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Gardens of Coastal New England – Featuring the Newport Rhode Island Flower Show!
This one-of-a-kind garden tour winds you along the dramatic and rugged coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, through centuries of New England cultural history. You will explore historic gardens and estates from colonial homes to Gilded Age mansions.
Day 1: Arrive in the Beautiful New England town of Newport, Rhode Island. Upon arrival we visit Bannister’s Wharf, the social and commercial lifeline to colonial Newport. Enjoy lunch on your own at one of the charming local eateries. After lunch, board a private trolley at the Newport Welcome Center that will transport us to our first destination, the Blue Garden! This recently restored Gilded Age masterpiece opens only on rare occasions for garden groups. Once back at the Welcome Center, ‘Mrs. Astor’ will join us on the coach for a windshield tour that will offer an insider’s look at the colorful, and often scandalous, history of Newport, as you view spectacular coastal scenery along the famed Ocean Drive.
Later this afternoon, arrive at your Newport area hotel with time to relax and refresh before having dinner at the once known Newport Casino. This exceptional building, one of the finest examples in the country of Shingle Style Architecture, is a National Historic Landmark.
Day 2: After breakfast, board the coach to the beloved Newport Flower Show, positioned on the grounds of the elegant Bellevue Avenue mansion, Rosecliff. This premier flower show presents garden, horticultural and floral exhibitions and it also offers displays, free lectures, workshops and demonstrations by noted experts. The shopping experiences are amazing! At the show, enjoy lunch on your own with time to explore the Rosecliff Mansion. Next, we visit the Breakers, the grandest and most opulent of the summer “cottages”. Following the Breakers, we will also visit the Elms, a 1901 mansion modeled after a mid-eighteenth century French chateau.
Next, travel back to Bannister’s Wharf to enjoy some time at your leisure to explore the shops and galleries, admire the boats in the harbor or sit back and enjoy a refreshing beverage. This evening we will gather for an included dinner, a traditional hearty Italian fare which has earned this restaurant recognition as the best Italian restaurant in Rhode Island.
A magical evening awaits as you board a nineteenth century-style schooner for a Sunset Sail, your final adventure in the “City by the Sea.” Sip a glass of champagne as you glide by coves and inlets and through the open waters of beautiful and historic Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay.
Day 3: Pack your bags and depart the hotel. Today, we head out to witness more Gilded Age sites in Coastal Rhode Island. Your first stop is at the Green Animals Topiary Garden, where more than 80 pieces of topiary, along with vegetable and herb gardens and orchards, share the grounds of a whimsical estate overlooking Narragansett Bay.
Cross over the bay to the mainland and arrive in Bristol. Visit Blithewood, Old English for “happy woodland,” a grand English Manor-style mansion situated on a dramatic waterfront site. You will enjoy a guided tour to include the house, the magnificent Great Lawn and all of the surrounding gardens. Next travel to the quaint waterfront commercial district in Bristol for lunch on your own at one of the charming local eateries.
We bid farewell to Rhode Island and cross into Massachusetts to historic Sandwich and visit the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Enjoy a guided garden tour of the grounds and visit the three gallery buildings that display American Art, automobiles and special exhibitions.
Next, we depart for Plymouth and check into the John Carver Inn, just a short walk from the breathtaking waterfront. Relax before dining in one of the Inn’s warm inviting taverns for dinner.
Day 4: Today’s travels take you to the coastal towns of Ipswich and Gloucester and back to Middlebury. Time-travel over two hundred years from the modest simplicity of the late 17th Century Colonial world to the grandeur of the early 20th Century Country Place Era as you follow the scent and sound of the ocean to Castle Hill on the Crane Estate where you will enjoy a special tour of the house and grounds.
Visit Gloucester next and enjoy lunch on your own followed by time to explore the shops in America’s oldest working seaport. Before departing to Middlebury, pay your respects to those lost at sea at the Gloucester Fishermen’s Memorial, the iconic statue of a fisherman guiding the wheel of his ship while gazing stoically out to the Atlantic.
With memories of brilliant blossoms, gilded grandeur, and sounds of the ocean, we begin our travels home to arrive approximately 5:30 pm.
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Start Date: June 21st, 2019
End Date: June 24th, 2019
Where: Rhode Island & Massachusetts
Times: Depart 7:00 AM to Approximately 5:30 PM
Cost:$1,298.00 per person, double occupancy
$1,641.00 per person, single occupancy
- 3 Nights’ accommodations
- 6 meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
- Trolley ride to Blue Garden
- Private Tour of the Blue Garden
- Newport Tour led by “Mrs. Astor”
- Admission to the Newport Flower Show
- Tour of Rosecliff Mansion
- Tour of the Breakers
- Tour of the Elms
- Time to visit Bannister’s Wharf
- Sunset sail aboard a 19th century-style schooner
- Admission to the Green Animals Topiary Garden
- Guided tour of the House and Great Lawn at Blithewold
- Iced Tea on the breakfast porch at Blithewold
- Admission to the Heritage Museums and Garden including a garden tour
- Visit Castle Hill on the Crane Estate with guided tour of house and grounds
- Visit in Gloucester, America’s oldest working seaport
- Admission to all venues
- Round-trip motor coach transportation
- Trip cancellation insurance, taxes and gratuities
Deposit of $350.00 per person due March 20
Final payment due by May 7