2023: The summer of staying local


Kayla Kelly, Editor

As the sun finally reveals itself again and the UV index rises, leaving skin tanned and cheeks stained pink, the rainy spring has unveiled a highly anticipated summer. The summer of 2023 has begun. The forecast reveals the graduating seniors living their last high school experiences, juniors preparing themselves for college, while the rest are just trying to make it through finals. They all share one common thing: deficiency for school work and sought-after summer break. Seniors and juniors yearn to make this summer memorable with their limited days with close friends still near before their eventual departures. 

Many students are leaving the country and state, traveling thousands of miles to explore the world and enjoy their summer elsewhere, but not everyone has that luxury with the vast majority staying local. Just because your summer plans don’t involve extravagant trips, don’t let staying local define your summer. 

There are many affordable and fun ways to spice up summer vacation without going too far from home. A trip to Newport: abundant in history, boutiques, beaches, and food; Newport is a local spot, famous nationwide for its small New England feel. Newport manages the close knit feel of a coastal surf town whilst being surrounded by gilded age mansions filled with history. The Mansions scene features the former summer homes of many elites, once occupied by the most prominent families in American centuries past. The preservation society offers tours available of some of the nation’s largest gilded estates, with ticket prices ranging from $25 for a single tour to a $200 guided tour. You can explore the behind the scenes of the hit HBO show The Gilded Age featuring anecdotes and gossip of the elites who once inhabited the properties. Additionally, for a free experience still filled with sightseeing, walking the Cliff Walk from the mansions across the coast is essential. However, history isn’t the only thing Newport has to offer. The town is also full of gastronomy and shopping. Local shops like Pink Lotus, Alexandra’s, and The Black Dog sell fashionable New England style staples perfect for the summer with bright colors and fun coastal prints. For dinner, Sardella’s is a local favorite offering fresh homemade pasta dishes, as well as their gourmet neopolitan style pizza in partnership with their own Imbroglios Pizzeria Napoletana making any menu option special and delicious. Other local favorites include 22 Bowens, Midtown Oyster, Belle’s Cafe, and Kilwin’s Ice Cream and Fudgery; to fill your stomachs after walking the cobblestone streets of downtown. Although pricey, Newport is a special destination offering both a modern and historical experience of New England making this local spot worthy of your New England Summer.

Only a ferry ticket away, Block Island awaits you. Right in the center of downtown New London runs the local favorite Block Island Ferry, shuttling thousands of passengers everyday across the sound to the small but beachy rural island that hugs the coast of Rhode Island. The 7 mile island hosts thousands of guests each day with the Block Island information site reporting an estimated 15-20,000 guests visiting each day during summer. Visitors flood the local streets and beaches to enjoy the surf and cuisine that attracts people to the community year after year. The island features several local boutiques, souvenir ships, and transportation options to enjoy and explore on your visit. Renting a bike for the day is the most optimal way to explore the island to avoid the high costs of taxis available on the island. The Island offers unique landscapes of Bluffs and Beaches to see on your visit, with sites like Mohegan Bluffs and East Beach available to explore and enjoy at no cost. Biking to these points is fairly easy, however the hills may make the trip longer depending on the experience of the biker. The Island’s social scenes offer many great restaurants like the Oar, offering a variety of food ranging from pizza and sushi, accompanied by priceless views of Long Island Sound and local marinas. But, for a perfect quick lunch you can stop by Three Sisters restaurant, for grinders and sandwiches perfect for a beachside lunch. However, many don’t know about the hidden secrets on Block Island, the glass orbs, hidden by renowned glass maker Eben Horton every year. Horton hides around 500 orbs around the island each year with the townspeople on trails, beaches, and nature reserves. With natural views and miles of beachfront, Block Island is a perfect stop for a beach day.