21 Fun Things to Do in Newport (RI)

If you ever dreamt of vacaying in Newport, Rhode Island but don’t know what to do when you get there, we’ll show you some of the amazing and fun things to do in Newport, RI, and some of its unique histories.

Newport, Rhode Island, is known for its rich history and beautiful beaches. It has beautiful, vibrant art scenes, great food, and various festivals that will give you a lasting memory.

If you’re craving something a bit different, check out the local car museum or take in one of the many street fairs held each year. 

Finally, if you’re looking for something more exclusive, look at the magnificent mansions overlooking the ocean.

Let’s learn more about this magnificent city!

Where is Newport, Rhode Island?

The city of Newport is located in Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Island and is known for its historic mansions. It is situated in Narragansett Bay, approximately 33 miles from Providence. 

It is also about 20 miles from Fall River, Massachusetts, and about 74 miles from Boston. This region is known for its summer resorts.

It is the site of the first US Open tennis tournament and America’s Cup tennis tournament between 1930 and 1983. 

This region was a major port city during the 18th century. However, many of its buildings were constructed during the colonial era.

The city of Newport is the administrative seat of Newport County, and it has no governmental functions. 

However, it’s also known for being the location of some of the White House’s summer homes during the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower. 

As of the 2020 census, the city’s population has reached 25,163.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Morristown (NJ)

Fun Things to Do in Newport, RI

Newport, Rhode Island, is a city filled with different summer resorts. 

There are countless exciting activities to keep you busy. These are some of the best things to do in Newport, Rhode Island, for families, couples, kids, adults, and for the weekend!

1. Naval War College Museum, Newport, Rhode Island

The museum, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is in the building where the first Naval War College was established.

It’s called Founders Hall. The museum was established in 1952 after the Chief of Naval Operations approved its establishment. The museum holds various historical artifacts.

The museum features various exhibits that cover different aspects of naval history. 

One of these is the history of the naval war college, which was established in 1884. 

It also displays the history of maritime activities in Narragansett Bay, which dates back to the colonial era. 

Address: This attraction is located at Founders Hall, Building 10, Luce Ave, Newport.

2. Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island

The Cliff Walk is a beautiful three-and-a-half-mile walk that takes you along the eastern shore of Newport. 

It offers magnificent views of the city and its architectural history. It’s also great to explore the area’s many luxury villas.

The walk is relatively easy for most people, as the natural beauty of the area and the various colors of the rocks and flowers surrounding the trail make it an ideal choice for walking. 

However, some parts of the trail are rough, and hikers should be careful as the trail’s edge is hidden by wild bushes. The walk ends at various city streets. 

Address: The Cliff Walk is located in Newport, Rhode Island.

3. Museum of Newport History

The Museum of Newport History is located in downtown Newport’s Old Brick Market building. 

It was designed by Peter Harrison, an architect from the US. The museum features a variety of exhibits that tell the city’s history from pre-colonial times to today.

The museum features over 10,000 objects, including various art pieces, furniture, and textiles. 

It also has a variety of exhibits that tell the city’s history from pre-colonial times to today. 

Some of the exhibits are located in the historical buildings in the museum, such as the Great Friends Meeting House and the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House. 

Address: The Museum of Newport History is located at 127 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840.

4. The Newport Art Museum

The Newport Art Museum was founded in 1912 as the Art Association of Newport. It continues to be one of the oldest art organizations in the country. 

Its main building also features a gallery inside the John N. A. Griswold House, which was constructed in the 1800s. 

The museum’s collection features over 2,200 American artworks from the 19th century. 

It focuses on the works of emerging and established artists from New England and Newport.

The museum also frequently hosts special exhibitions, usually accompanied by special programs. 

These exhibitions are typically based on the museum’s permanent collection. 

The museum’s annual members’ exhibition additionally provides local and regional artists an opportunity to exhibit their work. 

Address: The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

5. Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive is a popular tour in Newport that showcases the city’s beautiful coastline and the lavish homes built during the 19th century. 

It has been designated as a national historic landmark district. 

You will pass through landmarks such as King Park, Fort Adams State Park, the New York Yacht Clubs, and the Hammersmith Farm, where President Kennedy held his wedding reception. 

Other notable sites include the US Coast Guard Station at Brenton Point, Narragansett Bay, and Gooseberry Beach. 

There are also several small coves and ponds along the Atlantic Ocean.

Address: The Ocean Drive tour can be accessed at Ocean Dr. Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA.

6. Fort Adams State Park

Located at Fort Adams Point, the Fort Adams State Park is a popular recreation area that’s known for its various activities. 

It features a variety of recreational activities, such as swimming, fishing, and picnicking. It also has a rugby pitch named after Joseph “Jay” Kirwin.

Fort Adams is the second-largest Fort in the US and was instrumental in protecting Narragansett Bay from 1799 to 1945. 

Aside from hosting the Newport Folk Festival, the park also serves as the home of Eisenhower House, the former residence of the commander of the Fort. 

Address: The Fort Adams State Park is located at 84 Fort Adams Dr, Newport, RI 02840.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Bainbridge Island (WA)

7. National Museum of American Illustration

The National Museum of American illustration is located in Newport’s historic Vernon Court mansion. 

It’s the first museum in the country dedicated to the illustration art of America. 

Its permanent collection features over 2,000 original works by some of the country’s most prominent artists, such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and J.C. Leyendecker.

The museum’s collection features over 2,000 original works by some of the country’s most prominent artists, such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and J.C. Leyendecker. 

It also has a variety of other interesting artifacts and memorabilia. Some of these include the artist’s first box of paints, his brushes, and various photographic materials. 

Address: This attraction is located at 492 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

8. Rough Point

Photo by Reading Tom via Flickr

The magnificent mansion of philanthropist and art collector Doris Duke is located on the waterfront in Newport’s rough Point neighborhood.

It’s still decorated with French furniture and various art pieces, such as Chinese porcelains and Flemish tapestries. 

The house and its estate are currently open to the public for tours. The tours, which last about 75 minutes, are led by knowledgeable guides. 

They take small groups of people through the mansion, including Duke’s art galleries and bedroom. Initially, the house was built in 1887 for Frederick Vanderbilt. 

It was the largest mansion in the summer colony of Newport when it was constructed. 

Inspired by English manors, the place’s design evoked the feel of a traditional country house. 

Address: This attraction is located at 680 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

9. Newport Mansions

This is one of the most popular activities in Newport during the city’s Gilded Age was visiting the many grand mansions that were built during this period. 

To enhance the experience, the Preservation Society of the County has created a series of audio tours that are included in the admission price.

These tours allow visitors to learn about the various aspects of the mansion, such as its history, oral histories, and diaries. 

They also provide a glimpse into the people’s lives in the homes. 

One of the most exciting audio tours is that of Alva Vanderbilt, who talked about how she helped design the marble house known as the Marble House.

Address: The Newport Mansions is located at the Preservation Society of Newport County, 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840,

10. Thames Street

According to locals, Thames Street in Newport is the center of all activity in the city. 

This street is filled with vibrant shops, restaurants, and museums. 

It starts at the intersection of Poplar and Farewell Streets and ends at the junction of Morton Avenues and Carroll Avenues.

The area is home to many bed and breakfast establishments, and it’s also a great place to gather with friends and enjoy the sunshine. 

Additionally, many outdoor cafes and bars are located along the street.

11. Touro Synagogue

The Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island is North America’s oldest continuously operating synagogue. 

It was constructed in 1763 and is still active. The building was designed by Peter Harrison, who was a resident of the state at the time.

The interior of the synagogue features 12 Ionic columns that support the balcony. 

They represent ancient Israel’s tribes. It also has various exhibits, such as a letter from George Washington to a local synagogue. 

The building was additionally designated as a National Historic Site. 

Address: This attraction is located at 85 Touro St, Newport, RI 02840.

12. International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

The Hall of Fame for Tennis is in the historic Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. 

It features a museum that showcases the achievements of professional players and other individuals who have contributed to the sport of tennis. 

The facility also has various tennis courts. The casino, constructed in 1880, hosted the first professional tennis tournament in 1881.

The casino first hosted a professional tennis tournament in 1881. It continued until 1914, and it became the resort’s main attraction. 

In 1954, Jimmy Van Alen added a museum and Hall of Fame for Tennis to the facility. 

The Hall of Fame’s exhibits depict the sport’s history from its earliest origins to the present. It also hosts various tournaments. 

Address: The Hall of Fame for Tennis is located at 194 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

13. Bowen’s Wharf

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

Bowen Warf’s waterfront’s granite and brick walkways reflected the past when the buildings around it housed the shops and lofts of sailmakers. 

Today, this area is a bustling entertainment and shopping district with over 30 restaurants, bars, and other establishments. 

Situated at the foot of Newport’s Historic Hill, it is also home to a full-service marina.

The wharf is also the site of numerous festivals and celebrations in the city, such as the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival and the Wooden Boat Show. 

Additionally, various events happen throughout the year, such as flower festivals, sidewalk sales, and music festivals. 

Besides these, the wharf is additionally a great place to organize multiple boat trips and sightseeing tours.

Address: Bowen’s Wharf is located at Bowen’s Wharf, Bowens Wharf, Newport, RI 02840, United States.

14. Chateau-sur-Mer

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

The lavish mansion Chateau-sur-Mer was constructed in 1852 in Newport and was the most expensive house in the area. William Wetmore, a China trader, initially owned it.

The mansion was renovated in 1870 and became more of a French-style house. 

The Preservation Society now owns it. The house’s interior has been extensively renovated and displays some of the most prominent 19th-century design trends. 

Address: This attraction is located at 474 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

15. Castle Hill Lighthouse

Photo by cmh2315fl vis Flickr

The Castle Hill Lighthouse was constructed in 1890 to aid navigation in the East Passage between Narragansett Bay and the Aquidneck Islands. 

It was erected at the end of Ocean Drive in Newport.

Address: The Castle Hill Lighthouse is located at 800-870 Ocean Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

16. Brenton Point State Park

Formerly a grand estate, the Brenton Point State Park in Rhode Island has over 89 acres. 

This recreational facility offers various activities, including hiking, fishing, and cycling. The park also offers bird watching and other recreational activities.

Address: The Brenton Point State Park is located at Ocean Drive, Newport, RI 02840.

17. The Bodhi Spa

The Bodhi Spa is located on Lower Thames Street in the heart of Newport’s Lower District, which offers various services and treatments, including massage, skincare, and more. 

Its spacious facility features a six-stop Water Journey. This includes a hot and cold plunge pool, a wet and dry sauna, and a steam room. 

The facility’s tranquil courtyard and welcoming interior make it an ideal choice for couples and single people.

Address: The Bodhi Spa is located at 654 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840.

18. Annie’s Newport

Annie’s restaurant is on the historic Bellevue Avenue in Newport’s beautiful Lower District. 

This establishment is a charming diner-style restaurant close to several museums, homes, and shops. 

Its interior design features a variety of seating areas and bar stools. As a result, it’s always filled with the energy of happy customers.

Address: This attraction is located at 176 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

19. White Horse Tavern

The White Horse Tavern is a charming establishment in the heart of Newport’s colonial district. 

It’s the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the US and has been serving its guests since 1647. 

The interior of this building features several 17th-century elements, such as giant fireplaces and tall beams.

Address: The White Horse Tavern is located at 26 Marlborough Street, Newport, RI 02840.

20. Rhode Island Red Food Tours

The Red Food Tours of Rhode Island provides a different side of Newport by taking visitors on a walking tour through the city’s various neighborhoods and hidden restaurants. 

These establishments are owned and operated by local residents. 

During the three-hour tour, the guides will introduce you to these local restaurants and provide you with a taste of the city’s culture.

Address: The Rhode Island Red Food Tours is located at 270 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840.

21. Boru Noodle Bar

The Boru Noodle Bar is the only ramen shop in Newport. 

Although it’s not the main reason why this unassuming establishment has gained such a following, the quality of its food and the atmosphere it creates is why people come here. 

With just a few tables and no alcohol, Boru serves up fresh and delicious bowls of noodle soup and other dishes.

Address: The Boru Noodle Bar is located at 36 Broadway Road, Newport, RI 02840.

Newport, Rhode Island, is considered by many to be an affluent neighborhood. It has a rich and terrific history. So, start planning your visit to Newport, RI, now.