Located less than two hours from Boston by car, Newport offers ideal East Coast beach town vibes. Whether you are taking a day trip from Boston or Providence, visiting Newport for a weekend getaway, or exploring New England on a road trip, there is plenty to fill your time with! Here are our favorite suggestions for where to stay, where to eat, and things to do to maximize your trip:
Where to Stay: The Vanderbilt Hotel
The Vanderbilt Hotel is near the center of Newport’s shopping and dining area, and 1.5 miles from the beach. Nestled in a small residential neighborhood, this historic mansion was once owned by part of the famous Vanderbilt family. You will definitely enjoy your time here, thanks to the hotel’s carefully remodeled rooms and suites and great amenities (including the fabulous roof deck which overlooks Newport). The Vanderbilt feels like a well-kept secret in the center of Newport’s hustling summer crowd. Plus, the hotel offers breakfast in the back garden, which we loved.
Where to Eat in Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is one of New England’s high-end beach resorts, meaning there are plenty of delicious (but expensive) restaurants. While we enjoyed some of these high-end restaurants, we also suggest checking out some of Newport’s local favorites. The mix will allow for everyone to find something they love, and allow you to experience Newport’s culinary variety. Here are a few of our favorite restaurant recommendations in Newport:
Breakfast at The Vanderbilt Hotel
While there are plenty of restaurants that offer breakfast, we could not be pulled away from our hotel’s breakfast. From French Toast to Eggs Benedict, the restaurant at the hotel offered great options. Plus, you can enjoy your breakfast and coffee (or tea!) in the back gardens, which is a relaxing and beautiful setting.
Located along the beach boardwalk, this snack shop offers a variety of lunch-time favorites such as burgers, clam chowder, and fish and chips. Make no mistake, Easton’s is on our list because the food is good and the setting is unbeatable (this is not a culinary experience, but it’s right on the beach)!
Del’s is located in a vintage food truck parked on the beach boardwalk, and is a favorite among those at the beach. Famous for its frozen lemonade (think a mix between traditional lemonade and shaved ice), Del’s also offers a variety of other frozen drink flavors too, including watermelon and a seasonal flavor!
Located near Newport’s marinas, the Mooring offers fantastic fresh seafood, a fun menu, and waterfront dining. We loved sitting on the restaurant’s back deck and watching the boats during our meal! The Mooring was definitely the high end opposite of Easton’s Beach Snack Bar, but we loved getting to enjoy both types of restaurants during our time in Newport.
For those looking for a fun stop for dessert, check out the Newport Fudgery! Located in the center of Newport’s shopping area, The Fudgery offers tons of house made Fudge flavors (and other candy)! Plus, if you’re lucky, you can even watch them hand-stretch the latest batch of fudge from the store window.
Things to Do in Newport, Rhode Island
While Newport is best known for the beach, we suggest you explore everything Newport had to offer. Here are our favorite activities in Newport:
Explore the Cliff Walk
Located along the edge of the water, the Cliff Walk offers fantastic views of Newport’s primary beach, many of the ocean-front Newport mansions, and the Atlantic Ocean. Ask your hotel for parking details, but we suggest parking at an entry point to the path (certain roads dead end into the walking path for pedestrian access) part way along the path, and then walking away from the beach. This way, you can get the best views of the beach without having to walk all the way from the Easton Beach parking lot. Plus, some of the best Newport Mansions are located along this area of the Cliff Walk.
Visit the Breakers Mansion
If the mansion’s along Cliff Walk inspire you to explore further, we suggest visiting the Breakers. While there are several Gilded Age mansions in Newport that offer tours, the Breakers is probably the grandest and most impressive. Built by the Vanderbilt family (the same family who originally owned the mansion the hotel is in now), there was not a single expense spared in this massive home. The Breaker’s truly rivals some of Europe’s best palaces, and boasts everything from platinum covered walls to golden light fixtures.
Newport’s center part of town offers plenty of fun shops and restaurants to fill your day exploring. From cute ice cream shops to clothing stores, there are a ton of things to see. We also loved walking through town to appreciate the narrow streets and adorable buildings (especially near the marina).
Last but not least, a trip to Newport would not be complete without time at the beach! Located only 1.5 miles from the hotel, Easton Beach is huge and offers plenty of sandy seashore for the whole family to enjoy. You can bring your own beach supplies (such as towels and umbrellas), or take a chance at finding rentals. Plus, surfboards and other water supplies are available to rent during peak periods of the summer. In addition, a couple of our favorite places for food: Del’s Lemonade and the Easton’s Beach Snack Bar, are located along the beach’s boardwalk, allowing you to finish off your perfect day at the beach with a fun lunch!