A Guide to Newport, Rhode Island

My  husband and I have visited Rhode Island a few times.  It’s only a few hours from home so it’s a great place for us to go to when we want to get away for just a few days.  A couple of weekends ago we stayed in Newport for a long weekend and we had a wonderful time. 

The weather could not have been more perfect, low 70’s and sunny.  Here’s the scoop on where we stayed, what we did and of course where we ate.   

Where To Stay:

We stayed at the Francis Malbone House, a quaint bed and breakfast. My parents and one of my sisters and her husband have each stayed there a couple of times and recommended it to us. Now we know why because we loved it there too. Everyone who works there is very pleasant, always smiling and willing to help you in any way they can. When they showed us to our room, they had classical musical playing in the room, which I thought was a nice touch. It was a surprisingly simple way to set a pleasant mood.

One of the best parts about this place is that once we parked our car, we never used it again until we left. Everything was in easy walking distance. Loads of cute shops, restaurants, and activities that were just a few minutes away by foot.

All of the rooms are beautifully decorated and definitely give you that quintessential cozy B&B feel. There is a lot of history with this house, dating back to 1760. I love to think about who walked these halls and what they were wearing and doing, all those years ago.

We’ve stayed at a few bed and breakfasts in New England and with each one we love to explore every room. We played Scrabble one afternoon in the game room. Yup, old school entertainment. I never win board games. Ever. Our game of Scrabble didn’t have the rules, and instead of looking them up we just went from memory for most of it. Obviously it’s not a super complicated game, so we did just fine. At the end, we were both pretty sure I’d won… Except I didn’t. Apparently the rule about how the game ends did me in. Oh well, maybe next time. 🙂

The food is delicious. They serve a lovely breakfast in the morning and snacks in the afternoon. And when I say “snacks” I mean they have a big table full of savory and sweet foods.

What To Do:

Shopping and Food.  We did a lot of walking and went to Thames Street, Long Wharf Mall, Brick Market Place, Bowens Wharf, Bannister’s Wharf, and Spring Street. There are so many shops and places to eat. So many. Every place is cuter than the next. And you have gorgeous views of water. You must hit this area, even if you’re not a shopper. We drove buy Bellevue Avenue, but did not stop in any of the shops. It’s also a super cute area.

Scooter World. We rented the scoot coupe, which is a small 3 wheel car. We may have looked dorky in our helmets but I don’t care one bit because we had so much fun. We stayed on the smaller roads because it doesn’t go much faster than 40 miles per hour if you’re going downhill, and it takes it quite a while to get anywhere near that speed. It also makes wide turns and whatever you do, try not to get into a situation where you need to reverse because you are the only reverse gear it has. As in you have to get out and push it backwards. It happened once to us and it wasn’t a big deal, but still try to avoid it.

Fort Adams. If you like a bit of history, then this is a great stop. The fort offers guided tours (for a fee), which we opted not to do this time. It sounds great but we were short on time and decided to walk around the fort grounds instead (for free). The walking path has convenient signs to keep you on track. No matter which way you look, the view of the bay is spectacular.

Cliff Walk. Newport is known for their Cliff Walk. In fact, we opted not to walk it this time because it was so crowded. However, we walked it last time we were in Newport and we loved it. It’s a 3 and ½ mile walk along the coast. So you have gorgeous views of the ocean on one side of the walk and the mansions on the other side. You are surrounded by beauty and it’s definitely something that you should not miss if you’re in the area.

Mansions. Many of the mansions offer guided tours. We have not visited any yet, but I would like to one day. However, you can enjoy their splendor from the outside, which is what we’ve enjoyed doing. We saw the mansions when we walked along the Cliff Walks and we saw them from a different angle by driving up and down the streets. It seems like a fair number of the mansions are on or near Bellevue Avenue. We saw them partially from the scooter thing and partially from our own car.

Newport Vineyards. We did not go to the vineyards this time, but we went there on our last trip to Newport. If you like to go to wineries, then this is definitely a must stop for wine, food, and beautiful scenery.

Where To Eat:

Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant My husband got a burger and I got a chicken sandwich.  We both loved our meals and would go back in a heartbeat.  It gets crowded quick (always a good sign of a delicious place) so we recommend an early dinner to avoid the wait time. (Yay, old people patterns.)

The Red Parrot.  My husband got a burger, which he enjoyed.  (Apparently my husband was in the mood for burgers that weekend.)  I got a pizza.  It’s a very thin crust pizza.  I like my pizza to have more crust than this one had so I would get something different next time.

Ben & Jerry’s.  If there is a Ben & Jerry’s shop around then we’re there! Like all of them. Every time we are near them. Sometimes more than once.

Overall, we had an amazing time and look forward to going back again some day.  If you’re in the area, I hope this guide helps you.

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