Rhode Island Monthly Rhode Trips 2011 : Page 9

By t he S ea It’s all about atmosphere. PERHAPS IT IS SO ENCHANTING because it comes and goes with the season, a fl eeting pleasure we’re afforded for an all too brief spell in the warmest of months, but Theatre By the Sea in Matunuck is a summer necessity. Live theater, when done well, is one of the simplest ways to escape reality and this rustic, old theater always does it well, thanks to good talent and an intrinsically magical venue. This year’s sea-son features four Tony Award-winning shows, running from June 3 to September 4. Cut out of work early on a Friday and take a cruise down to Matunuck. Avoid Route 1 traffi c and make the drive part of the adventure. Ministerial Road isn’t the fastest way to get there, but it is a scenic alternative (dare we suggest you travel by motorcy-cle?). Friday shows don’t start until 8 p.m. so you’ll have time to swing by South Kingstown Town Beach, ditch your shoes and take a stroll in the sand. Keep reality at bay post-show by making a night of it and staying nearby: The real world can wait until Saturday morning — better yet, make it Saturday afternoon. Wi ne & Dine Reservations not required. THAT’S RIGHT, no reservations, no sport coats and forget the heels. Take a pass on dinner at your favorite gourmet restaurant and cook up a little romance of your own. Rhode Island’s farms are bursting with the vibrant colors, scents, textures and flavors of summer, and there’s no better place to get that full sensory e xperience than a farmers’ market. Market days and hours vary by location, but starting in late spring they sprout like dandelions. While the two of you could hit a market together on a weeknight, why not make a day of it? Our suggestion: Head to Middletown for the Aquidneck Growers’ Saturday Market. You’ll fi nd myriad of local ven-dors and fresh goodies such as artisanal cheeses, veggies that still smell of the earth, perfectly ripened fruit, honey, flo w ers , ev en meat. Ta k e time to browse, enjoy each other ’s company and stock up on what appeals to you. Conveniently this market is held right at Newport Vineyards, an ideal follow-up to the morning. The vineyard pro -vides public tours at 1 and 3 p.m. daily, no reservations required ( private tours are also available but must be sched-uled in adv ance). Not up for a tour? How about some jazz? Grab a bottle to continued on page 10 » Unwind with dinner and a view in South County. Top: Get fresh at a farmers’ market. Top: Yellow/Shutterstock; Right: Phil Date/Shutterstock Are oysters really an aphrodisiac? EAT You decide. Matunuck Oyster Bar is minutes from the theater and boasts one of the freshest, most popular raw bars in the state (they’ve got cooked catches, too). Feast on cherrystones, lobster, shrimp, littlenecks and (hello) oysters. The place is always hopping so be patient: The meal and the view are worth the wait. 629 Succotash Rd., East Matunuck, 401-783-4202, rhodyoysters.com Located less than a mile from the STAY theater, the romantic b-and-b-style accommodations at the Admiral Dewey Inn make it a fine choice. If you don’t mind a slightly longer drive and are after a touch more privacy, retreat to Hathaway’s Guest Cottages in Charlestown, where you can have a one-or two-room stand alone cottage all to yourselves. Admiral Dewey Inn, 668 Matunuck Beach Rd., South Kingstown, 401-783-2090, admiraldeweyinn.com; Hathaway’s Guest Cottages, 4470 Old Post Rd., Charlestown, 401-364-6665, hathaways guestcottages.com Schedule this Rhode Trip for a TIP Friday and you might be able to squeeze in some post-show star gazing at Frosty Drew Observatory in Charles-town’s Ninigret Park. The observatory, which is open Fridays year-round, promises unparalleled heavenly views. frosty drew.org 2011 I RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY I RHODE TRIPS 9

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