Ideal for a weekend getaway, Newport offers an array of attractions that keep tourists coming back for more. The picturesque New England city is home to a thriving waterfront, three local vineyards and its famous Gilded Age mansions. Newport’s year-round calendar of events ensures that there is something for everyone, at any time.
Newport is rich in history, famous for being part of a colony founded on religious freedom and later on, a summer playground for socialite families such as the Vanderbilts. The Museum of Newport History will give you an understanding of the city’s past but for a more hands-on learning experience, walking and boat tours are abundant.
Newport’s miles of scenic coastline appeal to beach-goers and sailing enthusiasts. Meanwhile, less outdoorsy visitors can enjoy a drive down Bellevue Avenue to admire the extravagant mansions, many of which are open to the public. The famous estates, built in the 19th century, are also visible from the winding Ocean Avenue. Perhaps the most impressive of the Newport mansions is “The Breakers.” Once home to the legendary William Vanderbilt, this 13-acre estate is named after the extraordinary water view of waves crashing against rocks.
Newport boasts a wide selection of culinary treasures with seafood being the main attraction. Fresh lobster, mouth-watering crabcakes and steaming bowls of clam chowder are staples in this city’s many eateries. Simply take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of Broadway Avenue, known by locals as “restaurant row.” Tucker’s Bistro, a romantic and funky Parisian-style restaurant, is a local favorite for dinner as well as White Horse Tavern. The White Horse, open for lunch and dinner, is famous for being America’s longest operating tavern, opened in 1673, and it continues to shine. An afternoon walk through Newport’s charming downtown should not be missed. The area is home to antique shops, clothing boutiques and unique galleries. Don’t forget to stop by the Newport Visitor’s Center to pick up the official Destination Newport Coupon Book for savings throughout the city.
The drive to Newport will take you roughly three and a half hours from LI, depending how far out on the Island you live. For those who would prefer not to drive around, you can hop on the Cross Sound Ferry in Orient Point to cut driving time. After about an hour onboard, the ferry will drop you off in New London, leaving you with an hour’s drive to Newport. The easiest way to make a reservation is to visit the ferry’s website and sign up online.
Cross Sound Ferry, Orient Point (631) 323-2525 longislandferry.com
Fort Adams State Park (401) 841-0707 fortadams.org
The Museum of Newport History (401) 841-8770 newporthistorical.org
The Museum of Yachting (401) 847-1018 moy.org
Newport Mansions (401) 847-1000 newportmansions.org
Newport Visitor’s Center (800) 976-5122 gonewport.com
Tucker’s Bistro (401) 846-3449 tuckersbistro.com
The White Horse Tavern (401) 849-3600 whitehorsetavern.us