3 Places To Go In Newport If You're A Jackie O Fan
I'm practically an expert on all things Kennedy Fam, including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, since my Irish Catholic father was a serious fan who saved every issue of Life magazine with JFK (or JFK & Jackie) on the cover. His idea of a fun night during summers at The Cape was driving by The Kennedy Compound in Hyannis over and over again. For the record, my parents were both jazzed this one time, when we had been doing our usual around and around the block thing, they spied a wood paneled station wagon in the vicinity with Virginia license plates. 'Hickory Hill!' I remember my mom exclaiming. It was a big deal. (For those of you not in the know, Hickory Hill is an estate in Virginia, famous for being home to, among others, Robert and Ethel Kennedy and their 11 children. I read somewhere recently that a tech billionaire has bought and completely refurbished it. Isn't that the way these days?) We also drove out to the weddings of both Carolyn Kennedy (to Ed Schlossberg) and Maria Shriver (to Arnold, of course), hoping to get a glimpse of someone or something connected to those ceremonies. We didn't, but at least I can say I was there.
And don't get me started about the time, late one night after dinner, I trekked around Palm Beach, in search of The Brazilian Court, with another person in my family who shall remain nameless, but who is so knowledgeable about JFK, Jackie & Co. that he should probably be recruited for commentator duties on cable tv news, or history, channels. I also toured Jackie's childhood home, Hammersmith Farm, in Newport, when it went up for sale during the mid 1990's (with that exact same person...winks!). With all this in mind then, today I bring you three VERY Jackie Kennedy Onassis spots in Newport, RI. So, grab your oversized sunnies, and your head scarf (JLO does both best circa right now btw.), and let's G-O!
1. Check out the church where Jackie, nee Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, married Jack, nee John Fitzgerald Kennedy, on Sept. 12, 1953. Located on 12 William Street, it's a 5 minute walk from Thames and a must see for any authentic Jackie fan girls and guys. St. Mary's (Photos above.) has since been declared a National Historic Shrine - There's that whole #AmericanRoyalty connection, ya know! For more info, click here.
2. Next on my list is Hammersmith Farm, Jackie's childhood home and also where her wedding reception was held. Unfortunately, it's a private residence these days and def not open to the public (Again, I walked the interior when it was on the market back in '95.), but you can absolutely drive by on your way to The Inn at Castle Hill for cocktails on the lawn, the iconic summer in Newport experience. The adirondack chairs are first come, first served, but if you're lucky enough to grab two together, order a Daiquiri (I heard it was JFK's drink of choice during his last summer in the City by the Sea.) and a glass of champagne (According to Towne & Country and a bunch of other bios, Jackie drank a glass of bubbly every day. I kind of ADORE that!) and clink glasses with your fav person to chillax with. I think Jackie would approve.
3. Rumor has it that Jackie & Jack were among the luminaries spotted at The Viking back in the day. Have you been lately? They just finished an impressive update of the interior that's in keeping with their historical landmark status (Warm fuzzies thinking about all that History with a capital H!) without coming off as fussy, old fashioned or stodgy. The lobby/front desk and bar/restaurant (See photo above.) on the first floor are pretty much perfect for taking any staycation #livingthedream pics for your Instagram. There's also a zen-tastic spa (Photo above.) where you can put away your phone and get glam, two things I think Jackie would applaud wholeheartedly.
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: Pics at St. Mary's (including thumbnail) courtesy of Ashley Farney. Chairs overlooking Newport Bridge pic courtesy of Getty Images for SquareSpace. Champagne bottle by Richmond Jeffrey. All other photos courtesy of the PattyJDotCom Instagram.