Cottages,Culture and Cuisine – An Outing to the Ocean State- Rhode Island

Above photo credit: Nicholas Millard

Packages Available: Spring and Fall
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights

This trip will give you the best Rhode Island has to offer. Tickle your taste buds in Providence, known for is delectable eats and being the cultural mecca of Rhode Island. Move on to Newport, where you will see the summer “cottages” of the gilded age. Step back in time as you stroll through the Vanderbilt’s libraries and terraces. On Block Island, you will sit back and relax by the sea. Let this island whisk you into history as you learn about the early settlers, view scenic lighthouses and gaze in awe at the Victorian architecture.

Day One:

Travel to Providence, the capital of Rhode Island and one of the oldest cities in the United States.

Arrive at a renowned Pizza Co., where you will partake in table-side demonstration. Witness the techniques of making the perfect dough and grilling the perfect pizza. Then indulge in a traditional Tuscan-style lunch.

After lunch, visit the newly reopened Johnson and Wales Culinary Museum. Embark on a docent-lead tour of this premier museum, devoted to the preservation of the culinary and hospitality industries. Visit their diner museum, stove museum, a pantheon of chefs, a New England Tavern, kitchen gadgets, Presidential plates and culinary showpieces.

Check into your downtown Providence hotel. There will be time to relax and refresh before dinner.

Gather for an included dinner, served in a Victorian home built in 1896. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine served on white tablecloths, while listening to the sound of music softly playing in the background.

Photo credit: Nicholas Millard

Photo credit: Nicholas Millard

Feel like you are in Venice, Italy and gliding through the canals when you board your authentic Venetian gondola. Float along the Providence Riverwalk and enjoy handmade Italian-style wine biscuits while your gondolier entertains you with live music.

Day Two:

 After breakfast in the hotel, board the coach and set out for a day of sightseeing in “Little Rhody.” Travel to Newport, the sailing capital of the world and home to the famed Gilded Age mansions.

Your first stop is Green Animals Topiary. Embark on a self-guided tour of more than 80 pieces of topiary displayed throughout the gardens. Witness animals and birds, geometric figures and ornamental designs, sculpted from California privet, yew and English boxwood.

Next, tour the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages,” The Breakers. This mansion is a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. This 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo was inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.

Gather for an included lunch served at a landmark restaurant in Newport.

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Photo Credit: Gavin Ashworth- The Preservation Society of Newport County

Explore the Marble House, built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt.  It was a summer house, or "cottage", as Newporters called them in remembrance of the modest houses of the early 19th century. But Marble House was much more; it was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport's subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces.

Visit Bannister’s Wharf. The wharf that John Bannister built, was the social and commercial lifeline to colonial Newport, the connector between an active harbor and an enterprising, young town. The history of Bannister’s Wharf has been an exciting one. It has been home and hostelry, a place to buy bread and a place to break bread. This is the place where people come to experience the ambiance that is expressly Newport. There will be time to explore the charming shops!

Embark on a narrated cruise of the Newport Harbor. Learn about Newport’s rich and colorful history full of heroes. See the Newport Bridge, Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport’s grand estates, America’s Cup yachts and much more!

Visit Newport Vineyards for a tour and taste of their award-winning wines. Leave with a souvenir wine glass.

An included dinner is served at a waterfront restaurant, popular amongst the locals.

Day Three:

 After breakfast served in the hotel, pack your bags and check out of your rooms. Today you will travel to Rhode Island’s beautiful Block Island. However, before you depart Providence, you simply must stop a tour and demonstration at the renowned Scialo Brothers Bakery. Learn how craftsmen of fine bread and pastries have made wonderful products since 1916. Sample delicious cookies, breads and pastries and purchase some to take with you to the Island.

Next, travel to the Judith Point ferry dock where you will leave the motor coach. Climb aboard as foot passengers for a 1-hour ferry ride to Block Island where you will overnight.

Upon arrival on the island, the hotel staff will greet you and transfer your luggage to the hotel. Then, you are free to explore the Old Harbor District located just steps from the dock. Explore the quaint shops in this beautiful shoreside town and enjoy lunch on your own.

block islandAfter lunch, board the island bus and embark on a 1-hour tour narrated by an island native. Sit back, relax and enjoy beautiful ocean vistas as your guide entertains you with stories from the early settlers to what life on the island today. Stop at the 125-year old Southeast Lighthouse located atop the Mohegan Bluffs. This lighthouse is one of the most visually striking lighthouses in the United States.

After the tour, the island bus will drop you at your waterfront Victorian hotel located in the Old Harbor district. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places this Block Island landmark offers breathtaking views from its iconic front porch. After check-in, sip a cold beverage on the hotel’s deck overlooking the harbor, search for seashells along the beach or walk to the Old Harbor district.

Tonight, gather with your co-travelers in the hotel’s dining room for a farewell dinner. Tie on the lobster bibs and get ready to savor the flavors of a traditional “New England Clambake.” Dine on chowdah’, steamers and fresh, steamed lobstah’! Of course, there will be selections for the landlubbers!

Day Four:

 After breakfast in the hotel, pack your bags and board the ferry for an early morning return back to the mainland where your motor coach will be waiting for you.

This morning, visit the Clouds Hill Victorian Home Museum, known as Rhode Island’s “hidden treasure.” The house was built in 1871 as a wedding gift for Elizabeth Ives Slater by her father William Reed, a leading industrial textile businessman. Today, the house is owned and occupied by Elizabeth’s great-granddaughter, Anne. Situated on 27 acres, this large Gothic Revival structure is an example of high quality Victorian-era workmanship, including a distinctive Egyptian-themed room. One family member, Nancy Allen, was the first female fire chief in the world. On the property, sits a tiny white shed that was once the headquarters for the Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Company. Inside is the 1928 Dodge-Graham fire truck that Nancy built.

Details

Packages Available: Spring and Fall
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights

Package Inclusions:

  • 3 Nights accommodations
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • 2 Lunches
  • 3 Dinners
  • Cooking Demonstration
  • Guided tour of the Johnson and Wales Culinary Museum
  • Evening Gondola ride along the Providence Riverwalk
  • Admission to the Green Animals Topiary
  • Tour of The Breakers Mansion
  • Tour of the Marble House Mansion
  • Free time at Bannister’s Wharf
  • 1-Hour Narrated Cruise along the Newport Harbor
  • Tour and taste of Newport Vineyards
  • Bakery Tour and Demonstration at Scialo’s Brother Bakery
  • Round Trip ferry to Block Island
  • 1-Hour Narrated Tour of Block Island
  • Time at leisure to explore the Old Harbor District
  • Admission to the Clouds Hill Victorian Home Museum
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Accommodations and breakfasts for the coach driver
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities are not included for the coach driver and local guides and are at your discretion based on service.)

Pricing Information:

  • Call for custom pricing.