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Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

Southern USA
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Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Newport for our first anniversary (April 29, 2012). We will probably stay a week. I have always wanted to visit, primarily for the historic homes. So, now that I am making the trip, I want it to be as amazing as possible.

I have narrowed the hotels down to Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk. Both sound great; which should we choose? Or, should we stay a few days at each?

Should we rent a car? It sounds like a lot of things are in walking distance of each other, but we do not want to miss out if there are 'must see' things that are not. (Though we do not relish the idea of driving on narrow streets that are unfamiliar to us.)

Should we take a day trip to Boston? I do not want to cram too much into one trip, but it seems a shame to be that close and not go. We definitely do not want to drive in Boston, so what is the best way to travel between there and Newport?

Any other suggestions for making this a wonderful vacation would be very much appreciated. Historic homes/sites, beautiful scenery, good food and wine and an overall charming, elegant and romantic experience are what we are looking for.

Thanks!

Providence, RI
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1. Re: Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

The Chanler is a world class boutique hotel, in my opinion, and with a breathtaking view and extremely convenient location. If you can afford it, I would definitely stay there.

I'm not sure about the other...maybe it changed name?

The mansions are absolutely the best, if you like exquisite luxurious turn of the century and older elaborate homes...they are really a sight to see. All that being said, I don't think a week in Newport is necessary...it's very small and you can probably get your fill of everything in two or three days max.

If you want to stay in the ocean/seaside mode, I'd suggest a trip to Block Island, only an hour away via ferry boat.

A day trip is all you need there, especially in April.

Car ride from Newport to Boston is two hours, maybe longer if you hit rush hour. Boston can be overwhelming to try to "visit".

On the other hand, Providence has some beautiful historic homes and the whole city is a lot easier to travel around.

You WILL get lost driving in Boston....but if you're set on seeing it, go for it!

Southern USA
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2. Re: Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

Thanks for your response. I will look into Providence. I had not considered that.

By the way, Vanderbilt Grace used to be called Vanderbilt Hall.

Jamestown, Rhode...
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3. Re: Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

If you had the time to spend, you wouldn't be bored at all with a week in Newport. I mean people spend the whole summer here, because there is so much to see and do, not only in Newport, but the general RI area. Especially if you like charming historic places, Wickford, Little Compton, Jamestown, Narragansett, Providence to name a few. Many people do take day trips to Boston, or the Cape. Boston is really 1 1/2 hrs tops from Newport, 2 on a bad day, ok maybe 2 by bus. There are also train options to Boston.

Edited: 4:25 pm, March 04, 2012
Rhode Island
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4. Re: Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

I can't help you with accomodations, having stayed in neither.

But you DEFINITELY need a car in Newport. Being off-season, you will easily be able to navigate around the city and find parking fairly easily. Find a map of Newport beforehand and notice that the city is quite spread out. The "Cliff Walk" end is far from the "wharves" end, and downtown, and you will need a car to get to the best restaurants etc.

Assuming you have a car, Boston is a great daytrip, but I strongly suggest a weekend day. During the week the city is PACKED and drivers are INSANE, even regarding pedestrians. I always drive to the Quincy Adams Garage

mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/…

It's easy to reach from the highway (I-93), is huge and has a subway station in it, and parking is cheap, Boston-wise ($7 per day). Make sure you visit Quincy Market, at lunch-time is best so you can sample the wares, and walk at least some of the Freedom Walk. I'd have dinner in some North End Italian eatery, then make your way back to Newport.

Other posters have given very good advise of other RI destinations to visit. I will add that at least one day have breakfast on Jamestown (across the water) at Slice of Heaven on Narragansett Ave. Try the Gran Marnier French Toast or the Breakfast Burritos. Both worth the trip alone... then explore the island.

5. Re: Vanderbilt Grace or Chanler at Cliff Walk? Car? Boston?

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