Where We’ve Been & What We’ve Done: Part 4

Now that we’ve been in Newport for a month, I can officially say it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited on the East Coast so far. There’s no question in my mind why it is the sailing capital of the world. And although I know some would (and have) argued with me that Annapolis owns that title, I am willing to put my pride aside and say that Newport definitely deserves it. (But I’ll call Annapolis a close second).
The first weekend here we made our way downtown to what we expected to be a quaint little area. To our surprise, it was a massive expanse of old shops and restaurants lining a coast of sailboat packed waters.
The little town has done a perfect job of somehow both preserving the historic feel and yet modernizing everything. Some of the alleys you turn down leave you feeling as though you’ve stepped back in time. The main streets are bustling with people eager to be out and about for shopping and dining. It’s a wonderful experience and I would highly suggest a summer visit at some point if you haven’t already made it to Newport for a visit.

Our weekdays are primarily spent on base where Josh goes to his work obligations. But even the military base here holds a beauty of its own. A long walk around the base is met with views of the ocean featuring perfect horizons for gliding sailboats and sunsets.

The Naval War College is a sight to behold in itself. It sits at the top of a hill looking majestic and wearing its history well. A stroll across the walking paths that are hidden by the long-grown greenery adds to the magic. Slowly strolling past it all is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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The War College Museum sits next to the College and is beautiful in its own right.

The second weekend we were here we decided to take a drive to Boston. It’s only about an hour and a half away so we thought it would make a good day trip. Ironically, we ended up driving there two days in a row. It was sort of an accident as the first day we had taken a drive and ended up not too far from there so we decided to go and visit the Harvard campus as tourists. The campus is beautiful. It’s tucked in the center of a bustling and historic downtown city. For some reason, I had expected it to be all on its own somewhere, but it wasn’t. One second you were driving through a crowded street and then suddenly you were passing the university.
It was a vast area of regal buildings and soft green grass that was shaded by trees planted generations ago. The whole campus seemed to breathe a soft breeze that sang the presence of written history past. Almost as if the buildings and the trees knew they had once housed presidents and played a part in the lives of our forefathers. As if the whole campus knew of its revered existence. But of course, it ought to for those buildings and trees where the few remaining things that have seen the growth of the country generations come and gone have brought.

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We walked a good portion of the campus before making our way back to our car. On our way back, we turned a corner out of the main campus area and happened upon the Wadsworth House, where George Washington once stayed, which is now a museum.

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The next day we returned to Boston with a friend to walk the majority of the Freedom Trail. We began at the USS Constitution location. It’s the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy and a national park. It stood tall and beautiful and somehow more elegant than most.

We also got to tour a decommissioned destroyer from the 1940 era which was fun since it was a steamship and Josh’s last ship was the last commissioned steamship in the Navy. They let us into the engine room so that Josh and his friend could compare the two and allowed me to go as well. I didn’t take any photos down there but it was definitely a memory making moment.

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From there we headed out on the trail. We crossed a beautiful bridge and walked across town following the red brick road that marked the way. We stopped at each location taking in the history of that specific spot before moving onto the next one. Walking the entire trail makes for a long day but it’s totally worth the day trip if you ever have the chance to go and can start out early.
My favorite part was touring Paul Revere’s house but I’m a bit of a history lover which I inherited from my father. My second favorite part was the chocolate shop. Can you blame me?

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We got to visit a church containing the oldest organ in the country, see gravesites that held renowned people, and tour history changing buildings.
At one point we stopped at a restaurant for a mini walking break and saw a redcoat chilling at the bar. I mean, how much more authentic can you get to get that?

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We roamed through the old city market, the old state building, saw the site of the Boston massacre, and old city hall. We stood in spots the founding fathers of America had stood in and visited buildings that history-changing speeches and decisions were made in.
The trail ends (or begins depending on which side you start with) at the new state house. The golden dome covered building sits at the top of the hill from Boston Common, the oldest public park in America. It’s beautiful and regal and stands out from all the older buildings surrounding it.

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Old City Hall
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The winding staircase in the Old State House.
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The current Massachusetts State House

 

At the end of the trail, we had managed to visit nearly every official freedom trail location expect two which were closed off by the time we made it there. Despite being mildly tired and quite hungry, it was all worth it and I look forward to walking the entire trail again someday!
We had parked near the USS Constitution, so we decided to get some dinner and then Uber back to the car versus walking the entire path again. We ate at the local Chipotle, which also happened to be the old bookstore location on the freedom trail. We thought we had missed that stop and were a little disappointed but then we saw the plaque on the building stating it was the old bookstore location. It was completely coincidental, but worked out well! I was mildly bummed it wasn’t a real bookstore anymore though.

We made the hour and a half drive back to Newport that night exhausted and satisfied with the adventure we had that day. It was our perfect kind of weekend and one that will always hold fun memories for us. If you are ever in the New England area, I would highly suggest checking out both Newport and Boston. Both hold so much history and are beautiful in their own ways.

Our next post will be more about the Newport area but we hope you enjoyed reading about our first couple weeks in Newport!

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