top things to do in newport

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Think of it as your well-informed neighbor sending you an email each morning with all the interesting, fun, and important news and information you need to start your day!

Whether you are a new guide, or you are a seasoned and experienced guide, I encourage you to start each day by looking around at our amazing City-by-the-Sea and try to view it with new eyes, fresh eyes. Try to imagine it again as if you were seeing it as a first-time visitor might see it. Imagine them arriving here on our island, seeing our wonderful city and looking about to take in its historical buildings, waterfront and seaport, and all its marvelous trees. I try to do this exercise with myself every day I am here. It inspires me to not take it for granted. It reminds me to appreciate this beautiful city. I look around, marveling and remember that this is a special one-of-a-kind place that does not exist anywhere else in the world and what we have here to enjoy and share with the rest of the world is unique.

Try this simple exercise for yourself the next time you are outside in Newport. Inspire our visitors and your guests to see it, too.  

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TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – YOU MATTER!

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Tour Guides & Greeters matter.

You matter a lot. You are the face of our city and our people. Your smile, your eyes, your love of Newport. All of these wonderful assets you bring to meeting and greeting our guests and visitors are critical to the present and future of this city and its many attractions.

 

Be proud. Be prepared. Be ready. Be present. And continue the great traditions of all those who have come before you and set a high bar and a lasting legacy for all those who come after you. And remember: You Matter.

 

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For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.

TOURISM JOBS – THE SEASON OF JOB FAIRS & RECRUITING ARE NOW

 

The hiring season is upon us.  You are needed. More visitors than ever will arrive on this island by car, bus, plane, and cruise ship. Plan now to secure a job in the growing visitor and tourism business in our wonderful city. A big job fair on March 20th (see notice below) and more hiring activities than ever are planned. Look for new position openings and expansion among existing tour operators. A few new tours will be launched in the coming season. The Volvo Ocean Race is coming to Newport in May. Other sailing and trade events are also on the year’s upcoming schedule.  More staff will be needed to deliver the services required by our thousands of new guests and visitors. Job openings include tour guides, greeters, boat crew, bus drivers, ticket sales, and a variety of support staff. What a wonderful year is ahead of us!

 

JOB OPENINGS

  • Rail Explorers is seeking a Tour Guide ($15/hour) and a CDL-licensed Bus Driver ($20/hour). Work is seasonal. This innovative company is located in Portsmouth. Full postings at Indeed.com.
  • Sightsailing of Newport seeks help for dockside ticket sales/information staff. More info at Sightsailing.com/employment.
  • Historic New England seeks part-time seasonal tour guides for two of its Rhode Island properties: Watson Farm in Jamestown, RI; and Casey Farm in Saunderstown, RI. Details and job requirements are available at www.historicnewengland.org
  • National Museum of American Illustration seeks a part-time summer Art Museum Intern; May-September, 2018. Applicants should apply through Indeed.com.
  • The Preservation Society of Newport County has several job openings, including Associate Tour Guide (part-time), Special Events Attendant (part-time), Admissions Associate-Ticket Sales (part-time), as well as Sales Associates in the museum shops.  Check with them directly (newportmansions.org) for current information about job openings for the upcoming season.
  • Newport Hospitality is looking for greeters and a variety of support staff to help host the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race Newport event that begins May 8th. For more information, call 401/848-2264.

REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.

 

NEXT WEEK – NEWPORT’S BIGGEST HIRING EVENT: Get Your resumes and interview skills polished and ready for the Newport County Chamber Of Commerce Annual Expo & Job Fair 2018 on Tuesday, March 20th.  Meanwhile, keep your eyes open to the new full- and part-time job postings, both temporary and long-term. Watch for all new job postings at www.WhatsUpNewp.com  web site and at www.Facebook.com/NewportTourGuidesandGreeters.  

 

SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS THIS MONTH

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – NEWPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEW BRAND LAUNCH & OPEN HOUSE

The Newport Historical Society will host its members and the general public at an open house to celebrate a new brand launch from 1-4 pm at the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center (82 Touro Street, Newport). Staff members will be on hand to share information about upcoming activities and events as well as introduce the new brand signage. Refreshments will be served.  

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – UPDATE ON NEWPORT SPRING – NEWPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY TALK

An update on the ancient cistern structure, thought to be the original Newport Town Spring, found at the site of the former Coffey’s gas station, will be provided by members of the Newport Town Spring Leadership Committee at a public presentation on Thursday, march 15th at 5:30 pm at the Newport Historical Society (82 Touro Street, Newport). Follow further updates of the project on the committee’s website: www.historicnewportpspring.org.  

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – THE NATURAL WORLD OF WINNIE-THE-POOH

Kathryn Aalto, author and landscape architect, will discuss her book and share her thoughts on the intersection of nature and culture in Winnie-the-Pooh. 6 pm at The Elms. Members: $10/General Public $15. Advance reservations required at newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16 – WELCOME RECEPTION FOR KINSALE, IRELAND DELEGATION

A wonderful free event for tour guides and all those in the tourism and hospitality industries is this Welcome Reception for the delegation from Newport’s Sister City of Kinsale, Ireland. The event from 5-6 pm is hosted by Newport’s Mayor Harry Winthrop and the Newport City Council at The Gateway Center (23 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport). Come and greet our Irish friends at the start of this most Irish of weekends in the City-by-the-Sea!  Light refreshments will be served.

MARCH 16, 17 & 18 — MUSEUM OF NEWPORT IRISH HISTORY OPENINGS

The Museum of Newport Irish History [newportirishhistory.org] continues with their special opening hours (Noon to 6 pm) during Irish Heritage Month in March. The museum at 648 Lower Thames Street in Newport will next be open March 16, 17 and 18.  The regular season starts with a grand re-opening Memorial Day Weekend, beginning on Saturday, May 26th.  Learn here about Irish immigration to Newport County and the key aspects of Irish influence and contributions to life in Newport.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 11AM – RAIN OR SHINE OR SNOW

At 11 am, the 62nd Annual Newport Rhode Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off in front of Newport City Hall (43 Broadway).  It proceeds to Washington Square and onto Thames Street, continues down Lower Thames Street to Carroll Avenue, winding up at St. Augustin’s Church. There will numerous events and activities at Newport’s many bars and restaurants all along the parade route and elsewhere in the city. Info: newportirish.com

TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – EXPO & JOB FAIR – 4PM – 7PM

NEWPORT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL EXPO & JOB FAIR 2018. Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. One Goat Island, Newport, RI 02840. Info: 401/847-1600

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – MICHAEL F. CROWLEY LECTURE SERIES – 6PM

 

Local historian Steve Marino will deliver the 16th Annual Michael F. Crowley Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 20th with his presentation, “The Newport Pre-Famine Irish Community in Transition: 1836-1846.” The lecture will be held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 6pm. Admission: $5/members; $20/nonmembers. Reservations are required.  Phone: 401/841-5493.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – MARCH MARKETING MEETING – DISCOVER NEWPORT

 

Discover Newport’s monthly Marketing Meeting will be held at Belle Mer’s Salon at 2 Goat Island at 11am. (Enter through the main gates and park on the left side of the parking lot.) Each monthly gathering features a business presentation. The March focus is “2018 Wedding Trends & Buying Behaviors.” Event is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about current marketing activities to promote Newport.  Info: discovernewport.org.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – DEVELOPING WALKING TOURS 101

 

RI Historical Society Assistant Director of Education Jennifer Wilson will give a presentation on developing and implementing historical walking tours. She’ll provide a foundation on how to get started as well as tips for being a tour leader. There will be opportunity to network and chat with colleagues in the history, heritage, and cultural sector. Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided. Free. 9:30 am – 11:30am at Aldrich House, 110 Benevolent Street, Providence. Please register to attend at rhodi@rihs.org or call 401/331-8575, x136.

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 23 – “MYTH, MEMORY, HISTORY AND HERITAGE”

 

On Friday, March 23, 2018, 10am-12pm, join the Newport Historical Society and the Rhode Island Historical Society in a joint program at Newport’s Colony House, Washington Square, Newport, RI, for “Myth, Memory, History and Heritage,” a panel of public historians.

SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – Exhibit Opening

 

Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport.  Opening day: March 24.  A new exhibition at Rosecliff.  Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – Rough Point Re-Opens

 

The Newport Restoration Foundation’s (NRF) historic Rough Point mansion will re-open on Thursday, April 5th for Guided Tours. The Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org) will be: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,”  and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” a collaboration between NRF and David Webb New York, jewelry designer to Duke and many other prominent figures from 1948 to the present.”  Rough Point will be open for tours through November 11th. Don’t miss this.  

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 12 – MUSICAL PIONEERS: HAYDN, BACEWICZ AND GEORGE WALKER

 

A program of chamber works will be presented by the Newport String Project on April 12th at 7 pm at Old Colony House (82 Touro Street, Newport). Also hosted by the Newport Historical Society. Admission by donation. Info: newportstringproject.org

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 14- SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018 – NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL

 

This is the 5th Annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival that is the highlight of Newport’s Spring season. Visitors and residents will thrill to the 866,500 daffodils blooming all over the city. A multitude of events (Visit: www.newportdaffydays.com for the full schedule and times) and fun activities will celebrate all things daffodil and raise money to buy and plant more daffodils – the goal is ONE MILLION DAFFODILS!  So, Get Daffy and join the fun. Tell all your guests and visitors, too! Check for updates & weather at www.facebook.com/Newportdaffydays/.

 

MONDAY, APRIL 16 – A DANDY SPRING FLING – 6:00pm – 7:30pm

 

This is the classic Spring Fling celebration with hors d-oeuvres, live music and a complimentary toast to Mother Nature while overlooking the hundred of daffodils set against Easton’s Bay at the award winning Chanler at Cliff Walk (117 Memorial Blvd, Newport). $30 donation. Tickets at Newportdaffydays.com. All proceeds support Daffodillion’s free bulb give-away in October. Don’t miss this event!

 

TUESDAY, MAY 8 – SUNDAY, MAY 20 – VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT

 

Tell your guests and visitors to get ready for the arrival of the Volvo Ocean race fleet, arriving in Newport this month on one leg of their round-the-world sailing race. The opening of the Race Village at Fort Adams is Tuesday, May 8th at 4 pm. Get updated information at www.volvooceanracenewport.com

 

STILL TIME TO TAKE THESE SPECIAL TOURS

Complete your knowledge of the Newport Mansions® and take the two special tours before the busy Spring and Summer seasons arrive.   The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” begins every hour on the half hour from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and are one hour in length. At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” is offered at 10:30am, 12 noon, 2pm, and 3:30pm.  The tour is one hour.

COMING SUMMER EVENTS: JUNE, JULY & AUGUST

 

Share these dates and events with your guests and visitors. Sell and promote our future activities and invite everyone to return here again and again.

 

THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW COTTAGES SMART & SMALL – JUNE 22-24

 

The annual flower show adds the current trend of tiny homes and combines them both as livable spaces, functional & beautiful, and the prettiest plants and flowers ever.  Rosecliff. Information & tickets: NewportFlowerShow.org

 

NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL – JULY 4-22, 2018

This annual music festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. A number of special guests and new experiences for the audiences will be included among the festival’s summer season. Performance sites include The Breakers and the Newport Art Museum. More information, schedules, and tickets are available at newportmusic.org. Box Office: 401/849-0700.

THE NEWPORT SHOW ∙ JULY 28-29, 2018

The annual Newport Antiques Show has a new name this year, The Newport Show. This luxury show will, as it has since 2007, feature antique furniture, fine art, jewelry, and unique vintage items from more than 40 dealers.  Watch for more details about this show in the coming months. The Newport Show will again be held at the St. George’s School Ice Rink, 375 Purgatory Road, Middletown, RI, and will run July 28 and 29, 2018. Updates at www.TheNewportShow.com.  Proceeds benefit the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.

WEEKEND OF COACHING – AUGUST 16-19, 2018

Every three years, aficionados of horse-drawn 19th century road coaches gather in Newport for a big summer Weekend of Coaching. This year marks the third year since the last event. During the weekend of August 16-19, 2018 the Preservation Society of Newport County will host the biggest Weekend of Coaching ever.  The weekend will feature driving exhibitions, viewing of the historic coaches as they drive around the streets of Newport, and tickets to a formal dinner dance at the Breakers on Saturday, August 18th. The weekend is led by Honorary Chair Linda Lindh with co-chairs Kenneth Lindh and Beverly Little. Ted Eayrs is the Chair of Coaching.  Event updates and ticket information is available at www.newportmansions.org/events/a-weekend-of-coaching

PREVIEW OF AUTUMN IN NEWPORT

 

NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS – SEPTEMBER 7-9

 

Here’s one of Newport’s great events to share with your guests to encourage them to return here after the busy summer season. The September Newport Secret Garden Tours will offer ten incredible private gardens for the public to visit and enjoy. This self-guided tour program will raise funds for the Art Education programs in the island’s public schools. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.secretgardens.org for a discounted rate of $20.  

 

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

 

The very best leaders, guides, and managers of historic sites, mansions, and tour companies read constantly to know the most about the places they work and to learn the latest research about the history, artwork, and artifacts of the places they talk about to their guests. Here is another Newport book to read, learn from, and share.

 

EXPLORING NEWPORT. By Terrence Gavan. Newport, RI: Pineapple Publications, 1992. This is one of the early books that tour guides have used for more than 25 years to help visitors learn Newport history, introduce the mansions and explore many of the other features of our great City-by-the-Sea. The writer obviously loves Newport and the many nuances of its former and current residents. What is most amazing is the sheer amount of detailed information and anecdotes he crams into 112 pages!  For the tour guide, the book includes nine detailed walking and riding tours of Newport, covering the several eras of the city, from colonial days through the Victorian and Gilded ages to present times. Different parts of the city are also explored. Each tour includes specific walking directions and historic details and highlights of each building and street along the way. There is so much information here that even long-time residents may learn something new about the homes and streets they pass each day. A walking waterfront tour of several of the city’s key piers and wharves, a Cliff Walk tour, and a driving tour of Ocean Drive are also included.  The book is illustrated with ten simple maps and 69 photographs. Terrence Gavan’s tour guide is a wealth of facts and history and a resource you’ll read and refer to often.

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, international & Newport tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).  

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