📷: Courtesy of Rose Island Lighthouse on Facebook
By Lauren Poirier
Every summer, brides-to-be and their closest friends and family descend upon Newport in droves — booking hotels, spa treatments and boat tours and claiming the best sunset Newport Pell Bridge view seats at the most popular and wild bars and restaurants across town. While these experiences are very worthwhile in their own right, they might not be right for everyone. In the spirit of diversity, we have put together a weekend-long itinerary for brides-to-be who are looking for the Newport nightlife experience, but on a more manageable scale and with built-in relaxation time to boot.
If you’ve always dreamed of having a bachelorette party on a private island, Crazy Rich Asians-style minus the craziness, here is your chance. Rose Island — home to the Rose Island Lighthouse and positioned just a short boat ride from Aquidneck Island’s shores — offers accommodations for up to ten people a night, for an affordable price. The Curtis Bunting Room and the Wanton Chase Room are located inside the lighthouse, and each sleep two (each are equipped with a full-sized bed). They also share a bathroom. The Foghorn Building and the Barracks Room are both separated from the lighthouse, with queen-sized beds and detached bathrooms. If you are a light sleeper, then the Barracks Room is for you; bomb-proof and separated from the lighthouse, you are almost guaranteed a sound night’s sleep. Overnight guests are provided linens and towels, and an outdoor solar shower. If you plan on eating on Rose Island, however, you will have to bring your own food and cooler. But with beautiful views of the Newport Pell Bridge (really, the best view you could possibly get) and a sprawling private lawn and beach, you can’t go wrong.
The one snag? The last ferry to the island leaves at 3:50 p.m.
Because of this, we recommend staying in a hotel or AirBnB your first night in Newport in order to get your partying fix in, and then enjoying some quiet, restful time during your second night at this island retreat. Newport has an abundance of upscale boutique inns, such as the Chanler at Cliff Walk, the Grace Vanderbilt, Castle Hill Inn and the Newport Inn, all of which tend to run on the more expensive side. If you’re looking for accommodations that are less of a strain on your wallet, however, check out the Attwater, Bouchard Inn or Artful Lodger Inn.
Your itinerary is as follows:
Check into your hotel of choice at your designated time. Get unpacked and explore the amenities, as most hotels in Newport have some swanky features.
Get ready to hit the town. In terms of attire, Newport is both full-prep and beachy-chic. Pick your poison, but don’t forget the matching shirts and paraphernalia!
Roof Deck of the Grace Vanderbilt Hotel. The former Newport Mansion has been painstakingly preserved and retains its elegant charm. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back about a century in time.Partake in some classy cocktails at the
the Safari Room, Zelda’s Bistro, 22 Bowen’s or Sardella’s, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Newport has an abundance of excellent restaurants, but if you want to skip the wait (or be guaranteed a table), be sure to make a reservation in advance.Grab dinner at
Goat Island to enjoy the sunset. The pedicabs themselves are free, but gratuities are highly encouraged.Flag down a couple of pedicabs and ride over to
Hightail it back into town and arrive at the Firehouse Theatre by 8 p.m. to watch the Bit Players, Rhode Island’s most award-winning comedy troupe, while they improvise their way through their daily show. Call ahead to let the performers know about your special occasion, and they will incorporate the bride into the show for optimal embarrassment. Tickets are $18 and be advised that the event is BYOB.
Pour Judgement, Newport Blues Cafe, One Pelham East, the Lobster Bar, Dockside and the Boom Boom Room. If on the other hand you are a bride who likes some room to move around in a more low-key environment, try the Black Pearl, the Smokehouse (well-known for their delicious seasonal cocktails), or the tiki bar at Salvation Cafe. Newport has many bars that are outdoor and beachy, while many others are loud, wild and more nightclub-like.
Most bars in Newport close at 1 a.m., so this is likely when you will find yourself stumbling back to your hotel room. Climb into your matching bachelorette PJ sets and get some shut-eye (but not before documenting the PJs with some photos).
Leo’s Market, A Market, or Virgin and Aged to pick out some food for dinner. Rose Island Lighthouse offers guests a kitchen with an assortment of pots and pans, dish ware, utensils, a coffee maker and an outdoor gas grill. Just note: There is no oven, stove or refrigerator so be sure to pack a cooler with plenty of ice.Stop in at
Fort Adams State Park, by noon sharp (or maybe even a little earlier so you can explore the park a bit!). This is where your boat will depart, and it counts as your “check in” for your stay. The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation’s thirty-two-foot-long lobster boat “Starfish” will pick your crew up and ferry you over to the island.Be at the Alofsin Pier North, located at the
Get unpacked and settled into your rooms. Explore the little island and do some tanning on your private beach. The people-watching might not be as good as the Newport Beaches, but you sure can’t beat the views.
Dinnertime! Enjoy your gourmet meal out on the lawn and pop open the Champagne as the sun begins to set. A perk of having your own private island to party on? No one can file a noise complaint against you! Alternatively, you can head to bed at 8 p.m. without any street noise keeping you up.
Make sure you pack your alarm clock, because check-out the next morning is at 10 a.m. Take an early morning restorative dip off of the private beach on the island or try out the complimentary kayaks available to overnight guests. Luxuriate in the warm Rhode Island waters while you wait for your boat to arrive.
Arrive back in mainland Newport relaxed and restored after spending a full weekend with your friends and family. Head back home rejuvenated and ready to get married!