Welcome to Rhode Island - Newport
Visitors are entranced by Newport mansions, Cliff Walk, festivals
Newport is famous worldwide for its Gilded Age mansions, its history of victories in the America’s Cup yacht race, its Cliff Walk and other spectacular seaside lookouts, its authentic Colonial buildings, its Newport jazz and folk festivals, and more.
Mansions like the Breakers, the Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff are located along majestic Bellevue Avenue and are open to public. The major mansions host special events, like the lavish Newport Flower Show, and Christmas and Halloween entertainments. The Breakers, once the summer cottage of the Vanderbilt family, has a fun and fanciful tour for children.
Newport Harbor was the home of the American’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. Yachting is a major sport in Newport still, and its history is strong, especially at the Newport Museum of Yachting. The Newport Yacht Club offers sailboat rentals and sailing lessons. Fans of museums and naval history enjoy the Naval War College Museum at the city’s naval base.
Newport appeals to music fans and people of all ages through its year-round festivals. The legendary Newport jazz, folk, and classical festivals take place in the summer, and other off-season festivals include an Irish Festival at Labor Day; Christmas in Newport in December; and Newport Winter Festival in January.
Couples on a romantic weekend getaway and families with children will enjoy equally the simple pleasure of strolling the downtown, past Colonial-period buildings. Newport’s excellent dining ranges from simple clam shacks to the historic White Horse Tavern. Make your way to the Cliff Walk, a three-mile path above rocky beaches. A drive or bike ride along Ocean Drive also will carry visitors past spectacular sights. Beaches in the region are excellent for surfing and kite-flying. Fort Adams, alongside Newport harbor, is an engineering masterpiece where visitors can see soldiers' quarters, explore the tunnel system, and climb the bastions for breathtaking views. Many special events are hosted on the fort's parade field or North lawn. Newport has three vineyards and a historic farm, all open to the public.
North of Newport is Portsmouth, where polo competitions are open to the public on Saturday evenings in the summer. And don’t miss the Green Animals in Portsmouth, a whimsical topiary garden. On the mainland east of Aquidneck Island are the small, lovely towns of Tiverton and Little Compton.
Jamestown, the island between Newport and the mainland, is blessed with beautiful beaches and wooded roads. At the south end of the island is Beavertail Park, with a lighthouse and elevated paths above rocky beaches – great for exploring tidal sea life.