"Isn't it just awful getting around here in the summer?"
When I bring buyers to see homes for sale in Newport, RI, I always get this question: "Isn't it just awful getting around here in the summer?"
I live in Newport, right downtown, and the truth is, it's NOT hard to get around in the summer, and by and large, traffic congestion is limited to weekends and the last two weeks of August when vacationing seems to reach its peak. That said, there are times when knowing your alternatives can save time and aggravation. Here are a few essential Newport short cuts. (Warning: share with discretion!)
SHORT CUT #1 - Bellevue / Memorial Intersection Work Around
We locals would never dream of going through the intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Memorial Boulevard, a.k.a. the Talbot's corner, in the summer. If you do this instead, the quality of your life will improve exponentially:
WHEN TRAVELING NORTH ON BELLEVUE: Turn right on Narragansett, then left onto Annandale. Proceed to the end of Annandale. Voila, you're on Memorial, and you saved yourself 3 crosswalks and one very nasty traffic light.
WHEN TRAVELING SOUTH ON BELLEVUE: Turn left on Kay St. in front of the Viking Hotel. Turn right on Rhode Island Ave. Proceed to the end of Rhode Island which brings you to Memorial Boulevard. WAY faster.
SHORT CUT # 2 - THE CAROLL AVE BEACH ZIP LANE
The beaches on the Ocean Drive are some of the most beautiful places in New England. Among these local treasures are Hazard's and Gooseberry Beaches located side by side on a breathtaking rocky cove next to uber-exclusive Price's Neck. Both are private, but here's a secret: If you pay to park at Gooseberry, guess what, you're in! You could be forgiven for thinking you must crawl there behind the 10 MPH tourists on Bellevue Ave. or (even worse) Thames Street, but... you would be wrong. Try this instead:
FROM DOWNTOWN: Get yourself to Narragansett Ave via Bellevue (see Shortcut 1 to avoid Talbot's intersection.) Proceed west on Narragansett until you get to Spring Street. Go left on Spring, right on Morton, and left onto Carroll Avenue in front of Blue Rocks Catering (Fab take out, BTW - stop and get lunch to go.) Proceed to the end of Carroll Avenue. Go right on Ocean Drive. Gooseberry will be on your left. Pay. Park. Enjoy. Your welcome.
SHORT CUT #3 - THE HIGHLAND DRIVE AUTOBAHN
Sooner or later everybody needs to go to the Middletown Shopping Center home of the Christmas Tree Shop, Safeway, Kinkos, Middletown Post Office and other essential retail establishments. Most people take East or West Main Roads to get there, but there is a nearly deserted road in-between these main drags that avoids all the lights and all the traffic gliding you right into the back of the parking lot.
FROM NEWPORT: Head east on Kay Street and proceed to the end (It curves left becoming Kay Blvd.; just stay with it until it ends.) Take a right onto Boulevard, proceed through two stop signs. take your first right onto Highland Drive and cruise on into the shopping center.
SHORT CUT #4 - THE NEVER-STOP (WARNING: ADVANCED)
This maneuver takes you from Valley Rd. back into Newport via three consecutive intersections where everyone EXCEPT you has a stop sign. Suppress the urge to give a little Queen Elizabeth wave as your vehicular "opponents" defer, and you cruise through unopposed. It just doesn't get any better than this...
TRAVELING NORTH OR SOUTH ON VALLEY RD. (Valley Road, runs along the east side of the reservoir). Turn west at the intersection of Valley Rd. and Green End Ave. Using your left turn signal, bear left up Green End Ave. At the end of Green End Ave. you'll think you have to stop. Wrong. Turn left onto Bliss Rd., bear right around the curve, and turn left again (don't stop) onto Kay Boulevard. Bear right on Kay Boulevard which turns into Kay Street and leads you back to town. Aforementioned shortcuts may be layered on for added time-saving at this point.
These tips are not available in any store, and they WILL enhance your Newport experience. Feel free to share your own favorites below.