The main draw to Newport is its different approach to beaches. Not quite as casual as Southern California and not as high-class or exclusive as the Hamptons, Newport offers an in-between option of classy beachside establishments with an approachable feel.
But there’s more here than just the sun and the sand. Newport shops, restaurants, and bars line the streets and give depth to the seaside community. Families and young people crowd the quaint areas for unique shopping experiences and unforgettable memories. College students at nearby universities get a chance to spend four years in beachside mansions, and a navy training center on the shore adds to the historical significance of the island.
It’s not just tourists who flock to Newport. On Sept. 12, 1953, John and Jackie Kennedy were married at Newport’s Saint Mary’s church in an elegant and upscale event. To find your special place in Newport’s timeline, plan a trip to Newport and experience the grandeur for yourself. There are no direct flights to Newport so flights to Providence are the most convenient.
Although Newport is primarily considered a summer resort town, many travelers book vacations year round to experience its historical beauty and marine culture. Long, humid and cold winters start in November and last until early March and are typical for New England, so be sure to take advantage of the short, hot summers (usually mid-June to August) while they last. If you don’t, you might need to bundle up and endure the below-freezing temperatures and snowstorms that are so apt to sweep the land.
Once in Newport, you might want to avoid driving as most places are available on foot and parking can be quite pricey. Consider renting a bike – it will give you freedom of exploring the place on two wheels.
Newport Mansions: Add a little glamour to your Newport travel, and experience all that the enormous mansions have to offer. The Preservation Society of Newport County is a cultural organization that preserves and protects the architectural heritage and landscapes of the island. Each mansion that the organization keeps has over 250 years of history behind it. Some are situated on over 80 acres of garden and green land, and all interiors display the social development of the wealthy historical class of the recent era. If you book your Newport flights during Christmastime, you’ll experience tours of the mansions equipped with elaborate decorations, Christmas carols performed by musicians, and lavish holiday traditions. The three most famous mansions – the Breakers, the Elms, and the Marble House – are adorned in poinsettia plants, evergreens, wreaths, and 19th century ornaments.
Bowen’s Wharf: Aside from the extravagant manors, the other side of Newport exists where the water meets the land. The city’s historic waterfront includes a shopping district with more than 40 retail stores, galleries, and eateries for even the most discerning traveler. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish the scenic tours by sail or by tour boat, and meander through the brick walkways, piers and flourishing seaport. Harbor side dining includes everything from sandwiches and ice cream to steaks and seafood. But this waterside haven isn’t just a summer respite: Every season in Newport holds a new and intriguing surprise. In spring, the area blooms with colorful flowers and fills with sea breezes, and in the fall, festivals attract families, and changing leaves call for relentless photographers. Even cold months beckon crowds for the tree lighting along the wharf, and peaceful winter walks along the shore. No matter when you find yourself in New England’s finest natural harbor, you’re sure to be surrounded by the influx of commerce and culture.
Cliff Walk: While Newport’s civilization is by far the most exciting part of its existence, there’s no excuse for missing out on its fascinating natural attractions. The eastern shore of Newport, especially, is known for its natural beauty and architectural history, rich with wildflowers, birds, and geology. In 1975, the cliff walk near the Breakers was designated as a national recreation trail, where natural and rugged parts of the rocky shoreline create a thrilling high-rise experience. Admire the rich vegetation and greenery along the way – but careful for widespread poison ivy, which might just be the worst souvenir to bring on your return Newport flight.
Beaches: If you’re booking flights to Newport in the summer, then its three most popular beaches need to be on the top of your to-do list. Easton’s Beach, Sachuest Beach, and Navy Beach are all strung together, divided only by natural barriers of peninsula and rock. But if you want to be respected like a local, don’t be caught dead calling them by those names – Newport natives refer to them as First, Second, and Third beaches, respectively. Easton’s (First) Beach is the largest in Newport, and is full of fun activities like a carousel, aquarium, rentable homes, and a busy concession area. This is by far the most kid-and-family-friendly beach of all three, and the on-site Atlantic Beach Club provides food and live music on weekend afternoons for all to enjoy. Sachuest (Second) Beach is the place for surfing, whether you’re a novice or a pro. Food, drinks, restrooms, and showers are the amenities available to boarders and beach bums alike, and a nice mix of families and singles make for a welcoming vibe. Close by, the Norman Bird Sanctuary and the Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge are fun ways to escape the sun for a while and learn a little something about Newport nature. Lastly, Navy (Third) Beach lies on both sides of Sachuest Point, and beckons families and windsurfers to enjoy the shallow surf and breezy conditions perfect for kite-flying.