Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, April 20, 2015

At the junction of penny candy and the Grateful Dead: The Fantastic Umbrella Factory

At the junction of penny candy and the Grateful Dead lies the the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown, Rhode Island. It's not a factory and there aren't many umbrellas, but despite what may be lacking in its curious name, it is abundant in magic and bohemian whimsy. 






Robert Bankel started The Fantastic Umbrella Factory in 1968 on an old country farmstead with one building built in the 1800s, known as Temperance Hall. What started as an old fashioned gift shop and penny candy emporium has grown to a property for local artists, collectors, and anyone who wants to slow down for a bit, wander the gardens, and embrace their bohemian spirit. 




The one on the left is my new favorite mug. 

The tag attached to the handle of the mug. 

The business has since changed hands, now owned by David and Linda Turano, and has expanded to include six other businesses, greenhouses, and a seasonal cafe serving organic and vegetarian friendly local fare. 




Listen to the wind in the bamboo...



but don't take it. 



Explore the gardens and meet some of the locals. The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is home to emus, ducks, hens, and goats. 



Sit and think, or enjoy a conversation with friends. 


Or find the perfect tree for a photo op. 


Find peace and inspiration in the vibes of the property. 









And explore the ever changing treasures around each corner. 



The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is located at 4820 Old Post Road in Charlestown, Rhode Island, about a 90 minute drive from central Massachusetts. It is close to the beach town of Narragansett and a short drive from the iconic summer playground of Newport, Rhode Island. 

Have you ever been to The Fantastic Umbrella Factory? Do you have a similar place where you live?



38 comments:

  1. Wow! I've lived in CT almost my entire life and have been to RI more times then I can count and have never heard of this place?? I'm definitely going to have to plan a stop there with the boys this summer! They will absolutely love the animals...and I'll love everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Groovy man!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Groovy man!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This place looks magical! I'd love to visit. My mom is drawn to shops like this too and I think she'd love it. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Generation Above MeApril 20, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    What a whimsical store. How wonderful that you got to visit. How kind of you to share pics and observations. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Kelly, What a terrific travel story! Looks like such a fun place to visit with plenty of little treasures to be found, and a nice destination for those visiting Rhode Island in the summer months too. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is a treasure trove, Peggy, with surprises around every corner. It's a perfect place to explore. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Whimsical captures the essence of this property, for sure. It is a treasure trove, with surprises around every corner. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope she loves it, Jill. It does have a magical essence, and I'm sure it has something for everyone. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You will love it, Allie. :-) There are surprises around every corner. It's a perfect place to explore. And they still have a whole table of penny candy. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a delightful place.....and your descriptions are wonderful, Kelly! Reminds me of our years in New England.....small, thriving towns, mom and pop places welcoming everyone and surprises waiting around every turn in the road! Great post.....thanks for pulling me back!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an adorable place! Your life is always full of so many great adventures! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. It is a whimsical place, Joan. Where in New England were you? I love how different the New England states can be, even in-state. So much to explore.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks, Mandee! I am blessed. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Food and art, perfect. I visit my sister who lives in Pawtucket and this place will go onto our list while we head to the beach. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a wonderful place! I spent summers in New England (Vermont) and I remember fun little shops like this. Thank you for sharing the great photos.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How cute! I love all the unique details. I'd love to explore New England someday. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. How wonderful! I love quirky artsy places - this reminds me of the village of Todo Santos, Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think you would too. Road trip? Make a weekend out of it; explore Newport and Narragansett too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's a cute place. And with Rhode Island being so small, it's easy to move from one end of the state to the other. Have fun exploring!

    ReplyDelete
  21. We love Vermont, Sharon. There are some great places to explore there too. It reminded me of a place you would find in Brattleboro. Thank you for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I did too, Ashley. I took far too many pictures, but there was so much to see. You will love New England. There is so much to see and do. Thank you for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  23. We do too, Laura. Todo Santos sounds like a place I would like to see. Did you write about it? Please send along a link. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a fun place. I have never heard of it, very unique.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Pam Rouette-BryantApril 20, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    Love this place. I bought a pretty metal sun bird bath. I'll be back in may. Great place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is a great place. And I'm sure every time you go, there is some new undiscovered treasure. Have fun! Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's great for a RI day trip. Fun to explore and close to Newport.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I live in Charlestown and we visit the Umbrella Factory every summer! It's an awesome place to feed the animals, browse the quirky shops and pass a couple hours within the amazing gardens!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Paula Braman-DuarteApril 22, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Great idea for an easy day trip. As a Rhode Islander, I have visited there but not in a long time. Stopping there and then may head to walk around Watch Hill before the busy season gets underway. Here's to enjoying the warm spring weather and all that New England has to offer.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This place looks so cool! The name of it would alone make me stop in.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You know, I don't think I did! May have to dig up the photos and do just that. The town is amazing - full of artists and the 'real' Hotel California!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Looks like a neat place to browse--and pick up some penny candy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It was, Connie. And they had quite a selection of candy, old fashioned and new. Thank you for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I agree, Rachel. It has the most curious name. It's a gem and well worth the time.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I agree, Paula. We paired it with a late afternoon stroll around Newport. Now that the flowers are in bloom, it must be lovely. Enjoy your next visit.

    ReplyDelete
  36. We had a great time. We paired it with a late afternoon stroll around Newport. Now that the flowers are in bloom, it must be lovely. Enjoy your next visit.

    ReplyDelete