Get to Know Treading Water!
The series that started Marie’s career as an author in 2004-2005, The Treading Water series contains her first three books: Treading Water, Marking Time and Starting Over as well as Coming Home, a book her readers asked her to write to finish a story begun in Marking Time. Find out more about the impact Treading Water has had on Marie’s career and how she named her company for Jack, her architect in Treading Water.
A Bit About Newport
Newport, RI is a stunning seaside city with impressively gilded mansions, great restaurants, a cobblestone downtown and a huge sailing community. No wonder so many of Marie’s scenes are inspired by Newport. Treading Water, Georgia on My Mind, The Fall and Love at First Flightare either set in Newport or include visits to the city. Tourists can sightsee and participate in many events while also allowing the scenes from Marie’s stories to come to life, again.
How to get there
Newport is located 23 miles south of Providence, RI and about 60 miles south of Boston, MA.
By Air: T.F. Green Airport just outside of Providence, RI, is 26 miles from Newport and is serviced by major domestic airlines. From the airport, visitors may take Orange Cab of Newport, a public transportation bus, or a rental vehicle.
Logan International Airport in Boston, MA is 75 miles from Newport and depending on traffic, which could be significant during peak season in the summer, it may take an hour-and-a-half to get to Newport. Public transportation and car rentals are available. You can book round trip transportation to Newport via the Peter Pan bus line. Prices vary depending on your arrival date and time. For more information and to book, click here.
By Bus: Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence is a hub for the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority public transportation. For a list of schedules between Providence and Newport, please visit this site.
A mega bus is available between Manhattan, NY and Newport (180 miles, 4 hours). For more information please visit this site.
By car: Newport is on Aquidneck Island, which also houses the towns of Portsmouth and Middletown, Marie’s home town. If driving to Newport you will need to take a bridge to get to the island (the bridges aren’t very long) and there may be tolls depending on which bridge you take. Once in Newport, please know that parking can be challenging. Click here for travel tips.
By Rail: There are two Amtrak train stations nearby. The West Kingston station, which does not have car rentals, is 18 miles from Newport. To get to Newport from the station, there are public buses and a reserved car service. The Providence station is 34 miles away. There are several car rental agencies near the Providence station.
For more information, maps and directions, please visit the Discover Newport website.
By ferry: A seasonal Hi-Speed ferry service operates between Fall River, MA, downtown Newport and Block Island from mid June to September. In addition, there are other harbor vessels that can help tourists get a different view of Newport. For more information, please visit the Discover Newport site.
Where to Stay
There are so many options for accommodations in the Newport area—large chain hotels and motels, quaint bed & breakfasts and inns. You can even volunteer to be a lighthouse keeper for the night!
As a resort location, Newport can be very expensive, even in the off season. Marie recommends these two lodging choices in an effort to provide pricing options suitable for varying budgets.
The Newport Marriott is located in the downtown waterfront area with very close proximity to shopping, dining and the harbor.
The Best Western Mainstay Inn is located a few miles from downtown and offers a more affordable option. The hotel has a shuttle that will take you to downtown Newport for a small fee or you may drive or take a taxi. Please call 401-849-9880 for more information or go to your favorite hotel reservation website like Kayak, Reservations.com, Orbitz or Expedia.
For more information about the abundance of accommodations in the Newport area, please visit the Discover Newport website.
Best Time of the Year to Go to Newport
The busiest months are May through September, but weather is conducive to sightseeing and events most of the year. Keep in mind that Newport is a tourist destination, so shopping in downtown can be crowded. Visits to the world-famous mansions can also be crowded and scheduling tours in advance is advised. Make sure to make reservations for dinner, too.
On average, the warmest month is July (average high 78 degrees F but can be in the 90s and very humid as late as September) and the coolest is February (average high is 39 degrees F). The most precipitation occurs in March.
Here are some fun Newport weather facts, compliments of Weather.com.
Things to Do in Newport
Aside from visiting the spots that inspired Marie’s books, there are a ton of fun and informative activities in Newport.
A trip to Newport wouldn’t be complete without a stroll on the Cliff Walk and a tour of at least one of the gilded-age mansions, playground to the most wealthy families in the country, that will help you visualize an era of aristocracy and wealth. To learn more about the mansions, please visit http://www.newportmansions.org/. Marie’s favorite is The Breakers.
While visiting historic sites, you may want to stop by St. Mary’s, the church where John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier on Sept. 12, 1953.
Take a stroll to the city’s waterfront, where you’ll find a variety of restaurants, shops and other interesting sights. Watch the boats go by—or better yet, take a charter tour and see Newport from the water on Narragansett Bay.
When all that touring and walking and sightseeing causes your stomach to growl (or maybe you’re a tad thirsty), there are plenty of restaurants and pubs that serve a wide variety of fare. You’ll find clam chowder on the menu in just about every restaurant you encounter, along with lobster rolls and stuffed clams or “stuffies.”
There are also wineries, art, comedy and concerts—even polo and tennis on grass courts at the International Tennis Hall of Fame! Check out the calendar of events.
For more information about things to do in Newport, please visit Discover Newport. They have a downtown office located next to the Marriott where you can pick up information and schedule tours.