Newport is famous worldwide for its Gilded Age mansions, the America’s Cup yacht race, Cliff Walk and other spectacular seaside lookouts, its authentic Colonial buildings, its Newport jazz and folk festivals, and more.
Mansions such as The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff are located along majestic Bellevue Avenue and are open to public. The major mansions host special events, like the lavish Newport Flower Show, and Christmas and Halloween entertainments.
Newport Harbor was the home of the American’s Cup from 1930 to 1983, and yachting history is palpable, especially at the Newport Museum of Yachting. The Newport Yacht Club offers sailboat rentals and sailing lessons. Fans of naval history enjoy the Naval War College Museum at the city’s naval base.
Newport’s legendary Newport jazz, folk, and classical festivals take place in the summer, and other off-season festivals include an Irish Festival at Labor Day; Christmas in Newport in December; and Newport Winter Festival in January.
Couples on a romantic weekend getaway and families with children will enjoy the simple pleasure of strolling the Colonial-period downtown, dining, and exploring Cliff Walk, a three-mile path above rocky beaches. Beaches in the region are excellent for surfing and kite-flying.
North of Newport is Portsmouth, home to the whimsical Green Animals topiary garden and polo competitions open to the public on Saturdays in the summer. Jamestown, the island between Newport and the mainland, is blessed with beautiful beaches and wooded roads. At the south end of the island is Beavertail Park, with a lighthouse and elevated paths above rocky beaches – great for exploring tidal sea life.
The Rhode Island mainland area east of Newport is known as the East Bay, with quiet country roads and the pretty towns of Tiverton, Barrington, Bristol, and Little Compton.
The 14-mile East Bay Bike Path runs from Providence to Barrington and offers a clear view of the upper Narragansett Bay to bicyclists, walkers, and joggers. Also, Colt State Park, on the edge of upper Narragansett Bay, is a peaceful, delightful place for outdoor sports and picnics.
Also, the Audubon Society operates a first-class environmental education center in Bristol, where youngsters and anyone interested in nature can enjoy a grand time of discovery.
Among the interesting attractions of the East Bay are the Blithewold Mansion and Gardens, a waterfront estate in Bristol with a 45-room manor house and spectacular gardens, and Linden Place, a Bristol mansion of the Federal period.