SUGGESTED 3 DAY ITINERARY
Arrive in Newport and head straight for the Newport Visitor Information Center, located at 23 America’s Cup Avenue. The center is your one stop shop for visitor information, maps, guides and resources, and purchasing tickets to area attractions, special events, an amazing gift shop, public wifi and much more. Be sure to check out the TAP system (Tourist Assistance Portal), or you can chat with one of our friendly visitor services staff, who are in the “know” on all there is to see and do in the destination. Looking for lodging? Stop over to the reservation desk and Ellen, our “Reservation Specialist,” can help you find the perfect property for your getaway!
If you’ve never been to Newport before, hop on the Viking Trolley for the 90-minute Ocean Drive + Downtown Newport Tour. Get acclimated to the City-by-the-Sea and take in some of the most spectacular scenery on the East Coast along Newport’s legendary 10-mile Ocean Drive and opulence of the Newport mansions along tree-lined Bellevue Avenue. The trolley departs and returns to the Newport Visitors Center at 23 America’s Cup Avenue where you can easily purchase your ticket. (Tour departs throughout the day.)
A visit to the newly remodeled The International Tennis Hall of Fame& Museum is a must do (located at 194 Bellevue Avenue; open from 9:30am-5pm. Discover the history of tennis and its superstars through a diverse collection of memorabilia, art, video and more from the 14th century through today (self-guided tour). Cutting-edge, multimedia technology is the highlight of the new museum experience featuring a hologram of Roger Federer talking about why he loves tennis. It’s the first use of holographic technology in a sports museum in the US and is a natural fit among 1,900 artifacts of tennis history displayed throughout the exhibit galleries.
In 1881, the Newport Casino hosted the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, which has evolved into today’s US Open, and today, the complex boasts the world’s oldest continuously used competition grass courts. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. Tip: Be a part of history! You can book a tennis court and play a game or two of tennis, right on the grass courts!
Make your next stop the Cliff Walk, a short walk from the Tennis Hall of Fame Museum. No trip to Newport is complete without a stroll along the famed Cliff Walk! Newport’s dramatic coastline and natural beauty are nowhere more charmingly on display than on the 3.5-mile path. Named one of fifty “Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler, the Cliff Walk is winds between the sprawling lawns of the opulent Newport mansions and the pounding surf of the Atlantic. Open year-round, the Cliff Walk is best enjoyed from spring through autumn, when wildflowers and lush foliage bring an additional layer of color to the experience. Tip: Bring your smartphone and get historic and geological information with a quick scan of the 16 new smartphone–friendly trail markers!
Once you have soaked up the beauty of the Cliff Walk, tour of one of the many mansions along the path. Visit Marble House, one of the collection of Gilded Age “summer cottages” owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Marble House was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built and furnished at a reported cost of $11 million with 500,000 cubic feet of marble, it was the most lavish house in America when it opened in 1892. It became a grand stage for Alva Vanderbilt’s climb to social and political power, first as a leading society hostess and later as a leader of the “Votes for Women” campaign. A National Historic Landmark, the grounds include a colorful Chinese teahouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean which Alva had built in 1914. The property offers a self-guided audio tour so you can go at your own pace. Tip: Worth perusing is the gift shop, featuring handmade jewelry, home furnishings, books apparel and an array of local souvenirs! Become a member of the society and receive 10% discount.
Tour Rough Point, home to the late heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke owned and operated by the Newport Restoration Foundation. Also take in the new 2015 exhibit, Fired & Inspired: Ceramics at Rough Point, examines the diverse ceramic collection of Doris Duke, as well as features newly commissioned work by seven contemporary clay artists inspired by Rough Point and Doris Duke. The exhibition offers a fusion experience of art and history by placing the artwork in the site from which it was conceived. The artists’ work offers the viewer an expanded or new context for seeing, interpreting or experiencing the house’s collection, family and history as well as the way they perceive a historic space’s interior and exterior.
Sports car enthusiasts, don’t miss one of Newport’s newest attractions, the Audrain Automobile Museum. With the vision of becoming the most highly regarded automotive museums in New England, the Audrain collection is comprised of over 112 of the rarest and most remarkable vehicles in history. The completely renovated space, originally constructed in 1903, houses fully restored vehicles ranging from the beginning of the 20th century to modern day. To keep the museum fresh, the entire collection is never displayed at once. Instead, vehicles are showcased based on periodically changing exhibition themes. The museum is located at 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, audrainautomuseum.org
Time to relax! Head back to your lodging property to refresh and either enjoy a libation poolside or settle into an Adirondack chair and watch the sailboats racing off Narragansett Bay. Looking to get on the water? Book a relaxing sunset harbor cruise, the lure of Narragansett Bay is undeniable. If dinner is on the horizon, the culinary diversity throughout the destination will astound you. Seafood reigns supreme, so check with your concierge or your friendly visitor center staff as to the many seafood offerings. Our culinary community thrives as a result of fresh ingredients and friendly service.
Start the day right with a yoga class on the beach or on the lawn of your lodging property followed by a wonderful breakfast.
Now it’s time to commune with nature and discover the amazing offerings outside of Newport. Head north out of the City for a short scenic ride through bucolic Tiverton and Little Compton. Your first stop is Historic Tiverton Four Corners, a small crossroads village that dates to pre-Colonial times. Today, this quaint collection of 18th and 19thcentury buildings contain numerous small shops, art galleries and artisan food stores. You can stroll at your own pace around the Village, exploring the wonderful craftsmanship of dedicated young artists in their storefronts, walk down to the Mill Pond shops, or just find a quiet spot to enjoy the day. Tip: Visitors and locals agree that a visit to Tiverton Four Corners is incomplete without an ice cream cone from Gray’s Ice Cream, right in the middle of town. Serving up scoops for 88 years, this place is more than just an ice cream stand, it’s an institution!
Head down the road a bit and on the left hand side you will find Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, Rhode Island’s oldest and largest vineyard and winery. The vineyard has over 50 acres of grape vines in this unique micro-climate and has been producing award-winning wines for over 20 years. You will enjoy a tour of the winery and can walk the grounds of the vineyard, savor lunch at the on-site café or grab a bottle or two and have a romantic picnic. When heading back into Newport be sure to visit the other two wineries, Greenvale in Portsmouth and Newport Vineyards in Middletown. Both offer tours, tastings and have great retail shops for that special gift.
After you have left the vineyard, step back in time and visit to Prescott Farm, owned and operated by the Newport Restoration Foundation, and get a glimpse of early American history in a charming country setting featuring an 1812 windmill, historic buildings, gardens and walking trails, ducks, geese, kitchen and herb gardens and more.
Last stop of the day is the new Coastal Extreme Brewery and Distillery, located in Newport and home to “Newport Storm” beer and “Thomas Tew Rum.” During the colonial era, Newport was once the rum capitol of the world with over 22 rum distilleries throughout the City. Take a tour along the elevated tour deck, and taste a variety of the brews available at the tasting counter.
Unwind from the busy day with a signature treatment with salts from the sea and a world class massage before dinner at a neighborhood bistro.
Up early to take in as much of the day before heading home with memories of the best three days ever! A visit to this destination is not complete without a stop in the East Bay, and the waterfront towns of Barrington, the quintessential town of Warren, and up to the pedestrian –friendly tree-lined streets of Bristol. Did we mention the boutiques and artisans shops and trendy eateries, bike and walking path along the waterfront as well?
First stop is Barrington’s artisan butcher shop, Persimmon Provisions, for some exotic cheeses, pates, sweet peppers, chutneys and Aquidneck Honey for the perfect picnic basket. Barrington is a picture post card of a New England coastal town, including the large white steepled church. Up the road you will find the town of Warren, a haven of local artists and galleries with a mix of waterfront restaurants and classic clam shacks for the best fish and chips paired with a cup of chowder (or “chow-dah,” as the local say).
Bristol is worth spending a few days visiting, and the restaurants and downtown mercantile offerings are crowd pleasers! Here are four attractions not to miss:
Linden Place: a Federal period mansion built in 1810 for General George DeWolf. The mansion has hosted four presidents, and was the home of the great actress Ethel Barrymore.
Coggeshall Farm Museum: a living historical farm set on 48 acres which depicts the agrarian life in 1799 through live interpretation, historic structures, and heirloom plants and animals.
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum: a 1908 English style manor mansion that contains the original furnishings and the archives provide a wealth of material for changing exhibits. The house also has 33 acres of landscaped grounds, and every year celebrates spring with Daffodil Days, with a display of over 50,000 daffodils.
Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall of Fame: features more than 60 classic sailing and power yachts from 1859 to 1945 as well as steam engines, photographs, models and memorabilia. The America’s Cup Hall of Fame contains additional exhibits.