Visiting Rose Island Lighthouse

Rose Island LighthouseOur last post revealed some of the best spots to watch sunsets in Newport, Rhode Island. One of the top places listed was the famous Rose Island Lighthouse located right in Narragansett Bay, along the span of the Newport Bridge.

The historic working lighthouse, built in 1869, sits on an 18-acre island off of the Newport coast, and is easily accessible via the Newport-Jamestown Ferry.  Guests may also visit Rose Island by their own boat if they choose.

Guests can enjoy the grounds around the lighthouse itself, walk the beaches below, and tour the historic lighthouse. From July to Labor Day, the lighthouse museum is open to the public between the hours of 10:00am-4:00pm. Visitors are welcome to bring their own refreshments and enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic tables.

Rose Island and the Lighthouse History

Rose Island has had an important history on Narragansett Bay due to its strategic location at the entrance to the Newport Harbor.  At the time of the American Revolution, both colonial and British troops occupied the island, at different times, to defend Newport.  During the First and Second World Wars, Rose Island was occupied by the US Navy and was used to store torpedoes, manufactured at the Newport torpedo factory on nearby Goat Island, safely away from the mainland.

The wood-framed Rose Island Lighthouse was constructed in 1869 atop the remains of the 18th century Fort Hamilton’s south gun battery, and was activated in January, 1870. Because of its proximity to Newport, Rose Island was more accessible than many other lighthouse stations of its time. Lighthouse keepers on duty there, still had to deal with extreme weather, creative provisioning, and isolation at times.

When the Newport Bridge opened in 1969, the Rose Island Lighthouse became obsolete and in 1971 Rose Island was deactivated. For a period of time during the 1970′s the lighthouse and Rose Island were under the stewardship of the University of Rhode Island and used for marine research.  Ultimately, however, the school was unable to maintain the facilities, and the badly vandalized lighthouse was returned to the federal government. In 1984, when the lighthouse was declared surplus property, the city of Newport took it over.

After several failed attempts by private investors to develop Rose Island as an island resort during the 1980′s, a local group was formed to protect and preserve the lighthouse and the history of Rose Island.  The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation, with support from both public and private funding, completely restored the lighthouse and in 1992 the lighthouse was opened to the public. In 1993 the landmark lighthouse was finally relit, becoming one of the only few operating lighthouses maintained solely by dedicated and passionate volunteers.

Lighthouse Tours

Throughout the summer season, guests are welcome to take a guided tour throughout the lighthouse grounds. The lighthouse museum allows guests to step into each fully restored room that looks and feels as if the keepers still live there.

Admission for the lighthouse tour is $5 for adults and $4 for children ages of 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. Admission is free for Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation members or children under the age of five.

If you’re looking to visit the lighthouse between September and June feel free to contact the lighthouse’s office to set up the appropriate arrangements.

The lighthouse does offer educational programs, overnight or weekend stays, and group tours for those interested.

Traveling to the Lighthouse

The best way to travel to the Rose Island Lighthouse is by the Newport-Jamestown Ferry. For a list of the ferry schedules see the Newport-Jamestown Ferry schedule to the Rose Island Lighthouse. *Tip: If you travel by ferry, you’ll receive a $1 discount upon arrival!

If you own your own boat you’re welcome to tie up at the dock. If you have a small sailing craft, canoes, or kayaks you can land on the beaches near the lighthouse.

Pack Your Bags

It would be a pleasure for us to have you stay at our Inn when visiting the historic and romantic Rose Island Lighthouse. The Cliffside Inn is located only a mile from the Newport-Jamestown Ferry stop.

Make sure to book your stay before the summer ends! We look forward to having you stay with us on your journey to the Rose Island Lighthouse.

Photo Credit: CC Image Courtesy of Barbara Eckstein

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

Christmas at the Newport Mansions

‘Tis the season for sparkling lights, the smell of fresh pine and stunning holiday decorations at the Newport Mansions.

Decked from floor to ceiling in holiday cheer, The Breakers, The Elms and The Marble House open their doors for Christmas tours November 23, 2013 through January 5, 2014.

Make sure you don’t miss The Breakers this year — the mansion is showcasing the work of five pastry chefs who have create models of the Newport Mansions out of gingerbread. The Breakers is also featuring over 28 Christmas trees twinkling throughout the mansion’s corridors as well as its iconic 15-foot red poinsettia tree.

Photo Credit: Terry Johnston (Creative Commons)Evenings at the Mansions

Make sure you stop by one of the Holiday Evening Events at the mansions. You can enjoy live holiday music and indulge in a holiday beverage as you take in the beautifully lit rooms reminiscent of Newport’s Gilded Age.  Scheduled performances include:

November 30 at The Breakers, Voices of Christmas Victorian Carolers

December 7 at The Breakers, Solstice Singers, Voices of Peace

December 14 at The Breakers, NE Tenors

December 21 at The Elms, Voices of Christmas Victorian Carolers

December 21 at Marble House, Barrington Presbyterian Church Music Program

December 28 at The Breakers, New Providence Big Band

And for a romantic celebration, enjoy a special Holiday Dinner Dance in The Breakers Great Hall on December 21st.

The Nutcracker Suite 

You can also enjoy the classic holiday tale, The Nutcracker, at Newport’s most adoring mansion, Rosecliff. Catch one of the 14 performances occurring November 29 through December 6.

Holiday Shopping in Newport

Last minute holiday shopping is always easy in Newport. You can shop at all of the specialty shops and galleries along the Newport waterfront while you enjoy all of the Christmas in Newport festivities, and maybe a cup of chowder and a warm fire when you stop for lunch.

Join Us This Holiday Season

Take a break and enjoy the warmth and spirit of this holiday season at the Cliffside Inn while taking part in Newport’s Christmas Celebration at the Newport Mansions.