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.

 

Melt Your Winter Blues at the Newport Winter Festival 2014

It’s that time of year again for the annual Newport Winter Festival here in Newport, Rhode Island! Beginning February 14th, this 10-day winter festival is sure to heat up your winter spirits.

Make this winter one to remember by enjoying any of the 150 events happening in the romantic city of Newport.

As always, a portion of the festival’s proceeds will go to local charities and nonprofit organizations as well as local business and community programs.

Highlighted events will include the Children’s Fair, Chili and Chicken Wing Cook-offs and a concert by the cast of BeatleMania.

With events starting as early as 9:30am, you’re sure to find something to do. Here’s a list of some of the featured events happening during the 10-day festival:

February 14 – Start off with a Pillow Fight on the back lawn of The Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa, and then top the night off with a cold one at the Polar Pineapples ice infused bar.

February 15 – Head on over to the Newport Harbor Hotel to heat things up a bit with the 19th Annual Samuel Adams Chili Cook-off starting at 11:30am.

February 16 & 17 – Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and imagine it’s summer at any of the following events: Absolut Bloody Mary Competition, Newport Vineyeard WINE-ter-Fest or the Tropical Drink Contest. For the athletic types, you can check out the Beach Polo Series happening on Easton’s Beach at 2:00pm.

February 21 – Laugh away the winter cold at the Hyatt Regency, Goat Island with two nighttime comedy performances. Starting at 6:30pm, check out comedian and famous juggler, Bryson Lang’s comedy and juggling act. And then you can end the night with the Funny Girls Comedy Show featuring comedians Kerri Louise and Stacy Kendro.

February 22 – Eat to your heart’s content at the 4th Annual Chicken Wing Cook-off happening at the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel beginning at 11:30am. Relive the revolution with the cast of Beatlemania at 9:00pm at the Hyatt Regency. Gather around and sing 29 renditions of the songs that will forever warm our hearts.

February 23 – If you’re daring enough, bid adieu to the festival by taking the Polar Bear Plunge into the frosty Atlantic Ocean with The Newport Polar Club at 12:00pm.

With over 150 events this year, the 26th Annual Newport Winter Festival is sure to be full of food, fun and music for all. Come stay with us here at The Cliffside Inn and enjoy one of Newport’s most loved winter festivals.

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.

 

Popular Stops Along Newport’s Ocean Drive

Fall is the perfect time of year to tour Rhode Island by car, and there’s no better place to take a scenic drive than along Newport’s famous Ocean Drive.Sunset on Ocean Drive

The ten-mile drive is full of recreational treasures, including iconic mansions and estates, public parks, coastal walks and beautiful sunsets. Bring your camera or your canvas with you on Ocean Drive as you will want to capture the lovely coastal scenery to take home as one of the great memories of your Newport visit.

Here is a list of some of the most popular attractions you can visit and see:

  1. The Elms — Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Berwind, this National Historic Landmark is open to the public. Visitors can enjoy the remarkable architectural detail of the mansion, which resembles the mid 18th century French chateau d’Asnieres, located right outside of Paris.
  2. The Breakers — Going right along the drive onto Ochre Point Avenue, there are a number of historical estates that are now formally a part of Salve Regina University. At the end of this stretch you can see Newport’s grandest summer cottages, The Breakers. The Breakers is a grand symbol of the Vanderbilt family and their fortune, and visitors can now visit the mansion along with the stable and carriage house located only half a mile west of the home.
  3. The Marble House and Rosecliff — At the intersection of Ruggles and Bellevue Avenue you will drive right by “the temple to the arts,” the Vanderbilt’s Marble House and the garden retreat of Rosecliff. You may even recognize the Rosecliff from a few major motion pictures, such as “The Great Gatsby,” “True Lies” and “27 Dresses.”
  4. Brenton Point State Park – At the mid-point of Ocean Drive, at the tip of the island, is Brenton State Park, which is the perfect location for a fall-time picnic or to fly a kite while taking in the picture perfect views of the Atlantic and the iconic Castle Hill.
  5. Fort Adams — The historical Fort Adams is located towards the end of Ocean Drive where you will have the best view of Newport Harbor. You can walk around the perimeter of Fort Adams and take in over 180 years of American history.
  6. The Museum of Yachting — After visiting Fort Adams take a walk through the Museum of Yachting and discover the culture and heritage of one of Newport’s most popular attractions.

The ten-mile drive will land you back in downtown Newport where you can enjoy a delicious bite to eat or shop to your heart’s content. Then cap off your night by staying in one of the romantic and elegant rooms at Cliffside Inn.

Full of history and romance, our Victorian Inn is the perfect place to stay while visiting Ocean Drive. Book your stay at Cliffside today so you can experience fall while enjoying the best of Newport.

Cliffside Inn — The Original Home of St. George’s School

Swann Villa 1901

Swann Villa in 1901*

Newport features a rich array of history at every turn, including right here at the Cliffside Inn – the original home to St. George’s School, one of New England’s most renowned private preparatory schools.

Founded in 1896 by the Rev. John Byron Diman, Mr. Diman’s School for Boys, which would become known as St. George’s School, opened its doors to a dozen young men in the fall of 1897 in the residence then known as Swann Villa. Swann Villa, today the Cliffside Inn, was built in 1876 as the summer home of Maryland’s then governor, Thomas Swann.

In his memoires, Mr. Diman reflects on some of the good points of the location that we now call the Cliffside Inn:

“The eastern piazza was exceptionally pleasant, and in front of it there was a wide lawn sweeping down to the cliffs. The boys used to coast over this lawn in winter, and it is one of the things for which have had most reason to be thankful that none of them was precipitated into the sea.”

Swann Villa - St Georges students [1898]

Students of St. George’s School assembling in front of Swann Villa in 1898*

The early “Swann Villa period” from 1897 – 1901, established strong roots for St. George’s School leading to the construction of a new, permanent campus on  “The Hilltop” overlooking Second Beach and Sachuest Point, just across the bay from Swann Villa. Today, guests at the Cliffside Inn look across Easton’s Bay to The Hilltop and the beautiful classic Gothic chapel at the center of the St. George’s campus.

From Schoolhouse to Luxury Accommodations

Today, St. George’s School attracts young students from around the world and hosts many events throughout the year for returning alumni. Parents of students attending St. George’s and alumni visiting The Hilltop for reunions and other school events are frequent guests of the Cliffside Inn because of our historic connections with, and proximity to, the school.

St. George's Suite at Cliffside Inn

St. George’s Suite at Cliffside Inn

The Cliffside Inn offers 16 lovely rooms and suites for visitors, including the St. George’s Suite, which is tastefully decorated in the regal red and black school colors. The suite features a separate sitting room with a library and gas fireplace with a view across Easton’s Bay to St. George’s Chapel.

While you’re staying in Newport, we recommend that you take some time to visit the beautiful Hilltop campus of St. Georges, and as well as some of the other nearby attractions for our guests who are ”in the know” — Sachuest Point Nature Preserve, Purgatory Chasm, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Hanging RockSweet Berry Farms and Greenvale Vineyards.

The Cliffside Inn is proud to share its roots with the founding of St. George’s School. Whether you are a history buff, the proud parent of a St. George’s student, or a returning student coming to visit The Hilltop, we offer deluxe accommodations steeped in the history and beauty of this City by the Sea.

* A special thank you to Valerie Simpson, archivist at St. George’s School, for providing the images of Swann Villa and St. George’s students from 1898.