Newport (Rhode Island)

Vanderbilt's mansion "The Breakers"

Newport is a beautiful seaside city in Rhode Island that is famous for its mansions, shopping, and scenery. Newport is also known for hosting the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival and many other Festivals and Fairs. Cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks accent an upscale touristy downtown area with many shops, galleries and great restaurants and its all located along water. Newport sits on the southern end of Aquidneck Island and features several fine beaches, rocky cliffs and much history including an old fort.

Understand

The summer weather generally calls for shorts, short sleeves, and swimsuits. Newport is also surrounded by water you might want to pack a sweatshirt for the night time because it can get a bit cool. Be sure to bring an umbrella with you because Newport is not exactly invincible to rain. It would also be a great time to break out your sunglasses because the summer is the sun's favorite season.

Get in

By car

To get into Newport, or anywhere on Aquidneck Island, you can take one of three bridges: The Newport Bridge (Claiborne Pell Bridge), from Jamestown, The Sakonnet River Bridge, from Tiverton, or the Mount Hope Bridge, from Bristol. *Note: the Newport Bridge (Claiborne Pell) requires an EZ Pass, or the cost is $2.00/axel. You can purchase a transponder at

By plane

By boat

Getting to Newport by boat:

There are many marinas in Newport harbor that offer dock space for sailboats, powerboats, million dollar yachts, and even cruise ships that set anchor in the harbor.

Get around

Newport is a great town to walk, ride, and utilize other modes of transportation besides cars in. When visiting places throughout Newport, you'll notice that most people are walking or bikeriding. Many people use bikes, scooters, and mopeds to get around the city. Most of the restaurants and shops are packed into the harbor area, which is perfect for walking, especially on a cool summer night. Parking your car can get pretty difficult at certain times of the year, which is another benefit of walking. If you decide to take your car downtown, there are various locations that have parking meters. The meters take only quarters (15 minutes) and dimes (5 minutes), and allow you to park for 3 hours. In addition to meters, there are many parking lots that charge around 15-30 dollars for parking.

There is also the option of using the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority

Taxis

Limousine

Bike and Mopeds

Pedicabs

See

Cliff Walk

Mansions

Like most of Newport the Newport Mansions ooze history. The mansions represent over 250 years of history and architecture with walk through audio tours of the establishments. The mansions are a spectacle to see for all who attend. Each establishment, fully preserved, has a different history, some from the Women's Right's Movement in 1920 with Greek and Roman sculpture, some that double as 19th century art galleries, and some with impressive gardens complete with sculpted topiaries. Admission prices vary by tour, whether it is one property of your choice ($14.50 for adults and $5.50 for children ages 6-17) or a five property tour of your selection ($31.50 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-17). Tours of the more popular mansions, such as the Breakers or Hunter House are a bit pricier than the rest. You can purchase your tickets on site at any of the houses or in advance online or by phone at (401) 847-1000, ext. 102.

The Newport Mansions consist of eleven historical sites all with different architectural aspects, history, interiors, and landscape. Out of these eleven, seven are nationally recognized historic landscapes. The Newport Mansions do not only showcase historical house museums, but are also hosts to different galas and functions on the lawns and inside the mansions themselves. The Newport Flower show, proms, and specialty tours are just some of the extra features to see at the Newport mansions including the exquisite array of holiday decorations that are put up during the season.

Newport Mansion tours are not only for those interested in historical architecture or Rhode Island history, but for all ages due to the walk through tours, audio information, and the overall grandiose appeal of the estates.

Park in the free off-street parking spaces provided by all Preservation Society properties (with the exception of the Hunter House where you can park on the street.). Allow an hour and a half per house to fully enjoy all that the Newport Mansions have to offer, from their gorgeously elaborate interior to their spacious and breathtaking grounds.

Museums

Movies

Do

Newport offers a variety of activities throughout the year. During the summer season, water sports are extremely popular among Newporters and tourists. Sailing and boating tours are also available starting in the spring, while an outdoor skating rink is a great place to be during the winter. Shopping and gambling are also great tourist attractions throughout the entire year in Newport. You can even take a food tour and get a taste for several restaurants so you know where to go for lunch or dinner while in Newport.

Beaches

Newport is known for its beautiful beaches. There are a variety of both public and private beaches located in the Newport area. Many beaches located in Newport and Middletown are within a few blocks from each other, and have a variety of different features. Some are great for swimming, fishing, and making sand castles, while others have picnic areas and great surf. Some of Newport’s beaches provide family events and entertainment during different times of the year. All beaches in Newport have great views and are perfect for a little relaxation.

Fishing

There are many places in Newport and the rest of Aquidneck Island to go fishing. Saltwater fishing for striped bass, bluefish, and tautog (blackfish) is the way to go. Being on an island, there are many places to fish from. Some of the best spots with easy public access are Fort Adams, Brenton Point, Castle Hill, and any of the public beach areas. You can also charter a fishing boat out of one of the many marinas.

NOTE: Rhode Island has passed a law that requires all aspiring fishers to obtain a license to fish the waters of the state. The license only costs seven dollars, and is to be renewed once a year. To qualify you must simply go to the local Wal*Mart (Located by the rotary on Connell highway) and pay the small fee to legally fish while you enjoy your stay in Newport. It's only a small fee, so you don't have to feel guilty about purchasing one even if you are visiting for a short stay.

Events

Golf

Learn

Newport is a great place to learn and take classes in a variety of different activities. Scuba diving and sailing are two incredible summer activities that you can learn in Newport. Learn to dive at the Newport Diving Center and learn to sail at the Newport Sailing School. There are art classes available at the Newport Art Museum. The classes are offered year round and are an enjoyable option if you find yourself in Newport during the “off” season (September to May).

Buy

Newport has become a great destination for shopping. During the Summer it is extremely popular because in the Downtown area there are so many stores and they are all within walking distance of each other. It is a great way to spend a day, park the car in any of the nearby parking lots and walk around as long as the weather is good!

Eat

The Newport restaurant scene is a pretty elaborate and lavish experience. From places like Sardella’s and The Red Parrot to the more upscale places like The Mooring and 22 Bowen, Newport offers a variety of dining experiences. The night life carries a stigma all its own. For the simple fact that most bars and clubs are all within walking distance of each other, getting around in downtown Newport is a breeze. From the authentic cobblestone Thames Street to Broadway Street, there are plenty of places to lose yourself in a Cape Codder or a Martini.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Newport is one of the state's most quaint sea towns. It harbors some of the finest seafood restaurants in the area. However, if seafood is not your style, Newport still has plenty of other fantastic dining options. Places like 22 Bowen or The Mooring are some of the most upscale places you can go in Newport short of having dinner at The Breakers. The atmosphere is high class and a certain conduct is expected. These places are great for anniversaries, celebration dinners, and expensive couples nights out. The menu is only rivaled by the wine lists. Both are quite extensive. You can get some of the best seafood in the state at these places, while also finding exquisitely prepared chicken or steak.

Drink

Newport is known for its lively night scene. Whether you want to enjoy a quiet cocktail, hang with the locals, or dance along to a live band, you will find a place in Newport to suit your preferences. “Downtown” Newport has bars all within walking distance of one another. Many bars are located just a few blocks from most hotels and inns, making a scenic walk an easy choice. Most bars are in the downtown area including upper Thames Street, lower Thames Street, America’s Cup Avenue, Memorial Boulevard, and Bellevue Avenue.

There are too many bars in Newport to include them all, below is a diverse collection of the best. Walking or taking a cab is recommended to avoid the dangers of drinking and driving, and the nuisance of finding a parking spot.

Listed below is a suggested "bar hop" for lower Thames Street and America's Cup Avenue. Beginning with Pelham East, you can walk to each bar in the order it is listed. Remember that the bar hop is for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Try a drink from each, but remember to be responsible.

Sleep

There are a few big hotels, and an abundance of bed & breakfasts. In season, it's expensive everywhere, and many places require multiple night stays. Newport is a great place to go visit for the day but also offers many lodging options such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, and various campgrounds.

Go next

Ferries go to Block Island in the summer. Rhode Island has other travel destinations, or try Cape Cod or Boston in Massachusetts.

Routes through Newport

Voluntown Jamestown  W  N  Middletown Fall River


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.