Newport, RI
Rhode Island
By Stephen Wortley

Newport, Rhode Island, a historic coastal New England gem founded in 1639, is located less than an hour away from Rhode Island’s capital city of Providence. The city is famous for its historic charm and sweeping ocean views. Convenient to both Providence and Boston, Newport stands out as a unique and inviting oceanfront destination.

Newport is accessible from both T.F. Green Airport (PVD) near Providence and Logan Airport (BOS) in Boston. WhatsCheaper.com can help you find the best and most cost-effective flights to either airport (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). Once you land at T.F. Green, there are shuttles and taxis to take you directly to Newport. From Logan Airport, you can take the Logan Dart shuttle bus or a cab to Boston’s South Station, where you can then take an inexpensive Bonanza bus to Newport. Arrive at Newport Gateway Center on Newport’s America’s Cup Ave. and head inside for maps of the area. WhatsCheaper.com will also find you the best hotel rates to suite your needs. Click here (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to make hotel reservations.

Located next to the Newport Gateway Center is Bowen’s Wharf, which is a great first stop. It’s home to a packed marina, many shops, and restaurants filled with fresh seafood. For those wanting to get out on the water, you can find harbor/sunset cruises, sailing tours, and ferry service here. Bowen’s Wharf also hosts several special events throughout the year. Across the street is Brick Market Place, an open-air market accessible year round with a variety of shops and restaurants surrounding cobblestone streets.

Newport’s Cliff Walk is one of the city’s most memorable sights and one of Rhode Island’s most picturesque scenes. The public walkway is carved into magnificent coastal cliffs and is perfect for a leisurely stroll to listen to the crashing surf below. The Cliff Walk is bordered by the ocean on one side and several of the Newport Mansions on the other. The walking path spans 3.5 miles, but there are numerous entry spots along the way.

WhatsCheaper.com highly recommends visiting the Newport Mansions, as they are one of the city’s biggest attractions. They offer visitors the opportunity to step back in time and walk through the unparalleled splendor of the Gilded Age. Thanks to the efforts of The Preservation Society of Newport County, you can purchase tickets to tour one or several of the mansions, many of which are located on Newport’s famous Bellevue Avenue (just taking a walk or a drive along Bellevue is worthwhile). Marble House is one of the more popular mansions, aptly named for its overwhelming abundance of marble. Along the cliffs at the edge of the property is a Chinese Tea House, built by Alva Vanderbilt to host women’s suffrage rallies.

Boasting 70 Italian Renaissance-inspired rooms, The Breakers is considered the grandest of the mansions. The outside of The Breakers is also notable with its wrought iron gate and carefully designed gardens. 

The drive from the mansions along Ocean Drive to Brenton Point State Park is breathtaking. Brenton Point has numerous large parking lots, which makes it easy to get to your preferred destination. Brenton Point has distinctive silvery-gray rock outcrops jutting out into the Atlantic, and many benches and fields for picnics.  The Atlantic breeze here provides an environment that takes kite flying to another level. 

Fort Adams, dating back to 1799, is the country’s largest coastal fortification. Visitors can tour underground tunnels and view original cannons and artillery. Located in Fort Adams State Park, the site also offers panoramic views of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. Fort Adams State Park is home to some of Newport’s most famous music festivals: the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival, established in 1954 and 1959, respectively.

Newport’s reputation as a summer playground is best demonstrated by Easton’s Beach (also known as First Beach). Adding to its appeal as Newport’s largest beach is its rentable beach houses, refreshments, and the Save the Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium. The beach draws diverse crowds and is enjoyed by bodysurfers and families alike.

Newport isn’t just known for its sand and surf, though. It offers exciting events and festivals throughout the year (such as the Newport Winter Festival and various boating festivals), and there is no shortage of museums and shops to tour. The Newport Art Museum, Museum of Yachting, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame are a sampling of Newport’s offerings.

Whether you’re looking to take a stroll along the coast, learn about the city’s naval and pirate history, gaze upon the boats and yachts bobbing in the harbor, or admire neighborhoods lined with countless colonial homes, Newport is sure to please. Come soak up the sun and book your travel arrangements to the Sailing Capital of the World with WhatsCheaper.com.

MUST SEE IN Newport, RI LIST:

  • 1. Fort Adams
  • 2. Rosecliff
  • 3. Newport Art Museum
  • 4. Cliff Walk
  • 5. International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • 6. Marble House
  • 7. Brick Market Place
  • 8. Brenton Point State Park
  • 9. Museum of Yachting
  • 10. Astors' Beechwood Mansion

Newport, RI EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Newport Winter Festival - February
  • 2. Newport Seafood & Wine Festival - February
  • 3. Great Chowder Cook-Off - June
  • 4. Newport Music Festival - July
  • 5. Black Ships Festival - July
  • 6. Newport Folk Festival - July
  • 7. Newport Jazz Festival - August
  • 8. Newport Waterfront Irish Festival - September
  • 9. Oktoberfest - October
  • 10. Fort Adams Antiques Festival - October

PHOTO GALLERY