Feature Story

Summer Guide

We survived the worst winter. The worst. Put that behind you, because this is the season you need to remember. The warm days, the cool breezes, the sand, the water, the chowder, the parades, the …


We survived the worst winter. The worst. Put that behind you, because this is the season you need to remember. The warm days, the cool breezes, the sand, the water, the chowder, the parades, the day-to-day moments that remind us how amazing this state can be. Soak it up, because it’s officially the best summer of your life.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, luxurious staycations or family-friendly activities, we’ve got your back all summer long. Speaking of your back, don’t forget the SPF.

Be a Summer VIP

Want to know how the 1% summers? First off, they use the word as a verb. And then they drink like royalty, host barbecues without lifting a spatula and hobnob with the right crowds. Here’s how you, too, can be a summer VIP.

Sip the day away at high tea

Step into the Victorian age for an intimate tasting at the Tea Room in the Spring Seasons Inn. Handpick your own antique teacup and indulge on petite treats set on laced-covered tables. $17.95. Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm. 86 Spring Street, Newport. 401-849-0004, www.springseasonsinn.com

High tea gets a little, well, higher at the Royal Tea at The Hotel Viking’s One Bellevue Restaurant. Delicate tea breads, pastries and the drink itself are all up for the sampling, then topped off with a glass of champagne. $17.95-$26.95. Daily from 2-4pm. 1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 401-847-3300, www.hotelviking.com

The afternoon beverage is the centerpiece of the 24th annual Garden Party. Guests don festive and fun hats while throwing back the traditional English cream tea. A flower festival, pony rides, a silent auction and more round out the merriment. June 6. 1-5pm. Saint Columba’s Chapel, 55 Vaucluse Avenue, Middletown. 401-847-5571, www.stcolumbaschapel.org

Have the gourmands come to you

Summer VIPs cannot spend their precious time flipping burgers at a grill, so they call in the pros at Preppy Pig BBQ. Authentic Southern barbecue, like slow cooked pulled pork and brisket, cornbread and finger-licking fixings, allows you to throw the best backyard bash without ruffling your Lilly Pulitzer frock. Pricing varies on party size and menu. 75 Tupelo Street, Bristol. 888-330-7063, www.preppypigbbq.com

Who doesn’t love a clam boil? The poor commoner who has to assemble it, that’s who. Fret not, because Compton Clambakes brings the quintessential New England cooking method and cuisine right to you with their Traveling Clambake. Pricing varies on party size and menu. Little Compton. 401-635-4114, www.comptonclambakes.com

Get your fancy pants on for some highfalutin fun

Don your finest fascinator and Nantucket reds and head to the VIP Lounge at Newport Polo. The all-inclusive day pass includes hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails and preferred seating for the famed international matches. $50 on select Saturdays. June-August. Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth. 401-846-0200, www.nptpolo.com

Rub elbows with yachting’s elite at the Annual Summer Gala at the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Revel in a night of dancing, dinner and drinks right on Bristol Harbor. $250. June 20. 6:30-11pm. One Burnside Street, Bristol. 401-253-5000, www.herreshoff.org

Enjoy the Ocean State the only dignified way – on the water itself. If your vessel is out of commission this summer, Narragansett Charters offers a fleet that can be rented by the week. You’ll surely to hit the summer jackpot cruising the nearby islands on Luck be a Lady, a Hunter 41DS that’s equipped with two staterooms and air conditioning. $3,750 per week. 101 Narragansett Avenue, Barrington. 401-250-5496, www.narragansettcharters.com

Keep Your Family on the Move

Trying to keep both adults and kids entertained is no easy feat. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of plans bound to keep your whole clan happy as clams. From festivals to fireworks, everyone will be sleeping soundly at the end of your exhilarating summer days.

Cheap (and free) thrills

Hand-crafted by famed artisan Charles Looff, the Crescent Park Carousel is as gorgeous as its bucolic surroundings. But best of all, a ride around – and a chance of a free ride if you grab the brass ring – is still only a buck. $1 per ride, ticket packs available. 700 Bullocks Point Avenue, Riverside. www.eastprovidence.com

Sunday dinner tastes so much better when it’s free. Get up to two kids meals for the bubble with the purchase of an adult entrée at Bluewater Grille and Bar. Beautiful table views of the Barrington Harbor are also gratis. Sundays. $32. Barton Avenue, Barrington. 401-247-0017, www.bluewatergrillri.com

Just shy of 14 miles, The East Bay Bike Path weaves through parks, town centers and scenic quiet pockets starting (or ending) in Bristol all the way through India Point Park in Providence. It’s the ultimate family-friendly triple threat: fun, healthy and free. www.riparks.com

Fun for all at daylong festivals

Picturesque Tiverton Four Corners makes for the perfect backdrop for the 28th annual Arts and Artisan Festival. Upwards of 100 New England craft-makers display their work, while local musicians and food trucks keep the rest of your senses teased. Free. July 18. 10am-4pm. 3998 Main Road, Tiverton. www.artsandartisanfestival.com

Ferris wheel. Candy apples. Goldfish in plastic bags. There’s really nothing like a carnival that can all at once take you back to your childhood while making new memories. Rockwell Amusements brings the action to Bristol as part of its Independence Day extravaganza. June 29-July 4. Bristol Town Common, 328 High Street, Bristol. 401-523-6914, www.july4thbristolri.com

Party animals are welcome at the Green Animal Topiary Gardens’ annual Children’s Party. Enjoy pony rides, games and refreshments while frolicking in the nation’s oldest topiary garden. July 14. 4-8pm. 380 Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth. 401-847-1000, www.newportmansions.org

Bring your curiosity and appetite to Barrington’s inaugural Bring On Art Festival. The impressive line up includes East Bay artisans, kids activities, live entertainment and food truck fare. June 14. 10am-5pm. On the Barrington Town Hall grounds, 283 County Road, Barrington. 401-247-1900, www.barrington.ri.gov


July 3: The granddaddy of all things red, white and blue happens in Bristol. 9:30pm, Bristol Harbor. www.july4thbristolri.com

July 4: As if Newport needed any more beautifying. 9:15pm, Newport Harbor. www.discovernewport.org

July 5, August 31: Loud bangs on the ground and in the air abound at Seekonk Speedway’s Fireworks Thrill Shows. After end of racing, 1710 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk. www.seekonkspeedway.com

The Relaxation Seeker

If you’ve had a case of the Mondays all week long, then it’s time for some R&R. From sunset gazing and vineyard romps to romantic dates on the water, here’s how to take a load off and enjoy a few stress-free summer days.

Mix wine with music

Just stepping foot on a lavish vineyard will instantly take the edge off. Add in some live music and a glass of wine and you’ve found yourself peaceful harmony. The Summer Concert Series at Carolyn’s Sakonett Vineyard, which offers half-price tastings in addition to local entertainment, knows how to mix pleasure with more pleasure. $10 carload (wine and food available for additional purchase). Thursdays at 6pm. 162 West Main Road, Little Compton. 401-635-8486, www.sakonnetwine.com

The Sunset Music Series at Westport Rivers is as laid back as you can get. While you bring your own picnic dinner, corkscrew, blanket and glasses, the vineyard will take care of the pours and music from such local favorites One Bad Ant, The Blue Light Bandits and Magnolia. $10 a carload in advance; $15 day of (wine and food available for additional purchase). Fridays at 6:30pm. 417 Hixbridge Road, Westport. 508-636-3423, www.westportrivers.com

Greenvale’s popular Jazz tastings not only includes a tasting of their delicious wines, but it also features award-winning jazz lead by Dick Lupino and a souvenir glass. $15 per person. Saturdays from 1-4pm. 582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth. 401-847-3777, www.greenvale.com

Downward Dog your way to serenity

Start off your Saturday morning on the right balanced foot with Blue Sky Kripalu Yoga at Partners Village Store. The traditional yoga method set against the soothing country location is a surefire way to get your chill on. $12 suggested donation. Saturdays starting on June 6. 8:30-9:30am. 865 Main Road, Westport. 508-636-2572, www.partnersvillagestore.com

East Bay Bikram Yoga and Bristol Yoga Studio join calming forces for the first annual Bristol Summer Yoga Fest. Held at sprawling Colt State Park, the afternoon yoga-thon includes bikram, kids and beginner’s classes, plus a yogi social hour. Free. June 21 starting at 1pm. Route 114, Bristol. 401-217-9010, www.facebook.com/bristolsummeryogafest

Mind and body finds summer spirit at Innerlight Center for Yoga & Meditation’s Beach Yoga. Perfect for beginners and advanced devotees alike, pack a beach bag and stick around before the beach mob arrives for bonus relaxation points. $15. Saturdays at 8:30am. Starting on June 20. Evening classes also available on Tuesdays at 7pm. Easton’s (First) Beach, 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport. 401-849-3200, www.innerlightyoga.com

Dating made easy breezy

Whether you’re in a new relationship or in a long-standing one, there’s nothing quite like sunsets to dial up the romance. Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures offers a tranquil two-hour Sunset kayak tour down the Westport River that’s bound to add passion to your paddle. $45 per person on select dates. 489 Old County Road, Westport. 508-636-0300, www.ospreyseakayak.com

Romance meets relaxation at SpaVana’s Rock Star Couples massage. The 70-minute treatment for two features a hot stone rubdown, which helps to deeply penetrate sore muscles. Floating into each other’s arms afterwards is optional, though recommended. $260. 299 West Main Road, Middletown. 401-293-0000, www.spavana.com

Sail your worries away with an adult beginner lesson for two at East Bay Sailing Foundation. Seasoned instructors will teach you the basics during the three-hour course, while you and your S.O. have some significantly quality down time. 101 Poppasquash Road, Bristol. 401-253-0775, www.eastbaysailingfoundation.org

The Adventure Chaser

The sun is shining and you just want go, go, go. That’s not a problem dude, because thrilling experiences are at the ready throughout the area. Get pumped up and work up a sweat with these exhilarating races that can be had on foot, land or sea.

Putting the fun in runs

Some people run because it makes them feel good. Others do it for the beer. Both types of runners win at the Craft Brew Race, where a challenging 5K on the streets of Newport is immediately followed by a beer festival featuring 20 micro beers. $50 early bird sign-up includes admission to race and festival. July 18. 12pm. Fort Adams State Park, 84 Fort Adams Drive, Newport. 401-318-2991, www.craftbrewraces.com/Newport

Show off your patriotism by running a half-marathon at the Independence Road Race. Part of Bristol’s Fourth of July extravaganza, the course takes runners through downtown and by the coastline. And remember, you’re not just running for yourself, you’re running for your country. $65 for advance registration. June 28. 6:30am. Independence Park, Bristol. www.july4thbristolri.com

Get ready to update your Facebook page with photos of yourself covered with mud when you complete the Samurai Sprint Mud Run. Filthy good fun, including an adult 5K and a kids run, is up for grabs (and lots of social media likes) at the ninja warrior inspired race held at Westport Rivers Vineyard. Registration fees vary. June 13. 9am. 417 Hixbridge Road, Westport. www.samuraisprint.com

Make some waves

Bored without board? Then head over to Island Surf and Sport, where you can rent surfboards, stand up paddleboards and wetsuits by the hour or day. Pros even offer private classes for kids and adults that are wet behind the ears. Surf’s up. Pricing varies. 86 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown. 401-846-4421, www.islandsports.com

Part windsurfing, part paragliding, kiteboarding is a hybrid watersport perfect for thrill seekers. Though Rhode island Kiteboarding School teaches curious and courageous students the art of the sport all year round, summer is the best time to take the leap. $195 for a two-hour lesson. Narragansett Terrace, Riverside. 401-578-8968, www.rhodeislandkiteboardingschool.com

Cruise around Narragansett Bay on Flyer Catamaran’s unique 57-foot luxurious vessel. Complete with a shaded lounge and full cocktail bar, a two-hour, half-day or full-day excursion really sounds like a breeze. Rates start at $30. 473 Poppasquash Road, Bristol. 401-253-7935, www.flyercatamaran.com

Get your motors running

Caution: sensory overload ahead. Drag shows, monster trucks, demolition derbies and lots of burnt rubber are all of part of the spectacle that is Seekonk Speedway. 1710 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-9959, www.seekonkspeedway.com

Upgrade yourself from spectator to driver at Seekonk Grand Prix. Bumper cars, bumper boats and go-karts – along with a fully stocked arcade and mini golf course – will definitely accelerate your heartbeat. 1098 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-8307, www.seekonkgrandprix.com

Be a tourist in your own backyard by renting a hilariously tiny electric car from Scooter World. Three wheels, yet all fun, the Scoot Coupes can go upwards of 30 miles per hour on the streets of Newport. 9 Christies Landing, Newport. 401-619-1349, www.scooterworldri.com