|Castle Hill Inn, photographed from Newport Harbor|
My impressions of Newport now as an adult are echoed by the same types of memories that I have of Newport as a child. As soon as I make the right turn off the Newport Bridge and drive toward America's Cup Avenue on the water front, a wave of relaxation comes over me every time and stays with me the entire time I'm there. Good stuff....
The general vicinity of activities in Newport is encompassed within a couple of square miles, but the core of the primary activities that you'll probably do is located in an area of just a few square blocks along the Newport water front of America's Cup Avenue and some of the surrounding blocks in that area.
What to do:
Let's get some information out of the way up front in this post with the following links for good things to do while you're in Newport:
- Fodor's profile of Newport
- Newport Chamber of Commerce
- Whale watching out of Provincetown
- Whale watching out of Barnstable
- Sailing on the custom 50' Flyer catamaran in Newport Harbor
- Information on touring the Newport Mansions
- The beautiful Cliff Walk hike above the coast alongside the mansions
- Fort Adams State Park
- Visit Castle Hill Inn to relax on the lawn with a drink overlooking Newport Harbor.
- Shopping in the quaint shops on America's Cup Avenue.
- Cape Cod is within an easy drive of Newport, and this might merit adding some extra time to your vacation if you want to explore the Cape while you're in Newport.
- Going to the beaches, although this is not my primary choice of activity in Newport.
- Enjoy a few pints of Newport Storm IPA beer! :-)
I've found that three full days in Newport is a good amount of time to strike a balance between activities and relaxation, especially if you're traveling with kids. That would generally mean an activity in the morning, a break for lunch, and an activity in the afternoon. If you're not traveling with kids (who get tired eventually) or you want to add some time on Cape Cod, then four days is probably better.
|The Elms mansion....definitely a must-see activity!|
A note about the beaches. Newport has several beaches to pick from (Easton's Beach, 1st Beach, 2nd Beach, 3rd Beach) but I would say that Newport isn't exactly known for its beaches. First, they can be rocky and have a lot of shells. Second, due to the geography of the region, there's often a lot of seaweed that washes into the coves where the beaches are located. Don't get me wrong. The beaches are OK, but if you're looking for beautiful wide sandy beaches with crashing waves, Newport is not the place to look for that. You would need to go out onto Cape Cod for "better" beaches...
Where to eat:
|The outdoor section of The Black Pearl. Good food, great location!|
Some of my favorite restaurants include those at the links here:
|Store fronts on Thames Street|
If you're OK with staying 5-10 minutes outside of town, then the Holiday Inn Express at this link or the Courtyard Marriott at this link in Middletown are perfectly viable options. In fact, I just stayed at the Marriott and it was nice, clean, convenient, and had a good indoor/outdoor pool.
|The shops and restaurants along Bowen's Wharf in town...|