Newport, Rhode Island Travel Guide

The best of what to do, see, and eat in Newport County
Jump to Recs

Welcome to Newport!

I was born and raised on Aquidneck Island, but it wasn’t until I’d lived all over the country that I realized how truly special it is here. After living in New York and Los Angeles for several years, we returned home in 2013 and never looked back. There’s so much to love: beautiful snowy hikes in winter, incredible days on the water come summer and stunning foliage in the fall. This community is full of great people, stunning landscapes, rich history and charm. I hope you love our beautiful, peaceful island as much as we do.

 

About the Guide

Use the filters below to search for restaurants, activities, shopping ideas, and my favorite beaches. You can also select the time of year you plan on visiting, to help you narrow down seasonal recommendations that will be available during your stay. We’ve even included some extra filters to help you pinpoint great recs for groups, families, and pet friendly options too!

filter by:
Newport

Lazuli Handcrafted

Handcrafted right in Newport, designer Erika Young draws inspiration from nature and her background in geology to showcase rocks, minerals, and seaside finds in her jewelry.  Her pieces have a raw, organic feel yet still delicate and refined. Some of my favorite jewelry is from Erika’s studio in Newport. Pop in and check out what she has to offer, by appointment only, contact on Instagram to schedule a time.

Tiverton, RI

Moore House Rentals

This family owned rental business is truly a local gem. While not located on Aquidneck Island their rental properties are a short drive away located just over the bridge in Tiverton, RI. It will be worth the trip for their adorable cottages, meticulously renovated and decorated. They specialize in bringing old properties back to life by restoring forgotten homes, and take great care in re-using and recycling materials. They pride themselves on their customer service and unique experiences they provide for their guests. Choose from a variety of properties including pet friendly options and ocean views.

Local's Tip

While Newport is not an island it is located on one, Aquidneck Island, which consists of three towns, Middletown, Newport and Portsmouth. A good number of people who come to Newport never even make it to Middletown or Portsmouth, but the island is small and it’s worth exploring beyond downtown.

Middletown

Sachuest Point

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most beautiful gems on the island. With approximately 3 miles of trails around Sachuest Point don’t be surprised to stumble upon lots of different wildlife from birds to deer along with a variety of plant life. More than 200 bird species visit the refuge seasonally. A beautiful place to visit at sunrise or sunset for a peaceful walk along the shore. Make sure to leave pets at home, wear bug spray and stay on the trails.

Newport

Bar ‘Cino

The newest spot to come from Newport Restaurant Group (Mooring, Castle Hill, Smokhouse etc.), Bar ‘Cino is a cozy Italian joint serving dinner and late night bites. Their known for an extensive wine menu and creative cocktails. Lots of shared plates, pastas and pizzas to choose from, the menu is likely to have something for everyone in the group. It’s a smaller space so probably not ideal for larger parties, but perfect to grab a seat at the bar or one of their funky tiled tables.

Newport

Pasta Beach

Known for their pizzas and pastas this cute and funky spot on Bellevue Ave is always a crowd pleaser for lunch or dinner.  They use homemade sauces, pasta imported from Italy and serve up thin crust pizzas in Italian ovens with a bubbly slightly chewy crust. There’s also salad and sandwich options on the menu.

Newport

Boru Noodle Bar

If you’re craving noodles this is your spot. A casual ramen joint yummy starters like basil chili wings and and kale salad along with ramen bowls like sesame chicken, seasonal veggie and spicy miso. Open for lunch and dinner.

Middletown

The Dahlia Shed

Honestly this is one of my best kept secret spots for flowers so as much as I like to keep it to myself, it deserves a spot in the guide. The Dahlia Shed is a family operated flower farm, growing seasonal blooms in Middletown. The self service stand is filled daily starting July until frost. You can find wrapped bouquets and single stem blooms for building your own bouquets. I look forward to Amy’s dahlias all year long, they are SO beautiful. Please note when you visit the Dahlia Shed this is a family home with kids and pets so please be careful when driving on the property.

Newport

Shore Soap Co

The branding alone will make you want to buy every, single thing in this store. From the beautiful packaging to the carefully curated shelves, Shore Soap Co is a must stop when you’re in Newport. A local couple started the brand out of their kitchen and turned it into what it is today. I also love that they are cruelty free, sulfate & paraben free and use responsible packaging to reduce environmental impact. From candles, to skincare to soaps they have a really nice assortment of products to shop. I particularly love the face mist and sea spray candle. Their scent Mermaid Kisses has a bit of a cult following.

Tora Surfboards

Neil Toracinta is a born and raised local. He’s also one of the nicest, hardworking most down to earth guys you will ever meet. He started shaping boards his junior year at high school and turned his hobby into a full time business (he’s one of the few board shapers in New England). Craig and I both have boards from Neil, and whether you order one of his classic designs or something custom, you know it’s going to get the same love and dedication he puts into everything he creates. So if you want to add something to your quiver, are a first time surfer or even looking to give someone the best gift ever Neil is your guy.

Newport

The Mooring

Whether you’re looking for oysters and a cocktail or dinner on the harbor the Mooring is a great option for lunch and dinner. One of my favorite things about the Mooring is their gluten free and vegetarian menus (takes the guess work right out of it so you don’t have to sit there wondering what you can and can’t eat). A great option if you have a larger group as it’s a big space and they take reservations. In the winter the roaring fireplace makes it feel extra cozy. In the summer you can sit out on their enclosed deck that overlooks the harbor, a pretty great place to watch the sunset too.

Middletown

Atlantic Grille

The Grille as it’s referred to by locals is a staple on the island. What used to be everyone’s favorite breakfast spot has grown over the years and now serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s the perfect place for casual dining (very kid friendly too). If you head there for breakfast on a summer weekend though be prepared to wait. It gets really busy during tourist season and holidays, so go early or mid-week if you can. They have great dinner specials too.

Del’s Lemonade

You know what they say, stop at the sign of the lemon! A quintessential Rhode Island treat, Del’s lemonade is the perfect slushy and refreshing goodness you need on a hot summer day. There are Del’s trucks at all the beaches and you can usually find them at state parks like Brenton Point and Fort Adams.

DeCastro Farms

DeCastro farms is a family run and locally owned garden and produce stand in Portsmouth. They have tons of seasonal fresh produce, local speciality foods like Narragansett Creamery and Aquidneck Honey, and seasonal plants. They’re open from April-December so you can find pumpkins in the fall, christmas trees for the holidays and lots of flowers and trees for the summer. If you’re looking for really fresh fruits and veggies, make a stop at DeCastro.

Verde Garden Shop

The first thing I thought when I walked into Verde Garden Shop was, finally. This is what Newport has been waiting for. This cute little shop reminds me of a store you’d stumble upon in San Francisco, beautifully merchandised shelves filled with plants, books and potions. It’s the kind of shop you pretty much can’t leave without buying something (guilty). You can also order an espresso at the counter to sip while perusing plants. Make sure to check the website for store hours.

Newport Flower Show

The Newport Flower Show is one of the summer kick-off events in town every June. On the grounds of Rosecliff, you can walk through and browse the beautiful arrangements in the mansion and out onto the lawn where the judged floral designs, garden exhibitions and lectures are located. Various vendors are also set up for plenty of shopping.

The Black Pearl

The Pearl is a Newport establishment known by locals (and visitors) for it’s famous clam chowder. A cozy spot for a meal in the winter and a lively destination in the summer, the Black Pearl is a year-round favorite. Their patio in the summer months is a more casual spot for drinks, seafood and burgers. With three different menus for the Commodore’s Room, the Tavern and the Patio there’s plenty of options depending on what you’re in the mood for and the time of year.

Brick Alley Pub

Brick Alley is a bit of a Newport staple. Family owned, they’re known for the friendly service and comfort food (including an award winning lobster roll). It’s the perfect place to bring kids or a large group. Some of my favorites include the sweet potato fries, lettuce wraps, and Ahi Tuna salad. On Fridays and Saturdays Plumby’s is open upstairs so you can get a drink while you wait for your table downstairs or dine on pub food like burgers and wings in a communal setting.

Belle’s Cafe

Belle’s Cafe is a bit of a hidden gem but everyone I recommend it to immediately sends me a message after they go there for breakfast (or lunch). Located in the Newport Shipyard it is such a great spot for breakfast on the water (and it’s pup friendly outside). Belle’s has a casual vibe with indoor and outdoor seating . It can get really busy but if you get there early you can have the place to yourself. Whatever you do, order the buttermilk pancakes.

newportFILM

newportFILM shows documentary films in Newport year-round, but my favorite is their outdoor film series in the summer months. From venues like the Marble House to the Tennis Hall of Fame, Newporters and visitors come together to watch documentaries from new and well-known filmmakers under the stars. Bring your own picnic and beverages or try one of the delicious food vendors. Some films are shown for free and donations are welcome while others require tickets. Check their website for more information and up to date events.

Stoneacre Brasserie

Don’t let the small menu fool you. Stoneacre Brasserie is one of the best restaurants in Newport right now. A daily changing, seasonal menu with local, fresh ingredients, you won’t be disappointed by a meal at Stoneacre. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner I’ve found myself there sometimes twice in one day. They also have a cafe serving coffee, pastries, deli meat and cheese selections.

Gurney’s Newport

The newly renovated Gurney’s Newport is the only hotel on Goat Island. Overlooking the Newport Bridge and Narragansett Bay it’s one of the best spots to watch the sunset. Gurney’s has multiple restaurant and dining options including the well-known NYC based Scarpetta. They also have a full-service spa and outdoor saltwater pool.  Grab a cocktail with friends by their outdoor fire pit and watch the sunset with a view of the beautiful Newport Bridge.

Sweet Berry Farm

Sweet Berry Farm has come a long way since it’s days as a stand alone picnic table at the end of a long driveway. Now a sprawling landscape of apple orchards, berry fields and pumpkin patches it’s the perfect spot to grab lunch for the beach or pick fresh berries. They also have a summer concert series and offer catering.

Perro Salado

One of our favorite spots to grab dinner, Perro Salado is a funky historic 18th-century Naval officer’s house turned Mexican joint. Their outdoor patio is a must during the summer months (well-behaved pups allowed outside). If you like a little kick, the spicy jalapeno margarita is my go-to (or try the blood orange). A delicious menu with daily specials and lots of local ingredients it’s a fun spot to grab a drink and/or dinner while in Newport. Call ahead for reservations.

Third Beach

A quieter beach popular with families, Third Beach is a mellow sandy stretch in Middletown. Peabody’s is at one end with a snack bar and Crab Town (a popular spot for kids to look for crabs) and a boat ramp and lifeguard chairs sit at the opposite end. Third Beach has minimal parking with the middle lot available only to resident sticker holders so arrive early or ride your bike or scooter. Dogs are allowed on leash during certain hours when the beach is not open (check signs).

Second Beach

Second Beach is one of the most popular on the island. On a holiday weekend in the summer, expect long lines for parking, but don’t let that deter you. A beautiful sandy stretch with a snack bar at the middle lot and Del’s truck at Surfer’s End. Avoid the lines for parking and ride your bike to the beach. If there’s waves, you can expect to find surfers year round.

Marble House

Marble House is one of my favorite mansions in Newport.  Built in the late 1880s for the Vanderbilts it was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. Mr. Vanderbilt’s older brother built The Breakers. Marble House also features the Chinese Tea House on the property, built by Alva Vanderbilt after their divorce (and Mr. Vanderbilt’s death). It became a meeting place to hold rallies for women’s right to vote. The Preservation Society of Newport now allows photography at the mansions (with restrictions) so feel free to snap a photo in one of the breathtaking rooms or at the grand front entrance.

Grace Vanderbilt

The Grace Vanderbilt is an historic boutique hotel in Newport that’s centrally located and pet friendly (yes you can bring your pooch). A few summers ago Julia and I stayed at the hotel with Nora and Julia’s dog Boots. They were very accommodating and the dogs loved it. The hotel has 33 rooms a spa and fitness center with an indoor and outdoor pool. Locals love drinks on their rooftop deck with views of the Newport Bridge.

Forty Steps

The story of Forty Steps is that they were built by David Priestly Hall so his children could get to the beach from his property. In 1840 he gave the City of Newport a public right of way to the steps. They later became a meeting place for workers at nearby estates during the Gilded Age. The steps were originally constructed of wood and then iron which were destroyed in the Hurricane of 1938. They were rebuilt again in the 1990s and are a popular stop along the Cliff Walk. There is some parking, but spots are very limited on Narragansett Ave. It’s easily accessible (less than a mile walk) from the Cliff Walk entrance at Memorial Blvd.

 

TSK Newport

After closing the location where their sister restaurant Winner Winner is now location, TSK took a hiatus for a few years before re-opening at the Revolving Door. Their dishes focus on local and seasonal ingredients and no longer BYOB, they have a focus on bar sustainability with creative cocktails and a great wine selection.

Love Living Holistics

Full disclosure, Emily is my cousin, so maybe I’m a little bit biased, but ask anyone who’s been to Emily and they’ll say the exact same thing, she has a gift. Love Living Holistics is Emily’s practice where she specializes in holistic beauty and reiki energy healing. It’s hard to describe in words how you feel after a facial from Emily (and how your skin looks). Something you have to experience for yourself. Emily also does brow waxing, tinting and make-up.

Farmaesthetics

One of my favorite shops in town, step into Farmaeshetics and you’ll basically want one of everything. All made locally with 100% natural ingredients, this Newport gem is the perfect place to stock up on soaps, lotions and skin care treatments. My favorites are the herbal cleanser and rose exfoliant. They also carry plenty of travel size sets if you’re visiting and need something small.

Jennie Kay Beauty

At least once a week I get a message from someone asking who does my hair. I am thankful to say Jennie, owner of Jennie Kay Beauty. From her beautiful light filled space in downtown Newport to her knowledgeable and kind staff, Jennie has created an incredible salon and wedding business after years of doing hair and makeup in the entertainment industry. If you’re want beautiful, natural looking sun-kissed hair color, look no further than Jennie Kay Beauty. Haircuts, color, make-up, up-do or blowout the Jennie Kay Beauty team has you covered. 

Fort Adams

Take a guided tour of the historic Fort or walk the 2.5 mile loop around the perimeter of Fort Adams State Park for stunning views of Newport Harbor, the Newport Bridge and the Bay. There is free parking, public bathrooms and rocky beaches to explore along the way. President Eisenhower’s summer house, The Eisenhower House is also open seasonally on weekends for tours. Fort Adams is also home to the famous Newport Folk Fest and Jazz Fest during the summer along with numerous other Newport events.

Diego’s Newport

Grab afternoon margaritas on the patio or try their brunch menu with tasty cocktails and $5 specials.  Try the Bloody Mary, Cucumber Collins or Upgrade Margarita. Savory breakfast people will love the Deigo’s Breakfast Torta, it’s topped with their spicy baja aioli. If you’re headed there for dinner try the nachos and tinga tacos. Perfect place to grab drinks and dinner with friends. If you have your furry friend, they’re allowed on the patio too.

Clarke Cooke House

Kristen Coates

One of my favorite stores in Newport for shopping. Kristen Coates truly has something for everyone. A beautiful assortment of art, books, candles, and more, it’s the kind of place you can spend an hour in just perusing through each and every corner. There’s also often fresh flowers for sale from local florists. And the window display never disappoints.

Rosecliff

Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. Scenes from several films have been shot on location at Rosecliff, including The Great GatsbyTrue Lies, Amistad and 27 Dresses.

Coffee Grinder

My favorite coffee shop in Newport, the Coffee Grinder is a must. Sip your tea or coffee while looking out on the harbor. Open year round it’s charming and quaint any time of year. There’s also bagels, pastries and other food options for breakfast or a light snack.

Cliff Walk

The Cliff Walk is a National Recreation Trail that runs 3.5 miles along the coast. Parts of the trail are paved and easily walkable while other parts are rugged and rocky shoreline. Cliff Walk starts near First Beach and Memorial Blvd with several exit points along the way at Narragansett Ave., Webster St., Sheppard Ave., Ruggles Ave., Marine Ave., Ledge Rd., and ending at Bellevue Ave. right before Bailey’s Beach. It’s a beautiful walk that will take you along Newport’s stunning coastline past historic mansions and rocky beaches.

Want More?

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily posts, our weekly newsletter and exclusive content only available to subscribers.