Known as the perfect summer retreat for wealthy families, singles, retirees, and couples, Newport is a seaside Rhode Island city of historic origins. Events and festivals are a big deal around Newport, as the locals find reason to celebrate everything.
Halloween is met with ghost tours and haunted happenings across the city, Christmas hosts hundreds of thousands or twinkling lights in vibrant colors, and the Fourth of July is all about American pride with flags, fireworks, and barbecues galore.
Newport was once considered an extravagance for travelers of the Gilded Age—those that sought royalty, riches, and abundant luxuries. In the modern age, while there are certainly a bunch of indulgences in Newport, the city is also family-friendly and ideal for all kinds of vacationers and weekend trippers.
North of Martha’s Vineyard and to the east of Jamestown, Newport is a diverse experience, with dynamic landscapes, beautiful scenery, and fascinating histories. Summer homes and antique mansions line designated historic districts, most nudging against the seashores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Other historic homes are further inland, like Rough Point—a once royalty-owned family home for Doris Duke, an heiress in the late 1800s. Located on Bellevue Avenue, the home is now a museum with memorabilia from the Gilded Age. The architecture is gorgeous and lovingly restored to an English Manorial style, courtesy of Peabody and Stearns in 1892. There are seasonal tours through the home, self-guided nature walks through the well-kept gardens, and in-home art exhibits. The tour guides, according to TripAdvisor reviewers, are knowledgeable, well-mannered, and clear-spoken.
For those prefering an afternoon of leisure and fun in the great outdoors, there is Fort Adams State Park—a well-kept and spacious Newport park that bumps Newport Harbor. Walk alongside the bay, rent a sailboat for fun on the waters, or enjoy a seaside picnic with your loved ones.
The acreage is also home to folk and jazz festivals, all of which are annual but with differing dates each year. History buffs will love exploring the remains of a 19th-century fort, which is a great look of early American history.
Opting to stay for a weekend, or longer, is the equivalent of making the conscious decision to relax and lounge. There are lots of fun things to do in Newport and explore, of course, but the atmosphere is peaceful and conducive to positive thoughts, good moods, and relaxed nerves. Practically feel the release of your knotted muscles with every breathtaking glance over the Narragansett Bay.
There are several lovely lighthouses to visit along the bay including:
- Rose Island Lighthouse (Rose Island / Newport) - Built in 1870
- Castle Rock Lighthouse (Newport) - Built in 1890 - Height of the focal plane is 40 feet
- Newport Harbor Lighthouse (Newport / Goat Island) - Built in 1842 at a height of 35 feet
- Point Judith Lighthouse - (Narragansett Bay) Built in 1857, the lighthouse tower stands at 51 feet and grounds are open 8AM- Sunset
- Beavertail Lighthouse - (Narragansett Bay, southern end of Conanicut Island) - Focal plane stands 64 feet. Additional buildings remain on the ground
Head inland, and there are bars, nightclubs, and lots of late-night restaurants for a bit of fancy-free fun in the wee hours. Park in downtown, then walk to your destinations in either directions of the sidewalks. Dance, drink, and mingle the night away with both locals and fellow travelers to Newport.
Fine dining restaurants are big in Newport!
With dozens of up-and-coming chefs working the restaurant circuits, you are sure to sample upscale cuisine, made-to-order from the finest ingredients. Of course, there are several amazing cheap eats around—but why not indulge in sophisticated fare once in a while?
The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn, for instance, is a luxury experience with three course meals—all overlooking the water. You can order any combination of appetizers, entrees, and desserts from the menu. Or, opt for the Chef’s Tasting Menu with six courses of appetizer-portioned favorites.
Care for a little Foie Gras, Carpaccio de Filet Mignon, or Escargot? Try Restaurant Bouchard, a fine dining experience that will tantilize your taste buds and transport you directly to France. Or, perhaps you'd rather explore the sea and enjoy a fine sampling of surf at The Mooring. Choose a fresh lobster, oysters on the half shell or perhaps mussels, squid, scallops, or a delicious crab cake. No matter which delicouly prepared, seasoned and presented dish you prefer, you food here or Restart Bouchard, or The Dining Room is bound to be spectacular. The restuarants in Newport boast epic wine lists too!
Other great Newport honorable mentions include, Jo's American Bistro, the Rosemary & Thyme Cafe, and the lovely Corner Cafe,
Stay at the top-ranked hotels in Newport!
When you book a stay in Newport, Rhode Island, you should consider the positive reviews of past guests to the city. Here are four top-ranked Newport hotels—Mill Street Inn, Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina, Hotel Viking, and Newport Marriott. Much of the lodging in Newport is quite good.
Mill Street Inn
Ranked as one of the best hotels in Newport, the Mill Street Inn is a boutique hotel that caters to families, business professionals, weekend vacationers, and couples. The suites are private-owned townhouses, so you are renting someone else’s well-furnished, beautiful summer home for the duration of your stay.
Notable accommodations include fresh-baked cookies at check-in, private balconies overlooking Newport, feather beds, delicious free breakfasts daily, and free high-speed internet.
For entertainment, guests usually walk the .14-mile trip to The Old Stone Mill for a self-guided tour through a stellar piece of old American history.
Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina
Located on the water, the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina is beautiful and huge with a vintage feel. Each suite is well-equipped and well-furnished with the homiest amenities, like king-sized beds, a separate living room, clean and fluffed towels, and fresh, spring-scented linens. Other accommodations include conference facilities and a small business center, room service, a heated indoor swimming pool, free high-speed internet, an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge, and a banquet hall.
For fun, traverse the docks of Newport Harbor, dip your toes in the water, and simply relax with a view of a famed Rhode Island sunset.
The Hotel Viking
The Hotel Viking on Bellevue Avenue is ginormous, luxurious, and perfect for both ON and OFF-season indulgence. You can expect the usual accommodations, such as super-comfortable, king-sized beds, spacious showers with excellent water pressure, and self-serve laundry facilities.
There are a slew of indulgent, luxurious amenities, such as a hot tub, heated indoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge, 24-hour room service, basic spa services, and a well-equipped fitness center. There is also a well-stocked minibar in each suite.
For a spooky time, walk to Trinity Church for a ghost tour close to Halloween. Or, go any time to explore the inner-workings of a small church with classic stain-glass windows, built in 1726.
With views of Newport Harbor and the local Marina, the Newport Marriott is a luxurious, family-friendly hotel with a nautical theme. Often described as picture-perfect, the hotel offers seashore and sunset views from private balconies. Some of the best accommodations include babysitting services for a few hours each night, room service, free high-speed internet, a heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and concierge services with a bar and lounge. Entertainment-wise, you should book a massage and other simple spa services with on-site massage therapists and licensed spa professionals.
Ready to explore the splendor of Newport, Rhode Island? Book now. Save now. TravNow!