Things to Do in Newport

Posted on: January 28th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

There is almost no end to the number of things you can do in Newport.  There are tons of ways to explore the bay and learn about local wildlife and history, or to get gorgeous views of the water.  There are also endless ways to explore Newport’s extensive history, through visiting museums, forts, mansions, and other historical sites.

One activity reserved exclusively the for colder  months of the year is seal watching. Depart from Wharf Dock and take a cruise of Newport Harbor.  You’ll sail over to Rose Island and Newport Bridge keeping an eye out for seals! Tours are available in one or two hour rides.  Lighthouse tours are also available for anyone curious about lighthouses in the area. Take a 3.5 hour tour and learn about local lighthouses, or take the ultimate 7 hour tour and see everything there is to see in the area, included non-functioning lighthouses and more.

If you’re interested in learning about the bay, the Exploration Center and Aquarium is an excellent place to visit! Though it is not a large aquarium there is plenty to see and learn.  The science center houses more than 140 different kinds of critters that call Narragansett Bay home, giving visitors a chance to learn all about local wildlife in the bay.  Also learn about preservation and conversation efforts and what you can do to help!

Fort Adams State Park is open year round and is a great place to go for gorgeous views! It provides panoramic view of the East Passage of Narragansett Bay and Newport Bay.  The Fort itself is also an excellent place to visit, offering tons of attractions! Tour the fort and learn all about its history and how it was the “NASA of its day.” Fly along the fortress’s outer walls along a zip line, take a ghost tour, or visit at dusk  and take the Fort Adams Bay Walk for a spectacular sunset view!

The Cliff Walk remains popular in winter, though requires some caution as some parts of the bath are over the natural rocks of the beach and are slick even in the best conditions. Newport’s Ocean Drive is a great way to see the coast, especially if you don’t want to walk around in the elements or risk the walk.

Trinity Church is a beautiful historic church in Queen Ann Square.  The Church was built in 1726 and has had many famous visitors including George Washington, Queen Elizabeth II, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who visited just after receiving the Noble Peace Prize.  Though the church is still in operation, they are happy to give guided tours to share its beauty and history with you.

Newport has tons of mansions to tour! Chateau-Sur-Mer is one such mansion.  Built in 1852 it is a perfect example of High Victorian architecture and style.  It was one of the grandest homes in Newport until the arrival of the Vanderbilts.   It was well known for being the site of grand parties and hosted the debutante ball for Miss Edith Wetmore in 1889.  Chepstow is another Gilded Age mansion.  Though less grand than many of the others in the area, its history is equally as detailed and interesting and it is well worth a visit.  The Elms is yet another Gilded Age mansion, but there you can take a behind the scenes tour and learn about the lives of those who spent their lives downstairs.

For more things to do in Newport, check out our previous post here.


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