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The Classic Coast

Sail, Sightsee, Shop, Savor, And Seek In Newport, Rhode Island

Article by Karen Creason

Photography by Provided by Discover Newport

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Welcome to Newport, Rhode Island, where history, culture, and coastal beauty blend seamlessly. Located along scenic shores, Newport invites you to discover its heritage, relax on its beaches, indulge in its growing culinary scene, and make memories through its various experiences. Whether you're a solo adventurer, a family searching for quality time, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or friends looking for a fun escape, Newport offers something for everyone. And while summer is bustling with activity, don't underestimate the charm of Newport in spring and fall.

Effortless Arrival:

Arrive easily with a 2-hour and 20-minute flight into Providence (PVD) or Boston (BOS) followed by a picturesque drive showcasing quaint New England towns, iconic lighthouses, and sailboats bobbing in the harbor. 

Accommodation Options:

Newport's accommodations cater to every preference and budget but for those seeking luxury, look no further than The Brenton Hotel. Situated overlooking the harbor, this boutique hotel seamlessly blends modern flair with nautical charm. Wake up to breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay and conveniently explore Newport by car, foot, or with complimentary bicycles. Relax on the rooftop after a day of exploration, soaking in the breathtaking views.

Unforgettable Experiences:

Newport is renowned for its outstanding hospitality. Its activities and attractions are guaranteed to delight every visitor, including those traveling with pets.

Maritime Marvels:

Maritime enthusiasts will delight in visiting The Sailing Museum, home to the America's Cup and National Sailing halls of fames, offering hands-on sailing simulators for an immersive experience. Experience Newport's charm from a different perspective with Sail Newport's one-hour “Try Sailing” experience. Rather not get wet? Hop on the narrated Coastal Queen Cruise, offering views of iconic landmarks including Castle Hill Lighthouse, one of nine lighthouses around Newport. 

Historical Gems:

History buffs will be captivated by the grandeur of Fort Adams, a former U.S. Army post, where tours unveil officer's quarters and hidden underground listening tunnels. Don't miss the opportunity to witness a stunning sunset from the Fort Adams Bay Walk. Discover Newport's rich cultural history by visiting St. Mary’s Church, constructed in 1852, and admire the original stained-glass windows. St. Mary’s is also the site of Jackie and John F. Kennedy’s wedding. Nearby, tour America’s oldest synagogue, Touro Synagogue. No visit to Newport is complete without touring the Newport mansions, including iconic landmarks like The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, and Rosecliff. Step back in time to witness the extravagant lifestyles of America's elite from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring opulent estates with breathtaking architecture, lavish interiors, and lush gardens.

Musical Magic:

Music lovers will be drawn to Newport’s legendary music festivals - the Newport Jazz Festival (August 2-4) and the iconic Newport Folk Festival (July 26-28).

Adventurous Escapes and Exciting Experiences:

Whether you're an avid adventurer or prefer more leisurely pursuits, Newport offers a wealth of experiences. Walk the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile scenic trail along the rugged coastline with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the historic mansions. For a tranquil nature walk, visit Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Alternatively, hop aboard the Rail Explorer, a unique adventure featuring pedal-powered vehicles gliding along railroad tracks. Hands-free travel lets you capture gorgeous photos while enjoying the fresh ocean air. Make a pit stop at the Audrain Auto Museum to marvel at classic and rare automobiles. Be sure to enjoy a scenic drive along Ocean Drive providing another way to witness stunning views of the coastline.

Sports Enthusiasts (and non-enthusiasts):

Sports fans will enjoy a visit to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Play a match on the grass courts where legends have played or explore the impressive memorabilia and interactive digital exhibits, including the cutting-edge Roger Federer hologram. Don’t miss the Newport International Polo Series every Saturday from June to September, where teams from around the world compete against Team USA/Newport. 

Beach Bliss:

From surfing the waves to lounging in waveless coves, Newport beaches offer the perfect escape. Relax on one of the many beaches where soft white sand and gentle waves invite you to soak up the sun.

Retail Revelry:

Shop on cobblestoned Thames Street or some of the unique boutiques, galleries, and shops at Bannister’s Wharf, Brick Marketplace, and Bowen’s Wharf.

Culinary Journey:

Indulge in local favorites such as Belle’s pancakes while marveling at docked superyachts or savor out-of-this-world sourdough pizza at Mother Pizzeria. Newport's famous lobster rolls (tender chunks of lobster meat, lightly seasoned and served in a warm, buttery bun) are waiting to be enjoyed at waterfront eateries or charming food trucks throughout the area. Indulge in a curated wine-tasting experience, meal, and tour at Newport Vineyards or sample handcrafted brews at the adjacent Taproot Brewing Co. Savor the day's freshest catches including the state appetizer, calamari, at The Mooring. For a quick bite, enjoy a meal at Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant. Foodies will appreciate the varied menus at Yagi Noodles or Giusto, both James Beard Foundation semi-finalists. Try the Lobster Ravioli and the New England Clam Chowder at America’s oldest restaurant, The White Horse Tavern, established in 1673. End your day on a sweet note with the famous Awful Awful milkshake treat at Newport Creamery.

In Newport, each corner tells a story, and every attraction contributes to the city's unique charm. Whether exploring historic mansions, sipping local wine, indulging in culinary delights, or taking in panoramic coastal views, let “The Classic Coast” surprise and delight you at every turn.

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  • Photo by Scotty Creason
  • Photo by Scotty Creason