This is the last in our series about finding bucket list adventure in DINE country. Over the past few weeks we’ve presented the ultimate bucket list ideas for fun and adventure at the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE). Our series started with adventures in Massachusetts, then moved to soft and not-so-soft activities and fun in New Hampshire and Maine. From there we explored all the fun to be found when visiting DINE inns in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. And we’ll end our series with seashore soirees in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Whether you seek your adventure in the hills or mountains, lakeside or seaside, you’ll always find a great dose of R&R and plenty of foodie fun with a romantic getaway at any of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England.
Bucket List Adventure on the Connecticut Shore
Visit the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina on the Connecticut Shoreline, and adventure seekers will find all of the sights and attractions of ‘Mystic Country’ within close reach. It all starts within walking distance of the inn, with Niantic Village’s shops and restaurants within an easy stroll. And speaking of strolling, for those who like a little softer adventure, the one-mile long Niantic Bay Beach & Boardwalk offer up spectacular views of Niantic Bay and Long Island Sound. Bring along your bike, canoe, kayak or paddle board pedal through the local beach communities or paddle through the marina out into Niantic Bay right from the inn.
It’s a short drive to visit Mystic Seaport, where you will experience 19th century maritime America with its tall ships, a working restoration shipyard, fascinating exhibits and world renowned galleries. Sail the high seas aboard the 81’ schooner Argia then you simply must make the Mystic Aquarium a stop to enjoy watching fish and dolphins at play up-close-and-personal. We know it’s a little fishy, but that’s the best part!
And for those with a strong sense of adventure, don’t miss the Fields of Fire Adventure Park in Mystic. Set on 50 acres of lush Connecticut woodlands, you’ll push yourself to new heights as you test your skills on the new state of the art Aerial Adventure Park. On Fridays, you can climb in the dark, as white lights blaze the way. Bring a bottle of your favorite beverage and snuggle by the fire pit afterward. And if you two are looking for something more intense, check out the World Class Paintball Park here and let your inner warrior loose!
Of course, there are many who opt for the softer sport of porch sitting, and you’ll find one of the best porches for coffee in the morning, a glass of wine in the afternoon or an afternoon snooze in the rocker right there at Inn at Harbor Hill Marina. Sometimes adventure is right in your backyard!
Fabulous fun in Newport, RI
In less than an hour you can drive from the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina to the Cliffside Inn in Newport, RI. Set just steps from Newport’s infamous Cliff Walk, here’s where bucket list adventure starts. No visit to Cliffside Inn is complete without a stroll along the Cliff Walk, past the world-famous Newport mansions and overlooking gorgeous views of the sea, take the hand of the one you love and be sure to do this walk when staying at the Cliffside Inn. This 3.5-mile pathway is a must-do adventure at least once during your stay.
Newport is all about boating, and between the many sightseeing boat tours and sailing excursions, you’ll find no shortage of ways to enjoy the Bay. Sail aboard an authentic 12 Meter with 12 Meter Charters or how about a sightsailing sunset cruise around Newport Bay. And if your idea of fun is to take off to new heights, try a day sail on the water, then a parasail into the sky! Island Style Parasailing offers up side-by-side or single rides where you’ll “chute the breeze” as high as 800 feet above the sea!
Perhaps your idea of adventure is found in a saddle. The Newport Equestrian Center offers guided trail rides including the chance to go along the water’s edge on the beach. Plus, the Newport International Polo Series features teams from around the world & from major US cities playing against USA / Newport. The past season witnessed an exciting lineup of action-packed polo matches, international team debuts and memorable special events, for fun on and off the field, matched by an enthusiastic spectator audience and 2016 marks the Silver Jubilee season.
Of course, no mention of bucket list adventure in Newport would be complete without a mention of some of their incredible food offerings. There are plenty of fabulous restaurants, both overlooking the harbor or not, along with vineyards to visit and microbreweries to enjoy. A few times a year, celebrate the cuisine of Newport with Newport Restaurant Week, offering up prix fixe dinners at a choice of restaurants. Mark the calendar for the next Restaurant Week, November 4-13, 2016. Yet the granddaddy of the bucket list culinary adventures is the Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival in September is an extravaganza of tastings under the tents, celebrity appearances, cooking demonstrations, gala dinners and much more.
Well, that does it for bucket list adventure in DINE country. Mark another adventure off your bucket list at each of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites where the adventure begins. Better yet, visit them in person and be sure to cross off at least one bucket list adventure at each inn.
In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic.