… Before I share my adventures from Boston to Rhode Island, let me just start by saying my blog got hacked in January, and it’s taken an age to sort, hence the huge gap between my New England blog posts. So now it’s all sorted, I’m back to share this amazing journey of mine!
In my last blog post here, we’d driven from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, and we were now driving south to Boston for two nights. I’d always planned to visit Boston, but after all my US trips, this was the first time I’d actually be setting foot in the city. And honestly, I was disappointed. Hence the lack of photos!
We arrived early evening, locating our Airbnb, a little way out of the city, which was fine because we had a car and Uber’s were easy to get. It was pouring with rain, and we were knackered, so we found a Wholefoods supermarket, bought some snacks and spent a really interesting evening in with one of our hosts, who relayed his story about being put in prison. Don’t worry we didn’t have to barricade our door that night, it was a horrendous story and really opened our eyes to the racism issue in America.
After an early night, we got up the next morning and head in to the city. Spending a good chunk of the day walking around, we hit all the popular tourist spots, and cool neighbourhoods before I declared ‘I need a treat, this place is kinda sucking my soul out’. Boston may very well be somewhere you love, because we all love different things, but I just couldn’t get into the swing of the place at all. There were pretty parts, but not enough to make me think WOW!
Heading back to our Airbnb for a power nap, we got changed and head back in to the city for what we were ultimately visiting for. A Ray LaMontagne concert. Some of you know exactly who this singer/songwriter is, and others won’t, if you’re in the latter camp, I suggest you look him up and start listening to his music! It was such a bucket list concert, in a beautiful venue called Wang Theatre. It made our trip to Boston worth it afterall, but needless to say this city won’t be somewhere I’ll be visiting again in a hurry.
The next morning we packed up, said our thank you’s and goodbyes and hit the road. We did a quick detour over to Cambridge so we could say we’d seen Harvard University. I have to say, Cambridge is beautiful, and we picked up great take out coffee from a little indie cafe full of students tapping away on their Mac’s. So if you are going to Boston, I really recommend visiting this pretty part of the city.
Back on the road, and this time heading towards another state: Rhode Island. Sometime around midday we made one of my favourite daily pitstops, a visit to a giant supermarket. I loooove American supermarkets, like obsessed love, I could spend hours in them, being equal parts shocked at the excessive amount of food they stock, whilst also loving that I can pretty much pick up anything my heart desires. Which I would, and that would mean loads of delicious snacks for the car journey! :o)
We’d booked an Airbnb in Providence, Rhode Island and as we drove in to the city early afternoon, I noticed a lot of drug addicts, drunks and homeless people on the side of the roads. There was an air about the place that didn’t make me feel terribly safe. A quick Google search opened our eyes to the issues that Providence faces, and we suddenly weren’t sure what to do. Should we stay or not?
After grabbing a bite to eat, we head south to Newport, where we’d originally hoped to stay, but hadn’t found suitable accommodation. Newport is a beautiful coastal city, with yacht filled harbours, pretty shops and a really cool laid-back vibe. We loved it immediately, so we hung around and spent the afternoon and early evening there, before deciding we should just suck it up and get back to Providence for the night and maybe change our plan for the following day.
Back in Providence, I did a quick Google search for food spots and we head to an area called Federal Hill. It turns out they were having a huge street party with food, drinks and live bands and I have to say it was really fun! We listened to great music, ate street food and then finally made it back to our Airbnb just before midnight. Our accommodation was really cool, but we felt we’d rather cut our losses and move on the next day, than stick around the city, so the next morning we packed up yet again, found a really great coffee shop for a take out coffee and hit the road.
My understanding of Providence is that there are some really great places and things to do there, you just need to know where they are. I did feel quite uneasy in the city, but again maybe that was just because I didn’t know enough about the place.
We decided we’d spend a night in Newport, and just shell out for a hotel, so our plan was to spend the day relaxing there. However, I was having pumpkin patch withdrawals by this stage so we made a couple of pitstops en route :o)
Our first stop was at Dame Farm & Orchards and it was the cutest! With corn mazes, wagon rides and pick your own options, I was one happy gal! The pumpkin patch area was adorable, with little radio flyer wagons to wheel your pumpkins around in, which I obviously took advantage of for a photo or two ;o)
After oohing and aahing at the cuteness of all the pumpkins, we moved on to our next destination, Barden Family Orchard, a pick your own farm. It was a perfect, sunny day and we wandered through the orchards and I pretended I was apple picking, so I had some photos for this blog post ;o)
Even if you’re not planning to purchase pumpkins and apples, these farms are so lovely to visit, and always have amazing farm shops attached to them with the most delicious food and drinks to purchase.
Back on the road and Newport bound, we arrived mid afternoon, but still needed to find accommodation. Thank goodness for the power of the internet and free roaming, we pulled the car over and did some searching before deciding to book a night at the Yankee Peddler Inn. The inn is a big, beautiful Victorian home with a quintessential American flag flying out the front. The location was perfect, and after checking in, we strolled down to the harbour area.
There’s some great shops, restaurants and cafes down around the waterfront area, so we spent an hour or so wandering and checking everything out. It’s such a lovely, relaxed place where you can really slow down and unwind.
Later in the afternoon, we took a drive around Newport including a drive-by the famous Newport mansions. The mansions were built as summer homes in the 1850s to 1900s by wealthy American families, often used as their summer homes. You can tour some of the mansions, and I’m now regretting we didn’t do this. They are HUGE and architecturally amazing. The Great Gatsby movie used one of the mansions as a location to film scenes.
A quick pitstop back at the hotel to grab a jacket, we head back down to the harbourside for an early evening glass of wine, as the sun set and turned the sky into the most beautiful vibrant colours.
Dinner was out on one of the piers. We devoured lobster bisque for dinner, which was so so delicious, and a must try when you’re visiting Rhode Island.
We decided to squeeze in one final cocktail at a local bar, where we got chatting to some friendly locals, before calling it a night and heading back home to the hotel ready for our next adventure in the morning.
It was great to tick Rhode Island off the bucket list. I really loved my time in Newport, and I’d recommend visiting during summertime or early Autumn, to enjoy the boat rides, the harbour and that gorgeous warm sunshine.
Until the next post, thanks for reading!