Within a relatively small footprint, different streets and areas around Newport each offer unique retail experiences. Enter via Broadway to find all kinds of funky stores, turn onto Thames Street for a mix of national retailers, souvenirs, furniture, and small shops, or head over to Bowen’s Wharf for jewelry, apparel and more along the water. On America’s Cup Avenue, enjoy meandering small boutiques or make your way up to Bellevue for upscale and artisanal businesses – and don’t skip spots like Spring Street either.
The dining scene in Newport is – in a word – legendary. From culinary classics to new must-try spots, there is no shortage of amazing food experiences to be had in the City by the Sea.
Longtime favorite Newport restaurants like The Mooring (1 Sayers Wharf), The Black Pearl (30 Bannister’s Wharf), and Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant (140 Thames St.) will always draw crowds for their fresh, locally inspired dining. Seafood is the starring attraction at several downtown restaurants, including the sleek and modern Midtown Oyster Bar (345 Thames St.) and family-friendly Fluke Newport (41 Bowens Wharf).
Though Stoneacre Brasserie (28 Washington Sq.) changes its menu on a daily basis, you can count on Instagram-worthy, seasonal-focused dishes. Winner Winner (677 Thames St.) serves up fried chicken with creative and upscale Southern sides. Everything is gourmet at Mission (29 Marlborough St.), where burgers, hot dogs, and French fries are next level delicious.
It’s a scientific fact: A cocktail is best enjoyed outside, by the water, in the summer. Newport has many options for oceanside imbibing, like the rooftop bar at the Hotel Viking (1 Bellevue Ave.) and the Lawn at Castle Hill (590 Ocean Dr.). Both have prime spots for sitting in the sunshine, sipping a delicious cocktail, and taking in the view. The Salvation Cafe (140 Broadway), an eclectic restaurant a bit off the tourist path, serves up seasonal mojitos, sangria, and tropical tasting concoctions in its courtyard Tiki Bar. Speaking of tiki drinks, Diego’s (11 Bowens Wharf) massive cocktail menu has them, as well as mezcal and tequila libations. Taste the difference between silver, reposado, and anejo at Perro Salado (19 Charles St.), where tequila flights offer tastings of the imported and hard-to-find spirit. Pour Judgement (32 Broadway), known for their fun drinks and food all week long, goes all out for Sunday brunch with their signature Loaded Bloody Mary.
Newport’s best known attractions are the Newport Mansions, the larger-than-life “summer cottages” of the Vanderbilts and other illustrious turn-of-the-century families. The Breakers (44 Ochre Point Ave.) is the grandest of all of them; Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Ave.) has been the site of films like The Great Gatsby and True Lies; Marble House (596 Bellevue Ave.) has a Chinese teahouse on the grounds; and The Elms (367 Bellevue Ave.) has a to-die-for classical sculpture garden. There are also many cultural attractions, like the Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Ave.), the National Museum of American Illustration (492 Bellevue Ave.), the Audrain Automobile Museum (222 Bellevue Ave.), and the International Tennis Hall of Fame (194 Bellevue Ave.).
Brenton Point State Park is a green space on Ocean Avenue – its proximity to the windy shore makes it a perfect location for kites, which dot the sky on warm days. Easton’s Beach, also known as First Beach, has a boardwalk, a killer snack bar – seriously, try the twin lobster rolls – and a carousel. It’s also home to the Save the Bay Exploration Center (175 Memorial Blvd.), an aquarium where kids can get up close with Narragansett Bay’s aquatic life.
The Cliff Walk, a three-and-a-half-mile mostly paved trek, offers breathtaking views of the coast. About a third of it is rough or rocky, so proper footwear is advised. Another adventurous way to see the Narragansett Bay is on the Rail Explorers, a pedal-powered vehicle that rides along the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad.
The City by the Sea’s anticipated film festival returns – at a safe social distance – with newportFILM Drive-In, a series of traveling documentary screenings around Aquidneck Island. Looking to surf? Catch a wave with a board rental from longtime local fave Water Brothers (39 1/2 Memorial Blvd.). Enjoy lobster and fishing tours with Fish n’ Tales Adventures (31 Bowens Wharf).