Best Attractions & Activities

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Newport to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.


This lovely walk leads you on a tour that rims the southern edge of the city. Walking along the 3.5 mile length of this elevated path, you'll get the chance to see the many mansions that define Newport as well as outstanding views of the harbor. The walk takes you through the historic district, and at various points along the way you're provided with easy access to Bellevue Avenue where you can hop aboard a city trolley if you get weary of walking. The walk begins at First Beach and finishes at Bailey's Beach.

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Fort Adams stands as the largest coastal fortification in the US. It dates back to the 1820s and is an imposing military site that's the perfect sightseeing venture for folks of all ages. Guests are invited to explore the soldier's barracks, the tunnel system and the elevated bastions that provide outstanding views of the waterfront. Visitors can also view exhibits that shed light on military culture and over 180 years of American history and military engineering.

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Whether you play tennis or not, you're sure to enjoy a stop at the Tennis Hall of Fame. In it, you'll find exhibits on the history of tennis as well as a museum shop that's stocked with souvenirs and tennis related items. Thirteen grass courts, known to be the oldest continuously used such courts in the country, are available for public use. Of course, advance reservations are necessary. This engaging destination has over 14,000 square feet of showroom and is housed in the old Newport Casino, one time playground for Newport's rich and famous during the 19th century.

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Known for its many 1800s era mansions, Newport boasts none finer than the famous Astor mansion. It was constructed in 1851 and was the summer dwelling of William Backhouse Astor, Jr., the grandson of John Jacob Astor, when he purchased it in 1881. Costumed housemaids and footmen attend to the house, giving it the feel of a working estate. Step back in time as you ascend the grand staircase and walk through the maze of rooms filled with period antiques. Special musical and dramatic events are available throughout the year such as Big Band Music, Mystery Murder Tour and a prohibition era speakeasy with jazz, dancing and full-costumes of the era. Call ahead for details.

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The Newport Art Museum offers visitors a diverse collection of both historic and modern artwork, with a focus on local and regional works. The ever changing collection includes items that showcase the region's rich heritage as well as the talent of southeastern New Englanders and Rhode Islanders. The museum is situated on a 2-acre campus and shares space with an art school and multiple shops. Concerts and other events are held here throughout the year; call ahead for schedules.

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One of area's most popular beaches, Easton's draws crowds to bask on its sunny shores and wade in the waters of the Atlantic. The beach also features a carousel and an outdoor skateboard park as well as food vendors, picnic spots and beach lodging available for rent. Additionally, the Newport Aquarium is located on the premises. The beach also has a restaurant and bar called the Atlantic Beach Club located on one end.

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Come learn about Newport's military and naval past at this interesting museum. Housed in the 1820s era Founder's Hall building on the War College campus, the museum offers engaging exhibits on naval skirmishes as well as replicas of battleships. Find out firsthand about the intricacies of foreign policy, naval operations and tactical military maneuvers.

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Once home to the legendary Vanderbilts, The Breakers is one of Newport's most glamorous mansions and is located on 13-acres of cliffside ocean front property. It was built in 1895 by railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The mansion was constructed in the Italian Renaissance style, with attention being paid to every last detail. Enjoy the period furnishings, gold filigree, carved wood, marble and mural-sized paintings throughout the home. If your schedule's tight and you can squeeze in only one mansion, decide on this one.

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Marble House is one of the grandest of the many Newport Mansions. It's a must-not-miss among the Victorian summer "cottages" of the nation's Gilded Age. Belonging to William and Alva Vanderbilt, this palatial structure was patterned after the palace of Versailles, with marble and gold used throughout the home. In its day, it cost $11 million to design, build and outfit. Vanderbilt made his fortune through steam shipping and railroading, and he chose to spend part of his wealth on this home as a 39th birthday present for his wife who promptly divorced him four years later.

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Located on the opulent Bellevue Avenue with breathtaking views of the Atlantic, Rough Point was once the home of tobacco heiress Doris Duke. Circa 1887, this Gothic-Tudor home is available for viewing for a cap of 96 visitors per day. Guests are able to view a portion of the 105 rooms and take in the outstanding private art collection that was Duke's as well as a collection of her gowns and jewels. There is always a unique exhibit on display.

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