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Monday, November 16th, 2009

Newport, Rhode Island – Rhode Island’s gem

Newport wharfBest known as one of New England’s most popular summer resorts, Newport, Rhode Island, has plenty to offer visitors throughout the year.

Enthusiasts of naval history will be most familiar with Newport as the location of the United States Naval College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Centre and a major training point for the US fleet. Newport has also played an important part in America’s history, since Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy hosted their ‘Summer Administrations’ here. Pretty St. Mary’s Church in Newport was also the spot where President Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12th 1953.

Newport has one of the highest concentrations of colonial mansions in the USA. With so many nineteenth-century gems, the town supports no less than three National Historic Landmark districts, most of which are in superb condition. Famous (and famously wealthy) resident, Doris Duke led a project to restore many of these grand old properties, while local initiatives such as Operation Clapboard significantly helped as well.

Cooke House Newport

A leading international centre of yachting, Rhode Island is also forever associated with the America’s Cup, which was held in Newport on twelve occasions, sponsored by the famous New York Yacht Club – one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world. The town’s annual International Boat Show is regarded by many as affirmation of its standing in the world of sailing.

When not sailing or socialising on an impressive scale, the inhabitants of Rhode Island generally tend to favour the peaceful outdoor life, but this part of America’s smallest state is particularly keen on al fresco living. Given the area’s superb beaches and inspiring scenery, it’s not surprising that Newport in particular has been the playground of America’s elite since the early nineteenth-century.

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