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Boston, Cape Cod & Islands Planning Tips and Fast Facts

Drift from Gilded Mansions to Seaside Shacks and Sand Dunes to Tidal Flats.. a Delight in Every Harbor

Our Expert Opinion

Oozing with historic charm as well as endless beaches and shoreside activities, this is a superb summer destination for families. The Newport Jazz festival is a summer highlight, and yachts can anchor right off of the festivities. The pristine islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are not to be missed.

What is Destination Known For?

Windswept beaches, sand dunes, lobsters and lighthouses, the yachting capital of America, historic homes, salt water taffy, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Yankee hospitality, hiking, biking, watersports, shopping, fine dining, clam shacks, and exhilarating sailing.

Location and Size

Newport, Rhode Island is located about 74 miles (119 km.) south of Boston (USA). It has an area of 11.3 sq. miles (29.5 sq.km.). Cape Cod and the Islands have an area of 339 sq. miles (880 sq. km) are spread out in the Atlantic Ocean and are part of the state of Massachusetts.

History

Five thousand years before the English arrived at Newport in 1639, the region had been inhabited by indigenous tribes, who had established sophisticated land management and fishing practices. Newport was found on the basis of liberty of conscience and religion as well as the separation of church and state, and it became one of the first secular communities in the New World. This led to the migration of a number of freedom seeking settlers to Newport, including the Quakers and the Jews, who together transformed the small agricultural town into a major seaport of colonial America.

During the Revolutionary War, from 1776 to 1779, Britain occupied Newport and their belligerence led to an exodus that reduced the population in half. After the war, Newport suffered irreparable economic damage and was bypassed by industrialization. This led the town to transform itself into a wealthy summer resort where many of Americas elite families built extraordinary mansions as well as the establishment of the New York Yacht Club in Newport and the famed America’s Cup.

Newport’s roots have always been tied to the sea through fishing, the U.S. Naval Academy, and yachting events. The 21st century Newport is renowned as a charming summer resort whose preserved architecture narrates its story of exemplary resilience.

Getting There

Newport is conveniently located about 30 miles from Green Airport (PVD) in Providence, RI, and 70 miles from Logan Airport in Boston, MA. Hyannis, MA, one of the gateways to the Cape Cod Islands is also about 70 miles from Boston.

Best Time to Go

Late-spring, summer and early-fall, when the weather is most pleasant, are the best times to plan Newport getaways and vacations.

Local Customs to Observe

Newport, Cape Cod and The Islands follow the same social etiquettes as the rest of the Western World.

Helpful Fast Facts

Currency: US Dollars.

Time Zone: UTC-05:00.

Local language: English.

Population: Newport: 24,000; Cape Cod and the Islands: Approximately 225,000

Airport: The nearest airport is the Theodore Francis Green Memorial State Airport (PVD) at Providence, which connects the region to various locations. Logan Airport (BOS) in Boston is 70 miles away

Entry Requirements: US and Canadian citizens do not need a passport to travel to Newport, Cape Cod and the Islands. A valid passport is however required by all other nationals. Citizens of the member countries of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) can stay here for up to 90 days without a visa. The VWP includes Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Departure Tax: None.

Legal Drinking Age: 21 years.

Smoking Regulations: Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places and in public transports at Newport, Cape Cod and The Islands.

Staying in touch: Superior landline and mobile services cover Newport, Cape Cod and the Islands, with international roaming plans allowing cheaper calls from cell phones. Internet coverage is also very good and most important places offer Wi-Fi services.

Medical Information: The Newport Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and the Roger Williams Medical Center are some of the well-known hospitals in the

region offering specialized services.

Public Holidays: January 1 - New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day (the third Monday in January), Presidents' Day & Washington's Birthday (the third Monday in February), Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), July 4 - Independence Day, Labor Day (the first Monday in September), Columbus Day (the second Monday in October), Veterans' Day/Armistice Day (November 11), Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November) and December 25 - Christmas.

Tourist Office: Detailed information pertaining to tourist activities and things to do in Newport, Cape Cod and The Islands can be found at http://www.discovernewport.org/.

Shopping Information: A number of shopping outlets exist across Newport. Haute bags, fashionable clothing, original art, accessories and rare antiques are most popular among shoppers.

Top Ten "Must Do's"

With world-class historical sites, tranquil beaches, quirky festivals, delightful vineyards and amazing marine sanctuaries, there's never a shortage of things to do in Cape Cod and The Islands.

  • Take a tour of the historic mansions in Newport
  • Test your tennis savvy at the world's largest tennis museum – International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Bike along the seashore from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard
  • Order some fried clams on the wharf in Cuttyhunk
  • Enjoy an afternoon at Cisco Brewery on Nantucket – don’t miss the Lobster Food Truck
  • Take the Pirates & Scoundrels Walking Tour to Newport's rebellious past
  • Take a sunrise run on Race Point Beach in Provincetown
  • Watch for spouting whales as you sail through the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary
  • Break out the paddle boards and explore the winding waters at Hadley Harbor
  • Grab some freshly baked croissants at Pie in the Sky in Woods Hole

Major Local and Regional Events

  • Newport Jazz Festival – a three day musical festival held early August
  • Newport Folk Festival – held every July, it features folk artists and newcomers

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