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Newport, RI
Weekend Vacation Getaway

Destination Overview

Newport, Rhode Island is a charming old seaport peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Rhode Island Sound to the south and the Newport Harbor on the west.

Once the summer playground of the Astors, Vanderbilts, Belmonts and other wealthy American families, Newport was a symbol of the lifestyles and opulence of the Gilded Age. Extravagant “cottages” were built along Bellevue Avenue and the ocean, one more magnificent than the other. Summer was a time for parties and entertaining, of houseguests and romance.

Newport today is a thriving resort community renowned as the sailing capital of the East. Summer weekends are for racing and parties and eating and drinking in Newport’s wonderful bistros and pubs. Vestiges of past wealth remain. Just as astonishing as the mansions of bygone years are the mansions old and new in which people actually live! Set on bluffs overlooking the sea and surrounded by acres of land, some of the “nouveau” properties are as spectacular as the old.

Take a stroll along the wharfs and you will marvel at the sheer number and size of the yachts and sailboats moored at the docks. If they are any indicator, our economy is in fine shape.

Most of the restaurants and shops are located in the downtown area along the Newport Harbor, making it an easy place to navigate during a weekend away. To the east the terrain climbs the rocky cliffs overlooking the Atlantic and you can enjoy the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk fronting the Mansions. To the south are parks and beaches and the 10 mile bike run following Ocean Avenue.

Newport is an ideal weekend escape particularly for those within driving distance from Maine to New Jersey. You’ll get to see how the “other half” lived, enjoy some wonderful food and some amazing accommodations.

Click picture to enlargeSunset Bridge - Billy BlackBridge in the MorningCastle Hill Lighthouse

Making Your Travel Plans

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Click picture to enlargeThe Candy StoreInternational Tennis Hall of FameBowen's Wharf

Getting There

Newport is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from New York City, 1 1/2 hours from Boston and about 50 minutes from Providence. You can also fly into Providence or Boston and rent a car for the trip to Newport.

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When To Go

Like many resorts of this kind, crowds and traffic are at their heights in July and August. May/June and September/October are the ideal months to visit Newport, the weather is good, it’s easier to get around and you won’t have to wait forever to get a table in a restaurant.

Having said that, however, July hosts the Campbell Hall of Fame Tennis Championship at the International Tennis Hall of Fame (only U.S. grass court event) and August features the famous Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals. The Newport International Polo series runs through the summer and the Tall Ships from around the world convene in Newport in July.

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Getting Around

The street design of Newport makes little sense, so navigating the town is best accomplished on foot or bike. Parking and traffic are also issues, particularly in the heart of the season. With one exception, our BestWeekends Featured Properties are all within a 15 minute walk or a short bike ride to the center of town.

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Accommodations/Dining

There’s no longer any need to roll the dice on where you stay or to settle and stay at a “safe” national chain. BestWeekends Travel Advance Team takes the worry out of where to stay when you go away.

The BestWeekends Travel Advance Team does all the work for you. We research each destination by scouring the guidebooks, articles, blogs, reviews and rating systems. Then we visit the destination and stay in the properties. Finally, we talk to the locals to be sure we didn’t miss anything. The result: we post on our site only the best of what we experienced. You can book with confidence knowing that “we’ve been there” and that no one pays us for a review. Inside see our Featured Properties.
 

When you are away on vacation, there’s few things worse than a bad dining experience. We agree, so we follow the same process for identifying restaurants as we do for accommodations, but with an extra step. We believe that the best dining experience has the strongest combination of food, ambiance and service. Good food is a given in our recommendations, but the best food in the world just doesn’t taste as good in a poor setting and the best setting with poor service just doesn’t cut it for us. The BestWeekends Travel Advance Team only presents those restaurants that meet our strict criteria. Mangia….enjoy! See our Favorite Restaurants.

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Things To Do

No trip to Newport would be complete without seeing the “Mansions” and we’ll tell you the best tour to take. If golf is your game, there’s a wonderful new, links style golf course with ocean views that was named Golf Digest’s “Best New Private Course” (even though it is open to the public). We’ll tell you about the best historical tours and sailing trips and tell you where to rent bikes or kayaks. We know where to find the best beaches, where to have a picnic and where to while away a rainy day. Here's the full list of Things To Do.

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Don't Miss

  • Coffee and newspapers at the Coffee Grinder
  • The Cliff Walk
  • A visit to the "Mansions"
  • Chowder at the Black Pearl
  • Dinner at the Spiced Pear
  • A burger at Brick Alley
  • The International Tennis Museum.
See my Photo Scrapbook.

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News and Resources

Newport Daily News is the local newspaper. Newport Life is the local lifestyle magazine and website and produces the annual "Best Of" Awards.

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