Stopping and shopping in Newport, RI

Hi!  As my post on shopping in Stockholm was so popular I thought I'd do another on shopping in one of my favorite New England coastal town, Newport RI.

Newport is the great mix of tourists and locals; everyone from sailors to heiresses to hairdressers; all intending to have a good time, with lots of beautiful service personnel and retail staff ready to help them do just that.  To say that there's a lot of stores is an understatement.  I took it as my personal mission to walk all of Thames, the main shopping street, and even I had to turn around after steeling myself with an iced latte to help me on the way back.

So much to choose from, and to be honest, lots of tchotchkes and t-shirts.  But never fear, I am here to help with my minimalist list of fun places to hit up for interesting Newport items!

1. Scrimshanders: 14 Bowen's Wharf, 401-849-5680, scrimshanders
Just like you wouldn't leave Venice without looking at the Venetian glass nor should you leave the Newport without seeing its scrimshaw.  A sketching on whalebone scrimshaw is a past art that is part of the New England heritage.  I thought that this store was interesting and stuffed to the gills!

2. Shore Soap - 302 Thames Street, 401-846-0305,
This is a handcrafted soap store with yummy smelling scents and great, affordable gifts for everyone on your list.  I especially liked Sea Goddess hard perfume and at only $10 for a little tub it would make a great stocking stuffer.

3. Style Newport, 305 Thames Street, 401.847.1470,
Jewelry with a distinctive nautical twist, here they use the nautical flags as an ingenious way to custom make your cuff links, rings, bracelets and more.  I thought it was unique, and as much as I like rope bracelets it was fun to see something new.

4. Lemon & Line, 421 Thames St, see website for more
The best of the rope bracelet stores with different styles of line, bracelet clasps and themes.  The service was gorgeous but nonchalant so I ended up not getting a rope belt that I had my eye on.  A mirror would be a definite improvement but otherwise the store was gorgeous and low key.
Time to eat!

There are many, many restaurants to whet your appetite but I recommend the classic Clarke Cooke House right on Bannister's Wharf.  One of the best known establishments it is the place to see and be seen, and the food is good if a little pricey.  If the pocketbook is light after all your shopping just head to the patio where they serve lighter fare, and sometimes even music like this delightful Dixie Land jazz band that was playing around town last weekend!  Of course if was the Newport International Boat Show so that may not happen all the time.  Into boats?  Me, not so much. Although I did take some great pictures of them, I wasn't into the $19.00 entrance fee and didn't really have the time to explore all that too!

I'm leaving you with one more suggestion in case you need new pants after all that good food, or a new outfit to hit the town. The quintessential shop for preppy must-haves that I found in my wanderings was this little place on Bowen's Wharf  called Chace n' Lulu.  Chace n' Lulu at 17 Bowen's Wharf (401-847-9151) will have everything that you need before hitting the Boom Boom Room.  (Like we did, but that's another story.) ;-)  And we enjoyed a great dinner before going out at Fluke which has delicious signature cocktails and a friendly staff that helps you feel right at home in Newport.  Pleasant shopping and Bon Apetit!
Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen - 41 Bowen's Wharf, Newport RI


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