Let’s cut to the chase: Most towns of 25,000 don’t roll on Newport’s level. With miles of rocky cliffs, scores of Gilded Age mansions, and 400-year-old taverns still slinging Nantucket Chowder, this hotspot was good enough for the Vanderbilts, and it’s (still) good enough for us.
The main thing that’s changed in Newport since the age of the railroad baron? The food scene. No longer a sea of yachts and white tablecloths (and, of course, the aforementioned tavern), you’ll find a little bit of everything here, from craft beer hotspots to fresh Jamaican fare to good ol’ American breakfasts to die for. If you’ve got three days, here’s how to explore.
Follow Mark Twain’s advice: “If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.”
If you only have time for one thing, make it The Breakers.
Most visitors start their trip with a trolley tour. It’s a classic for a reason: You’ll get to experience Newport the traditional way, hear a narrated breakdown of the city, and see dozens of points of interest—plus good views.
Round out your time-traveling first day with dinner at the White Horse Tavern, the oldest restaurant in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the world. It’s been serving lucky patrons since 1673.
Afterwards, build up an appetite by strolling the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, with views of fantastic Gilded Age mansions on one side and beautiful coastline on the other. Once hunger strikes, keep it fancy: Check out Giusto for waterfront Italian or Bouchard Restaurant for fine French cuisine.
Start your last day off with a mimosa cruise. You haven’t seen Newport until you’ve seen it from the water—after all, this is the home of America’s Cup (the country’s premier sailing regatta).
Last but not least, leave your tastebuds on a high note with a food tour of Newport’s hottest ‘hoods. From Irish baked goods to small-batch craft beer and French brasseries to European taverns, there are a surprising amount of delectable spots to explore. And, really, it’s a twofer: Since the city’s food scene dates back to the 1600s, you’ll get a tasty history lesson to boot.