Ten Great Things to Do in Newport
Bannisters Wharf was colonial Newport's commercial lifeline. Today, it is still a lifeline for thousands who come to visit the "City by the Sea" every year. Whether you're looking for waterfront accommodations, a great meal, lively nightlife, a unique shopping experience or just somewhere to dock your boat, this is the place. Bannisters Wharf is now home to the Clarke Cooke House (favorite local spot of Ted Turner and Dennis Conner), and many other shops and services. The Clarke Cooke House has it all. Great sushi at The Candy Store, sophisticated dining on The Porch and the most popular discotheque in Newport in the basement at The Boom Boom Room.
No trip to Newport is complete without a stroll along the Cliff Walk. Newport’s dramatic coastline and natural beauty are nowhere more charmingly on display than on the 3.5-mile path. Named one of fifty “Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler, the Cliff Walk is winds between the sprawling lawns of the opulent Newport mansions and the pounding surf of the Atlantic. Open year-round, the Cliff Walk is best enjoyed from spring through autumn, when wildflowers and lush foliage bring an additional layer of color to the experience. Tip: At the Newport Visitors Center, be sure to pick up the Cliff Walk map, it’s a bargain at only $3 and it is worth every penny! The walk runs from Bailey's Beach to First Beach, with public access points at Bellevue Avenue, Ledge Road, Marine Avenue, Ruggles Avenue, Ruggles Avenue, Sheppard Avenue, Webster Street, and Narragansett Avenue. The walk skirts the edges of some of the city’s mansions, including Beechwood, Rosecliff, Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, and Rough Point. The latter half of the cliff walk has unpaved sections and rugged paths. All manner of people, from little children to oldsters, stroll the walk at their own pace, some enjoying the view from the heights, some clambering down to the rocky shoreline below.
Parks & Rec
The South End of Jamestown has a rugged coastline offering breathtaking views from Ft. Wetherill State Park. Ft. Wetherill is well-suited for walking, picnicking, kayaking and biking. There is also a small beach with a cove frequented by divers year round. Also get to the West Passage at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown for a day of fun clambering around rocky cliffs, peering into sea life in tide pools, and settling down with a picnic for a spectacular sunset.
Bringing the Napa Experience to Newport
Newport Vineyards in Middletown provides an example of excellent wines and hospitable vineyard operators to be found in the Northeast. This is a family owned winery, founded in 1977. Since that time, the winery has grown to 60 vineyard acres. There are live music events in the summer and public tours and tastings. These include a tour in the vineyards, a behind the scenes look at the wine making process and a tasting of five wines. The winery features an art gallery and retail shop with wine accessories and signature clothing. Tasting are offered daily.
Lighthouse Keeper for the Knight
At Rose Island Lighthouse in Narragansett Bay just outside Newport Harbor, visitors may tour during the day and learn about the lives of lighthouse keepers families. The lighthouse museum is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Adventurous explorers can spend a night in the keeper’s house, eating and sleeping in the same rooms occupied by keepers families for more than 100 years.
The Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant presents dinner and light theatrical fun, just right for vacation. A family owned and operated business since 1983, the diner theater is a favorite of locals and guests due to the quality and consistency of what they offer audiences. In addition to the shows, this is a place to eat well. The Cranston Herald wrote, "If you can’t find something you like in the huge selection, then there is no buffet that will please you. Look for the specialties. The chef makes a delicious hot and spicy roast pork dish that I could have filled up on." Winner of Providence Journal "Best Summer Theater - 2015"
The Newport Mansions
Visit any of the Newport Mansions that grace Newport's rocky shoreline and stately avenues. Built as summer cottages by the plutocrats of the Gilded Age, the mansions -- the Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, Rosecliff, and more -- are impressive artifacts of American social history in spectacular natural settings. One of the most impressive is Marble House, one of the many Gilded Age homes owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Marble House was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built and furnished at a reported cost of $11 million, with 500,000 cubic feet of marble, it was the most lavish house in America when it opened in 1892. It became a grand stage for Alva Vanderbilt's climb to social and political power, first as a leading society hostess and later as a leader of the "Votes for Women" campaign. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The grounds include a colorful Chinese teahouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, which Alva had built in 1914. The property offers a self-guided audio tour so you can go at your own pace.Tip: Looking for a light lunch without interrupting your mansion touring trek? During the summer you can enjoy a wonderful lunch at the Chinese teahouse overlooking the tranquil sea.
White Horse Tavern in Newport is historically a 17th century tavern, but that word doesn't convey the present-day tone of this classiest of Newport dining establishments. The decor is sumptuous and the menu is first-class. It is the place to impress a visitor or Newport. The building itself is a classic of colonial Newport construction with its giant interior beams, small stairway hard against chimney, tiny front hall, and cavernous fireplaces. Great for formal or romantic occasions.
Game, Set, Chukka
For tennis fans, a visit to the The International Tennis Hall of Fame, is a must do (located at 194 Bellevue Avenue). The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The Museum was recognized as the sport's official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. Tip: Be a part of history! You can book a tennis court and play a game or two of tennis, right on the grass courts! Tennis buffs, step up to history and make your mark.
The Newport International Polo Series offers an exciting lineup of 17 consecutive, action-packed polo matches every Saturday from June through September featuring an all-star lineup of international competitors playing against USA, a City Series featuring US rivals playing against Newport. The picturesque venue on Glen Farm in Portsmouth offers tableside seating within the Alex and Ani Pavilion, on elevated levels of the pavilion or at tables on the lawn. Pack a cooler and enjoy the afternoon – fun for the whole family.
A Sky Full of Color
The Newport Kite Festival is held on the second weekend of July on the Southern tip of Newport, at “Brenton Point State Park”. The park offers a spectacular commanding wide-open view, with the Atlantic to the South and the Mouth of Narragansett Bay to the West. Nearly surrounded by water, the grass fields of “the point” as the locals call it, has grown to be a friendly, well known premier spot to fly kites.