The New England town of Newport, Rhode Island is charming to say the least. Set on the water, fishing remains a way of life for locals and sailing is just about everyone’s favorite hobby. The smell of salt water reminds you that delicious seafood is on every menu, whether you fancy a warm cup of chowder or raw oysters fresh from the sea. Boutique hotels are aplenty and Main Street is dotted with cute shops and vintage candy stores. A stroll along the Cliff Walk will leave you in awe of old money and the extravagance of the Gilded Age. There are so many reasons why you will love Newport, but here are our top five.
1) SCRUMPTIOUS SEAFOOD IN NEWPORT
There’s no shortage of delicious seafood in Newport and a weekend isn’t nearly long enough to get your fill. At lunchtime, head to the Black Pearl for a cold Narragansett beer and cup of their famous chowder, while dining alfresco on their casual, dock-side patio. For dinner, we love Bouchard, Stoneacre Pantry and the Midtown Oyster Bar (a favorite of the locals). If you arrive early enough at the Midtown Oyster Bar, you can pony up to the raw bar and see who’s faster – the guy shucking the oysters or you, slurping them down.
2) SAILING IS THE LOCAL PAST TIME
There’s no better way to see Newport than from the water. Take a sail with 12 Meter Charters and you’ll find yourself aboard a retired America’s Cup sailboat. You’ll get a great view of the coastal scenery, and the experienced sailors will give you a lesson on Newport’s history during the 2-hour sail around the harbor.
3) A MULTITUDE OF BOUTIQUE HOTELS
Big box chains of huge hotels are tough to come by in Newport. Instead, they tend towards the boutique side of things. Many are housed in old, historical homes. There are maybe a half a dozen rooms in most of the inns, and the floors creak with character when you walk. Our favorite is the Gilded Hotel, just a 5-minute walk from the center of town. The burst of color begins with the purple façade and continues inside with vibrant pink sofa and butterfly wallpaper in the entry parlor. Across town, the waterfront Castle Hill Inn serves a slightly larger and more upscale option. The restaurant and lawn area at Castle Hill is a destination on its own. We recommend enjoying a cocktail (or 2) in one of the Adirondack chairs on the lawn while you watch sailboats glide by as the sun dips into the bay.
4) MAIN STREET SHOPS
Back in town, shop along Main Street and be sure to pop in The Newport Fudgery. Time it right and the fudge will still be warm! You can’t go wrong with standard milk chocolate, but with so many homemade options, it’s fun to purchase one of their sampler packs to try a few different flavors. Our favorite Newport boutique, Cabbage Rose, is just a few blocks down the street and sells the cutest clothing and accessories so be sure to pop in a pick up a fun souvenir.
5) CLIFF WALKS & OLD MONEY
For a look at how the ‘other side’ lives, take a stroll along the famed Cliff Walk admiring the mansions from the Gilded Age and stunning views of the Atlantic. On the 3.5 mile trail, you’ll peek into properties like The Breakers and the old summer home of the Vanderbilt family. To get your cardio in, walk the historic ’40 Steps. According to local tradition, these steps were built by David Presley Hall in the 1830’s so his kids could have access to the beach. Ten years later, he deeded public right of way to the City for the steps and ever since they’ve been a gathering place along the Cliff Walk.
There’s no better time to be in Newport than summer with this charming East Coast destination bringing a welcomed calm to those who visit. Showcasing that laid-back, New England coast vibe, Newport is truly a special place.
Have you ever been to Newport? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
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