We have some friends in Lincoln RI who love to bring their young children to our lake while we get away to their time share unit at the Bay Voyage in Jamestown. We have done this three times now and it has been a complete success every time. The Inn sits on the edge of Newport Harbor and has a great view of the Newport Bridge.
Most people know Jamestown as some island you have to cross to get to Newport. They never stop to explore the quaint town center with its many shops and restaurants or drive out to see the natural beauty of Beaver Tail Light at its southern tip.
That’s a shame, because Jamestown has its own pace of life – far slower than frenetic Newport and more in touch with the beauty of Narragansett Bay.
This year, 6 year old granddaughter Lillian shared three of the days with us. We spent time playing in the surf and building sand castles at Second Beach. When we weren’t at the beach, we were in the pool at the Bay Voyage. Lillian isn’t afraid to get her face wet any more which is an important first step in becoming an accomplished swimmer. She’s been taking swimming lessons and they have really helped.
Our room had a great view of Newport Harbor and the Newport Bridge. Every night, we were treated to a panorama of colorful sailboats competing in regattas, their sails etched against the skyline. One night I woke up at 3:00 am. Something told me to look out the window and when I did, I saw a lovely crescent moon floating in the night sky above the span of the bridge. I grabbed my camera.
On our last morning, we heard a cannon being fired at Fort Adams across the Bay. When we looked out, the aircraft carrier Saratoga was slipping under the bridge on its way to Galveston to be scrapped. Fort Adams was paying tribute to this famous fighting ship as it started its final journey. A few minutes later, another cannon at Fort Wetherall on the Jamestown side of the harbor joined in the salute to the Saratoga. It was a pretty impressive sight.
The key to enjoying Jamestown is having a Rhode Island EZ Pass for your car. Without it, a trip over to Newport and back costs $8.00. With it, the toll is a mere 82 cents each way.
We have become quite adept at wending our way to the beaches and to Sail Newport at Fort Adams without getting ensnared in the famous Newport traffic. For the casual tourist, getting into downtown Newport and finding a parking space can be daunting. So we edge around the perimeter and eat at restaurants that are less trendy but offer parking at the door.
We have gotten quite fond of Jamestown, which seems comfortable living in the reflection of its more famous neighbor across the harbor. Where Newport glitters with mega-yachts and mansions, Jamestown exudes a more quiet charm composed of country roads, lush fields and historic houses.
It’s a special place that you don’t have to be titan of industry or movie star to enjoy. There are some things that money can’t buy.