Baby boomers cruising through New England on a fall RV vacation adventure, should put Newport, Rhode Island and the International Tennis Hall of Fame on their itinerary. In today’s guest post, Joe Laing of El Monte RV Rentals, tells us why.
While there are dozens of fascinating reasons to visit Newport, any tennis-loving boomer will be especially thrilled by the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Roam the halls of the National Historic Landmark that houses the museum. Seeing tributes to such tennis greats as Billie Jean King, Rod Laver and Jon McEnroe, will bring back memories for sure. With so much to see, do and experience at this museum, it’s no wonder it has long been a cherished destination for travelers.
Mapping Your Drive to Newport, Rhode Island
It may be located on the scenic shores of Goat Island, but Newport is easy to reach. From Boston, it’s a quick trip in your RV down MA-24. To reach Newport from New York, zip up the coastline on I-95. Major interstates I-90 and I-80 are your routes from the Great Lakes region. Split the trip into two days of incredibly scenic driving from the southern tip of Florida. With such easy access, there’s really no reason not to travel to Newport by RV.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame Experience
The Hall of Fame is, of course, just one impressive structure among hundreds in the Newport area. Surrounded by historic mansions and the beauty of Narragansett Bay, baby boomer visitors can while away hours simply enjoying the scenery.
Housed in what was originally Newport Casino, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum offers visitors twenty thousand square feet of exhibits and tennis-centered experiences. On your boomer visit, be sure to purchase a $3 grounds pass for access to the exquisitely landscaped tennis courts and the entire casino grounds. If you’re traveling with the grand-kids, check with the museum about specially-planned scavenger hunts to enrich their museum experience.
Within the museum’s eighteen galleries, you’ll see memorabilia, exhibits and presentations celebrating the sport all the way back to its twelfth century beginnings. In addition, the facility’s Hall of Fame celebrates the greats in tennis from around the world. There’s simply no better place to learn about the sport’s history and the players who have made it an international obsession.
Take your baby boomer visit to a higher level by reserving time on the historic clay tennis courts where American tournament tennis began. Playing a set at the Newport Casino Lawn Tennis Club will give sports fans an experience they will long remember. So, when planning your RV camping trip, be sure to reserve time on the courts.
Visit the Playground of Tycoons
While in Newport, boomers should schedule time to tour the mansions of Newport, another must-see attraction. Newport is well known as the summer playground of the wealthy during the Gilded Age. It was here that some of the nation’s wealthiest individuals chose to build their summer “cottages” in the mid to late 19th century. To the rest of us, who live on tighter budgets, these “cottages” are truly spectacular mansions. With names like The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Chateau-sur-Mer, Kingscote, Isaac Bell House, Hunter House, and Chepstow, the mansions will astound you with the opulence and wealth that is on display. The most spectacular “must see” house is The Breakers, a 70 room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo built for Cornelius Vanderbilt II. All of the mansions, though, make for a wonderful tour and display many different architectural styles and personal tastes.
If you happen to be traveling in the summer, there are several wonderful public beaches in and near Newport. The city is also home to excellent dining, music festivals and a quaint cobblestone downtown with shops and galleries to keep boomers busy for days.
Visiting Newport by RV
For those of you traveling to the Newport area by RV, there are a few RV campgrounds in the greater Newport area:
- Fort Getty Camp Ground, operated by the town of Jamestown
- Melville Ponds Campground, owned by the Town of Portsmouth
- Second Beach Campground in Middletown (401-846-6273)
Be forewarned that downtown Newport can get congested. I suggest checking ahead with the Newport Police Department on places to park, especially if you are traveling in a large Class A motorhome.
International Hall of Fame photo courtesy Smart Destinations
Newport photo courtesy David Houston
Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. Joe offered solid information about traveling to the Newport, Rhode Island by RV camper that we thought our baby boomer readers would enjoy.
Have you visited Newport, Rhode Island? What was your experience touring the International Tennis Hall of Fame or the opulent mansions? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.