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Three Favorite Cities for a Long Weekend Visit

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8893

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I wonder what today's kids think of the ridiculousness of the mansions and the often un-PC ways the money to buy those manses was earned.

Been to Newburyport a few times in the 80s as an ex-wife's aunt lived there. Never gave it a thought as a weekend destination. I'd think Portsmouth would be more interesting for teens, but I don't have teens so what do I know.
It's funny you mention that. Our 14-year old is in many ways the most grounded of our three daughters, but she's also the only one who has been raised 100% on social media and in the Keeping up with the Kardashians world, and she is pretty obsessed with the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" type stuff, including browsing real estate listings all the time and fawning over huge estates and mansions.

So...my wife thought that something like the mansion tour might appeal to her.
 
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It is a UConn board, but it's quite obvious that many here no longer live in CT.

One doesn't really do long weekend drives from Pittsburgh as a four-hour drive gets you nothing better than Cleveland, Detroit or Buffalo. DC and Toronto are about 4.5 hours.

If memory serves me right, isn't Bar Harbor about a seven hour drive from Stamford?
Yep, I can get from Chicago to Mexico City quicker than I could get from CT. to Bar Harbor.
 
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Thoughts on Newport, RI for a weekend in late September for wedding anniversary, with wife, 14-year old daughter and one of her friends?

I've been there maybe twice for a total of 24 hours or less.

We also considering Newburyport, MA and Portsmouth, NH.
Better food in Portsmouth, but more to see in Newport. Not familiar with Newburyport.
 

8893

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Better food in Portsmouth, but more to see in Newport. Not familiar with Newburyport.
Thanks. Newport is tentatively booked. Waiting for confirmation from AirBnB.

A good friend has a place in Newburyport and another good friend goes there often; I hadn't considered it but when I searched AirBnB for places in Portsmouth, a really nice place in Newburyport was the first thing that popped up. But that has since been rented.

We've stopped in Portsmouth a few times for lunch en route home from Maine and really liked it, but we've never really spent any time in Newport and we always give it short shrift so we figured we'd give it a shot this time. For two nights I figure we can find enough decent food and things for all to enjoy.
 
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Thanks. Newport is tentatively booked. Waiting for confirmation from AirBnB.

A good friend has a place in Newburyport and another good friend goes there often; I hadn't considered it but when I searched AirBnB for places in Portsmouth, a really nice place in Newburyport was the first thing that popped up. But that has since been rented.

We've stopped in Portsmouth a few times for lunch en route home from Maine and really liked it, but we've never really spent any time in Newport and we always give it short shrift so we figured we'd give it a shot this time. For two nights I figure we can find enough decent food and things for all to enjoy.
If it's a nice day, eat lunch outside at Castle Hill.
 

storrsroars

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It's funny you mention that. Our 14-year old is in many ways the most grounded of our three daughters, but she's also the only one who has been raised 100% on social media and in the Keeping up with the Kardashians world, and she is pretty obsessed with the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" type stuff, including browsing real estate listings all the time and fawning over huge estates and mansions.

So...my wife thought that something like the mansion tour might appeal to her.
So in four years
she's going to vote for Trump's third term, eh?
 
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Thanks. Newport is tentatively booked. Waiting for confirmation from AirBnB.

A good friend has a place in Newburyport and another good friend goes there often; I hadn't considered it but when I searched AirBnB for places in Portsmouth, a really nice place in Newburyport was the first thing that popped up. But that has since been rented.

We've stopped in Portsmouth a few times for lunch en route home from Maine and really liked it, but we've never really spent any time in Newport and we always give it short shrift so we figured we'd give it a shot this time. For two nights I figure we can find enough decent food and things for all to enjoy.
Portsmouth is a really nice town but outside of getting a nice lunch/dinner and walking around going into the stores it doesn't seem like there's a ton to see and do. Newport seems like a better option with a kid that age, I remember being amazed by all the mansions and ocean views the first time I saw it as a kid.
 

8893

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So in four years
she's going to vote for Trump's third term, eh?
It would be a hard row to hoe in our family and she has more empathy than anyone, so I don't see it happening, but I never say never about anything.

One of my friends and longtime clients always says that we will all be working for her one day.
 
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Thanks. Newport is tentatively booked. Waiting for confirmation from AirBnB.

A good friend has a place in Newburyport and another good friend goes there often; I hadn't considered it but when I searched AirBnB for places in Portsmouth, a really nice place in Newburyport was the first thing that popped up. But that has since been rented.

We've stopped in Portsmouth a few times for lunch en route home from Maine and really liked it, but we've never really spent any time in Newport and we always give it short shrift so we figured we'd give it a shot this time. For two nights I figure we can find enough decent food and things for all to enjoy.
Cliff Walk/Mansion Tours and enough of downtown shops and wharf shops to wander around to make it worthwhile. Lot of pop in bars as well.

Check out the outdoor bar/fire pit area @ Gurneys in Goat Island. We stayed @ the Marriott last December and wandered over to Gurneys because they had outdoor “igloo” setups which were really cool.
 
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Cliff Walk/Mansion Tours and enough of downtown shops and wharf shops to wander around to make it worthwhile. Lot of pop in bars as well.

Check out the outdoor bar/fire pit area @ Gurneys in Goat Island. We stayed @ the Marriott last December and wandered over to Gurneys because they had outdoor “igloo” setups which were really cool.
Tennis HOF might be worth checking out too. I've never been but I'm a huge fan of the sport.
 

8893

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Thanks @Excalibur , @huskymedic and @superjohn . We are booked for Newport and I have taken note of the recs.

If you guys or anyone else have any to add, I'm all ears.

I'm sure I will have some recs of my own upon our return. My niece just moved there and her fiance has lived there for several years so they have sent along an e-mail full of things to do as well.
 

Fishy

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Newport is kinda boring. The teens won’t care how the mansions were bought, but they also won’t want to spend a weekend touring them.

There are probably a hundred places better. I would do Portsmouth....also not perfect for teens, but at least you could occupy them with one of the bike tours and then take them across the bridge to the outlets.
 

8893

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Newport is kinda boring. The teens won’t care how the mansions were bought, but they also won’t want to spend a weekend touring them.

There are probably a hundred places better. I would do Portsmouth....also not perfect for teens, but at least you could occupy them with one of the bike tours and then take them across the bridge to the outlets.
We simply could not be more different.
In my habit of considering the source, I'm going to take this as a sign that I made the right choice in booking Newport.
 

Fishy

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In my habit of considering the source, I'm going to take this as a sign that I made the right choice in booking Newport.
It’ll be awful.

This is the vacation that will make the kids realize that they no longer want to vacation with you.
 

8893

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It’ll be awful.

This is the vacation that will make the kids realize that they no longer want to vacation with you.
Well at least only one of them is coming on this one.

If nothing else, it's looking like I can eat myself into a seafood coma while I'm there. And probably bankrupt myself doing it.
 

storrsroars

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Well at least only one of them is coming on this one.

If nothing else, it's looking like I can eat myself into a seafood coma while I'm there. And probably bankrupt myself doing it.
Matunuck Oyster Bar runs a tour of their oyster farm. And the oysters are only $1.85 each. If I had a 14 year old, I'd consider this a rite of passage to adulthood.
 

8893

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Matunuck Oyster Bar runs a tour of their oyster farm. And the oysters are only $1.85 each. If I had a 14 year old, I'd consider this a rite of passage to adulthood.
At age five, she was the only person other than me to eat--and love--lardo when we did a tour of the cinta senese facilities on the property where we were staying in Siena. Started by seeing all the pigs out on the property, including the cute baby ones; then seeing the meat hanging; then eating all the different cuts with an explanation and drawing of which part they came from.

At like 11:00 a.m.

She and the other daughters also joined me in eating donkey a couple weeks later in Piemonte. Braised in barolo. Tasted like good stewed beef.

Mrs. 8893 would have none of it.
 
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storrsroars

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Given American's love of fatty stuff, I'm amazed lardo never really caught on here. Spread some on fresh crusty bread rubbed with garlic and lemon and it's heaven.

Good for your kids.

Don't feel bad about your wife though. My wife wouldn't take a bite of my horsemeat in Verona and refused to let me buy a tripe sandwich at Mercato Centrale in Florence because she refused to be near me eating it.
 
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8893

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Given American's love of fatty stuff, I'm amazed lardo never really caught on here. Spread some on fresh crusty bread rubbed with garlic and lemon and it's heaven.

Good for your kids.

Don't feel bad about your wife though. My wife wouldn't take a bite of my horsemeat in Verona and refused to let me buy a tripe sandwich at Mercato Centrale in Florence because she refused to be near me eating it.
My wife is pretty good about most of it. She guilts me about veal (except in Italy, where it means something a little different) but she's good with all seafood and most other stuff I like.

I had dinner with my oldest daughter at Tagliata in Baltimore a few weeks ago (it kills me that she lives there and eats NO seafood), and I had an order of their Squid Ink Campanelle, with fresh blue crab, sea urchin cream sauce, chili, basil and bread crumbs. In a meal full of highlights it was the standout for me.

Anyway, our waiter was telling us about a private event that he had done with the chef/owner the weekend prior where a guy paid them $500 per head for a dinner for eight people for his wife's birthday. He said the best taste of the night was some item the chef concocted from lardo and sea urchin, which is apparently loaded with fat as well. It sounded like an umami fat surf and turf.
 
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I just spent a night in Portsmouth this weekend. It was nice and had a great meal. The restaurants and shops were open but the arts-related stuff wasn't. Newport was nice but a bit boring when we went a few years ago in May. Luckily it was a stopover day for some around-the-world yacht race so there was a lot of color in town. The tip I can remember is a shack near some little beach that sells lobster rolls 2 at a time for cheap. A great snack.
 
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Going with cities, i.e. +100K or more, and relatively quick easy to get to from the Northeast as its a just a long weekend, though excluding NYC and Boston, as its just for a long weekend....
  • Philly - agree with others as the City Center is walkable, has a good food scene and some top-notch museums along with a lot of history
  • DC - Also walkable, better transit system than Philly, a lot of the Museums are great and free (though the Newsuem, a paid museum, closed last year)
  • Toronto - Do need to cross a border and the winters can be rough, but in the spring and most fo the summer, its great weather, a thriving and diverse food scene, a energetic nightlife, and easy to get around on foot downtown
  • Quebec City - A good romantic getaway for couples, small, lively city, Montmorency Falls is also nearby along with a few modest ski hills in the winter
  • Charleston SC/Savannah GA - Both small, souther cities tahta re walkable, lively, and historic with direct flight avilabel from NYC and Boston airports
 
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Can't do it. Still recovering from whatever bug/parasite I caught there in 2015.
Drink more tequila, spent 18 months traveling back and forth to Mexico City, Toronto, and Detroit for work from my home at the time in Boston.

Mexico City was fun. Stayed in Polanco at the JW. Safe neighborhood with bars, restaurants and big park next door (home to a lot of military parades and drills). Was able to walk to my company's office about a 1/2 mile way with no problem, which w god because my colleague woudl take me to a range of local spots after hours from some good food. Was even in town for an (small earthquake) and thought about going to a national team soccer match at Estadio Azteca; but was talked out of it by my company's security office. Only downside was getting to the client office, which was about 8 miles (1 hour) and took about 90 minutes each way to reach as its one of 2 cities I have been to that I refused to drive in (Mumbai being the other) as local drivers are insane. And, accidentally ate a handful of fired hot peppers thinking they were green beans instead, whoops. And I only drank bottle water and had enjough tequlia every night to kill any bugs, or so I said.
 
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Drink more tequila, spent 18 months traveling back and forth to Mexico City, Toronto, and Detroit for work from my home at the time in Boston.

Mexico City was fun. Stayed in Polanco at the JW. Safe neighborhood with bars, restaurants and big park next door (home to a lot of military parades and drills). Was able to walk to my company's office about a 1/2 mile way with no problem, which w god because my colleague woudl take me to a range of local spots after hours from some good food. Was even in town for an (small earthquake) and thought about going to a national team soccer match at Estadio Azteca; but was talked out of it by my company's security office. Only downside was getting to the client office, which was about 8 miles (1 hour) and took about 90 minutes each way to reach as its one of 2 cities I have been to that I refused to drive in (Mumbai being the other) as local drivers are insane. And, accidentally ate a handful of fired hot peppers thinking they were green beans instead, whoops. And I only drank bottle water and had enjough tequlia every night to kill any bugs, or so I said.
Traffic there and in Mumbai (really all of India) is insane. But if I ever need to start a NASCAR team, I'm recruiting Indian cab drivers.
 

storrsroars

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Traffic there and in Mumbai (really all of India) is insane.
Much like people not on the coasts complain about Boston or NYC or LA, driving in Mexico City isn't as awful as all that. Drivers are fairly reliable in the crap they pull, so you learn to expect it. Everyone is aggressive, not unlike NYC or Boston.

I drove to work every day for a year and the only dent I got was actually my fault, rearending someone while we were going 3 mph in bumper to bumper traffic (in Polanco, no less) because I was talking to a passenger. Honestly, I think driivng in Pittsburgh is worse because there's no consistency - you're just as likely to get cut off by a jag as you are to have to screech to a stop because some old lady is afraid to merge and just stops in the middle of a busy road.
 

Fishy

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Honestly, the worst drivers on the planet are likely in Connecticut.

No other place can reliably generate traffic jams on dry, straight roads.
 

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