As some of my readers know, I like to plan a pretty lavish vacation with a group of my friends every year. Typically, we travel overseas and are gone for two weeks. Due to obvious reasons, that just wasn’t an option for us this year.
After being cooped up in the house for the past couple of months, I needed to break free. I felt like my brain was melting from sitting on my sofa staring at my phone, scrolling through Instagram for hours on end. I had to get out of here. So, I started planning! Where could we go that was “open” and had low cases of COVID? At first I looked at Montana and the logistics just weren’t playing into our favor. Then I started thinking about the East Coast. New York was a no and I was possibly going to Portland, Maine with my mom for her birthday. What other places could we go to? I got it! Newport, RI.
I had been hearing so much about Newport recently– a lot of people from New York were traveling to nearby towns and eating all kinds of seafood. Right up my alley! I got the group together and laid out some dates and then started planning. Check out some of the cool things we did along with some helpful tips.
Our group arrived at our Air BnB located off of Clarke Street, just minutes from the main drag in Newport. I had groceries and alcohol pre-ordered to the house so that we would have something to snack on when we got there.
We walked down to the water and had an early dinner at The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar. It comes highly-recommend by different travel sites and from other travelers. Come here for amazing dining experience right on the water. The seafood tower isn’t too bad either!
After dinner, we continued on and had more oysters and martinis at Midtown Oyster Bar. Our group glided home and sipped wine for the rest of the night.
Wake up early and grab a bite to eat at Drift Cafe– an awesome local breakfast spot. They serve great coffee, acai bowls and breakfast sandwiches. This spot is super cute and very Instagram-worthy.
Next up, put on your workout clothes and gym shoes and walk along the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk. This scenic walk on the water takes you along the coast of Newport with stunning visuals of the most famous mansions in Newport. For the most part, the walk itself stays relatively flat, but towards the end it does get a little intense. If you have hard time walking or have bad knees, I would not recommend this for you. During your walk, stop by The Breakers to see one of the illustrious Vanderbilt homes.
After your strenuous walk, head towards The Lawn at Castle Hill to enjoy the waterfront views and eat the best oysters and lobster rolls. Honestly, these were the best oysters I have ever had. No, they definitely were the best oysters I ever had.
Head home and take a nap before hitting the streets again. Enjoy a delightful dinner and awesome service at Clarke Cooke House. While the upstairs bar had limited seating due to COVID- try to snag yourself a seat as it overlooks the streets and is a total vibe. If you’re still in the mood to enjoy the night, there are a ton of bar options nearby.
After you’re done curing your hangover, it’s time to start again! Grab your walking shoes and explore Newport by going on a food walking tour. It’s a good way to check out some local spots. Afterwards, keep up the fun and go on a short bar crawl. Again there are many places you can go, such as The Black Pearl (sits right on the water and has a fun lively vibe) or The Lobster Bar and Brickhouse Tavern.
As the afternoon sets in, charter a sailboat and sail across the Narragansett and enjoy the stunning sunset views. Depending on which boating company you select, you can bring your own beer and wine on the boat as well as some snacks. Highly recommend to enhance the experience. And finally, to top off the evening, get your fill of all the tasty noods Newport has to offer at Pasta Beach. This is off the beaten path and would be more of a local flare. It’s super quaint and cute inside. The proscuitto and burrata is to die for.
For your last full day in Newport, it would be remiss for you not to visit one of the many vineyards in town, such as Newport Winery, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards or Greenvale Vineyards. Newport Vineyards is probably the most popular of the three and it also has brewery which is nice for the guys. During COVID times, all but Greenvale required a reservation and had a time limit. Newport Vineyards only accepts parties up to six people, Sakonnet will take up to eight. Make sure to do your research before you go as regulations are ever-changing.
After our wine tasting, we jetted over to the Vanderbilt hotel and headed up towards their rooftop, the Gwynne, and had a few more drinks while we watched the gorgeous sunset. Honestly, if I wasn’t traveling with my group of friends, I would definitely stay at the Vanderbilt. It’s classic and contemporary–simply elegant. What a way to end our day!
For our last meal, we had to keep it traditional and catered a seafood boil for ourselves. McGrath Clambakes did an fabulous job providing catering for us. The food arrived hot & ready and they provided all the necessary utensils we needed to crack open our own lobsters. There was more than enough food for all eight of us. The lobsters, clams and mussels were huge and super fresh. I really encourage everyone experience this at least once in their life!
Where to Stay
You can rent an Air BnB like we did or you can choose to stay at some great hotels.
What to Do
I was honestly surprised by how much there is to do in Newport. I figured it being such a small town, we might get bored pretty easily. But Newport proved me wrong.
- Visit a winery- Newport Winery, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards or Greenvale Vineyards
- Charter a sailboat
- Attend a polo match
- Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum
- Go on a food walking tour
- Hike the Cliff Walk
- Visit one of the famous mansions
- Rent a scooter and go for a ride on Ocean Drive
Where to Eat
I couldn’t have enjoyed any more oysters if my little heart depended on it. Everything really does taste so much better from the East Coast. I would take a short day trip just to go eat at the majority of these places in Newport. While there are some many fabulous places to eat in Newport, these are places I went to and can recommend.
- The Black Pearl
- The Lobster Bar
- Clarke Cooke House
- Pasta Beach
- Midtown Oyster Bar
- The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar
- Drift Cafe
- Coffee Grinder
- The Lawn at Castle Hill
Where to Drink
- White Horse Tavern– stop by the country’s oldest tavern.
- The Gwynne at the Vanderbilt– amazing rooftop with panoramic views of Newport.
- The Reef– Sunday’s are the best with their live DJ.
- Brickhouse Tavern– grab yourself a nice martini and sit back and enjoy.
I hope you found our itinerary and some of my tips to be helpful. There are so many great places to visit in the New England area with all its’ history, but make sure to add Newport to the list of places to stay. It has completely stolen my heart! I can’t wait to visit again and spend more time exploring. Until next time…xoxo!