What to do in Newport, RI

Activities, attractions and tours
Newport showing general coastal views and rugged coastline

Newport Attractions

Newport is a small city with a big reputation, thanks in large part to the series of summer music festivals that have put the town on the map. This is the place that Bob Dylan first played the electric guitar on stage but it’s just as well known for the stunning summer mansions and cottages that the east coast’s wealthy elite built here during the 19th and 20th Centuries. The city was the destination of choice in the summer months, and with its beautifully preserved colonial architecture and harbour, it’s easy to see why. French chateaux and Elizabethan townhouses line the streets and the waters teem with yachts and boats, making Newport an undeniably unique and beautiful vacation spot.

Areas & Neighbourhoods in Newport

Newport Harbour - Located to the west of the city and looking out onto Goat Island Marina, Newport’s harbour is the feature that gave the town its name. As an internationally recognised sailing destination, it’s a busy and bustling place at the centre of city life.

Fort Adams State Park - To the south of the city on the edge of the peninsula, this state park is where you’ll find the famous Newport Jazz Festival and some stunning views out over the coastline.

Easton Bay - To the east of the city, Easton Pond and Bay is where you’ll find some of the city’s most famous and best beaches.

Coasters Harbour Island - The location of the naval college and joined to the mainland by a number of road bridges, Coasters Harbour Island sits just to the north of the city’s main harbour.

Things to See in Newport

With plenty of boat charters available it’s a great way to see more of the city and the surrounding coastline. Back on dry land, the city’s beaches are another major attraction, with Bailey’s Beach and Easton’s beach being two of the most popular. The city’s grand mansions were built by the captains of industry during the 19th and 20th Centuries as summer homes, with each trying to outdo the rest in terms of grandeur. Check out the stunning architecture of Astor’s Beechwood Mansion, Belcourt Castle and Chateau-sur-Mer. You can also visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport Art Museum and Museum of Yachting.

Things to Do in Newport

Newport is famous for its sailing and water sports, with visitors coming from all around to take to the water. Take a harbour tour or get more hands on with a sailing course during your stay. Try your luck at the casino, surf, scuba dive or even skydive over the coastline or spend the day exploring the mansions and vineyards of the island. Hang out on the beach or hit the water again to try and land the catch of the day, with striped bass, bluefish and blackfish common in the waters. In the summer, get tickets for some of the major music events, including the legendary Newport Jazz Festival.

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