A parking lot dotted with cars with Connecticut license plates, many of them with frames that read “Gengras, Schaller, and Hoffman.” Beachgoers with Hartford Whalers hats and UConn t-shirts. A CVS where the Hartford Courant sells out every morning. Where am I?
Not in Connecticut, but rather Newport, Rhode Island, known as the “city by the sea.” For more and more people it is becoming “Hartford-by-sea.” Only 87 miles from downtown to downtown, Newport is loaded with vacationers from Metro Hartford, and across the state, many who have summer homes and cottages there. Kara and I have been vacationing in Newport for years, and we constantly run into people from our capital city and its suburbs. Just this past weekend we ran into New Britain native Tebucky Jones. Former Hartford Whalers owner Richard Gordon can also be spotted in town. A popular restaurant on famous Thames Street is owned by Lisa Wilson-Foley and her husband Brian, and a well known West Hartford family, the Zyskowskis of Central Optica, runs an inn in town. The Newport Winefest is run by Hartford Magazine publisher Michael Guinan.
I wasn’t kidding about the Courant selling out at CVS. If you’re not there early, you’re not going to get a copy.
Newport is popular among people from our area because of its attractions and proximity. Growing up in suburban Boston, we used to go to the Cape…still a great place, but a tough commute from Hartford. Newport also seems to have something for everyone. The downtown is very walkable with shops and restaurants. The beaches have plenty of parking. There are plenty of nightclubs for young people, and attractions (the mansions) when it rains.