A Guide to Newport Rhode Island
After a long weekend in Upstate New York, myself and my friend Sophie were eager to experience more of the East Coast beyond New York and capture the best of fall in the process. We booked a train from Penn Station to Rhode Island and in just a few hours we were visiting RI for the first time, basing ourselves in one of the most gorgeous East Coast towns you ever did see: Newport.
Newport is a popular summer destination thanks to its’ rich sailing culture and history, hot summers and magical East Coast sunsets. A major 18th-century port city, there are many buildings remaining from the Colonial era, offering endless history to explore at every turn.
A city as small as Newport, it is easy to get around the city centre on foot or by bicycle if you plan to visit the Newport mansions. On my second day in Newport I wanted to do just that and so we set off on our bicycles toward Bellevue Ave and with limited time, chose to visit Rosecliff mansion for its’ ties to the Great Gatsby film, a personal favourite of mine.
Visiting the Newport Mansions
The Newport mansions are a series of historical homes that have been preserved to offer visitors a historical insight into the city of Newport’s impressive history. There are 14 mansions in total, with the below being our chosen highlights:
Rosecliff Mansion – The filming location for the first Great Gatsby film.
The Breakers – The most popular mansion to explore.
The Elms – Home to one of the most impressive staircases you will see the world over!
Marble House – Gilded age mansion built for the Alva and William Vanderbilt.
Chateau-Sur-Mer – One of the first gilded age mansions with French flair.
Check In: The Vanderbilt
For our few nights in Newport we checked in to Newport’s luxury boutique hotel; The Vanderbilt. The small but luxurious property exists in a restored mansion almost in the centre of town and is a popular destination for weddings and weekenders escaping in the summer time.
The Vanderbilt is also home to an impressive seasonal rooftop bar with a tapas menu so if you aren’t staying at the hotel be sure to visit the rooftop for one of your sunsets as this is undeniably one of the best locations to take in the view of the city of Newport.
During our stay we were given a seemingly endless list of recommendations for activities, cafes and restaurants to visit – so we have the concierge to thank for our insider tips and especially the recommendation to visit Rosecliff mansion instead of some of the more popular stops on the tourist route.
Newport Favourites: Cafes, Shops and Restaurants
Coffee Grinder – Visit CG for the best coffee in town (and a banana bread so good I am still talking about it weeks later).
Diego’s – Cancel your dinner plans and head over to this laidback Mexican restaurant that does the best vegan tacos you’ll wrap your lips around. I’d recommend the tofu Korean BBQ.
Cru Cafe – While you are visiting the mansions be sure to pop in to Cru Cafe on Bellevue Ave for some of the best cheap eats in town.
A warm thank you to The Vanderbilt for welcoming World of Wanderlust to experience Newport and enjoy a magical few nights at the property. All opinions and photos are our own.