Colorful houses with character
Ocean surfing on a fine day
Taking a break in Ballard Park to admire the view
At Castle Hill Lighthouse on Narragansett Bay
Vivid hues in a residential neighborhood
The Breakers mansion, former summer home of the Vanderbilt family
Enjoying sun, sand and surf at Bailey's Beach
The Newport Bridge and Goat Island lighthouse at sunset
- Major Airports:
- Providence (PVD)
- Rhode Island
A classy coastal city with culinary flair
At the mouth of Narragansett Bay – named a Top 12 world adventure destination by National Geographic– the Newport region is home to fresh seafood, inviting inns and resorts, beaches and plenty of ways to enjoy the water.
Newport's Easton’s Beach, which locals call ":First Beach,” features a carousel. The surfing haven is Sachuest Beach, or “Second Beach," in Middletown, adjacent to the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Take a tour along the 5.6-kilometer Cliff Walk, which provides a view of the rocky coast and the mansions. Try Newport Gourmet Tours for a behind-the-scenes culinary exploration, or visit the Coastal Extreme Brewing Company/Newport Storm Brewery for samples of its brews and rum.
Then retire to your room at the downtown Admiral Fitzroy Inn, a former convent turned bed-and-breakfast; Forty 1° North, with its modern amenities; or the Old World luxury of the Castle Hill Inn.
Home to yachting’s prestigious America’s Cup and U.S. Naval Station Newport, the city is known as the “Sailing Capital of the World.” “Sight-Sailing” tours are popular on Narragansett Bay. Go aboard a restored lobster boat or a former rum-smuggling yacht for narrated tours.
If you’d prefer to learn to sail, Sail Newport's adult program offers individualized and group instruction. Other customized sailing classes are available for children and teens.
For a different perspective, a favorite local pastime is to rent a kayak and watch the boats in Newport Harbor sail under the Claiborne Pell Bridge, known as the Newport Bridge.
Gilded Age History
Newport’s rocky coastline and sandy beaches became “America’s First Resort” during the 1870-1900 “Gilded Age.” Today, 11 properties and landscapes, seven of which are National Historic Landmarks, are open for tours.
The grandest of the “summer cottages” is The Breakers, the 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo of the Vanderbilt family. Another Vanderbilt residence, Marble House, was inspired by Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon in Versailles.
The Elms is in the style of a 1750 French chateau. Rosecliff models the Grand Trianon, the French kings’ Versailles garden retreat. The American Beauty rose was developed here.
Newport is a hub for exploring Rhode Island’s 644 kilometers of coastline, idyllic rural areas featuring farm or vineyard tours, horseback riding and hiking, and state capital Providence.
Providence’s “WaterFire,” the Barnaby Evans sculpture featuring 100 fires burning just above the water’s surface, is presented on the rivers of downtown Providence and in cities around the world. Plan to dine here: Providence has been named Travel + Leisure’s No. 1 U.S. food city.
And catch a ferry to Block Island, about 21 kilometers south of Newport, to see one of the Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places on Earth” and its rare wildlife, trails and rocky coastline.