Newport, Rhode Island: My Top 5 Things To Do
The coastal, seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island, is a gem. Between the beautiful cliffs constantly pummeled, by waves, to the quaint seaside shops and, of course, the stunning mansions, there is so much to do here.
I have designed this blog post to show you the top 5 things you must do when you visit Newport. While this does not cover everything, I hope it helps you get a glimpse at this quaint little town and plan your next visit.
Some things to note about my trip to Newport, Rhode Island, before we get into the list is that we went during March. March is New England can be cold, especially at night, with temperatures ranging from upper 30's to the 40's.
I also wanted to mention our trip was also not super long. We only stayed for two nights. I mention this to note that with more time I'm sure there is tons more you can do. Some places we visited, or some activities we did, could be different than if you were planning to visit in the summer months. There was defineitly no swimming on the stunning beaches for us in the freezing cold!
My Top 5 Things to Do in Newport, Rhode Island
Now let's get into my top 5 things you have to do when visiting Newport, Rhode Island.
The Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile walk that runs along the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. As you wind your way along the cliff's edge you will see nothing but the Atlantic Ocean for miles to your left and stunning mansions to your right. The walk borders right along the backyards of mansions built for some of the most wealthy families in the United States. Families such as the Vanderbilts who made their name through their railroad business.
My favorite part of this walk was crossing through a tunnel that runs under the "Chinese Tea House" at Vanderbilt's Breakers Mansion. When you come out on the other side you will have stunning ocean views.
One thing to note about the cliff walk is that it is not super accessible or easy to walk across in some parts. Some parts require you to scale across large rocks and you have to be wary not to slip. Not all of the path is like this, but it is important to note in case you want to do the whole walk. We did complete the whole walk but did have to slow down and hold on when meandering through the rocky edges. It can be a little unnerving, but very much worth the experience.
Lunch at The Chanler at Cliff Walk
The Chanler Hotel is located right at the start of the Cliff Walk. It is a gorgeous hotel with amazing views. We did not stay here, but did choose to have lunch here. The interior is so exquisite and well worth the walk through even if you are not staying. For lunch we were seated in an enclosed back patio type area, with the most amazing views overlooking the cliff walk. You can also walk outside as well to view.
We dined at the Cafe portion since it was for lunch time. They also have the Cara restaurant as well. The Cafe has great items on their menu including the New England Grown Greens, the Chanler Burger, New England Lobster Salad, Burrata Toast, and of course yummy cocktails as well.
Please also find the times for the Cafe below to help you schedule out your visit.
Breakfast: 8:00am - 10:30am (for in house guests only)
Lunch: 12:00pm - 3:00pm (indoor & outdoor dining)
Dinner: 5:00pm - 8:30pm (indoor & outdoor dining)
Visit the Quaint Shops at Bannister's Wharf
I am a shopaholic so of course, I had to stop in the little tourist shops and boutiques for some goodies. There are so many cute stores here for you to stop in. I love to pickup a souvenir anytime I visit a new place, so I just had to grab a sweatshirt to add to my collection. All the shops are done in a classic New England seaside architect style making for cute photo opportunities. If you are not feeling like shopping or not hungry, it is also a lovely walk by the water.
Tour the Stunning Mansions
There are over 10 historic mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. Unfortunately when we we're visiting some of the mansions were closed and we were unable to visit. However, we did get to tour the inside of the The Elms. The Elms mansion belonged to the Berwind family. Fun fact it is also the filming location for HBO Max's "The Gilded Age." Due to filming this could cause a shutdown where no tours can be had which is also important to note.
My family and I did a self guided tour through the mansion. It was amazing to see the stunning decor, the huge staircase in front, the delicate and beautifully done furniture as well as the art work pieces on display. The home is opened from 10 AM to 5 PM for tours and a ticket cost about 25.00 to tour. We also walked around the stunning gardens as well which features beautiful flowers and greenery. There are also possibilities to buy tickets to other mansions at the same time.
Hike to the Bells Abandoned Mansion at Brenton Point
One of my favorite things to do before traveling to a new location is to find the neatest, possibly spookiest spots. When I learned about this abandoned mansion, I knew I had to add it to my list. The abandoned mansion is located at Brenton Point. Once you find parking along the coastal drive, you will be able to see the field to walk thru to access the mansion. It is a very open area and not difficult to access at all.
After we crossed the field, we were able to see what is left of the mansion. It does have a chain fence around it to keep anyone from going in the remains of the building and being injured, but you are still fully able to see inside. My favorite part came when you continue left on the trampled path around the house there is a tower lookout. (Of course, please climb and visit at your own discretion and what you are comfortable with.) Once you get to the top of the tower, it is a stunning lookout of the land around, the full mansion, and the ocean. We went right as the sun was starting to set, as well, which cast a golden glow over the land, making it that much more stunning.
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