Coming from a small town just outside of Boulder, Colorado - I had only ever dreamed up the East coast from what I had seen in movies. It's been on my list to visit for quite sometime, especially after my sister and I did a girls trip to New York - it definitely left me wanting more... the vibes, the food, the dense history, everything about the East coast is so magical to me.
When thinking about my bachelorette party, I knew I wanted to do something that would be a new experience for all of my girlfriends - a typical wild girls trip in Las Vegas or Miami just wasn't something I was interested in (been there, done that!). My girls and I are a group of explorers - foodies - seekers of adventure - that sort of thing, so I thought it was a great way to fulfill my dream of visiting the East coast by pairing it with a pre-wedding celebration! With October being my birthday month and thus being a huge lover of all things Fall, we decided October would be the best month to visit to get the experience we were looking for (queue the crisp air + ever-changing colorful trees). I have to also note that as a group, we didn't have a ton of time off to spend in RI, while I would have loved to and could have spent a whole week there, we jam packed this trip into just 3 days, with most of Friday being a travel day. My gracious Matron of Honor/sister/party planner extraordinaire planned the most perfect weekend in Jamestown, Rhode Island for all of us - here are a few tips/suggestions for your next girls weekend!
Tip #1: PLAN AHEAD // USE A PARTY PLANNER
Have a sister/maid of honor who is a retired party planner - kidding, kind of. I have to do a special shout out to my sister, Becca, who is the best, most thoughtful planner of anything special - so a lot of these tips will be on her behalf!
If you don't have a party planner to help you (aka plan it ALL for you), just be sure to take extra time to plan in as much advance as you can. It is so much simpler if your guests know what their doing, know where they are going, and know what to wear, etc. I am a big advocate of planning out the majority of a trip so that you can get the most out of it! Especially if you plan to only travel a few days, you get to see and do so many more things with a solid plan in place ahead of time. If you do your research, you'll have a wonderful, stress-free time!
Tip #2: USE TRAVEL APPS (THEY WORK!)
If your coming from the mid-west (or honestly, even if you're not lol) you know that an East coast trip can be verrrry pricey. We used two of my favorite travel apps Hopper + Skiplagged to find cheap-ish flights. If you're flexible, insert a week/month/couple of days and "watch" the flight on Hopper, purchase when it alerts you it's at it's lowest! Skiplagged is an app that finds hidden city fares, mostly through layovers (hence it's name, aka, skip the jet lag). It's a great way to sneak on those layover/in between flights that aren't full, for nearly half the cost.
TIP #2.5 - CONVINCE YOUR GIRLS TO CONDENSE THEIR LUGGAGE
This tip goes with the prior tip of using travel tips because: if you land a great deal on Skiplagged, most of the time the flight does not allow for checked luggage. You can ONLY bring carry on bag, because IF you checked your luggage, it will end up at the final destination instead of the spot where you jumped on. So, you'll need to convince your girls (and yourself) to only bring a carry on + personal item - this was hard to do for sure - but IT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE! Another benefit to only bringing a carry on/personal item is the ease of travel. We flew into Newark, New Jersey, and took a 2 hour car ride into Rhode Island, a van with 7 girls and 14 bags (carry on and personal item) was even a tight squeeze. We had a driver waiting for us when we landed so we would not have had time to wait for checked luggage anyway.
TIP # 3 - GIVE YOUR GIRLS A DETAILED PLAN OF THE WEEKEND
I think this goes without saying but the longer time you have to plan, the more organized and stress free your weekend will be. This also goes hand in hand with only being able to have a carry on luggage, it will be important for everyone to pack strategically. My sister sent out a detailed itinerary with each activity three weeks ahead of our trip (yes, we are both Type A, lol). Encourage your gals to plan out their outfits ahead of time (meaning no backups), and try to re-wear shoes for multiple outfits! Remember, your outfit on the plane can count as an extra :)
TIP #4 - MAKE RESERVATIONS. EVERY. WHERE. YOU. GO.
I think this goes without saying too but be sure to make reservations before you go, like AWHILE before you go. I'm pretty sure my sister made a res at one of the restaurants a month prior to our trip. Jamestown/Boston are small cities, the good places book up fast!
TIP #5 - AVOID BUYING CLOTHING OR LARGE ITEMS WITH THE WORDS BRIDE, BACHELORETTE, ETC.
One of my biggest peeves are the companies that make bridal clothing that doesn't make sense to wear again after the event passes. It seems like such a waste! Opt for items you can customize with a name, Mr./Mrs. vs. Bride/Groom, or things that can be removable vs. a printed on and use smaller items to use as a tribute to the trip like stickers or confetti!
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed at this amazing home in Jamestown, RI - it fit all 7 of us perfectly and had the most amazing views of the bay.
WHERE TO EAT/WHAT TO DO:
Obviously, seafood is a must when visiting the New England and let me tell you, we had the BEST food while visiting.
The Mooring - located in the heart of Newport right next to the beach, half inside/half outside, upscale seafood. The cutest little spot with delicious food + even better service! This is a within a short walk of The Boom Boom Room at The Clarke Cookhouse , which is where we went out dancing after!
Things to try:
Bag of Doughnuts
The Seafood Tower
New England Lobster Roll
Fish & Chips
Classic Mooring Clam Chowder
Rhode Island Stuffed Clams
Fluke Newport - another super New England style restaurant/bar, we sat upstairs in the Harbor View Bar and had great service and food! We stayed for a little over 3 hours I think - so many good cocktails and specialty drinks - plus their oysters are to die for! After dinner at the Fluke, we went out dancing at One Pelham East and had an absolute blast. It's a great place to go with a group for dancing and good music.
Things to try:
Almond Filled Bacon Wrapped Dates
Toasted Hazelnut Cavatelli
In order to squeeze some more of New England in, my sister booked us a New England tour where a guide picked us up and drove us up the coast and into Massachusetts. This was awesome because our guide was a local and gave us an amazing history lesson along the way - we got to see so much in just a few hours. We drove through Providence, stopped to see the habor and Harvard Law School in Boston, saw the homes of famous poets like Robert Frost, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Emily Dickenson, with sprinkled changing trees along the way.
We grabbed lunch at the historic Concord's Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts which was established nearly 300 years ago in 1716 - a lot of the rooms in the hotel and the bathroom in the restaurant we ate at are said to be haunted! This was really a fun place to visit in October :)
Merchants Row at 48 Monument Square - very historic, a little spooky and just the perfect New England style lunch.
Things to try:
Chicken Pot Pie (the best I've ever had!)
The Lobster Roll
We stopped by the most beautiful (and spooky) garden cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts - Mount Auburn Cemetery. It is a sight to see for sure - you can go to the top
of the tower to look out over the entire state.
We ended with a short trip to Nashoba Valley Winery and got a quick tasting in the sunshine surrounded by the vineyards and apple orchards. It was packed but a great experience and really good wine and we got to keep the glasses as a souvenir!
Our final day in Rhode Island started with brunch and ended with "The Last Sail before the Veil" (our theme of my bachelorette) in the harbor.
We had brunch at The Lawn at Castle Hill which was seriously stunning. The drive up is scenic in and of itself, and the restaurant (aka mansion) sits right on the water with views for days of Narragansett Bay. We got a table outside on the lawn and it was a bit chilly but they have baskets of blankets on every corner so you can keep warm and still enjoy the view. This was everything you picture New England to be. They have a live jazz trio on Sunday and their lobster rolls, clam chowder and bloody mary's are amazing!
We ended the trip with a windy, cloudy sail in the harbor. The sailor was awesome and taught us how to sail the boat and gave us some good info/insight on the history of Rhode Island and sailing in general. It was an amazing experience that I absolutely recommend!
My cute sister put together gifts for all the girls including:
Nautical wine tumblers to match our theme of Last Sail before the Veil - dusty pink for the girls, white for me
Personalized totes (that have a zipper and handles!) with our names printed in rose gold
Silk scrunchies (dusty pink for the girls - white for me)
Temporary tattoos of my hubby LOL
Dad hats with removable stickable patches with our theme/hashtag so we could wear the hats again after our trip (navy for the girls, white for me)
Comfy soft plaid flannels (navy/red for the girls, white/red for me) - these were seasonal in Fall from Forever 21
I dressed in white for the whole weekend - here are links to some of the items I wore (or similar ones if the original is sold out/no longer available)!
White Two Piece Set (original is from Rebellious Fashion, sold out) - linked similar option
Polka Dot Mesh Puff Sleeve Dress (original is from Rebellious Fashion, sold out) - linked similar option
White Bodysuit (wearing it backwards)
Black/White Skirt (wearing it shortened/folded up)
Black OTK Suede Boots (original from AMI Clubwear, sold out) - linked similar option
Overall, we had the best trip (thanks again to my sister for planning every detail) - I highly recommend visiting in the Fall if you want to get a true New England experience!