Newport tourism attractions are legendary . . . gilded mansions to tour, gorgeous beaches to lie on, boutiques and restaurants to explore, and all sorts of interesting things to do.
Only about 60 miles (100 km) from Boston, Newport RI makes a perfect day trip destination - although with so much to do and see plus wonderful hotels and restaurants, you may want to plan a weekend getaway.
To get the best recommendations for what to do on a day trip from Boston, I turned to a Newport, Rhode Island native.
Keep reading to learn about his suggestions - and to see why Newport has been a long-time favorite for New England vacations.
To find out about the best Newport tourism attractions, I reached out to Paul, a native Newporter who knows all the best things to do in this exciting Rhode Island city overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Here are Paul's recommendations in response to my questions:
Susan: Paul, for visitors who want to spend just a day - or maybe a weekend - in Newport, what top attractions and places do you recommend?
Paul: If you only have one day or a weekend to visit Newport, I suggest you see some of the following attractions:
Susan: Newport's mansions sound amazing...but there are so many of them! Which ones do you recommend as most interesting to a visitor, and why?
Paul: All of the Newport mansions are fascinating, but I'd recommend seeing one of these 3 first:
Susan: Newport is also known for its gorgeous water views and beautiful beaches. What's your favorite beach that you'd recommend to others? Why do you love it?
Paul: If you're looking for Newport's ultimate beach experience, check out Easton's (known as 1st Beach to the locals) on Memorial Boulevard.
You can attend summer concerts and volleyball tournaments here, get married on the beach or in the Rotunda, and provide hours of entertainment for your children at the:
Susan: What's your favorite thing to do in Newport?
Paul: My absolute favorite thing to do in Newport is to take a leisurely cruise (either on my bike or in a car) around the famous 10-mile Ocean Drive. Like on the Cliff Walk, you'll see beautiful homes, breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the entrance to Narragansett Bay here.
You can easily spend your whole day out here with a chair and a good book, your camera or your fishing pole. If you're with a group, you can picnic at Brenton Point State Park and enjoy the cool ocean breezes while you watch people fly their kites and play with their dogs.
If I could only see one thing during my trip to Newport, it would be Ocean Drive, without a doubt!
Susan: With so many Newport tourism attractions to choose from, can you sum up for us why it's a great place to visit?
Paul: There are few places in America that have the rich history, breathtaking scenery and multitude of attractions, events and entertainment that Newport is blessed with.
I may be a little biased since I grew up here, so I think everyone reading this should come see for themselves what makes the “City by the Sea” such a special place!
Susan: Paul, thank you so much for sharing your favorite Newport places and experiences with us.
After hearing about these wonderful Newport tourism attractions, I'm ready to jump into my car and drive south for a day trip - or even better, a long weekend getaway.
Find more visitor tips from Paul on his website, Newport Discovery Guide.
You'll also enjoy the spectacular 10-mile Ocean Drive, and the chance to stroll around the beautiful waterfront with fascinating shops and tantalizing restaurants. You'll have the opportunity to have lunch on your own - be sure to check out all the great restaurants overlooking the harbor!
This day trip includes pickup from select downtown hotels by luxury motorcoach, transportation to Newport plus the return trip to Boston, and admission to the two mansions, so it's a really good deal.
If you have a GoBoston card or are planning to get one for your trip, you can get free admission to 3 mansions of your choice.
Choose from The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, The Elms, Green Animals Topiary Garden, Kingscote, Isaac Bell House, Marble House, and Rosecliff.
At least 3 mansions are open year round, with most others opening in April and May. Check times and open dates before you go.
Will you have time to tour 3 mansions in one day? Yes, especially if you don't mind a somewhat fast pace. But instead of making just a day trip to Newport, you may want to consider a weekend visit so that you'll have time to visit other attractions, enjoy Ocean Drive, and perhaps visit the beach.
Return to Top - Newport Tourism Attractions
You'll find lots of wonderful choices of places to stay in Newport - everything from glamorous hotels overlooking the water to cozy inns and B&Bs - you can even stay in a lighthouse. The hardest part will be making a decision . . .
How to choose? Start here:
Explore breath-taking Cliff Walk and Newport's famed Gilded Age mansions. Reviews and rates
Enjoy personalized service, champaigne when you arrive, and the fabulous spa along with pampering worthy of the Gilded Age. Reviews and rates
Be sure to request a room with marina views as you may never want to leave - all rooms have fireplaces and soaking tubs. Reviews and rates
Great family choice - kids will love the indoor pool with skylights, easy access to harbor activities, and snacks available in the lounge all day. Reviews and rates
You'll enjoy the spa, pool, and convenient location in downtown Newport. Some rooms offer ocean views - ask for a corner room with waterviews on both sides. Reviews and rates
Getting there from Boston:
Getting around: Depending on where you stay, many Newport tourism attractions, shopping, historic, and waterfront areas may be just a short walk away. Ocean Drive is best seen by car or bike.
Between Memorial Day and Columbus Day, you can park at the Newport Visitors Center (23 America's Cup Ave) for $2 and ride their Yellow Line Trolley to the historic Newport mansions.