A Quick Guide to the National Museum of American Illustration

National-Museum-of-American-IllustrationThe National Museum of American Illustration is one of many world class art museums located in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island, and just a few minutes from our inn.

The museum, founded in 1998 by Judy Goffman Cutler and Laurence S. Cutler, is home to famous art collections from the ‘Golden Age of American Illustration,’ which falls between 1895-1945.

The museum is located in Vernon Court, an 18th century French chateau from the Gilded Age of architecture. The mansion was designed by the famed architects Carrére & Hastings, who are also famously known for designing the New York Public Library and the US Senate and House Office Buildings, among many others.

The Collection

The Museum’s American Imagist Collection is one of the largest collections in the world, and it features an array of masterpieces of illustration art.

The illustrations displayed throughout the museum represent how Americans view or viewed themselves both socially and culturally. The visuals evoke responses from the past, present, and future audiences. Whether you’re an avid art appreciator or a newcomer to art, American Illustration offers history, relevancy, and beautiful nostalgic pieces that display meaningful content.

Famous pieces from Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, and N.C. Wyeth are just some of the renowned American Illustrators that you’ll see displayed throughout the museum.

When To Visit

The museum is open year-round, offering free parking and self guided, group guided, and privately guided tours. Tours typically last about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

During the summer season hours (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day) the museum is open for self guided tours Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 11:00am and 5:00pm, and guided tours on Fridays at 3:00pm.

During the off season hours (Labor Day – Memorial Day Weekend) the museum is open for self guided tours on Fridays between 11:00am and 5:00pm, and guided tours on Fridays at 3:00pm.

In addition to the museum’s regular hours, they are open year-round for Group Tours consisting of 4 or more people, Private VIP Tours, and Private Founder’s Tours with prior reservation.

The museum’s admission rates are as follows:

Adults: $18
Seniors (60+) and Military: $16
Groups (6 or more): $15 per person
Students: $12
Children (5 to 12 yrs): $8
Private VIP Tours: $100 per person
Private Founder’s Tours: $250 per person
AAM and NEMA Members: Gratis

How To Get There From the Inn

Located less than 5 minutes away from our Inn, the National Museum of American Illustration is an ideal place to visit for any art lover. Click here for directions.

Ready to visit? Book your room at the Cliffside Inn, and feel free to check out more information about the National Museum of American Illustration on their website.

Cliff Walk – a Stone’s Throw From Our Newport Inn

Cliff Walk is known as one of the world’s most famous public access walking trails.

Located in Newport, this National Recreation Trail offers awesome views of nature’s beauty and the architectural history of the gilded age, including Rosecliff, The Breakers, and Marble House.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

When to Walk

This free, dog-friendly trail is open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year. It’s approximately 3.5 miles long, and more than half is rated easy for most walkers.

To get there, you can either park at  First Beach on Memorial Boulevard or along Narragansett Avenue. Both parking areas are close to the trail’s entrance. Public bathroom facilities are located at the Narragansett Avenue entrance.

On your return trip, you may want to hop on the RIPTA Trolley, or walk north to Bellevue Avenue.

The walk typically starts at the western end of Easton’s or First Beach located on Memorial Boulevard, and runs south to Narragansett Avenue, Webster Street, Sheppard Avenue, Ruggles Avenue, Mariane Avenue, and Ledge Road, ending at Bellevue Avenue at the start of Ocean Drive.

Once walkers reach the end at Bellevue Avenue there is a local beach called Reject’s Beach where you can take a dip — weather permitting!

If you’re just wanting to make a quick visit to the Cliff Walk, some of the best sites can be enjoyed between Narragansett and Ruggles Avenues.

What to Bring

When hiking, remember to pack water and snacks to keep you fueled. Also, wearing the right clothes and shoes for the weather will make your experience much more enjoyable.

Considering that some of the walk is unpaved, plan on wear good walking or hiking shoes to provide more comfort and support when walking across the more “rugged” parts of the hike.

Be Alert and Have Fun!

Some of the rougher parts of the trail are located on the southern half of the walk, south of Ruggles Avenue.  This section may be challenging for some, but if you take your time and stay alert, you shouldn’t face any problems.

Open 365 days of the year, Cliff Walk is the perfect hiking trail for any go-getter. Plus, our inn is located just a stone’s throw away. So if you decide to stay with us, you can cap off your day of exploration in luxury. We hope to see you soon!

Photo Credit: CC Image Courtesy of Timothy Valentine

Our Favorite Spots to Watch Sunsets in Newport, RI

Sunset in Newport, RIHome to some of the most scenic and mesmerizing sunsets on the East Coast, Rhode Island is the perfect stop for that summer sunset you’ve been searching for.

Whether you’re at one of Rhode Island’s state parks or lighthouses, or on a cruise along Newport’s waterfront, you are bound to enjoy an unforgettable sunset.

In case you are looking for that perfect sunset photo-op, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spots to watch the sunset in Newport:

  • Brenton Point State Park: Located right where the Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic, and midway along Ocean Drive, Brenton Point State Park is one of our favorite spots to watch sunsets along the East Coast. Easy parking, plenty of benches and picnic tables, and a large lawn for spreading out a blanket.  The park is located on the southwest tip of the island, on the grounds of one of Newport’s former majestic estates. Arrive before sunset and you will see a colorful array of kites, as this is also the best location in Newport for kite flying.
  • Fort Adams State Park: Fort Adams State Park is another picture-perfect location for enjoying views of the sun setting against the background of the iconic Newport Bridge and Fort Adams itself.  If you arrive before sunset, enjoy the Bay Walk, a 2.5 mile walking trail around the perimeter of Fort Adams State Park. The walk features stunning views of Newport Harbor, Newport Bridge, and Narragansett Bay. The parking is free and their are public restrooms for visitors.
  • Ocean Drive: Not to be missed, and if you enjoyed the drive during the day…make sure you return to take in the beautiful views before and as the sun is setting….soft lighting, long shadows and a sky full of color!  Bring your camera or your canvas to capture the lovely coastal scenery.
  • Rose Island Lighthouse: The lighthouse is perched on an 18-acre island just minutes away from Newport. Set about a mile into the Narragansett Bay, just south of the Newport Bridge, visitors can travel make their way there on the Newport-Jamestown Ferry or on their own boat. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Lighthouse Museum is open to the public between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm. Guests can walk the grounds, the beaches, and sit on Adirondack Chairs on the lawn below the historic lighthouse while the sun sets.
  • Castle Hill: When you stay at the Cliffside Inn during the summer, you will undoubtedly here us talk about “The Lawn” at Castle Hill.  It is such a lovely venue, they have “branded it”. And guess what, The Lawn at Castle Hill is open to the public, not just guests at the inn. Arrive early and relax in on of the Adirondack chairs…get out your camera and enjoy a glass of wine. If you want to stretch your legs for a bit, take the 5 minute walk from the parking lot to the Castle Hill Light House. Visitors are welcome to walk the paths around the lighthouse and enjoy the views of the bay.

Newport Sunset Cruises

newport sunsetSunset Cruises: Sailing or yachting in Narragansett Bay is one of our favorite ways to enjoy the colors of the setting sun. There are several public sailing opportunities from Newport’s waterfront, on beautiful schooners and classic wooden yachts, that we can arrange for you.  The evening sunset cruises are generally about two hours long, and guests enjoy complimentary champagne, a Dark and Stormy or a local brew while watching the sun set over the Narragansett Bay.

Visit Us Soon

As locals, and Newport insiders, we know the best spots that Newport has to offer (including our colorful sunsets). Give us a call, or book on-line, and we will do everything we can to help you get the most out of your Newport vacation.

Our bed and breakfast offers the romantic and classic Newport experience you’ve been searching for. Contact us today to book a room at our Newport Inn, and enjoy the best of Newport.

Photo Credit: CC Image of Boat Sunset Courtesy of claumoho

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge – a Hidden Gem for Newport Visitors!

Sachuest PointRhode Island is home to five natural wildlife refuges including the “our own” at Sachuest Point just 5 miles from the Cliffside Inn.

With nearly three miles of trails, the Sachuest Point offers visitors the chance to experience several environments where one can view a variety of animals and plants in their natural habitat.

A walk through the nature preserve is the perfect activity for any nature lover or photographer.

From Military Defense to Wildlife Protection

During the 1600s, right up to the early 1900s Sachuest Point was used primarily for farming and sheep grazing.

During the Second World War, the United States Navy used the point as a rifle range and a communications center.

After the war, Sachuest Point was acquired by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and in the 1970s, the wildlife property was transferred back to the Federal Government and it became the Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge; a national wildlife park.

In 1984 the refuge was fully established to its current 242 acres of wildlife protection.

Bring Your Cameras and Binoculars

Ruddy TurnstoneWith more than 200 bird species to see, the refuge is the perfect place for any avid bird watcher. On the coastline alone, visitors are likely to see loons, elders, and gannets. The refuge is also home to other migrating birds, such as the peregrine falcon and even the snowy owl.

Before exploring the many sites throughout the refuge, be sure to stop in at the newly-renovated visitor center (open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm), and see the exhibits.

Popular Sites To See

  • Salt Marsh & The Sharp-tailed Sparrow: Sachuest Point includes 40 acres of marshlands and rocky shorelines along the perimeter of the refuge. Salt marsh is a natural habitat between the land and sea. It is defined mainly by salt marsh grasses and other plants that have adapted to root in the mud. The sharp-tailed sparrow makes its home in these marshlands, and visitors are likely to see this songbird during the spring and summer months.
  • New England Cottontail & Shrubland: The New England Cottontail is the only native cottontail species in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, their population has been declining due to a lack of safe natural habitats, and it is on the verge of becoming an endangered species. The refuge has been planting and creating natural habitats of native shrubs and brush piles in order to help preserve the endangered cottontail on its land.
  • Cobble Beach & Harlequin Duck: Cobble Beach is a great area to check out migrating birds and their nesting areas. The refuge offers great views of shorebirds in their natural habitats. Spectators will have the opportunity to see these shorebirds hunt for worms, mollusks, and crustaceans. Harlequin ducks can also be seen along the refuge’s coastline. Known for its vibrant clownlike plumage, this diving duck is rare to see along the Atlantic, but an impressive amount of Harlequins gather around off the shores of Sachuest Point.

Stay at the Cliffside Inn

Our inn offers a relaxing place to stay while visiting Newport and Sachuest Point. The refuge is a short ten minute ride from Cliffside along a breathtaking coastline.

Photo Credits: CC Images Courtesy of Dan Gray and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Celebrate Cliff Walk’s Re-Opening with Author Ed Morris

Super storm Sandy left a portion one of Newport’s biggest tourist attractions, the CDog Friendly Newport Lodgingliff Walk, impassable.

Considered to be one of the top visitor destinations in Newport, this 3.5 mile long National Trail is scheduled to officially re-open on June 13, 2014 after nearly 16 months and several million dollars of repairs.

Tour Cliff Walk with Ed Morris

In honor of the Cliff Walk’s re-opening, Cliffside Inn will be celebrating the long awaited event on June 13 with the noted author of “A Guide To Newport’s Cliff Walk,” Ed Morris, at the Inn located just above the walk; at Cliff and Seaview Avenue.

Participants will be invited to take a guided tour of the Cliff Walk led by Morris himself. Walkers will have the opportunity to learn the history and significance of this National Recreation Trail and the history of Newport’s Gilded Era from one of our local noted experts.

Winding along some of Newport’s famous gilded mansions — such as Rosecliff, The Breakers, and Marble House — this beautiful and historic walk offers some of the most breathtaking views in Rhode Island.

Once we have completed the walk, we will be hosting a reception at the Inn for participants along with a book signing with Ed Morris. Those who participate in the guided walk and book signing will also get a first hand look into future improvements proposed for Cliff Walk.

New and Future Improvements

Trail markers throughout Cliff Walk are a part of the many future improvements that have been discussed. The new trail markers would include a QR code that visitors can scan with their smartphones to read more about the historic attractions that they are viewing.

The city council has also approved the trail’s first permanent restroom facility, which will be placed near the Forty Steps staircase.

Join Us On June 13

Join us on June 13 to be a part of this long-awaitedc re-opening of one of Newport’s biggest attractions. Enjoy this opportunity to travel the walk with one of Cliff Walk’s most well known experts and learn the history of the Cliff Walk and Newport’s Gilded Era.