When most people think of Newport, Rhode Island they think of warm weather, hanging by the beach and hitting Thames Street for good food and drinks. Don’t get me wrong, visiting Newport in the summer is at the top of my list, but Newport in the wintertime is just as grand. There is so much to do and see, with fewer people roaming the streets. Hi, I’m Kasi (@travelswithkasi) and here is my guide for your next visit to this famous seaside city. Next up: Newport!
Dearest D-RAVEL Traveler,
First up on the to-do list is visiting at least one of the Newport Mansions. There are 9 in total, each exquisite in their own way.
In the late 1800s to early 1900s, wealthy families flocked to Newport for the summer and really outdid themselves on the summer homes. The most popular of the mansions are the Breakers (owned by the Vanderbilt family), Marble House, and Elm house. You could spend all day wandering the halls and listening to the history on audiotape while admiring the architecture, art and way of life back in the day.
I also recommend hitting the Cliff Walk that trails between the ocean and the backside of the mansions, weather pending. Forty degrees or higher and sunny will make the walk pleasant, you just need to have gloves and a hat on. The walk is doable on a cloudy day, you just need to brace yourself. If you aren’t bundled up from head to toe, you will be cold, hate every second of it and quickly shuffle back to the car. The path is a little over three miles one way and the views are worth it. Seeing the backyards of the mansions is a treat in itself.
My favorite place to go for lunch is Benjamin’s on Thames Street. I love sitting on the first floor overlooking the street. The lively atmosphere gives you a feel of what it may have been like to part of Newport back in the 1700s. The food is delicious and between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. it’s raw bar happy hour with $1 oysters. Sit at the bar to get a first hand look at the oysters being shucked.
Walk off lunch around Bowen and Bannister’s Wharf and check out the different shops in the area. If you are still in a walking mood, head up the side streets and check out the antique homes built in 1700s.
Next on the to-do list is visiting Newport Vineyards. They have really expanded their facility in the last 8 years. Take your taste buds on a ride with either a flight of beer or wine. Enjoy a tour of their facility and how they make their wine. Then check out their marketplace and get a charcuterie board at the Brix Restaurant.
For dinner, there are so many options to pick from. You have Midtown Oyster, The Mooring, Brick Alley Pub, The Red Parrot, etc. If you are looking for a restaurant where you can get all dolled up, then the Mooring or Midtown Oyster is for you. Be careful though, some streets are cobblestones, so not all heels are meant to be.
Brick Alley Pub has a fun quirky vibe. You can also eat at the oldest restaurant in the United States: White Horse Tavern. It has been serving patrons since 1673. This is also the restaurant that Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron had their date while filming the Bachorlette in Newport. End your night enjoying live music and dancing at One Pelham East.
Where to Stay
Looking for a place to stay? I can’t not say it enough, I LOVE the Lark Hotel brand. There are 3 hotels in Newport: Gilded, the Attwater and the Cliffside Inn. The rooms are comfy, breakfast is included (and delicious) and the staff is wonderful. They even offer a scavenger hunt around Newport, and if you complete it, you get $30 to put towards your room or for next time.
I hope you all fall in love with Newport as I have. Please also check websites before going anywhere due to COVID. You may need to make reservations, etc.