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Beyond the mansions: Tours and Attractions in Newport

When one thinks of Newport, Rhode Island, it’s hard not to conjure up images of grand mansions lining the cliffs, captivating visitors with their opulence and historical charm. Undeniably, these architectural marvels have played a significant role in shaping Newport’s identity and attracting countless tourists from around the world. However, there is much more to this coastal gem than meets the eye.

Beyond the mansion-laden shores and regal estates lies a vibrant city with a wealth of experiences waiting to be explored. From mesmerizing natural landscapes to fascinating historical landmarks, and from tantalizing culinary delights to an array of recreational activities, Newport offers an abundance of hidden treasures that will delight even the most seasoned traveler.

1. The Cliff Walk

The Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile walk in Newport, RI, offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and passes by many luxurious and historic mansions such as The Breakers, Marble House, and Rosecliff. The walk is considered one of the best things to do in Newport, and there are plenty of scenic viewpoints for taking photos. The Cliff Walk is a trail that runs from North End at Easton’s Beach to South End at Bailey’s Beach. The trail consists of both easy paved paths and difficult rocky terrain. However, there are eight street access points along the way that allow you to enter or exit the trail at any point.To walk the entire Cliff Walk one way, it usually takes around 2.5 hours. I suggest beginning your walk from Forty Steps to Marble House. This way, you can encounter the trail’s easy, moderate, and challenging parts and witness most landmarks in the shortest possible time.

2. Thames Street

If you’re looking for things to do in Newport, RI, head to Thames Street. This street is where the city’s popular restaurants, such as Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant, are located, along with local boutiques and stores. Take a stroll down Thames Street and explore the shops to find something fun to bring home with you. It’s one of the two main streets in Newport with lots of action.

3. Bellevue Avenue

Bellevue Avenue is located a few blocks east of Thames Street and runs parallel to it. You can find the historic Hotel Viking and Rough Point mansion along this avenue, which also provides street access to other estates in the city such as The Elms, Chateau-sur-Mer, Rosecliff, and Marble House. I really enjoy the section of Bellevue Avenue that runs from Mill Street to Bowery Street. The architecture of the buildings is quite charming and reminds me of a cozy European village. In my opinion, walking along this street is definitely one of the top activities to experience in Newport, RI. Bellevue Avenue is where you can find some great restaurants I love to visit in Newport such as Empire Tea & Coffee, Pasta Beach, and CRU Café. Additionally, if you’re interested, you can check out the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Audrain Auto Museum which are also located on this street.

4. Greenvale Vineyards

If we had more time in Newport, I would have definitely visited Greenvale Vineyards, a beautiful winery located near Downtown Newport. It’s situated along the coast, offering lush scenery and stunning ocean views. Additionally, the winery features live jazz music on weekends and plenty of outdoor seating. Although Greenvale Vineyards is not located within walking distance of Downtown Newport, you can still easily reach it by taking a seven-mile ride via Uber or Lyft, even if you don’t have a car there are plenty of options available.

5. Bowen’s Wharf

Downtown Newport has an adorable square called Bowen’s Wharf that overlooks and upscale restaurants there. Even though it’s a popular tourist destination, Bowen’s Wharf is worth a visit. It’s an enjoyable place to stroll around, and the atmosphere is particularly charming at night. I visited on a Wednesday night, and it had a lively weekend vibe.

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For those seeking a thrill or a touch of outdoor adventure, Newport won’t disappoint. Experience the exhilaration of sailing on the open waters or embark on a kayaking expedition, exploring the hidden coves and wildlife-rich estuaries. Hike the scenic trails of Newport’s nature reserves, where you can witness stunning vistas and encounter diverse flora and fauna.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a Newport aficionado looking to expand your horizons, we invite you to join us on this journey of discovery. Let us guide you through the lesser-known wonders of Newport, unlocking the secrets that lie beyond the mansions and revealing a world of captivating experiences waiting to be explored.


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