We love it here - you're going to love it, too!
After getting engaged on Newport’s Castle Hill, and spending the next few days hanging out in town and out on Block Island, we fell in love with Rhode Island.
Newport is part Boston in its look and history, part San Francisco in its pier/wharf area, part San Diego with a rich sailing tradition, and part Gatsby with some of the country’s most breathtaking mansion lined cliffs. The Bowen’s/Bannister’s/Sayer’s Wharf area is the epicenter, full of great restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, and more. Belle Mer (the wedding venue) and the Hyatt are located on Goat Island, less than a mile from central Newport just over a short causeway bridge.
This place speaks our language with its laid back pace, sea and sailing culture, beautiful old buildings and history at every turn. We know it’s also a unique destination our friends and family will love, even if it’s not the type of place you may have thought to check out on your own.
For Newport newbies – here are a few of our favorite highlights below.
Things to Do
Make a weekend (or a whole week!) out of it
For anybody coming in a little early or staying a little late, we hope you take advantage of everything Newport has to offer. The interwebs will provide all sorts of great information, but for anybody looking for a few suggestions, here are a few ideas to get you started.
If you’re in town long enough for a day trip, and want a truly special change of scenery, take a ferry ride to Block Island. The Block Island Ferry offers a 1-hour fast ferry a few times per day round trip so you can check out the island. You can walk around the town, grab lunch or drinks, hit the beach, or even surf. If you want to explore a little more, you can rent bikes, mopeds, or convertibles. We recommend getting some mode of transportation and giving yourself enough time to see the South Light, grab lunch at The Oar, and make your way to the North Light. It’s the best way to see the whole island.
Newport Vineyards is the largest grower of wine grapes in New England and is recognized as a landmark attraction in Newport County and continues the tradition of growing quality wines on preserved farmland. Take advantage of daily tours at 1:00pm and 3:00pm, enjoy a meal at the Brix Restaurant opening in 2015, or just stop by the tasting room.Newport Vineyards
During our first trip to Newport, we got out for a sail on a classic schooner. There’s no better way to cruise the bay than on one of the many twin-masted ships that launch from the Bowen’s/Bannister’s Wharf area. There are also options to take out a classic Rum Runner, or other beautiful yachts of all sizes. Check out either of the companies below.
(Staying after the wedding? Check back on the Events Page for updates about a Saturday Sail)
If you want to get some sand between your toes, but don’t want to take the ferry trip out to Block Island, there are plenty of beaches right in Newport for you to check out. Easton’s Beach (called 1st Beach by the locals) is the most popular, but you can check out many of the local beaches at the link below.Newport Beaches
Take a walk through historic Newport and see some of the most breathtaking mansions in the country The historic Mansion Walk takes you past homes dating back to the 18th century. From town, just head to Bellevue Avenue and start walking. Any shoes fit for a sidewalk will work.Bellevue Mansion Walk
For a little longer and more rugged walk with a mix of mansions and ocean views, check out the 3.5 mile long Cliff Walk. This world famous public access walk combines the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport’s gilded age. Bring comfortable shoes or sneakers for the rocky sections.Cliff Walk
Past Newport out to the point about 4 miles/10 minutes drive is Castle Hill, home to the Castle Hill Inn. A beautiful location for a meal, or to stay for the trip if you want to take a room in the hotel or on one of the private beach cottages, it’s a must see. The Castle Hill Lighthouse was where we got engaged, with a beautiful Sunday Jazz Brunch to follow.Castle Hill Inn
Places to Eat
The Bowen’s, Bannister’s, Sayer’s Wharf area is the epicenter of Newport life, full of great restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries. When in doubt, just head to the wharf and you’ll run into somewhere great to eat. Here are just 3 of our favorites.
The Black Pearl, located in the heart of the city’s bustling waterfront on Bannister’s Wharf, is one of Newport’s best-known and best-loved restaurants. From the warm ambience and classic cuisine of the Commodore’s Room and Tavern, to the al-fresco charm of the Waterside Patio and raw bar, the Black Pearl has something to offer everyone. We love their clam chowder, grilled cheese, chili, and lobster rolls.
The Black Pearl Newport Bannister’s Wharf Newport, RI 02840 | 401.846.5264Black Pearl
For a step more upscale than Black Pearl, but still with plenty of nautical Newport atmosphere, walk right over to The Mooring on Sayer’s Wharf. We enjoyed their cheese plate (shocker), along with incredible Sea Bass, and butternut squash pasta with blackened chicken.
1 Sayers Wharf, Newport, RI 02840 | (401) 846-2260The Mooring
Our favorite food in Newport can be found at 22 Bowen’s, located not surprisingly on Bowen’s Wharf. If you happen to be there on a Wednesday, I highly recommend the Steak Frite. However, I also had maybe the best salmon of my life here as well, and Jen loves the Filet Mignon, so you really can’t go wrong.
22 BOWEN’S Bowen’s Wharf Newport, RI 02840 | (401) 841-888422 Bowen's