NEWPORT HOTEL GETS HIGH DESIGN MAKEOVER
Lovers of historic Newport will want to check out The Cliffside Inn, the newest redesigned and modernized property in the Lark Hotels portfolio. Located steps away from the Cliffwalk and opulent Newport mansions, the 16-room boutique hotel’s preserved historical elements harken back to the home’s former identity as “Swann Villa,” named by former Maryland governor Thomas Swann, who built the stately Victorian manor in 1876. Look for a palette of jewel tones, rich textures, and eclectic patterns in each of inn’s 16 guest rooms and cottages that also offer whirlpool tubs and/or spa showers, gas fireplaces, and unique architectural details original to the building. Amenities include a small-plates breakfast with each stay, evening turndown service, outdoor fire pit, onsite library, and more. Rates from $180 to $650 for double occupancy depending on room and season. 401-847-1811. www.thecliffside
BEER LOVERS JUST SAY WOOF
After a hard day at work, grab your pup and head to the dog-friendly Kimpton Marlowe hotel in Cambridge for Dogs & Drafts, taking place every third Tuesday evening from June through October. (5:30 to 7:30 p.m., weather permitting.) Sample a different craft beer each month from New England’s finest micro-breweries — Harpoon Brewery, Night Shift Brewing, Notch Brewing, Bantam Cider, and Berkshire Brewing Company — and tasty bites such as grilled gourmet hot dogs, hamburger sliders, thick cut fries, and vanilla and chocolate ice cream cones from Bambara Kitchen & Bar’s executive chef, David Bazirgan. Pups can enjoy free, hand-crafted treats courtesy of Polka Dog Bakery. Each event includes fun raffle prizes for pets and their owners that benefit Last Hope K9, a nonprofit, all-breed dog rescue based in Massachusetts. New this year: a grand prize of an exclusive private Duck Tour for 16 guests and their dogs. Admission is free; beer and food available for purchase. 617-868-8000.
GET SHUCKED IN PEI
Have an oyster-licious farm-to-table experience with the Valley Pearl Oysters “Get Shucked” tour. Located in scenic Tyne Valley on Prince Edward Island, participants can practice tonging (the process of gathering oysters off the ocean floor with long rake-like tools) with owners, farmers, and competitive oyster shuckers Jeff Noye and Damien Enman. After collecting the tasty bivalves, the group will return to the plant to learn about processing methods, practice shucking, and taste some premium PEI oysters. This experience is offered July 1 through Sept. 30, by appointment. From $65 per person. Call 902-439-1716 or 902-954-0664. valleypearloysters.com/tour
FESTIVAL OF BEER, BBQ, AND BANDS
Celebrate all-things-summer at the Windy City Smokeout (July 12-14), Chicago’s three-day extravaganza combing beer, barbecue, and bands, featuring both country music superstars and up-and-coming talent, including performances by Ashley McBryde, Old Dominion, Lanco, Chris Young, and more. Attendees can sample tasty ribs, brisket, smoked meats, and more prepared by 20 barbecue pit masters from all over the country, highlighting styles from Kentucky, Nashville, Missouri, and Chicago. Quench your thirst with a glass of beer from top American breweries, including Chicago’s own Moody Tongue, Local Option, Goose Island, Pipeworks, and Burnt City. Exclusive events throughout the weekend include a BBQ brunch, tasting experiences, “the biggest happy hour of summer,” and more. Purchase single-day or weekend tickets before July 9 for reduced prices. $40-$110. Stay in style at the nearby Hoxton Hotel, a newly constructed building in the West Loop/Fulton Market neighborhood. Rates from $229. 312-761-1700. thehoxton.com/illinois/chicago/hotels
INTERNATIONAL CUISINE AT HOME
Travel introduces us to cultures and cuisine we may never experience at home. A new book by Moonstone Press, “Famous Dishes From Around the World: Healthy, Tasty and Affordable,” gathers international recipes in one easy-to-use collection. Compiled by lovers of ethnic food who have lived in far-flung locales, it features 30 dishes identified with specific countries worldwide, such as Colombian sancocho, French ratatouille, Indian vegetable korma, Mexican fajitas, Moroccan tagine with chicken, Polish lentil stew, Spanish paella, and more. The bilingual text (English and Spanish) features both authentic recipes and healthy variations of original dishes, such as Greek moussaka made with ground turkey in place of lamb or beef. Also includes calorie and nutrition breakdowns; background information about each dish; and budget-conscious meals. $14.99.
PORTABLE SOLAR-POWERED COOKERS
Take advantage of the power of the sun on your next hiking, kayaking, or camping trip with the GoSun and GoSun Sport Pro Pack solar cookers. Perfect for when you want hot food on land or sea, in summer and winter months. These portable and durable solar ovens can cook a meal in as little as 20 minutes — reaching temperatures up to 550-degrees — and can also be used to boil water. The cookers absorb a broad spectrum of radiation, and work whenever you can see a defined shadow. Weighing only 2 pounds, GoSun, is better for solo camping trips. The Sport Pro Pack is more substantial, and is touted for family camping or beach trips. The latter includes an extra cooking tray and padded carrying case. $139/$359. www.gosun.co/products/portable-solar-cooker