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Great Escapes: Off-the-Beaten-Path Lodging

07 03 14 - 12:25
For travelers in search of a much-needed escape, Rhode Island has a host of amazing accommodations, from luxe waterside resorts to hip, urban high-rises. But we also lay claim to some pretty unique lodging, spaces that are a tad off the radar but possess that 'cool factor' in spades. Rooms that, in short, come with a compelling story.

Here are three postcard-worthy properties:
Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Rose Island Lighthouse (a fully operational lighthouse) offers two options for overnight visitors. Guests can either choose to spend the night in the two bedrooms on first floor of the museum, or become a volunteer keeper for a week or night and bunk in the second floor apartment. Travel back to a simpler time, roll up your sleeves (you'll have to make your own bed), pack a cooler, and enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Newport Harbor. Contact: David McCurdy, Executive Director,
401-847-4242 (office),
401-429-8944 (cell); roseislandlighthouse.org

The Belefonte, Newport There's a room with a view, and then there's a room with a view. "The Belefonte," a vintage houseboat revamped by designer Kristen Coates and artist Chris Wyllie gets props for being the most hipster-chic overnight in the state (not to mention one of the most scenic spots to lay your head). Moored in Newport Harbor, the boat sleeps up to four with room for a dozen dinner guests (there's a BBQ on board). Contact: Kristen Coates and Chris Wyllie, 401-400-1261; http://belafonteatsea.tumblr.com/stay

Maxwell Mays Cottage, Coventry Maxwell Mays in a much-beloved American painter known for his whimsical paintings of Rhode Island. Stay where he painted: the Maxwell Mays lakefront cottage is situated on a 300-plus-acre wildlife preserve, managed by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. Guests who visit this secluded retreat can revel in the natural landscape and enjoy canoeing, bird watching and nature hikes galore. Lots of land isn't synonymous with roughing it, however; the two-bedroom cottage is equipped with a fireplace, full kitchen, screened porch and an outdoor gas grill. Contact: Lawrence Taft, executive director, 401-949-5454; www.asri.org

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

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