The harbor front in downtown Newport transforms into a kaleidoscopic canvas on which contributions from regional and national artists converge with the sounds of live bluegrass and jazz. Pairs can meander through a marketplace gallery of glassworks, mixed media, and ceramics that represent the greatest confluence of refinement and functionality since the jewel-studded Swiss Army knife. Bare necks and wrists become portable museum exhibits with wearable art from some of the festival’s homemade jewelry vendors. As guests continue their circuitous journey through the Newport Yachting Center, the live sounds of saxophones, steel guitars, and bongo-playing seagulls waft from the stage in an auditory complement to the vibrant paintings photographs lining shops’ walls.
At Newport Equestrian, the mother-daughter team of Suzanne Hourihan and Kamala Duffy handle all instruction duties, helping beginners and experienced riders alike to improve their skills. The instructors root their approach in the principles of sound equitation—a focus that Suzanne inherited while training under Irish Olympic rider Nole McGee as a child. Kamala, a USEF hunter/jumper competitor, carries on her mother's passion as she coaches riders of all stripes, from casual pleasure and trail riders to show jumpers intent on winning a gold medal before some cool new Flash game makes the Olympics obsolete. During private and semi-private lessons on flatwork courses, Kamala teases out riders' potential while treating them with respect and encouraging them to overcome the improvement plateaus they'll inevitably reach.
Norman Bird Sanctuary spans more than 300 acres and seven miles of hiking trails where binoculared bird lovers can spy on local and migratory birds. Hikers can explore the woods or climb Hanging Rock to feast on views of the ocean. In addition, the Sanctuary organizes public programs such as hands-on educational events for children and evening lectures for adults.
Storage Pros Self Storage squirrels away customers' stuff in well-lit, fenced, and secure storage units. Rent a 5'x5' unit ($35–$75 depending on amenities and location) to stow away lumberjack costumes and papier-mâché blue oxen, or snag a 10'x20' nonclimate-controlled space for one month ($155–$201) to store 1 million Paul Bunyan Day flyers. Multiple locations offer storage spaces up to 400 square feet, and the Fairhaven facility has enough square footage to house a life-size replica of Shamu. Prices and availability can vary, so prospective packers should call ahead for details.
Since 1989, the Biomes Marine Biology Center has immersed visitors of all ages in the lives of sea creatures through a range of hands-on programs. Though it recently moved to a new location, it has kept aquatic habitats focused on the denizens of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Amid tanks of native and tropical species such as octopuses, horseshoe crabs, lionfish, tortoises, and sharks, the staff treats visitors to a range of events—including educational demonstrations and hermit-crab-socialization seminars.
In a separate area for kids aged 3–6 , staff members lead animal-themed story times, and walk children through corresponding craft projects afterward. They also organize birthday parties, during which kids can pet tide-pool animals such as eels, horseshoe crabs, and small sharks.
At any given moment, there might be three kinds of bars operating inside Amalfi Oceanside. One produces signature cocktails ready to be sipped in view of the Narragansett beach. Another, which springs up on Sundays, allows visitors to concoct their preferred variants on a bloody mary to pair with their brunches. The third is a raw bar, where lobster tails sit alongside native littleneck clams and oysters that were farmed locally, rather than shipped via friendly pelican.
These seafood samples function as chilled appetizers for a host of oceanic entrees. Pasta options such as shrimp scampi and the seafood fra diavolo—mussels, clams, shrimp, lobster, and marinara sauce over linguine—complement plates of baked cod and pan-seared scallops. Lobster sliders and beer-battered-fish tacos also augment a list of burgers and sandwiches. Breaking from the maritime theme, rib-eye steaks and grilled specialty pizzas round out the menu in addition to slow-roasted cuts of prime rib, which are only available on Fridays—like a feeling of relief among America's work force.