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Newport, Rhode Island Day Trip

Newport, Rhode Island Day Trip

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I’ll be honest here. Newport, Rhode Island has never really topped my “travel bucket list”. Heck, Newport was never even ON my travel list. I mean, I guess it was on my maybe-one-day-but-not-really sort of list. So why would I visit? Well, I was in Boston for a work conference for a week and had a day to spare. Being the consummate travel seeker and “go somewhere new” enthusiast, I began to research day trips from Boston and stumbled upon Newport. After doing a bit of planning, I decided that this was a day trip worth taking a chance on. I mean, why not…right? Oh. My. Goodness. OMG. Oh Em Gee. Let me tell you. Newport is not only worth taking a chance on, it’s worth planning an entire trip around! But, since I only had the one day to spare, let’s talk about my Newport, Rhode Island day trip.

 

Getting There

Planes, trains, and automobiles. Well, more like trains and buses for this day trip. I hopped on an Amtrak train that took me from Boston to Providence, RI. Once I arrive in downtown Providence, I tried to take a few minutes to look around and take in the scenery. The northeast is so beautiful, and so different from the Texas landscape. I took a minute to admire the architecture of some of the older buildings, but I had to hop on a RIPTA #60 bus to Newport and didn’t get a chance to see much in Providence. I will save that for another trip. My total travel time one way from Boston to Newport was around the 2.5 hour mark. Not a bad trip at all.

Now What Do You Do?

Because I had a dinner event to go to in Boston that evening, I only had about five hours in Newport with round trip travel time considered. Not nearly enough time to explore like I would have preferred, so I had to experience the Cliff Notes version of the city. The highlight reel. The abbreviated edition. You get the picture, right? I crammed in as much as I could and was pretty proud of myself for doing so.

 

Founded in 1639, Newport is extremely rich in American history with several former US Presidential families calling this town their summer home (President JFK and Jackie O. were married here). The summer season in Newport has been popular since the Gilded Age, and many of the historical monuments and architecture can be seen and experienced to this day. Newport is called the “sailing capital of the world” and is known for hosting the America’s Cup yacht racing competition for many years. The beaches are a big draw for summer travelers, but there is plenty to do away from the water as well. Newport is also home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. So, if tennis is your game, you definitely want to check that out!

Mansions, Mansions, and More Mansions

Anyone else out there obsessed with historical mansions and palaces, or is it just me? Whether this is your first time touring a historical mansion (aka cottage, aka palace – depending on who you ask), or you are simply adding to your been-there-done-that list, Newport does not disappoint! One of the top attractions here is the Newport Mansions on Bellevue Avenue. With a total of nine mansions, there is plenty to see and can easily take 4-6 hours to tour (possibly longer if your tour all nine).

 

The Preservation Society of Newport County is responsible for the above mentioned mansions and you can purchase tickets to tour the properties through their website. You have the option of purchasing The Breakers Only ticket, 1 House Ticket, 2 House Ticket (Breakers +1), or 5 House Ticket. I purchased the 5 House Ticket and it was a great experience. I toured The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff. Each one of them spectacular in its own right. I did not have time to experience The Hunter House (a National Historic Landmark), Kingscote, Chepstow, The Issac Bell House, or the Green Animals Topiary Garden (only open seasonally). A Newport, Rhode Island day trip must include at least one of these magnificent, historical structures, but preferably multiple.

 

There are several additional mansions in Newport that are privately owned, located both on Bellevue Avenue and other locations in the area. Scenes from top rated movies such as Amistad, The Great Gatsby, 27 Dresses, and True Lies were filmed in Newport and at the Rosecliff Mansion. Alex & Ani jewelry billionaire, Caryolyn Rafaelian, owns the Belcourt mansion (great article on that here). Jay Leno recently purchased Seafair Mansion, a Newport coastal beauty, as well. With properties as glamorous as these, who can blame them for snatching up a piece of paradise? I plan on doing the same once I find an mere $20 million dollars lying around the house. 🙂

Newport Cliff Walk

Considered the TOP attraction in Newport, the Cliff Walk is NOT to be missed. Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles in length. Along this path you will find the most breathtaking views of the coast line, complete with massive waves crashing on the rocky coast. Some portions of the Cliff Walk are paved and easy to navigate. Others, however, are uneven, rocky terrain, and require a steady pair of legs and shoes (these portions are not for the faint of heart, or anyone who might need assistance with walking). The views are incredible. The perfect scenery straight out of a romantic movie. The path takes you on a stroll behind many of the Gilded Age Mansions previously mentioned where you can view the larger-than-life lawns that partner so well with the larger-than-life mansions.

 

Pictures do not begin to do this experience justice. Explore a little more here and here before planning your Newport, Rhode Island one day trip. The Cliff Walk was a journey I will not soon forget. As I mentioned before, this should be at the top of your Newport, RI must-see list. You will not regret it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thames Street

Thames Street the main street in Newport rich in history. Lined with shops, restaurants, bars, historical homes, and the like, foot traffic is the norm and strolling is expected. By the time I had swiftly completed the mansion tours and the Cliff Walk, I was not left with enough time to thoroughly explore Thames Street. So I practically ran through a portion just to window shop, grab a bite to eat (to-go, please), and catch the bus back to Providence, to then catch the train back to Boston, arriving just in time for my dinner appointment. Next time I’m in Newport, I will make it a point to take a leisurely stroll down Thames Street, taking in all of the sights this monumental street has to offer.

 

Newport, Rhode Island Day Trip

As per my confession, Newport was not on my intended travel list at any point. However, I could not be more thrilled that my desire and curiosity for discovering new places any time the opportunity presents itself prevailed here. This town is an absolute treasure. A destination I would return to time and time again. My Newport, Rhode Island day trip might have been short, but it was sweet enough to make me long to return for another taste. Until next time!

 

Where to next?
Jessi(ca)

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21 Comments

  • Jerri

    Hey Jessi you are encouraging me to want to travel blog.

    April 27, 2018 at 9:38 am
  • Erika

    I want to go just to see the mansions now. So PRETTY!

    April 27, 2018 at 9:40 am
  • Karen

    Rhode Island is one of three states that I haven’t visited yet. Great ideas. I love all your photos!

    April 27, 2018 at 1:51 pm
  • Misty

    I’ve never wanted to visit this state, until now!

    April 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm
  • Nikki Boether

    I’ve always wanted to go to RI! Beautiful.

    April 27, 2018 at 2:47 pm
  • Rachael Drennan

    Looks beautiful there! I have never been to the ocean on the east coast but I hope to someday. I have been to newport, oregon though, haha. I love the ocean!

    April 27, 2018 at 3:07 pm
  • Ashley Roberts

    Everything is so beautiful! I would love to check out the cliff walk!

    April 27, 2018 at 3:08 pm
  • Laurie

    Your photos make me want to go to Newport! I am a sucker for architecture. And Thames Street is calling my name (and wallet). What an awesome day trip!

    April 27, 2018 at 4:30 pm
  • Shelby

    All your posts makes me want to hop on a plane!

    April 27, 2018 at 6:42 pm
  • amanda addison

    Your blog is gorgeous. Do you take all your own pictures? If so what kind of camera?

    April 27, 2018 at 6:45 pm
  • Jet

    I can’t say this was ever on my list either but it definitely sounds amazing!

    April 28, 2018 at 12:12 am
  • Ashley O

    Love the photos and love your site! You have so much social media options as well as encouragement to share and connect. Your comment section is really accessible and I love the photos!! I go back and forth on the added links throughout the blog because people often tell me my links take them away from the blog post so they don’t come back to leave a comment once they go to a link. I’m still trying to figure all of this out. I love road trips. I’m not much of a plane traveler because it wreaks havoc on my body. But I am an amateur photographer and use my photos on my other social media sites. Such a wonderful outlet. Thank you for your beautiful site, presentation and article. Such a pleasure!

    April 28, 2018 at 2:33 am
  • Bianca

    Have done a road trip up through this area but was unwell the day we were there, this is making me want to go back and see what I missed. Looks amazing.

    April 28, 2018 at 5:10 am
  • Grace

    I never thought this would be on my bucket list but it is now! A hidden gem for sure!!

    April 28, 2018 at 7:50 am
  • Jessica

    Looks like it contains a lot of history 🤗 Love how you travel so much 😁

    April 28, 2018 at 9:43 am
  • Smitha

    Jessi, you make traveling so easy. The detailing is exactly what I need when I am traveling with kids. It helps me decide where to go and what to skip. Thanks a lot.

    April 28, 2018 at 12:03 pm
  • Sheila

    I passed through Newport on a whirlwind weekend trip a few years ago. We drove by the Navy Supply Corps school (because I was Supply Corps but had gone to school in GA before they moved it to RI) and ate lunch at Anthonys Seafood (featured on Diners, Drivethrus, and Dives). That Cliff Walk and the mansions look awesome. Guess I’ll have to go back one day!

    April 28, 2018 at 12:05 pm
  • Paula

    Jessi…I was tight there with ya about never even considering Newport for a trip, but you convinced me to add it to my list! Great photos and loved your article…the mansions made me jealous though..;)

    April 28, 2018 at 11:11 pm
  • Mohan

    I love your travel blog. Destination added to my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!

    April 29, 2018 at 6:18 am
  • Tara

    Oh wow! This definitely seems like it is worth the trip. Your photos are gorgeous!

    April 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm
  • Felicia

    I am an hour away from RI and still have not gone to see most of these. Thanks for the reminder.

    April 30, 2018 at 1:48 pm
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