A First Timers Guide to Newport, RI

When To Visit

In Newport you can expect typical New England weather – Beautiful weather in fall and spring, hot summers, and cold snowy winters. That’s not to say Newport isn’t beautiful all year round, because it is! In summer expect much bigger crowds, and higher hotel costs. As beautiful as summer in Newport is fall and spring are just as beautiful, but they have less crowds and slightly cooler temperatures. While the height of Newport’s season is Labor Day to Memorial Day it’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t completely shut down in the “off season”. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to do any water activates in the colder months, but restaurants, shops, wineries and museums are open year-round. Ultimately, there really is not bad time to visit. 

Getting There

Located about 45-minutes south of Providence, RI, an hour and a half from Boston, MA, or around three and a half hours from NYC. You can easily drive here from most places in New England, and it’s accessible from Providence (PVD) or Boston (BOS) airports. You’ll need to rent a car to get yourself to and from the airport and to explore the town. 

Where to Stay

  1. Castle Hill Inn – Castle Hill is authentic Newport with its elegance and history. As part of the Relais & Chateaux family staying here is a splurge, but those views make it all worth it! This is also one of the only hotels in Newport that has direct beach access via their private beach.
  2. Hotel Viking – This hotel sits a block back from the main street in town – offering a more intimate feel. Grab a drink at their rooftop bar while watching the sun set and taking in their stunning view of downtown and the bay. 
  3. Newport Marriott – Located in the heart of downtown on the water this is a great go-to option. 

Getting Around

While Uber and Lyft are available in Newport, they’re not always easy to get. When hanging out in downtown Newport parking can be difficult, so it’s best to leave your car in the visitor’s lot and walk around town. When venturing out of downtown to visit the mansions, or the beach parking is generally available close by. For wine tasting we recommend hiring a driver or assigning a designated driver as the wineries are fairly spaced out and not walkable from downtown. There is ample parking available at the local wineries,.

Where to Eat

  1. Cru Café Newport – This BYOB café is the perfect breakfast stop before heading out for the day. Get the Not Your Average BLT, I get it every time! They also have great pastries if you’re looking for something sweeter.
  2. Midtown Oyster Bar – Check out Midtown Oyster in downtown for a seafood dinner that won’t break the bank. Show up a little early and grab a drink at the bar before your reservation.   
  3. 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille – This is, hands down, my favorite restaurant in town, the chowder is some of the best I’ve ever had! They’re located on Bowen’s wharf with outdoor seating options so you can watch all the boats come and go. They have an exceptional wine list and the service is always great. If you’re looking for a place to have an event this is a great option, we had our rehearsal dinner here!
  4. Pasta Beach – If you’re looking to break up all the seafood Pasta Beach offers some great Italian food. This restaurant has a super cool vibe when you step in the door it’s like you’re transported to vintage Miami. The walls are covered in a palm leaf print making it feel beachy and laid back. This is a great option for dine in or to-go. You could grab a pizza and take it to Brenton Point State Park. This is one of the more low-key restaurants in town, but the food doesn’t disappoint!
  5. Brenton point state park – pack a picnic, or grab a lunch to go and stop off at the park located on Ocean Ave. It offers beautiful views of the bay where you can sit back and watch the sailboats, or the kites that locals often fly in the park.

Where to Grab a Drink

  1. Castle Hill Inn – Grab a drink at the Lawn Restaurant and relax in one of their Adirondack chairs overlooking the bay. They have an exceptional wine cellar and often have delicious cocktails!
  2. Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina – Located on Goat Island this hotel has some stunning views! There are a few places on property you can grab a drink, some are weather dependent. The best location has to be their igloos they put up in the winter!
  3. Hammetts Hotel – A new hotel located in the heart of downtown. The waterfront decks at Hammetts Wharf offer a great location to grab a drink before your dinner reservation. The decks are within walking distance of a lot of great restaurants.

Wineries to Visit

Looking to visit some vineyards during your stay in Newport – check out our blog post here.

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