Newport, Rhode Island was a great little getaway for my husband and me a couple of weeks ago. We got a chance to chill out, enjoy the beautiful beaches, shops and scenery that Newport has to offer. We really fell in love with the city but I do have to say it didn’t really differ that much from your basic “Jersey Shore tourist town.”

You know, ferry rides, sightseeing, beach shops, good seafood, etc. If you threw in a boardwalk, you’d basically be in Jersey. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but there are a lot of similarities between Newport and other Jersey Shore towns. In fact, one day, decided to take a ferry ride to Block Island, which we’ve heard so much about. An hour later we were transported to....well, how do I describe this? Lambertville, NJ!! Hippies, art shops, Victoriana etc. etc. Ahhh, but the soda. These weird, uniquely flavored artisan sodas.

Judi Franco photo

We first saw them in one shop on Block Island and as we went around, were amazed by the myriad flavors. Some sounded great, others disgusting, but as we traveled around Newport, we saw a lot of this type of soda in many different stores. We were puzzled. Are they a Rhode Island specialty? Or was it just a coincidence that we happened to see this in many of the tourist shops?

Judi Franco photo

We saw flavors that sounded interesting, like butterscotch and coffee soda. And others that sounded pretty nauseating like mustard, pickle and Ranch Dressing flavor. We saw different ones all over the place but one shop had almost every single flavor all in one place. Which would you try? At the end, we chickened out and settled for the safe option: a Rhode Island Mudslide. But there’s always next trip.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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