This fabled seaside city in Rhode Island is known for its yacht-studded marinas and magnificent Gilded Age mansions. And while the Astors and Vanderbilts once roamed here, its clapboard houses, cobbled lanes and gas lanterns in the historic district speak to its rich Colonial heritage. Plus, fun activities like scenic boat rides around the harbor and shoreline walks coupled with plenty of great seafood restaurants make Newport an ideal getaway.
Tour the magnificent mansions, aka “summer cottages,” including the Breakers, a 70-room Renaissance fantasy with Baccarat chandeliers and mosaic ceilings built in 1895 by Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
Take an hour-long scenic boat ride around Newport Harbor aboard the Rum Runner II, a 1929 wood-hulled boat that actually was a “rum runner” during Prohibition (rum punches included).
Stroll Newport’s historic district, which is known for its cobbled lanes, street lanterns, Colonial-era homes (many of which now house charming B&Bs), steepled churches and centuries-old graveyards.
Immerse yourself in a little Gilded Age-style glamour by having lunch at Castle Hill Inn. Dine on lobster rolls and risotto while overlooking the water-facing patio as sailboats glide by.
Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame, featuring Grand Slam trophies and outfits worn by players such as Serena Williams in the museum, then check out the outdoor grass courts on the 7-acre grounds.
Spend the morning meandering along the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile National Recreation Trail that hugs the shoreline. The water and mansion views are spectacular – have your camera ready!
Visit historic Trinity Church with its distinctive box pews; St. Mary’s Church, where John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier married in 1953; and Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue building still standing in the United States.
Step back in time with a dinner at the city’s oldest restaurant, the White Horse Tavern, a AAA Three Diamond Rated eatery that dates from 1673. The menu features items like New England oysters, beef Wellington and lobster mac and cheese.
Newport has a pretty lively nightlife scene, especially along Thames Street, where you can catch live music on most weekends. There are also jazz clubs, waterfront brewpubs and wine bars.
Looking for a variety of great lodging options in the area? Click here to find and book great hotels in Newport. Call 1-800-873-8283 to speak to a Travel counselor today or visit AAA.com/TheTop10.