Time to Play

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by Tracie Seed & Rachael Thatcher

There is more than one way to celebrate. Whether it’s a bachelor or bachelorette party, a weekend with friends or a pre-wedding day get-together, Aquidneck Island offers unlimited opportunities for fun and relaxation. Not to mention lots of options to keep your wedding guests busy!

On the Move

Sport your whites on a court at the International Tennis Hall of Fame or take a lesson from a pro. If you’re in the mood to hit the links, any of the 18 holes you play at one of our verdant courses, like Jamestown Golf Course in Jamestown or Newport National Golf Club in Middletown, will be memorable. Cool off at a surf lesson from Rhody Surf before having a locally brewed beer at Newport Storm or Ragged Island Brewing Company. Get rolling on the historic railroad track that runs between the Sakonnet River Bridge and Melville with a six-mile ride on a pedal-powered open-air vehicle with Rail Explorers. Feel like taking it easy? In the summer months, enjoy picnicking and stomping the divots at a Newport International Polo game or grab your peanuts and popcorn and head to historic Cardines Field, home to Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Ahhhs and Oms

Take refuge year round at a luxurious onsite spa, such as a Milk and Honey Body Wrap at SpaFjör in Hotel Viking. Or relax at ANLI Spa with its Bridal Celebration Package that includes a facial, massage, manicure and pedicure. “A spa is a calming atmosphere for the bridal party to gather and rejuvenate,” says ANLI Spa Director Lindsey Graves. “Make sure your wedding day is seamless by confirming the spa services six weeks in advance.” Find the ultimate stress relief at Thames Street Yoga or The Island Heron before slipping into one of the mineral-infused hydrotherapies during a Water Journey at The Bodhi Spa and chill in its 2000-square-foot outdoor Zen garden. Get in touch with your other-worldly side with a private tarot card reading at Northern Lights Holistic in Portsmouth. “Tarot readings are always a big hit, as they discuss love, career and life purpose,” says co-owner Lisa Ashton. “We can go to a location or bridal parties can book a night here and enjoy readings, massages, reiki sessions as well.”

Surf & Turf

Since Newport is the sailing capital of the world, you’re nearly obligated to board one of the boats and cruise Narragansett Bay. Take advantage of picturesque scenes aboard the Schooner Adirondack II or Sightsailer harbor tour, or test your own skills with a hands-on lesson at New England Sailing Center. To challenge your sea legs further, stand up paddle boards and surfboards are available at Island Surf & Sport. Trying to stay dry? Sip various local wines and sample cheeses while you take in the lush, green views of Newport Vineyards, or hit the pavement on one of Newport Historical Society’s walking tours year round. If you’re interested in getting your step count up, stroll the Cliff Walk and admire the legendary mansions on one side and the vast, sparkling sea on the other.

Let It Snow

When the temperature drops, the fun doesn’t stop. Even if you’ve seen Newport’s mansions before, the beauty of the Breakers, Rosecliff, and Marble House is enhanced further when adorned with Christmas lights and covered in glimmering, powdered snow. For more enriching history and cinematic wonderment, the Jane Pickens Theater and Event Center offers film viewings and live shows no matter the season. Shop until you drop for yourself, or for holiday gifts, with most stores including Shore Soap Company, Michael Hayes, Lemon & Line, and Primavera staying open year round. Rev your engine at Newport Car Museum and Audrain Auto Museum, or get in touch with your creative side by strolling through the Newport Art Museum and perusing the Sheldon Art Gallery. Feeling cooped up inside? The Norman Bird Sanctuary trails are ideal for sunny winter days of hiking or snow shoeing. If a truly classic winter-in-New England experience is what you seek, lace up your skates at the Newport Skating Center.

Previously published in Newport Wedding Magazine 2018.

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