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Newport is known both for its history and its wonderful architecture. Some of the architecture is colonial, and dates from the town’s founding - by religious moderates escaping Massachusetts puritanism - and some is pure fantasy! There are Tudor mansions, French chateaux, Italian palaces and all sorts of castles and manors, built as summer houses by the rich and famous. Several of our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Newport are converted period houses. This is a great destination for history buffs, but there are also a few newer properties on the list if that’s more your style.
Newport was, as the name suggests, a new port, and much of the city sits along the waterside on the southern end of Aquidneck Island. As well as a harbour, Newport has a number of very beautiful beaches and is flanked by some dramatic, rocky cliffs.
A large percentage of Newport’s cafes and restaurants can be found around the harbour, on little cobblestone streets also popular with art galleries and boutiques. This is a great city to explore on foot or on your bike, which is how many of the locals choose to get around.
What Not To Miss
- One of the best ways to see the highlights of Newport is to take the ‘Famous Cliff walk’, a five and a half kilometre stroll along the clifftops with beautiful ocean vistas one side and views of some of the most extravagant mansions on the other.
- Fort Adams is another ’must see’ attraction; it’s the latest coastal fortress in the U.S. and still has around 500 cannon! It’s also where several of the big festivals are held.
- Then there are the mansions. The oldest are around 250 years old and eleven are fully preserved historic sites. The best ones have walk through audio tours - which you need considering their scale! Some have extensive art collections, some impressive gardens and some are just architecturally unique. Breakers, based on the Genoese palazzos and built by the Vanderbilt family between 1893-5, is definitely a highlight.
- As is heiress Doris Duke’s Rough Point - also built by the Vanderbilts, but this time in the style of an English manor house and home to an art collection to rival international galleries. There's also The Elms, a copy of the Château d'Asnières near Paris.
- As well as Newport’s everyday charms, the city also hosts several well known summer music festivals, including a folk festival and a jazz festival.
Just remember to plan well ahead if you want to book a bed in one of the best places to stay in Newport, this is a very busy town especially during the peak summer months.
- Built in 1910, The Attwater is an airy New England style boutique hotel with 17, spacious, nautical-chic rooms. You’re right in the heart of things - near the beaches, the restaurants and the harbour.
- Grace Vanderbilt has been converted from the Vanderbilt Hall, a building steeped in Newport’s history. As well as being centrally located, this 33-room hotel has sleek interiors, two pools, a fitness centre, billiards room, spa and a renowned restaurant.
- The Chanler at Cliff Walk is perfect for romantics. One of Newport's famous mansions (and the only one you can stay in), here you'll find individually designed rooms with sumptuous interiors, gorgeous views and superb food.
- The Castle Hill Inn was originally an outlook post, so has unrivalled views of the Atlantic from its perch on Newport’s western point. Dating from the 18th century, this 35-room inn is surrounded by 40 acres and has a terrace bar as well as a restaurant.
- Forty 1 North is a modern boutique hotel right on the waterfront, so perfect for sailors. As well as views over the Atlantic, these 28 rooms are eco-friendly. There are two restaurants and a bar.
For contemporary style
- Mill Street Inn embodies contemporary style with its chic interiors, yet is situated in the heart of Newport's historic district. The building offers plenty of exposed brickwork and original beams, plus there's a rooftop patio, ideal for sundowners or breakfast overlooking the harbour.
For An Apartment Or Holiday Home
If you think you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- Newport is obviously nicest in the summer months, with the average daily temperature ranging from 19-26°C in July and August.
- This however is peak tourist season, so for a quieter and potentially cheaper alternative consider coming in the shoulder season months.
- International visitors can fly into Green Airport, served by direct flights from Edinburgh and Dublin (amongst other European destinations) with Norwegian Air.
- If you're flying from London then it may be best to head to New York before taking a connecting flight or train to Newport.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Newport
The Attwater 17 rooms from £155Newport (Rhode Island)
Built in 1910, this airy and New England style boutique hotel offers contemporary luxury in the heart of Newport. Rooms are spacious with colours mirroring the nautical life of the city. Nearby are restaurants, beaches, harbours and a vibrant city life. A great weekend break for all!Sailing - Lessons or rentals for the experienced - sailing is a way of life in this town.Great walks - The Newport Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles of shoreline for all the public.Sights nearby - Newport Country Club is 10 minutes drive away.Full of characterRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, CN Traveller
Mill Street Inn 23 rooms from £142Newport (Rhode Island)
Charming converted saw mill with exposed brick and beams. The modern, comfortable rooms come with complimentary breakfast on the rooftop offering sea views of Newport. The perfect location to explore local restaurants and bars. A memorable coastal weekend break for all the family.Great walks - Cruise miles of scenic coastline along the magnificent Ocean Drive or walk the famous Cliff Walk.Local markets - See hundreds of live crustaceans at the Aquidneck Lobster Company and bring home a live lobster.Birdwatching - Invigorate yourself with a nature hike to star-gaze or bird-watch at The Norman Bird Sanctuary.Sights nearby - Re-live the "Gilded Age" with a tour of an elegant Bellevue Avenue Mansion.Recommended by - Tablet
The Chanler at Cliff Walk 20 rooms from £352Newport (Rhode Island)
This European-style oceanfront boutique is one of the Newport mansions, but the only one open to guests. Each room is unique, but with a common theme of comfort, plush linens and luxurious bathrooms. Dine at award winning Spiced Pear, Cliff Walk Terrace for al fresco, or head to the lively bar.Great walks - The Cliff Walk allows one to explore the shoreline by foot whilst making a memorable and leisurely afternoon stroll.Sights nearby - The Preservation Society of Newport County has over 10 mansions for you to discover during your stay.Back to Nature - Along the waterfront there is much to see and explore in terms of sealife, as well as activities.Sailing - Board an America’s Cup 12-metre yacht and explore the shoreline from the seas.
Castle Hill Inn 35 rooms from £234Newport (Rhode Island)
Resting in 40 acres on the western point, this 18th Century outlook post offers dramatic views of the Atlantic. Rooms are all unique and beautifully decorated. Sunset Terrace Bar and the restaurant offer farm to fork dining. Sailing, beaches and much more are ready for all the family. Stunning!Sights nearby - The Cliff Walk along the shore is 3km away and worth a stroll.Great walks - Castle Hill Lighthouse is worth a visit closeby.Sailing - Newport is known for its love of sailing.Full of characterRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux, Mr & Mrs Smith
Forty 1 North 28 rooms from £211Newport (Rhode Island)
This waterfront boutique hotel is eco, nautical in decor and contemporary in style. Rooms offer Atlantic Ocean views. Two restaurants offering locally sourced ingredients from grilled fish and meat to an Asian tapas bar. The ideal base to explore the Gatsby-esque mansions of the Jazz era.Sights nearby - Museum of Newport History is one of a handful of cultural sights to see during your stay.Great walks - Walks along the shoreline at Cliff Walk are worth doing.Sailing - Sailing is very much part of Newport's lifestyle.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
Grace Vanderbilt 33 rooms from £215Newport (Rhode Island)
Formerly the Vanderbilt Hall, this centrally located mansion oozes Newport history. Fabulous rooms offer cool, sleek interiors plus there are two pools, fitness centre, billiards room and spa. Throw in a restaurant and a roof deck bar, and it's the perfect Rhode Island destination!Sights nearby - Touro Synaoguge is 100 metres away and bult in 1763.Great walks - Newport Cliff WalkSailing - Can be booked nearby.Full of characterRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet