Is Newport, Rhode Island Worth Visiting? + Fun Things To Do (2024)

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Have you ever wondered, “is Newport, Rhode Island worth visiting”? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

JP and I visited Newport, Rhode Island as part of a larger road trip around the US.

We had just made our way up the entire East Coast, stopping at destinations like SavannahCharlestonWilliamsburgWashington DCPhiladelphia, and New York City.

After Newport, we were finishing our drive up the coast to places like Boston and Cape Cod.

Since we only had one day to visit Newport, our bucket list attractions were Ocean Drive, the Bellevue Mansions, and the Cliff Walk.

mansions on Ocean Drive in Newport, Rhode Island

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Is Newport, Rhode Island Worth Visiting?

Absolutely!

Newport, Rhode Island is such a unique place to visit along the East Coast.

It’s small town, coastal, historic vibe makes for the perfect weekend getaway.

You can see our full experience driving around Newport for the day on our YouTube Channel.

We were only there for a short amount of time, but we enjoyed the scenic views and the sense that we were in a historic place.

I definitely need to go back and explore more though because we only got to see a few highlights.


Popular Things To Do In Newport, Rhode Island

Below are some of the highlights you’ll want to see on your visit.

✅ Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive is an iconic and scenic coastal route that weaves its way along the edges of the Atlantic Ocean.

This drive is broken up into several segments:

  • Brenton Cove Shore
  • East Passage of Narragansett Bay
  • Ocean Drive
  • Bellevue Ave

It’s about 10 miles long and takes you around to see the natural beauty and historic landmarks of Newport.

Some highlights along Ocean Drive include:

  • New York Yacht Club
  • Fort Adams State Park
  • Sail Newport
  • Hammersmith Farm (Jackie Kennedy’s childhood home)
  • Castle Hill Lighthouse
  • Brenton Point State Park

✅ Bellevue Mansions

The Bellevue Mansions in Newport stand as a testament to the grandeur and opulence of the Gilded Age.

These mansions are nestled along the famous Bellevue Avenue.

This collection of historic mansions showcases exquisite architecture, rich heritage, and a glimpse into the extravagant lives of America’s elite from the late 19th to early 20th century.

Touring these magnificent estates, such as The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, and Rosecliff, transports visitors back in time to an era of unparalleled luxury and sophistication.

Wander through lavishly decorated rooms, ornate ballrooms, and meticulously manicured gardens, each with its unique charm and allure.

✅ Cliff Walk

The Cliff Walk is a picturesque 3.5 mile long trail.

On one side you get to ocean views, while on the other side you get to enjoy views of the historic Bellevue Mansions.

The Cliff Walk is also broken down into several segments:

  • Memorial Blvd to Forty Steps
  • Forty Steps to Ruggles Ave
  • Ruggles Ave to Belmont Beach
  • Belmont Beach to Ledge Rd
  • Ledge Rd to Bellevue Ave 

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Newport, Rhode Island

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we see about visiting Newport, Rhode Island.

✔️ What Is Newport, Rhode Island Known For?

Newport, Rhode Island is known for its blend of history and coastal charm.

As one of America’s oldest cities, Newport is steeped in rich colonial heritage.

It boasts a treasure trove of historic sites, museums, and preserved architecture that transports visitors to bygone eras.

However, it is perhaps most renowned for its association with the Gilded Age.

During this time, wealthy industrialists and socialites built lavish mansions along Bellevue Avenue.

Newport also draws visitors with its stunning coastline, offering pristine beaches, scenic ocean drives, and an array of water activities.

The city’s vibrant maritime culture manifests in sailing regattas, boat shows, and waterfront festivals.

✔️ How Many Days Do You Need In Newport, Rhode Island?

The ideal duration for a visit to Newport, Rhode Island largely depends on your travel preferences and the experiences you wish to savor.

To fully immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, explore its renowned Bellevue Mansions, and indulge in leisurely coastal activities, a minimum of three to four days would be recommended.

This timeframe allows ample time to tour multiple mansions, delve into the city’s maritime heritage, and enjoy the beautiful beaches and waterfront scenery.

Additionally, it provides flexibility to discover Newport’s charming downtown, experience local cuisine, and partake in any seasonal events or festivals that might be occurring during your stay.

However, should your schedule permit, extending your visit to five or more days would allow for a more relaxed and in-depth exploration of this enchanting coastal gem.

This would ensure that you can fully appreciate all the wonders Newport has to offer.

✔️ Is It Better To Visit Providence Or Newport?

This entirely depends on your travel preferences.

If everything we mentioned above sounds like your perfect getaway, then you’ll want to visit Newport.

In contrast, Providence has historical charm as well but it’s not right on the ocean like Newport is.

Providence is home to places like Brown University, historic landmarks, and museums, whereas Newport is more about the scenic views and the historic mansions.

Depending on traffic, they are less than an hour away from each other, so if you can visit both, I definitely recommend it.


Resources For Planning Your Trip To Newport

If you need help planning your trip to Newport, check out our Tips For Planning A Trip To Anywhere (A Step-By-Step Guide).

Also, read our Best Tips For Staying Safe When Traveling During Extreme Weather if you’re traveling during the heat in Summer or the snow in Winter.

Also check out our Best Tips For Staying Well While You Travel if you’re prone to getting colds or allergies when you travel or have other ailments.

Lastly, if you’re traveling on a budget, read up on our Best Tips For Traveling On A Budget: Your Guide To Planning An Affordable Trip.


Conclusion: Is Newport, Rhode Island Worth Visiting?

As we’ve shared, Newport, Rhode Island is absolutely worth visiting.

It’s a great coastal town with scenic views, beautiful architecture, and a fascinating history.