Sailing Through Iconic Newport, Rhode Island
If you’re looking for a relaxing trip to a charming and beautiful town, Newport – with its Gilded Age mansions and opulent yachts – will make you feel like you’re part of the top one percent for a few days. Enjoy stunning sunset views, incredible food and mind-blowing walks along the cliff. You’ll fall in love with it all.
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Where to stay in Newport, Rhode Island
Inns of Newport
Charming collection of inns in a central location, most with a traditional look and Shaker-style furnishings.
Upscale option with a nautical vibe and an unbeatable location on the Wharf.
Gurney's Newport Resort & Marina
Hip and handsome, this 257-room hotel is both a party pad and escape to the seaside, just minutes from downtown Newport.
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Things to do in Newport, Rhode Island
Go to a sailing event
Newport is known as the sailing capital of America, so be sure to visit during one of their many regattas. Boat lovers will particularly enjoy visiting during the Newport International Boat Show. Newport is such a yachting hub and the town really goes out during these shows, so it makes for a fun experience.
Charter a boat
This boat-loving town is a great place to charter a catamaran for a day so you can discover all of the inlets and hidden gems. Heron Luxury Charters is the company to do it with. Sit back in a beanbag and relax as the host hands you a rum punch while you cruise the Narragansett on a 65’ luxury catamaran. You can also go paddle boarding off the yacht and let the captain take you to some of the waterfront restaurants. An amazing experience overall.
For a more simple but still lovely experience, go for what Rhode Islanders call a “Mimosa Sail,” with Classic Cruises of Newport. The Schooner Madeleine and Adirondack II are particularly great. The Newport Yacht Club also offers sailboat rentals and lessons.
Visit the mansions
A trip to Newport wouldn’t be complete without visiting the mansions. During the Gilded Age, the nation’s wealthiest families flocked to Newport, and the diligent preservation of more than a dozen of these homes gives us an intimate look into Newport’s history.
If you’re only going to visit one, The Breakers is the most majestic and extravagant of them all. With its 70 rooms and unparalleled lookout onto the Atlantic Ocean, anyone would dream of picturing themselves living there as they wander in and around the expansive property.
The Elms was designed after a French château and is simply regal, with incredible period furniture. Be sure to visit the enchanting gardens and consider taking a guided Servant Life tour. Other stunning mansions include Rosecliff, Marble House and Chateau-sur-Mer. A great way to see some of these fabulous homes is to do the Cliff Walk along the water. It’s 3.5 miles total, but you can walk as much or as little of it as you feel like.
Go down Ocean Drive
The drive offers ten miles of historic landmarks, houses and gorgeous coastal views. Consider stopping by Brenton State Park for a picnic.
While Newport is a wonderful summer destination, it’s also well worth a visit during the holidays. The mansions put on impressive displays of Christmas trees which will leave you staring in awe. Gurney’s Resort also turns into a fantastic cold-weather place, with a skating rink on the lawn and a hot cocoa stand. Layer up to enjoy a cocktail outside by one of the heaters and get swept up into the magic of Newport all over again.
Places to eat & drink in Newport, Rhode Island
Coffee & breakfast
Root: A vegan restaurant serving excellent juices, smoothies and grain bowls. The owner is warm and welcoming. Highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for something on the healthier side.
Empire Coffee: Phenomenal coffee and tea place.
The Coffee Grinder: It’s hard to pick a favorite coffee place in town, but this one might be it. Plus it’s right on the water.
Diegos: Their duck hash is much-raved about. They also serve great margaritas if you’d like to go back later in the day.
If you’re staying at Inns of Newport, you’ll enjoy the complimentary breakfast served by Rick, the owner. He is the quintessential innkeeper and remembers everyone who stays there. Truly a lovely person. He might even bring you lunch and will do anything to make your stay more pleasant.
Lunch & dinner
Scales and Shells: This homey restaurant serves a great array of incredible seafood dishes. It’s all very fresh and the atmosphere has a relaxed, diner feel to it.
Pasta Beach: The hike up the hill is well worth it for amazing meatballs, cheese plates and of course, pasta.
Stoneacre Brasserie: The tuna taco is amazing, as are the cocktails, which you can sip on the rooftop.
Take a drink at the Marina Pub and Cafe to go on the launch back over to the mainland.
Dance the night away at One Pelham East, which has live music, pool and more.
Go to The Viking Hotel for the best espresso martini you’ll ever have.
Order a Bloody Mary called the Sebastian at Tavern House Kitchen + Bar and have it with a side of lobster claw.
Hang with the locals at Pour Judgement for pool, darts and a good time!
Create your own charcuterie board at Bar and Board, and delight in their unique cocktails.
It’s also fun to go rooftop bar hopping between the Sky Bar at Clarke Cooke House, the Vanderbilt Hotel rooftop (one of the most beautiful places to see the sunset) and Benjamin’s which will make you feel like you’re tucked away in a crow’s nest.
Need to Know
For more East Coast travel tips, check out this guide by Fora Advisor Amanda Blakley: Country Retreat to The Berkshires.
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