Newport, Rhode Island Travel Guide
Updated: May 15, 2020
Newport, Rhode Island has recently become one of my favorite getaways. I have fallen in love with the classic colonial architecture and breathtaking New England landscapes. Below are my recommendations on accommodations, things to do, and dining.
During my most recent trip I stayed at the Yankee Peddler Inn. The Yankee Peddler Inn is an oasis of calm, comfortable, casual charm. It is tucked into Newport’s “Historic Hill” neighborhood and a short walk from both the waterfront and Bellevue Avenue.
The Newport Marriot is located in the historic downtown district. The Newport Marriott offers scenic luxury along the Rhode Island waterfront. I haven’t stayed here, but I have enjoyed the restaurants and bars. MainSail Restaurant has a delicious breakfast buffet and offers stunning views of Newport Harbor.
This charming, renovated houseboat is located at the north end of Newport harbor. We fell in love with the unique setting in a private marina with easy access to town. There are two bedrooms up top. Both have full size built in beds. You have north and south window exposures in each. One bedroom has a slider with access to the upper decks. We enjoyed a beautiful sunrise every morning overlooking Newport harbor and the Newport/Pell Bridge.
Fluke is a fine dining experience located right on Bowen’s Wharf. Everything is made fresh and prepared to order. The drinks were well-balanced and delicious. The cheese board had 2 cheeses made right in New England, the duck prosciutto (which was to die for) came with some locally sourced honey, jam, toasted nuts, and fresh cuts of toast. We ordered two entrees. The monkfish was perfect with crispy brown skin and glistening on the inside. The crab angel hair pasta entree was absolutely delicious. The pasta was fresh and flavorful and the smoked salmon melted in your mouth. The entire meal was incredible from start to finish and the service was fantastic.
Smoke House is a little taste of southern barbecue in New England. It is an open restaurant right on the water and has a very warm, rustic, but modern feeling. When it comes to the southern barbecue whisky is never far away, and Smoke House has a great selection of whisky and a nice cocktail menu – my favorite is the Maker’s Marmalade! A favorite appetizer is definitely the pulled pork nachos, and they don’t skimp on the pork! All the barbecue is made low and slow with love, and you can tell by how tender and juicy the meat is – ribs and brisket are a couple great choices! Another favorite is the mac and cheese made with Cajun bacon and breadcrumbs, yum! Overall, you are sure to have a great meal and a great time at Smoke House!
Located right on Thames Street nestled with all of the bustling shops the Brick Alley Pub is a restaurant that has something for everyone. Packed with New England Americana, the Brick Alley Pub has history thrown at every inch of the restaurant. A full size truck and motorcycle are just a couple of things that draw your attention as you walk through the restaurant. One of the main calling cards for the restaurant is its fantastic and fresh salad bar with all of the fixings, and the soup of the day. Equally as popular are their steaks, sandwiches, burgers, and nachos. Definitely a must try with great food, great atmosphere, and nostalgia.
A ‘slightly’ hidden gem located in the Newport Shipyard and Marina, Belle’s Cafe is a great spot for a nice breakfast and a great deal on some New England lobster rolls. Often referred to as being one of Newport’s “best kept secrets” it was highly recommended by locals and tour guides, and rightfully so. They are a make-to-order counter service restaurant, so the food is always freshly made using great ingredients. Belle’s Cafe is definitely worth a visit for breakfast or lunch. You will not be disappointed.
Located right in the Newport Shipyard and Marina, the Newport Lobster Shack serves up freshly caught lobster and fish that can’t really be beat in terms of fresh seafood at a reasonable cost. Having a small menu with New England seafood classics Newport Lobster Shack is able to move through orders quickly without losing quality. You can also buy fresh seafood to take home with you at the market. The Newport Lobster Shack is a great place for a nice quick meal or snack.
A small taste of Mexico in New England. Diego’s has all of the staples you find in a Mexican restaurant north of the border. With tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burritos, guacamole, margaritas and much more there is something that will make everyone’s taste buds happy. Located right on Bowen’s Wharf, a great meal by the sea is only minutes away at Diego’s
Located just a jump away from Thames Street, Mission could be referred to as burger heaven by anyone who has visited before. A very small restaurant in size, but great in taste. The burgers and fresh cut fries are to die for. A definite add on to any burger is a juicy fried egg and a couple extra sides of the mission sauce, which goes great with both the burger and the fries. Mission is definitely a must visit in Newport if you love a good burger and fries.
With one of the best locations of any restaurant in Newport, the Landing is a great choice for some good seafood and drinks. The wings and the buffalo cod bites are a great choice as well. Both were flavorful, light, and crispy. Great food and great views make the Landing a great choice for a nice meal right on the beautiful New England waters.
A Newport tradition since 1947, Kilwins makes delicious hand crafted chocolates and hand spun ice cream. Satisfying locals and visiting customers, who come to visit the historical shop on a regular basis or for the first time Kilwins has an extremely large variety of chocolates and delicious ice cream. In addition to the chocolates and ice cream Kilwins also serves up delicious caramel and chocolate apples, fudge, and an assortment of other sweets. It is definitely a must visit (maybe a few times) on your Newport trip!
There isn’t anything better than a freshly made donut, and Liberty Donuts serves them up fresh every day. Also serving up specialty coffees, hot breakfast, and some lunch items. There is always an excuse to run in and grab one of the delicious, fresh donuts and a hot Cup of Joe.
Cupcake Charlie’s is “The Place” to stop for a sweet treat, or most importantly a delicious cupcake. Baked fresh daily there are many flavors of cupcakes to choose from such as vanilla, chocolate, carrot cake, red velvet, funfetti, and more. They also have a blended ice cream concoction called a Cupcake Whirlie, which is soft serve ice cream blended together with your favorite cupcake flavor. They also offer gluten free and vegan options. Cupcake Charlie’s truly has a delicious dessert for everyone, and is a must try when visiting Newport, RI.
Tours/Things to Do
My family and I chose the Morning Mimosa Cruise. This is a narrated 90-minute harbor tour cruising Newport Harbor & Narragansett Bay. The M/V Gansett is a traditionally restored 50-ft. lobster boat. The top sun deck and canopied main deck provides for an elegant on board experience, as well as up-close views of historical sights visible only from the water.
We took the scenic overview plus grand mansion tour. We enjoyed an overview of historic buildings and restored homes on a narrated tour covering over 150 points of interest. At the end of the tour we were dropped off at The Breakers, the elaborate estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt. We enjoyed the coastal scenery driving through Bellevue Avenue and Ocean Drive, two of the town’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
Bellevue Avenue Historic District
Whether you want to visit the mansions or just stroll through the historicial district Bellevue Avenue is a site you don’t want to miss. It is part of the 10-mile Ocean Drive and home to many well-known mansions. The gates, fences and walls of Bellevue Avenue, dating from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries, represent the work of a number of prominent American architects.
We toured the Breakers Mansion and it was breathtaking! It is the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages” and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial prominence.
The Newport Cliff Walk is considered one of the top attractions in Newport. It is a 3.5-mile public access walkway that borders the shore line. In 1975 the walk was designated as a National Recreation Trail. It was sixty-fifth in the nation and first in New England. It combines the beauty of Newport shoreline with history of Newport’s gilded age.
Love and lots of coffee,