Newport, Rhode Island, where they call lobsters “LOBSTAHHHS” and clam chowder “CHOWDAHH). Welcome to the smallest state with the biggest fun (excuse my english grammar).
Newport is one of my favorite places in the world (yes, the WORLD!) It’s a place that is near and dear to my heart because it reminds me of my childhood – I grew up just a few towns away and spent some of my best summers in Newport with friends (especially Erin and Tara K!) and family.
In my adult years and since living in NYC for the last 12 years, I make it a point to get to Newport. This past summer I was lucky enough to drag some of my best New York / Brooklyn friends to a place I call home. Most had never been and by the end of the weekend everyone was in love with good ‘ole Newport. Success!
This is us. Basically the greatest group of friends I could ever ask for (yep, super sappy…).
Below is some insight into the best weekend ever with the best people ever.
We had just from Friday – Sunday, so I made sure to really get in the most I could for our Newport visit: Lobster, Live Music, Lobster, Sunsets, Mansions, the Beach, and more Lobster…we left about 5lbs heavier, a little tanner and with the greatest memories ever. Totally worth it.
Depart NYC for Newport early!
Our day started pretty early! Our entire group took an Amtrak train from NYC to Kingston, RI (right outside Newport). If you are coming from NYC take Amtrak. I cannot stress that enough. You don’t want to sit in traffic on 95 for 6 hours. Plus, it’s so much fun to spend 3.5 hours on a train on a Friday with your friends. Mimosa and bagels, check. Laughs, check check. Orange Taxi Newport will also be your best friend when you arrive to Kingston and also for your time in Newport. Call them, tell them to pick you up in Kingston, RI at Amtrak. And vou la, you’ll find yourself in Newport. Welcome!
Morning Arrival to Burbank Rose
111 Memorial Boulevard West, Newport, RI 02840
This fabulous B&B (aka the Bubble House – you’ll learn why it’s named that when you stay there) is owned by my friend Brian and is big enough for 20 people comfortably. The house has 3 spacious floors, with several bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens and a common living room. Great for large groups. I rented the entire place for my friends. Brian is super amazing, he’ll serve great treats and breakfast, and be around for whatever question, help or coordinating you need! Bring a ouija board (you’ll thank me later)!
12N Lunch at The Newport Lobster Shack
150 Long Wharf, Newport, RI
I love the Lobster Shack because it has great views of the water since it’s on the pier and fantastic lobster and other menu options. Plus it’s budget friendly! It also is a great place to have lunch and explore the shops around Newport all surrounding the restaurant.
1:3oP Shop around Newport
5:00P Historic Newport house tour & cocktails
One of my favorite parts of Newport is the beautiful historical homes and mansions. I was lucky enough to bring my group of friends to my wonderful friend Laraine and her husband Garrett’s stunning historical home in downtown Newport. This was a big highlight for everyone! I recommend touring around downtown Newport and looking at the homes or visiting a mansion during this time.
While in Newport, I was also lucky enough to get these cool surfer dudes to drive the group around Newport in the back of their Jeep. Such fun and a great way to get around Newport quickly! They dropped us off at our next stop… the Vanderbilt Grace to watch the sunset.
6:30P-8:00P Sunset & Cocktails @ The Roof Deck at Vanderbilt Grace
41 Mary St, Newport, RI 02840
The Vanderbilt Grace is breathtaking! I reserved a private space on their roof deck for my friends that overlooked the Newport Harbor and watched the sunset. The space is very small so I recommend calling ahead to reserve the space. They have food and fantastic Rose wine at the Vanderbilt Grace.
8:15P Lobster Rolls & Live Music @ Waites Wharf At the Deck
1 Waites Wharf, Newport, RI 02840
This spot is great for large groups and also has freakin amazing Lobster Rolls! The seating is outdoor overlooking the boat dock and water. They also have live music on the deck from 6P – 9P. For a large group I recommend calling ahead for a reservation and even pre-ordering your meal (if everyone is getting Lobster Rolls it’s pretty easy to put in the order!) this way you aren’t waiting to long (which can happen since it’s pretty busy there). After 9P a DJ starts and the outdoor dock can get a bit rowdy – but if you are into dancing the night away stay for a bit!
Other night life includes: Pelham, 41 North, Boom Boom at Clark Cooke House, Newport Blues.
9:00A-10:00A Private Sunrise Yoga @ The Roof Deck at Vanderbilt Grace
41 Mary St, Newport, RI 02840
Whenever I plan a vacation or weekend away with friends I always try to incorporate some physical activity / workout. For this trip I arranged for a private yoga session on the roof of Vanderbilt Grace with the Vanderbilt yoga instructor, Sheri. Sheri was absolutely fantastic and the views on the roof that early over the harbor were breathtaking. We had so much fun and I highly recommend doing this if you can! Call the Vanderbilt to make arrangements.
11:00A Go Cart / Scooter the 12-mile drive
Scooter World at 12 Christies Landing, Newport RI
Imagine nearly 20 of us scootering around Newport in go-carts. Yes that happened! Newport is gorgeous, I cannot stress that enough, from the ocean, mansions, boats, sunsets, parks and more. The scene is breathtaking. The best way to see this is the 12-mile drive (very famous) and scootering around. I lead the way for my friends since I’ve done it a million times before, but it’s really easy! Scooter World will give you a map and you really cannot get lost. It’s a big circle. It will take you about 60-90 minutes and is really worth the money and time!
Stop for Dells Lemonade it’s a Newport staple while on your scooter trip on Thames Street!
Here’s a map from Laura Hooper that depicts a good idea of the path of 12-mile drive.
1:30P Walk the cliff walk, have a picnic & Easton/1st beach
1st Beach/Easton Beach Newport, RI
In Newport, there is 1st beach (Easton), 2nd beach, 3rd beach and so on. Each is different but for this weekend I lead the group to 1st beach/Easton Beach since it is pretty close to our house, you can enjoy the cliff walk, has really good Lobster rolls (the best in my opinion) at the Easton food shack and is big enough to run around and play bocce and toss a football or two. Have to admit though, it does have a bit of seaweed (always has) so if you don’t like that try the other beaches which usually are free from it. Regardless we had a great day sipping Rose, eating Lobster rolls, swimming and playing beach games!
6:30P – 8:00P Sunset & Cocktails at Castle Hill Inn
590 Ocean Ave, Newport, RI 02840
This is a must. I repeat, you must watch the sunset at Castle Hill Inn in Newport. The lawn is gorgeous, sit in an Adirondack chair, admire the ocean and sailboats, have a cocktail and watch the best that mother nature has to offer, the sunset. Get there early, Castle Hill doesn’t let the lawn get overly crowded and they will turn people away once it gets too busy.
8:30P Dinner & Live Music at The Landing
There are so many great restaurants in Newport. I picked the ones I picked because, while good, they also were able to accommodate larger groups. Many of the Newport restaurants are small and cannot. I will provide a list of other places below. The Landing was super accommodating and had great food! Before getting to the restaurant we pre-ordered appetizers so when we arrived food would be on the table. We then ordered several dishes for the entire table to share (around 20 dishes likely) which we passed around and all tried. It was a great way to share and try different Newport foods. The prices are great too! The Landing gets busy and generally has a line of people waiting to get in since they have a great outdoor space that has Live Music and outdoor bar. We spent most of the night here and had a great time!
Other after dinner options: Pelham, 41 North, Boom Boom at Clark Cooke House, Newport Blues
After dinner we headed to the outside area of The Landing to listen to live music. Here’s Meg hopping on stage with the singer to add in her own vocals! We had so much fun!
Late Night Via Via Pizza
372 Thames Street, Newport, RI
Via Via was my old stomping ground in high school and college… and let’s be honest it’s also a place I’ve enjoyed well into my 30’s too! Check it out post a night of live music at Newport Blues or the like and enjoy a slice with the rest of Newport! It gets busy but it’s a total Newport experience!
10:00A Pineapples on the Bay
On Goat Island
Head over to Goat Island (just across from Newport) for brunch. Great views of the Newport harbor!
All Day Sunday was spent doing a variety of Newport things on our own/in small groups
*For Suggestions see below for “things to do” in Newport like the beaches, mansion tour, 12-mile drive, shopping on Thames, sailing…
Afternoon Departures – Goodbye
That concludes our amazing Newport weekend! We had an absolute blast and still talk about our weekend to this very day and laugh! I am looking forward to another summer in Newport with friends!
Below are more ideas of things to do in Newport and other items you may find helpful!
Other Important Stuff to Know:
Orange Cabs Phone: (401) 841-0030 (They are fantastic and you can book ahead and arrange for car service. I exclusively used them for my entire weekend)
Uber now exists in Newport.
Getting to and from Newport can be a b*tch. I had to twist my friend’s arms not to drive to Newport because even though Google map will tell you it takes 3 hours, it will take you 6 hours with summer traffic from NYC. The best way to get there is by train! Take Amtrak to Kingston Railroad Station (West Kingston train stop). From there, take a cab to Newport. You can pre-arrange this with Orange Cabs. Very often cabs will be waiting there as well. Share the cab with others to make it cheaper – everyone does this.
- All the places I listed above and also the ones below I enjoy:
- Pizza: Via Via Pizza or Nikolas Pizza
- Black Pearl great for day time chowdahhhh (Clam Chowder) on the dock outside
- Pineapples for Brunch on Goat Island
- Castle Hill for lunch The Lawn 11:30a-3p
- Barking Crab
- Ice Cream at Newport Creamery (childhood favorite!)
- Brick Alley Pub
- Red Parrot
- Easton Snack Bar at Easton Beach (Lobstahhhh Rolls!)
- The Lobster Bar
- Dells Lemonade (MUST HAVE)
- Franklin Spa (Very popular hole in wall for breakfast)
- White Horse Tavern (oldest Tavern in the USA)
- Perro Salado (great Mexican)
- Clarke Cookhouse
- Tallulah on Thames (one of my favorite restaurants!! Lobster grilled cheese – yes please)
- Pasta Beach
OUT AT NIGHT:
- 41 North
- The Deck / Dockside Live Music
- Clark Cooke House Boom Boom Room
- Newport Blues – LOVE THIS PLACE! Especially on 80’s night!! Great for Bachelorette parties too.
THINGS TO DO:
- Sailing https://www.sail-newport.com/contact_us, http://www.bnbyachtcharters.com, http://www.bluenoseyachts.com
- Newport Vineyards http://www.newportvineyards.com/tasting-room-tours
- Newport Polo http://www.nptpolo.com/index.cfm?e=event&eventId=22638
- Cliff Walk
- Newport Mansions Tours
- Beaches https://www.discovernewport.org/blog/post/insiders-guide-to-beaches-in-newport-and-bristol-county/?preview=true&guid=9a4304f4-ec4c-4dcd-a2f6-aeacdb4d6c8a
- Scooters and do 10 Mile Drive http://www.mansionrentalsri.com, http://scooterworldri.com/?product=scoot-coupe
- Viking Tours http://vikingtoursnewport.com/sightseeing/
- Spa at Farmaesthetics
- Tennis Hall of Fame
- Cliff Walk
- 10 Mile Drive Ocean Drive
- Fort Adams State Park
- Bowen’s Warf