Sail Into The Sunset – Newport, Rhode Island

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Newport, Rhode Island is widely considered the sailing capital of the world, with a rich history in all things nautical.  A beautiful place to visit, it has more surviving colonial buildings than any other city, brick streets, and that intangible crisp quaintness of a New England town.

There are so many things to see and do here, including The Breakers, Cliff Walk, and Castle Hill.  There are multitudes of articles on all of those places, each worth spending time visiting.  I won’t focus on them here, though.  If you follow my blog, you know I’m a water girl and elect to spend my time on the water as often as possible.  With that spirit, last fall I had the opportunity to take a group of business colleagues on a sunset sail that was more enjoyable than any round of golf.

I used 12 Meter Charters and booked a trip aboard The Heritage.  Twelve of us boarded on a perfect day, with calm waters and just enough wind. I’ve been sailing for years and am a certified sailing captain, but even I was in complete awe of the beauty of this boat and the deft capabilities of its crew.  In addition to showing us the splendors of the area, they served us a catered dinner as we toured the coast.  The gentle rocking of the boat, lobster roll in hand, and the stunning mansions of Newport framed with hues of an orange and pink sunset created one of those perfect moments that somehow make everything worthwhile.

While my favorite, water is not the only playground there.  I also got to spend an evening on an impromptu bar crawl, which I highly recommend!  Having stayed at the perfectly positioned Hyatt on Goat Island, we strolled downtown, hopping from restaurants to pubs to bars, sampling local brews and seafood along the way.  Some of the local breweries include Newport Storm, Coddington, and Coastal Extreme.  We tried them all (perhaps more than once!) and then stumbled back to the Hyatt without ever having to take a cab.  If you’re in town with friends, its the perfect way to spend the evening.

I’ve been in the area for work several times over the last year and found the fall to be my favorite.   The weather was still moderate and it wasn’t overly crowded.  During this time, the Hyatt, which also has a lovely spa, offers really good rates during the off season.  On the other hand, the regattas that are such fun to watch happen during the summer (see the schedule below).  Ultimately, Newport is a place you can’t go wrong visiting, no matter what the season.

Annual 12 Meter Regattas in Newport:
 •New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta – June
 •New York Yacht Club’s Race Week – July (biennially)
 •Sparkman & Stephens Regatta – July
 •Museum of Yachting’s Classic Yacht Regatta and Parade – September
 •12 Meter Championships – September
Newport Sailing Events and Regattas (non-12 meter boats)
•Newport’s Spring Boat Show – May
 •Newport to Bermuda Sailing Race – June
 •Annapolis to Newport Sailing Race – June
 •Newport International Boat Show – September
12 Meter Charters, Inc.
49 Bowen’s Wharf, 3rd Floor
Newport, RI 02840
800.820.1223 or 401.851.1216

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