Newport is a cute tourist town on the coast of Rhode Island. This place was known as being a summer home destination for the richest American families in the 1800s, and much of that history still stands today in the form of glamorous mansions. The charming town is an easy 45 minute drive from Providence, and is well worth a trip down for the day or the weekend. Here’s a perfect day trip itinerary for Newport RI.
- Newport town center
- Fort Adams
- Castle Hill Inn
- Brenton Point State Park
- Cliff Walk
- Mansions (The Breakers)
- Easton’s Beach
Head into town early to grab some breakfast and wander around. The town center is full of adorable colonial buildings, so make sure your camera battery is charged because you will definitely get snap happy. Take a walk around Bowen’s Wharf, then along Thames Street in either direction for restaurants, cafes, and boutique stores.
Drive 15 minutes to Fort Adams, a fort built around the time of the Civil War to defend the US coastline from threats across the Atlantic. It stayed in action until WWII, and is now a historic site and museum. You can walk around the exterior of the fortress on your own, but you must tour the fortress to go inside (weekends hourly from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, weekdays 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM). The tour takes about an hour and is run by knowledgable guides.
Just around the corner from Fort Adams is Castle Hill Inn, a gorgeous hotel perched on the hilltop with a top-notch restaurant. The dining room has an amazing view over Narragansett Bay and is known for its seafood dishes, so this is the perfect place to try some local lobster, clams, fish, or oysters.Where to stay: Castle Hill Inn
Next, drive along Ocean Ave to Brenton Point State Park. This spot is very pretty and peaceful, with rocks jutting out into the ocean and people flying kites in the park. Ocean Ave continues to follow the coastline and is scenic all the way up to the point where it reaches Bellevue Ave.
The Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles long, but you don’t have to do all of it. The ocean side path begins around Easton’s Beach and follows the shoreline, taking you in front of the mansions. There are multiple access points from the road, one of which is Marine Avenue where there is some parking along the roadside.
The mansions of Newport are really more like palaces. These mansions are truly excessive, as the upper class of the 1800s lived a truly decadent and wasteful lifestyle.
There are 11 mansions owned by the Preservation Society that are open to the public. The Breakers is arguably the largest and most popular, and Marble House is pictured above. You can get single tickets for each mansion, or discounted tickets to visit 2 or 3. The mansion tickets include an audio tour which lasts about 40 minutes, and you are free to wander around the grounds as you please afterwards. Last entry is at 4:00 PM, so if you’re going to do more than one mansion, make sure you add in some extra time.
If you still have time after visiting the mansions, Easton’s Beach is a great place to finish the day. This popular Newport beach has loads to do, including an aquarium and a playground. Go for a swim or just take a walk along the sand before heading back into Newport for dinner.Where to stay: Newport Bay Club and Hotel