning to the water in June of 2007. Today, passengers climb aboard to absorb historic sights of Jamestown and Newport during relaxing, 90-minute trips, which were named the Best Harbor Tours in Newport by Yankee Magazine in 2013. Knowledgeable guides share facts throughout every cruise, and complimentary Rhode Island-inspired eats served straight from the galley let guests discover the flavor of the Ocean State without having to plunge a straw into local penny fountains.