This is a destination city that continues to amaze and surprise even the most jaded visitor with its diverse offerings. This week offers up an amazing variety of things to do and experience. First, there is the inaugural visit from Norway of the Draken Harald, known as “the world’s last Viking ship sailing in modern times,” arriving dockside at Bowen’s Wharf Marina on Friday (August 10).
Next the Audrain Automobile Museum and Preservation Society of Newport County host a free “Cars & Coffee” gathering of automobile enthusiasts on the lawn of Bellevue mansion Chateau-Sur-Mer on Saturday morning from 8-10 am.
Then Saturday powers up the night with the annual fundraiser for Newport’s Seamen’s Church Institute [401/847-4260], this year titled “ROCK THE DOCKS!” This lobster-themed fundraiser (Tickets: $150) at the Newport Shipyard from 6-10 pm will help raise money to support the important work of this longtime social services agency.
Be sure to share these events with your guests. Enjoy your week!
TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK: EVERYONE IS A NEWPORT AMBASSADOR
If it were possible, I would hand out diplomatic license plates to each one of our city’s hundreds of tour guides, greeters, managers, concierges, groundskeepers, security people, taxi and bus drivers, and all of our first responders because all of them are like the best diplomats representing a nation. They may be often overlooked or taken for granted, and they may not even be aware of their role, but every day each one of them is performing a great diplomatic service for all of us. They are the true Ambassadors for the city and people of Newport. You included. Bravo!
There are still numerous job openings available in the Newport area as we segue into the second half of our summer. A few listings follow.
- Tour Guide, Ecotourism Company, Rail Explorers USA. $15/hour, part-time. Seasonal through October 15th. 1 Alexander Road, Portsmouth, RI. Apply through Indeed.com. Info: 401/833-8588.
- Newport Mansions Tour Guides – Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC). Tour Guides work in PSNC audio tour house museums (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff and The Elms). Tour guides work a flexible schedule up to 30 hours per week. One weekend day is required. PSNC recruits year-round. Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
- Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. Known locally as “The coolest job in the world.” This is a unique way to give tours and run your own business plus get lots of exercise. Make $500-$1,000 per week. Rent a Pedicab and give your guests a custom tour of the City-by-the-Sea. Info: www.newportpedicab.com/drivers
- Guide at Watson Farm, Jamestown, RI. Historic New England seeks a seasonal, part-time Guide to work at Watson Farm for the 2018 season. Guide will introduce self-guided walking tours to a varied range of visitors, both in age and interest, and assist with daily museum operations including tour admissions, cleaning, and opening and closing. Training is provided. Please send resume and cover letter to WatsonFarm@HistoricNewEngland.org.
NEW TOUR GUIDES
If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city. It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here. Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.
REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.
NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: 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.
CRUISE SHIPS ARRIVING
Stay up-to-date and aware of the weekly arrival of cruise ships to Newport and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city. Here is a list of the upcoming arrivals, courtesy of Discover Newport.
- Thursday, August 9 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
- Wednesday, August 15 – M/V Insignia, from Oceania Cruise Lines
- Thursday, August 16 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
- Saturday, August 18 – M/V American Constellation, from American Cruise Lines
- Thursday, August 23 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
- Saturday, August 25 – M/V Insignia, from Oceania Cruise Lines
UPCOMING REGATTAS & RACES
Throughout the summer, Newport features a sailboat race and/or a regatta every week. These are free events, best observed from a chase boat, or from the shore overlooking Narragansett Bay. Tell your guests and visitors to enjoy this most classic Newport sporting event in our seaside community. Here are some of our upcoming events:
- Friday, August 17 – Saturday, August 18 – Ida Lewis Distance Race
- Friday, August 17 – Saturday, August 19 – Hinman Masters – Presented by New York Yacht Club
- Friday, August 17 & Saturday, August 18 – Ida Lewis Distance Race
- Saturday, August 18 – Fool’s Rules Regatta – Jamestown – Hosted by Jamestown Yacht Club
SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK
Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 – WHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE – 5:00 PM
This is a wonderful opportunity to visit this Newport Restoration Foundation house museum to view its collection of 18th century Newport furniture and its outdoor pocket garden. 416 Thames Street, Newport. Admission is free. Info: 401/847-2448; newportrestoration.org
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 – MONDAY, AUGUST 13 – VIKING SHIP TOURS –BOWEN’S WHARF
The Norway-built 115-foot Viking sailing ship, DRAKEN HARALD, is on a tour of the East coast and will arrive at Bowen’s Wharf to offer deck tours beginning at 3:30 pm, Friday, August 10th through 9:30 pm on Monday, August 13th. The vessel is based in Haugesund, Norway. Tickets are $12 for adults. Info and tickets at www.drakenhh.com
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – CARS & COFFEE – CHATEAU-SUR-MER – 8 AM – 10 AM
This event, re-scheduled from last Saturday’s cancellation, is one of several fun summer Newport automotive events presented by the Audrain Auto Museum and the Preservation Society of Newport County. Free admission. 8-10 am. Chateau-Sur-Mer (464 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/236-5967; audrainautomuseum.org.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. The tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – 5:00 PM
This week’s match features NEWPORT vs BUFFALO. Check out the excitement of Newport Polo and tell your equine-loving guests. Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth. 5 pm. Tickets to the match ($15 for General Admission; 15-and-under free; $25 for Pavilion seating) and to the après polo field-side dinner are available at www.nptpolo.com or 401/846-0200.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2018 – ROCK THE DOCKS – 6-10 PM – FUNDRAISER for SEAMEN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE
This community fundraiser will support the fine work of the Seamen’s Church Institute. Enjoy this abundant lobster dinner, raw bar, live auction, dancing, and more. Tickets: $150 in advance. Held at the Newport Shipyard. Get info at: (401) 847-4260 or online at seamensnewport.org.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
MONDAY, AUGUST 13 – FOUR ENDURING FAITHS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM
EVERY tour guide and greeter NEEDS to take this tour! It is full of history, amazing architecture, culture, religion, and powerful stories of the people who helped create some of our enduring legacy. This half-mile escorted tour begins at Touro Synagogue (72 Touro Street) and includes tours of Trinity Church, Newport Congregational Church, and Channing Memorial Church. Tour will be offered every Monday through September 3rd. Tour: $10-$20. Info: 4faiths.org
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 – RETURN TO CAMELOT – ST. MARY’S CHURCH – 2-3 PM
Each Tuesday, through October 23rd, St. Mary’s Church (80 Memorial Boulevard, Newport) hosts this remembrance of the wedding of future President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. The program features vintage film clips, performance of music from their church wedding and reception at Hammersmith Farm, and recollections by Jackie’s stepbrother, Yusha Auchincloss, and other local Newporters. Fee: $15. Info: stmarynewport.org/return-to-camelot.
NOW THROUGH LABOR DAY – BREAKERS STABLE – OPEN DAILY 10 AM – 5 PM
The Breakers Stable & Carriage House (53 Coggeshall Avenue, Newport) is now open for the season! This 15,000 square foot carriage house and stable complex was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and was an important part of the life of the Vanderbilt family and their staff beginning in 1895. The structure is located ½ mile from the Breakers. The Stable features a display of 18 carriages and two coaches, clothing and harnesses from that time period, an extensive exhibition on the New York Central Railroad, 26 tie stalls, and two box stalls. Outside flower gardens and the original greenhouses from the Breakers property are located behind the Stable. The Breakers Stable & Carriage House admission is included with any ticket to the Newport Mansions®. Hours are 10 am until 5 pm daily. Info: newportmansions.org
NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 – REDWOOD LIBRARY & ATHENAEUM – NEW EXHIBIT
Check out the current exhibit, “Modernity vs Tradition: Art at the Parisian Salon 1750-1900.” 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: redwoodlibrary.org or 401/847-0292.
AUGUST 15, 2018 – “BIRDS OF AQUIDNECK ISLAND” – CHANNING MEMORIAL CHURCH – 6:30-8:30 PM
This is the final presentation of three “Chautauqua” style lectures in a series called, “Exploring Newport: Structures, Society, Song, Sea and Sky.” Like the others, this will be presented at Channing Memorial Church’s Parish Hall (135 Pelham Street, Newport) from 6:30-8:30pm. A $10 fee includes refreshments. Info: 401/846-0643.
AUGUST 16-19, 2018 – A WEEKEND OF COACHING
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
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – DRIVING EXHIBITION -– 10:30 AM – THE ELMS
This free event, part of the Weekend of Coaching, will take place on the grounds of The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). It will feature many of the coaches and their drivers who are part of the weekend celebration of this unique and historic sporting tradition. More Information: NewportMansions.org
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – 11:00 AM – THE BRITISH OCCUPATION OF NEWPORT TOUR
In 1775 as the Revolutionary War officially began, 7,000 British and Hessian soldiers invaded Newport creating an occupation that lasted for nearly 3 years. This tour explores the sites and stories of the soldiers and citizens affected during this time. Learn why the British targeted Newport, how their presence in the 1770s changed the city, and how this impacted the colonial architecture that Newport is famous for today. Tours cost $20 per person, $15 Newport Historical Society members and active duty military with ID. 401.841.8770. Tours depart from the Museum & Shop, 127 Thames Street, Newport. Info and reservations: newporthistorytours.org
SUNDAY, AUGUST 19 – READING OF GEORGE WASHINGTON’S LETTER [1 PM] & ANNUAL OPENING OF THE COLONIAL JEWISH BURYING GROUND [11 AM – 3 PM]
Each year Touro Synagogue (85 Touro Street, Newport) hosts the reading of George Washington’s 1790 letter “To the Hebrew Congregation at Newport” at Touro Synagogue. The letter will be read at 1 pm. Reservations required: Merle@tourosynagogue.org. Also on this day is the annual opening of the Colonial Jewish Burying Ground, located at Kay Street, Touro Street, and Bellevue Avenue. The general public is welcome to visit. Worth a visit for its historic gravestones and unique architectural features. You will also be able to ask questions of the site’s guides. Admission is free.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – MOTORS & MIMOSAS – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Sip on bottomless mimosas while checking out this museum’s latest exhibition. Coffee and pastries provided by La Forge Restaurant will also be available. It’s also a great time to meet and compare notes with other car enthusiasts. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door. 10 am – 12 Noon. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM ANNUAL GALA – OCHRE COURT
This is the museum’s Annual Gala, Come One, Come All: Vintage Circus, in partnership with Louis Vuitton, to be held at Salve Regina University’s historic Ochre Court on Friday, August 31st at 6:30PM. Guests will be greeted on the Midway by over different circus acts, featuring seasoned performers from such famed companies as Cirque de Soleil, Ringling Brothers, and Big Apple Circus. Aerial silk acts, contortionists, tightrope walkers, fire breathers, jugglers, and more will astound and amaze guests as they enjoy cocktails and spectacular cars from the Museum’s collections. David B. Ford continues as chair of the event, alongside our evening entertainment, renowned comedian, Tonight Show host, and celebrated car enthusiast, Jay Leno, as well as writer, appraiser, and TV personality Don Osborne. Tickets: $1,000 and $2,000. Get more information at: audrainautomuseum.org
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.
NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – SEPTEMBER 13-16
The Newport International Boat Show encompasses thirteen acres of Newport’s downtown waterfront. Exhibitors from near and far offer a full range of new powerboats and sailboats, plus a medley of marine products, services and accessories to enhance the nautical lifestyle. Special events, seminars, and in-water boating courses for the whole family are offered on all show days. Not to be missed is the exciting Newport For New Products program – showcasing boats and boating products making their first-ever debut in the United States. Newport Yachting Center, 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport. More information: http://newportboatshow.com/
NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 20-23
This festival features a world-class variety of tastings, seminars, and events over a four-day weekend. Held at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Tickets & more information: http://www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival/tickets-events
SAIL FOR HOPE 2018 – SEPTEMBER 29
This marks the 17th anniversary of this sailboat race around Jamestown. This year’s race will raise funds for Hurricane Relief (Harvey, Irma, Maria), Warrior Sailing Program, and the Tad Sanchez Youth Sailing Program at Sail Newport. To date, over $1,000,000 has been raised for various charities. Info at Sail Newport: 401/846-1983.
BOWEN’S WHARF SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 13-14
11 am – 5pm. Free event. Honoring the harvest of the sea, this Festival offers fresh local seafood, continuous live music and family fun. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. More Information: http://www.bowenswharf.com/events
CURRENT EXHIBITS & TOURS NOT TO BE MISSED
NEW EXHIBIT OF PORTRAITS AT THE ELMS
Four portraits by artist Elizabeth Colomba are currently being exhibited in the second floor sitting room of The Elms (1901) through September 3, 2018, in collaboration between The Preservation Society of Newport County and ART&NEWPORT, an organization dedicated to developing and hosting citywide visual arts presentations.
Curated by ART&NEWPORT founder Dodie Kazanjian in collaboration with the Preservation Society’s Curator of Exhibitions Ashley Householder, Elizabeth Colomba: Four Seasons consists of four large framed portraits, painted between 2012 and 2018, in which the seasons are depicted as an allegory of womanhood. The figures are nearly life-sized so that the viewer is confronted with the power and beauty of each woman. The portraits are installed in the second floor sitting room of The Elms to be in conversation with historic portraits from the Preservation Society’s collection, all of which depict white women of means.
The sitters are staged in lavish settings – not unlike the room in which the works are hung – and they are serene in their environments, much like the ones permanently on view there. As visitors make their way through the house, they will encounter these paintings in the sitting room and learn more about them through a special stop on their audio tour. The installation is included in regular admission to The Elms. More info on this exhibition: newportmansions.org
VISIT ROUGH POINT IN 2018 – NRF’s 50th ANNIVERSARY
The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions at historic Rough Point mansion, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org), are: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,” and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” This is 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 amazing home.
OSCAR WILDE & THE BOHEMIAN MOVEMENT AS YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED THEM
Go visit the newest exhibit at the Galleries at Rosecliff, Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport. Preservation Society Curator Ashley Householder has gathered a breathtaking collection of furniture, ceramics, wallpaper, clothing, accessories, and ephemera about the aesthetic movement (1870-1890) and the era’s major promoter, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). The colors, patterns, and shapes of this “art for art’s sake” movement and the influence of Irish writer, playwright, and impresario Wilde will whisk you away to another time. Go and see this unique and truly wonderful exhibit. Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org
BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR
The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” has a new regular daily schedule. Tours are offered every hour on the half hour, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS
At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” has also added tours to their daily schedule. Tours are offered every hour on the half hour, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).