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August 4, 5, & 6th! 2017

The festival was voted one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Tour Bus Association.
A gastronomic extravaganza of Rhode Island’s best seafood, lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish & chips, lobster rolls, clam cakes, corn on the cob and a raw bar, as well as an array of all types of foods for every taste. A wide variety of arts and crafts on display, amusement rides, rock wall climbing, car show, Marcolites Kite exhibition, midway entertainment, bungee jumping, kayak, overnight getaways, TV, 50/50, lobster raffle and more. Continuous entertainment and events.

If South County is synonymous with anything, it is the great outdoors. With acres of untouched and untapped terrain, it’s almost impossible to take to the open road without seeing a preserve, refuge, state park or picturesque coastline.

Spanning over four towns, the Arcadia Management Area has over 14,000 acres of beautiful forests with hiking trails, fireplaces, picnic tables canoe rentals and more. Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton and West Greenwich are home to this expansive area with more than a dozen hiking trails and possibly one of the only places in Rhode Island where it is possible to see a Pileated Woodpecker. You can expect in late spring and early summer an exceptional variety of warblers and songbirds. Another area gracing the western hemisphere of the state is Big River Management Area and Carr Pond. With an approximate 8,600 acres extending through portions of West Greenwich, East Greenwich, Coventry and Exeter, this multi-use space includes hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching and bicycling (allowed on surface roads). Ell/Long Pond Preserve also presents itself as a renowned piece of Hopkinton property; it is Rhode Island’s First National Natural Landmark! Managed by the State, Audubon Society of RI and The Nature Conservancy, it takes a village to man almost 300 acres of rugged bedrock cliffs and hollows. Notorious for steep and slippery terrain, Ell Pond and Long Pond are nestled on the property with spectacular vistas and views.

Burlingame State Park, located on the shores of the Watchaug Pond, is a 3,100 acre facility with picnic facilities, restrooms, a swimming beach, 73 fireplaces and bathhouses, making it one of the most popular state recreation areas in Charlestown. The park also has extensive camp groups with 755 campsites utilized on the property.

Boasting a seaside village atmosphere with facilities to camp, enjoy a campfire or park an R.V., Fisherman’s Memorial State Park offers a multitude of activities including tennis, basketball, and horseshoes with three state beaches in very close proximity to the State Park. Conveniently located and maintained regularly, Fisherman’s Memorial has built up a name for itself due to the locale as well as the property. It is also home to seasonal farmer’s market from spring to fall every Sunday.

Located off Plain Meeting House Road, Wickaboxet Management Area is well worth the trek. With 678 acres of mostly forested land, hiking trails and panoramic views are aplenty in this area nestled in West Greenwich.

And we must not forget about the rolling green! Wilcox Park in Westerly may be some of the most inviting landscape to sit, chat and relax the day away on its 14 acres of open meadow with trees, a fish pond, memorials and perennial gardens. Ryan Park and Wilson Park, both in North Kingstown, also beckon a soccer ball or pick up Frisbee game on a nice day.

As you head further south, Charlestown, RI has plenty to offer in the park and preserve category. Ninigret Park is a 227-acre park featuring picnic grounds, ball fields, a ten-speed bike course, and tennis/basketball courts. There is a 3-acre spring-fed swimming pond as well as numerous special events and festivals held throughout the warmer months. The Francis C. Carter Memorial Preserve, also located in Charlestown, has 841 acres of conservancy land which is home to pine/scrub oak barrens, vernal pools and 35 acre grassland. Some of the best bird watching in the state can be found at Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge. Spanning 800 acres on the southern coast of Rhode Island, the refuge protects the state’s only undeveloped salt pond.

John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge in Narragansett, RI is a refuge for shore birds and variety of fish. With over 300 acres of salt marsh and surrounding forest habitat, any visitor could become lost in its entire splendor. A sister site, Black Point, also in Narragansett, offers an easy hiking loop of under 2 miles with some light rock climbing right along Narragansett Bay. Beautiful sweeping views of Jamestown Bridge and the Plum Island Lighthouse, Rome Point has quickly become a destination for those seeking nice easy trails with water views and wildlife. With binoculars, one can often see seals off shore in the winter time.

Due to South County’s central locality, many surrounding cities and islands are just a short ferry or car ride away. Rhode Island and Southern New England are a great neighboring bonus for any traveler to the area. The following destinations are within an hour from South County:

Newport, RI – 30 miles; 40 minutes.

A beautiful seaside community famous for its mansions, shopping and scenery, Newport has long been inviting visitors into tour their 19th century “Gilded Age” summer cottages reminiscent of Europe, stroll the cobblestone streets lined with shopping and dining selections or hike the three-mile long Cliff Walk which winds the coast line of the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the ‘yachting capital of the world’, there is no shortage of ocean based activities which include sailing or harbor cruises. Don’t forget to celebrate the rich culture with ample museums and art galleries.

Block Island, RI – 12 miles; 55 minutes (by ferry).

Featuring 17 miles of pristine beaches, protected by lighthouses and spectacular bluffs, Block Island is known by many for its unspoiled beauty. A short ferry ride away invokes the feeling of being miles from home. Outdoor activities are aplenty with accessible beaches, fresh water ponds, hiking paths, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding as well as a welcomed cycling workout with its hilly terrain. The downtown area, equivalent to a few city blocks, is bustling with every day activity from locals and tourists alike in the Victorian Inns, shops and restaurants.

Providence, RI – 38 miles; 45 minutes.

The renowned capitol of Rhode Island, Providence is the blend of urban sophistication of a big city with the graceful charm of a small town. Home to a plethora of educational institutions, Providence has quickly become a melting pot for artists, chefs, scholars and businessmen in their own right. The city has garnered major buzz as one of the hottest culinary spots in the country. With the cozy proximity to other major cities, its convenience lends a unique experience for shopping, dining, history and culture.

Mystic, CT – 20 miles; 30 minutes.

Mystic was founded in 1654 and quickly rose to prominence as a shipbuilding center during the clipper ship era. Nowadays, Mystic has become known for its quintessential New England charm, as well as its two world-class museums: the Mystic Seaport, the world’s largest maritime museum; and the Mystic Aquarium, featuring fascinating creatures from both sea and land, as well as the exhibits of Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic. The quaint cluster of shops in downtown Mystic, as well as diverse dining offerings, makes Mystic a destination for all.

Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT – 20 minutes; 35 minutes.

Owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Foxwoods Resort Casino is one of the premier hotel, gaming, shopping and entertainment destinations in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to express, world-renowned spas, awarding-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event.

New London, CT – 30 miles; 35 minutes.

New London’s Historic Waterfront District is the hub of creative energy that gives the city its Top Ten rating among creative communities of its size in America. Art, music, and design venues, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and over 30 eateries populate this 26-block National Register Historic District in New London, CT. Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold, and Eugene O’Neill walked these streets. America’s greatest architects left their mark in these buildings – from the collection of Tiffany glass windows in its cathedral to the country’s oldest operating courthouse and custom house, to the quirky shops and plentiful entertainment, New London, CT is a great place to visit.

Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 40 miles; 47 minutes.

Created in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is one of the world’s most amazing destinations with some of New England’s finest dining, hotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Boasting three world-class casinos, Mohegan Sun is also host to the Kids Quest/Cyber Quest family entertainment facility, a luxurious day spa, convention center and meeting facility, a state-of-the-art Poker Room as well as three major entertainment venues with seating from 300 to 10,000. Every turn leads to a new adventure with an indoor 55-foot waterfall, and electrifying water wall, the world’s largest and most spectacular indoor planetarium dome and the awe-inspiring Wombi Rock – a glowing crystal mountain made of imported stone that serves as the focal point of Casino of the Sky. With 300,000 square feet of gaming within three casinos, three entertainment venues, 130,000 square foot retail shopping experience and 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, it could be easy to indulge for the day with Mohegan Sun.

Article Source: South County Tourism – Family Fun

From outdoor adventures to star-gazing, South County has a wide variety of family entertainment options.

The Rhode Island Lighthouse Cruises and Newport Harbor Tours are a great way to gain your sea legs while sailing through famous Newport Harbor. Departing daily in May through October from Quonset Point in North Kingstown, RI, the cruises and tours have encompassed the 10 lighthouses and 10 islands which call Narragansett Bay home. The other sights on the Bay will be endless and the memory of this classic sea adventure will linger for years to come. Looking for a more hand’s on experience? Biomes Marine Biology Center is the destination to become acclimated first hand with a variety of oceanic creatures.

The Bradford R. Boss Arena is a great venue to have lots of fun in a family-friendly environment. Situated on the campus of the University of Rhode Island, this state of the art ice rink operates year-round, opening its doors 7 days a week, 52 weeks out of the year for over 15 hours a day. With leagues, public sessions, youth and adult hockey leagues and clinics, the Boss Ice Arena is the coolest destination in town to take a few laps on the ice. Ice skate rental, Pro shop and snack bar are all available on site. When the air starts to chill, the Washington Trust Community Skating Center on Main Street in Westerly will be in full force as the destination for outdoor ice skating. This is a great winter activity for entire family; skate rentals and snack bar available on site.

The Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown lights up the sky, quite literally, as a dedicated destination for observational astronomy. Fitted with an azimuth motor and declination shutter, the fully automated, high-powered 16” Meade LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope is driven by a computer that knows the position of approximately 64,000 deep-space objects and can locate each with the touch of a few buttons. The dark sky beckons viewers to enjoy the rings of Saturn, the Galilean moons of Jupiter, Lunar geography, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and hundreds of astronomical objects on a clear night.

Bikers beware! South County has a bike path for all skills levels. The Davis Bike Path at Quonset Point in North Kingstown offers a 2.5 mile shared-use bike path from Post Road to Calf Pasture Point Beach which abuts a lovely nature preserve along the route. If you find yourself more centrally located in Rhode Island, the Coventry Bike Path and Greenway is a pleasant 4.5 mile, shared-use bike path between Whitford Street and Town Farm Road. Open daily from dawn to dusk, there are several parking offerings to access this path including Pilgrim Avenue, Station Street, Paine Field and Route 117. The William C. O’Neill Bike Path is a lovely 7.8 mile shared-use bike path from Kingston Station in the village of West Kingston in South Kingstown to Mumford Road in Narragansett. If you need to rent a bike, sales, service or equipment – W.E. Stedman Bike Company in South Kingstown and Napatree Bikes in Westerly will gladly meet any of your cycling needs.

Like aforementioned, South County fits the bill for all seasons. Adventureland Family Fun Park in Narragansett boasts go-karts, carousel, mini-golf, bumper boats, batting cages and bank-shot basketball for the kid in all of us. Looking to burn off some steam? Rock Spot Climbing in Peace Date has climbing for all ages and abilities and is conveniently open from 10 a.m. to midnight daily. The Water Wizz in Westerly is a great summer outing with over 1,000 feet of spills, thrills, dips and twists while Yawgoo Valley Ski Area and Water Park play to both seasons; the open snowy terrain offering Rhode Island’s only ski area with skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and during the warmer months, the water park offers three pools with waterslides and more.

Article Source: South County Tourism – Family Fun

BY CASEY NILSSON
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Published: 2015.06.16 12:22 PM
The summer solstice is upon us, and it’s time to get planning. Experience the greatness of our tiny oceanside state by attending one — or all! — of our favorite summer festivals.

JULY 11–12: Newport Kite Festival

There’s no cooler place in summer than Brenton Point, and the annual Kite Festival is a great reason to go. Learn how to build and fly kites from the experts, or show off your skills during open flying sessions. Then climb on the rocks with the family and hunt for crabs. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Free admission. Brenton Point State Park, Ocean Drive, Newport, newportkitefestival.com.

JULY 17–19: South County Hot Air Balloon Festival

In addition to the hot-air fun, enjoy a barbecue competition, carnival rides, a road race and more. Call or visit the website for event times. Adults $10, youth fourteen and younger $5, families $25. University of Rhode Island athletic fields, 3 Keaney Rd., Kingston, 401-783-1770, southcountyballoonfest.com.

JULY 24–25: Blessing of the Fleet Weekend

It doesn’t get more “Rhode Island” than this. See clergymen bless a parade of festively decorated vessels at Galillee, run in a road race and feast on culinary delights from the sea and shore at the Seafood Festival, which also boasts live music and children’s entertainment. Free admission. Port of Galillee and Memorial Square, Narragansett, narragansettlionsclub.com.

JULY 27–30: Newport BridgeFest

Bridge the gap between Newport’s famous festivals with live music at great venues, from the lawns of Gilded Age mansions to a salt-sprayed stage at Bowen’s Wharf. Visit the website for the lineup and show times. Many events are free. Various venues in Newport County, newportbridgefest.com.

AUG. 4–9: FLICKERS Rhode Island International Film Festival

Need a break from the August heat? Flock indoors for six days of film screenings, forums and special events celebrating the best new voices in independent cinema. Visit the website for show times and ticket information. Various venues in Rhode Island, 401-861-4445, film-festival.org.

AUG. 7–9: Charlestown Seafood Festival

Rhode Island’s best seafood, plus an array of cuisine for every taste. The festival also features arts and crafts, raffles, live entertainment and more. On Friday from noon to 4 p.m., enjoy unlimited amusement rides for a $20 flat fee. Fri. noon–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Adults $8, children ten and younger free. Ninigret Park, Old Post Road, Charlestown, 401-346-4031, charlestownrichamber.com.

AUG. 8: Foo Fest

AS220’s annual block party features artist installations, family-friendly activities and more than two-dozen musical acts. Headlining bands include Deerhoof, the Low Anthem and Death Vessel. 1 p.m.–1 a.m. $7 in advance, $10 day-of. Empire Street, Providence, foofest.as220.org.

AUG. 12–16: Washington County Fair

Sure, Ocean Staters know how to rock a swimsuit. But we look good in coveralls, too. This five-day festival boasts amusement rides, a tug of war competition, tractor and horse pulls, food and more. Visit the website for activity times. Adults $10, children ten and younger free. Washington County Fairgrounds, Rt. 112, Richmond, 401-397-5998, washingtoncountyfair-ri.com.

AUG. 15: Summit Music Festival

The organizers of the sixth-annual event gave us a taste of what’s in store for this year’s event with the early release of headlining act the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. We’re psyched. A favorite for families, the Summit Music Fest draws local and national musicians, plus food trucks, a beer garden, crafts, art and good times on Providence’s leafy East Side. 1–6 p.m. Free. Lippitt Park, Hope Street and Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, summitmusicfest.org.

AUG. 28–SEPT. 27: Pawtucket Arts Festival

This creative celebration kicks off in late-summer with a Taste of the Valley dining event and continues straight through to leaf-peeping season with a fall festival, Oktoberfest, an arts marketplace and more fun events. Call or visit the website for activity times and prices. Various locations in Pawtucket, 401-724-5200, pawtucketartsfestival.org.

Charlestown Seafood Festival in Rhode Island

Posted on July 10, 2014 by RI Blogger

In this day and age, spending quality time with your family seems like an almost impossible and rather a far fetched idea. Luckily there are still options where both the young and the old can bridge gaps and come together to experience fun filled evenings. The Charlestown seafood Festival in Rhode Island is one of these great venues.

This August the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce opens up its 30th Annual Charlestown Seafood Festival in Rhode Island. The three day festival is lined up with some of Rhode Island’s best sea food, including almost everything from lobster to clam chowder. Apart from the exotic sea delicacies… the Charlestown Annual Sea Food festival also showcases a number of musical performances and fireworks to keep you and your family on your toes.

Charlestown Seafood Festival in Rhode Island…

Voted as one of the top 100 events in North America, the Charlestown Seafood Festival in Rhode Island kick starts on the 1st August at noon and continues to arouse your taste buds for three whole days with more than 30 different vendors. Additionally, this festival also promises several other fun filled activities catering to men and women of all ages. Some of these activities include the annual Harley Haul’s car show, fireworks and live performances paying tribute to some of the best musicians from our time.

Living up to its promise, the festival has definitely done a great job in providing a wholesome family entertainment for the entire family; the festival also hosts various other thrilling attractions as well. Some of these include carnival rides, rock wall climbing, bungee jumping, art and craft activities. The Charlestown Seafood Festival in Rhode Island should certainly find its way to your “to-do” list!

Charlestown Seafood Festival in Rhode Island…contact

So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and invite your friends and family for a weekend full of great food and fun. For further details about this exciting extravaganza:

The Seafood Festival Hotline at 401-364-4031

(Source: http://www.riblogger.com/charlestown-seafood-festival-in-rhode-island/)

Our favorite way to see Block Island in one budget-friendly day.

As a kid, I used to spend weekends out on Block Island helping — though they might use a different word — my grandparents run their bed and breakfast in New Harbor. When I wasn’t turning down sheets or picking wildflowers for guest bouquets, I often watched days turn into nights from a sandy spot with a clear view to Point Judith.

Then, during my summers off from college, I returned to the Island to work at a T-shirt shop and lived in free employee housing right in the center of town — not a bad place to make memories. All that time, it was really difficult for me to understand why so many of my friends and classmates never make it out for a visit.

But now, fully submerged in adulthood, I get it. Unless you have a place to stay, it can be tough to justify a several-night trip to Block Island. Vacations to the Cape or New Hampshire cost about the same and probably feel more like a getaway — at least you’ve left the area code. But, after visiting on Memorial Day weekend, I realized the tiny, seven-by-three-mile island can be thoroughly explored in one thoughtful day, and on the cheap.

This upcoming weekend, many island businesses will participate in the fifth-annual Taste of Block Island, the first real event of the tourism season — minus the crazy July crowds. With the purchase of a $5 button, visitors get unheard-of deals at restaurants, shops, salons and even bike rental businesses. Follow the insider’s itinerary below, and you’ll pack in more of the Island’s scenic beauty, shopping and tasty food than you could imagine.

9 a.m. Board the Block Island Ferry in Point Judith. Purchase your Taste of Block Island button on the boat and enjoy a breezy view from the top deck.

10 a.m. Arrive on-island. Head over to the Seacrest Inn at the corner of High Street and Weldon’s Way (behind the movie theater) for 25 percent off bike rentals.

10:30 a.m. Take your new set of wheels over to Froozies Juice Bar and Cafe, through the back courtyard at the National Hotel (the big white one at the end of the main drag) for a healthy breakfast burrito and coffee for $9.99. The pesto, mozzarella and baby spinach burrito, a personal favorite, should fuel you up for the next leg of your trip.

11:15 a.m. Time to hit the road on the least-hilly route around the Island. About nine miles; a leisurely two- to three-hour route with stops.

Head out of Froozies and take a left on Ocean Avenue. Follow the road past the Block Island Grocery and head up a (small) hill to the intersection of Ocean and Beach avenues.
Take a right, then a quick left, to stay on Ocean Avenue. Notice a boat basin on your right.
At the end of Ocean Avenue, keep left to follow the route — or stay straight and you’ll wind up on Payne’s Dock, home of the killer doughnuts. You might just have to buy one.
Back on route now, continue to follow West Side Road. The Oar restaurant, the Old Harbor Boat Basin and the Great Salt Pond should be on your right. Directly across the street is Red Gate Farm, where my grandparents once ran a bed and breakfast. Say hello to the cows for me.
After a mile or so of biking, you’ve officially entered the West Side of Block Island, where many Island residents live year-round. Keep an eye out for Dories Cove Road on the right. Bike down the dirt road and visit the secluded pebbly beach where residents flock during the high season. When you visit again on an overnight trip, this is where you should have your bonfire. The views of the sunset from this west-facing beach are phenomenal.
About one mile later, West Side Road ends on Cooneymus Road. Take a right on Cooneymus, and keep your eyes peeled for the entrance to Rodman’s Hollow on the right. If you’ve got the energy, bike down Black Rock Road to a wooden turnstile at the trailhead. The hike through the hollow is about three miles.
Return to your bike and continue East on Cooneymus Road, which ends at a Native American cemetery intersecting on Lakeside Drive. Poke around the cemetery for an eerie history lesson, then return to the road and head south on Lakeside Drive, with the backside of Rodman’s Hollow and Fresh Pond on your right. This is one of my favorite stretches on Block Island. Between the sparkling pond and historic stone walls cutting through the landscape, it really feels like a different time and place.

Lakeside Drive turns onto Mohegan Trail Road at the Painted Rock, a quirky feature of the island where tourists and residents frequently cover the rock with birthday wishes and the occasional marriage proposal.
Stop off at the first overlook for the Mohegan Bluffs on the right — often referred to as Second Bluffs by locals — for an incredible view of the Atlantic. There’s another bluffs overlook shortly thereafter, complete with a steep staircase of about 150 steps down to the beach.
Keep traveling on Mohegan Trail Road and you’ll spot the Southeast Lighthouse, which in 1993 was moved 300 feet back from the cliffs to protect the historic structure from the effects of erosion.
Mohegan Trail Road then turns into Spring Street, and it’s all downhill from here. See a gorgeous view of the ocean on the right and the sweeping lawns of the Spring House Hotel on your left.
2 p.m. Return the bikes to Seacrest Inn, which is visible at left from the stop sign at the end of Spring Street. Head back to Water Street, the main drag across from the ferry. Right across the street from the National Hotel is a small, steep access point to Crescent Beach. Take the path and walk the beach down about a quarter of a mile. You’ll see the Beachhead restaurant to your left on Corn Neck Road.

2:15 p.m. Time for lunch. Feast on the Beachhead’s outside deck overlooking the beach with a lobster salad roll, the Corn Neck calamari or a cup of the Block Island clam chowder. Get 10 percent off with the Taste of Block Island Button.

3:30 p.m. Walk the beach back to town and visit some of Water Street’s quaint shops.

Get your Block Island T-shirt, trinket or sticker fix at Star Department Store, directly across from the ferry landing. The Taste of Block Island button earns you 10 percent off your total purchase.
Across the street from Star, visit the Glass Onion, an excellent gift and home decor shop. The shop sells Island Mist all-natural bath and body products. I’d recommend the lavender mist to just about anyone. Get 10 percent off selected items with a Taste of Block Island button.
Circumnavigate the Star Department Store building on the right via Chapel Street and visit East of the River Nile Trading Company, a cool little shop that boasts wares from around the world. To boot, owner Ron Munschy is one of the friendliest faces around. Get 10 percent off your purchase with a Taste of Block Island button.
Tucked in a nook next to Eli’s Restaurant — more on that later — which is to the right of East of the River Nile, you’ll find Blocks of Fudge, a great place to pick up a Block Island-made treat for friends or family. After picking out some coffee Heath bar crunch, penuche or turtle fudge, pop over to Deja Vu Gallery, also in that little corner on Chapel Street, to browse art by Island residents.
6 p.m. For a quick bite before you board the 7 p.m. ferry, head to the bar at Eli’s Restaurant for the best tuna nachos in history and a melt-in-your-mouth warm goat cheese and arugula salad. Get 10 percent off your purchase with a Taste of Block Island button.

6:45 p.m. Take Chapel Street back to the ferry landing (you can see the docks from the front door at Eli’s) to board the 7 p.m. boat, and wave goodbye to Block Island, at least for now.

Taste of Block Island buttons are available for purchase aboard the Block Island Ferry and at the Block Island Chamber of Commerce, located in the ferry parking lot. Visit blockislandchamber.com/tobi/ for more information.

(Article Source:http://www.rimonthly.com/Blogs/ridaily/May-2013/A-Daytrippers-Guide-to-Block-Island/)
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Guy Fieri has spent years trying to perfect his recipe for them. Health magazine named them to their 50 fattiest foods in America list. But last week, the James Beard Foundation — the arbiter of all things outstanding in the culinary world — bestowed Olneyville New York System Hot Wieners in Providence with a 2014 “America’s Classics” award.
According to the Beard Foundation website: “This honor is given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.”

Wiener “joints” are numerous in Rhode Island, and part of the unique culinary landscape of the state. They first appeared in the early 1900s and are as popular today as ever.The wieners are made from pork veal and beef and cut to about four inches in length. Because they are small, most people eat three or four at a sitting. When counter help prepares them, the buns are stacked up on the clerk’s forearm, the wiener is inserted, and the rest of the ingredients are slopped on (really, it’s designed to be an un-glamorous process) according to taste. Order them “all the way” if you want everything: mustard, chopped raw onions, celery salt and the iconic meat sauce.

Olneyville New York System is one of the most popular and has three locations in Rhode Island. Greg and Stephanie Stevens are the fourth-generation owners.

Original New York System Hot Wieners on Smith Street in Providence is also at the top of the list in wiener popularity. Generations ago this location was owned by the same family as the Olneyville restaurant, until a disagreement led to a separation.

David Giardino is the new — the first generation — owner of Original New York System Hot Wieners. A born-and-raised Rhode Islander, he is a successful entrepreneur who owns the Turino Group in Providence, a well-regarded company that works closely with government agencies and private corporations throughout the life-cycle of heavy highway transportation and construction projects. Giardino bought Original New York System from its former owners because, as he says, he “grew up with wieners and coffee milk and wanted to help preserve the tradition.”

Olneyville New York System Hot Wieners, 18 Plainfield St., Providence, RI 02909, (401) 621-9500
Original New York System Hot Wieners, 424 Smith St, Providence, RI 02908, (401) 331-5349; David Giardino’s cell is 401-487-4827.

For more information, email Mark Brodeur, Rhode Island Director of Tourism

This blog is courtesy of www.visitrhodeisland.com

Block Island was named a “Last Great Place” by The Nature Conservancy. Block Island’s international fame is that it is home to 15 rare or endangered species. And the island is a critical migratory bird stopover point on the Atlantic Coast. Hundreds of small ponds and fruit-bearing shrubs provide essential water and food for more than 250 species of birds that come to rest there.

Formed by glaciers nearly 10,000 years ago, Block Island, Rhode Island is located 12 miles off the southern shore of the smallest state. The island is made up of a diverse array of geographical features and habitats such as beaches, sand dunes, coastal bluffs, grasslands, scrubland, salt ponds and various other freshwater wetland ecosystems.

These habitats support a unique assortment of wildlife, making it one of the most ecologically significant areas in the state and in the entire northeast. Thousands of migratory shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds also depend on the Island as a stopover point on their journey north and south along the Atlantic Flyway. Over 70 species of migratory song birds visit the island each fall. The Piping Plover, a threatened species, may be found here. Block Island is home to the largest Gull colony in Rhode Island. With nearly half of the island preserved as open space and sanctuary, birding opportunities are virtually unlimited!

Several inns and hotels on the island cater to birders, such as the Island Home Inn and the Inn at Block Island. Guided birding tours are available on foot or by boat and can be arranged via the Block Island Tourism Council. Birders can also explore on their own, and should take in the following areas on the island:

Clay Head Preserve
Located in the northeast part of Block Island, the Clay Head Preserve is privately-owned 150 acre preserve protected by conservation easements and is one of the best places to observe migratory songbirds in North America in the fall. The trail runs east toward the ocean, past Clay Head Swamp. The trail winds up above the clay bluffs for which this area was named. At the top of the incline, trails heading away from the ocean are known as the “maze”. These intertwining trails are unmarked and are perfect for hours of wandering.

Fresh Swamp Preserve
Located in the middle of the southern part of the island this preserve is composed of meadow and upland shrub habitat. This preserve was conserved by The Nature Conservancy as an important feeding area for the state endangered barn owl. The state endangered northern harrier nests on the property as well. Other species of interest that occur on the property are the Block Island meadow vole, savannah sparrow, and the federally endangered American burying beetle.

Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve
The most recent large-scale conservation purchase consists of 25 acres and connects to the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. Migratory songbirds, the state-endangered northern harrier, and the Block Island meadow vole all call this preserve home.

Rodman’s Hollow
This 230-acre glacial outwash basin is considered the birthplace of conservation on Block Island. The state-threatened northern harrier feeds and nests here, and the only natural population of federally-endangered American burying beetle east of the Mississippi lives here.

Block Island National Wildlife Refuge
Totaling 133 acres, the refuge is distinctive because it works closely with other conservation organizations in an effort to protect land. Most importantly, the refuge is exceptional because of its location on an internationally recognized island of conservation. As with all National Wildlife Refuges, the refuge on Block Island maintains wildlife conservation as its first priority. However, refuge beaches are open for bird-watching. Visitors seeking an out-of-the-way adventure will be delighted by the impressive landscape and the diversity of wildlife.

This blog is courtesy of www.visitrhodeisland.com

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Images Background