Come along and experience the very best that Rhode Island has to offer. Tickle your taste buds in Providence, known for is delectable eats and for being the cultural mecca of Rhode Island. Move onto Newport, and witness the summer "cottages" of the gilded age. Step back in time as you stroll through the Vanderbilt's libraries and terraces. Block Island will beckon you with sandy beaches and grand historic hotels. Discover how you can "Turn Back Time" without winding your watch!
Day One, Monday, September 11: Board your motor coach and depart Vienna early morning. With a comfort/snack stop along the way, arrive in the South Norwalk Historic District early afternoon. This classic waterfront neighborhood meets urban hip in an amazing collection of restaurants, bars, shops and galleries. This is a great time to stretch your legs, to have lunch on your own in one of the many eateries and to explore the shops.
Continue on to Providence, RI and arrive at your downtown hotel. This full-service hotel is within walking distance of historic Federal Hill, Providence Place Mall and the Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the US. There will be time to relax and refresh before you head out for the evening.
Board the coach and travel just down the road to your dinner destination, Spirito's Restaurant. Gather for dinner served in a Victorian home built in 1896. Your service begins with a complimentary glass of wine to toast your co-travelers for an exciting vacation together. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine while listening to the sounds of Italian music softly playing in the background.
Your Italian theme continues when you arrive at the Citizens Plaza Dock. Board your authentic Venetian gondola and float along the Providence Riverwalk. Enjoy handmade Italian-style wine biscuits while your gondolier entertains you with live music. Return to the hotel for a good night's rest to end a busy day.
Day Two, Tuesday, September 12: 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.
By this time you will surely have worked up an appetite. A variety of charming restaurants frame the streets of downtown Newport, just a 10-minute drive from the mansions. Relax and savor the flavors of fresh seafood served at a shoreside restaurant, or order a delicious "lunch on the go" to enjoy while you explore the shops and galleries on Main Street. The choice is yours!
Your last mansion visit is at 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.
Board the coach and travel just down the road to 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 or to sip a beverage at a waterfront café.
Late afternoon, visit Newport Vineyards for a tour and taste of their award-winning wines. Newport Vineyards was originally planted in 1977 on a hill overlooking Rhode Island Sound with the goal of producing fine wines and as a way of preserving beautiful agricultural land from rapid development. Aquidneck Island is blessed with one of the most desirable farming areas in the country, if not the world. This extraordinary micro-climate is created by a combination of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream to the south and the moderating effects of Narragansett Bay. These conditions provide a long, cool growing season ideal for developing complex flavors in wine. Since the original vineyard plantings in the 1970s, Newport Vineyards, under the ownership of John and Paul Nunes, has grown to 60 vineyard acres. Depart with a souvenir wine glass!
After all of this local "color," you will have worked up an appetite for some local "flavor." Arrive at a waterfront restaurant located in beautiful Greenwich Cove. Dine on fresh, local seafood while taking in the outstanding views of the harbor.
Return to your Providence hotel. Enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool or visit the lounge for a nightcap.
Day Three, Wednesday, September 13: After breakfast served in the hotel, pack your bags and check out of the hotel. Today you will travel to Rhode Island's beautiful Block Island. However, before you depart Providence, you simply must stop for a tour and demonstration at the renowned Scialo Brothers' Bakery. Learn how craftsman 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 south to Narragansett to the Point Judith ferry dock. Board the 11:00 am ferry as "foot passengers," and enjoy the views on the one-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 ferry dock. Visit the quaint shops in this beautiful shore-side town and enjoy lunch on your own.
After lunch, board the island bus and embark on a 1-hour tour narrated tour led 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 off at your waterfront Victorian hotel located in the Old Harbor District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Block Island landmark offers breath-taking ocean views from its iconic front porch. After check-in, sip a cold beverage on porch, 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. Your three course, plated dinner offers selections to please the most discriminating palate. The high level of customer service and delicious, local fare are seconded only by the magnificent sunset.
Day Four, Thursday, September 14: Rise and shine to the smell of fresh salt air as you dine on a hearty, hot breakfast buffet served in the hotel. Transfer to the ferry dock via the hotel's shuttle service.
Board the 8:15 am ferry back to Point Judith where you will arrive about 9:15 am. Board your coach, depart Rhode Island and begin to make your way back to Vienna.
On your way out of New England, you will arrive in Groton, CT about 10:30 am. While you are here, you simply must visit the Submarine Force Library and Museum and explore the USS Nautilus Submarine, the first nuclear powered submarine that was built!
The museum is the only submarine museum operated by the United States Navy, and as such, is the primary repository for artifacts, documents and photographs relating to U.S. Submarine Force history. The museum traces the development of the "Silent Service" from David Bushnell's Turtle, used in the Revolutionary War, to the Ohio and Virginia class submarines.
You have several options for lunch on your own within minutes from the Museum. With a snack/fast food dinner on your own, and comfort stops along the way, you will arrive home late afternoon/early evening.
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.