Things to do in Newport, RI
Get Your Bearings in Newport
Hot Tips: Combo tickets of the mansions offer savings if you plan on visiting more than one.
Where to Stay
Avoid: Peak holiday weekends. Go right after Labor day when the weather is still warm but peak season is over.
Be Sure to Sample: Lobster rolls and clam chowder.
Hot Tips: Be sure to try Newport's own Thomas Tew Rum!
Things to do in Newport
Newport is known for...
The prestigious America’s Cup is frequently held in Newport where the fastest sailing ships race for the trophy. The area is often referred to as the "sailing capital of the world." Its waters are home to hundreds of vessels, and several sailing companies offer harbor tours and sunset cruises aboard past winners. Learn a bit about sailing, steer the boat, and kick your shoes off and relax on the deck with a cocktail in hand as the sun slips below the horizon.
2. Pirates and History:
Believe it or not, the city used to be a northern safe haven packed full of pirates until the British Crown gave Newport an ultimatum and they sentenced 26 to death by hanging. It also ranked among other legendary cities for having one of the highest remaining colonial buildings in the United States. Historical walking tours and ghost tours give insight into Newport's rebellious past, including the Pirates & Scoundrels Walking Tour, which explains why it earned the name "Rogue's Island."
Newport showcased a display of wealth during the Gilded Aged of the late 19th Century, and these summer homes are now accessible to the public. Original furniture, decor, and paintings remain intact and self-guided tours include a treasure trove of information. Two of the most popular are the Marble House and the Breakers, both owned by the Vanderbilt family with the latter containing platinum walls in one room and sweeping views of the sea. Multi-mansion passes are available.
4. Seafood & Surfing.:
It's no coastal California, but the locals take advantage of the waves and many surfers visit during the summer hurricane season and wait for the swells. It is a seaside town, after all, meaning the fresh seafood comes straight from the ocean to your plate. Numerous restaurants offer New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, scallops, and more. The higher-end restaurants can be found along the historic harbor and Bellevue Ave, while bargains are scattered along Broadway and Flo's Clam Shack will always have a line.
5. Beaches & Cliffs:
There are several soft-sand beaches in the Newport that are sheltered by coves and inlets, and the cliff walk is a must-do when visiting. The 40 Steps are and infamous location for watching the waves crash into the rocky coast. First Beach is closest to town with numerous creature comforts (restrooms, snack bar), and Second Beach is the best option to avoid the seaweed that can pile up. Nearby is Purgatory Chasm, a beautiful overlook and picnic spot.