Here in Newport, you don't need a billionaire's bankroll to unleash your inner Jay Gatsby. Sure, the City by the Sea might be best known for its summer “cottages” (i.e. massive mansions) and yachts peppered throughout the harbor, but one can achieve a taste of the 1% lifestyle without breaking the bank.
What to Do
One of the most popular attractions in the state of Rhode Island is in Newport and it's completely free. Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile path combining the natural beauty of Newport’s stunning coastline with the architectural history of the Gilded Age. Panoramic views of the ocean, waves crashing on the magnificent bluffs, century-old celebrated mansions—it’s no wonder visitors from around the globe, both casual walkers and avid trailblazers alike, place Cliff Walk at the top of their “must-do” list!
Though home to the world renowned Newport Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, premier sailing events and killer views of Newport Harbor, Fort Adams State Park is also home to Fort Adams, the largest coastal fortification in the U.S. Step back in time as you trek the maze of underground tunnels and visit the quarters where officers and their families lived more than a century ago. The Fort offers a family rate which includes two adults and up to 4 children for $30.
Explore the exquisite grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum which just completed a $3 million renovation. Multimedia technology is the highlight of the new museum experience highlighted by a hologram of Roger Federer talking about why he loves tennis. It is the first use of holographic technology in a sports museum in the US. If you’re a super tennis fan, arrange to play on the legendary grass courts (proper footwear required) where the first US Open took place. After all, these courts have hosted all the legends of the sport here since 1880. Even if you don’t consider yourself a tennis aficionado, the architecture and grounds of this historic property are worth taking in. The best part? Kids 16 and under are free! Plus discounted tickets are offered to AARP, AAA and USTA members as well as seniors, students and military.
Go to a real Polo Match! Teams from around the world compete at the Newport International Polo Series every Saturday evening at 5:00 PM at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, just 15 minutes from downtown. Tailgating is not only a tradition but it’s encouraged, and tickets are a bargain at $12/adult (kids free up to the age of 15).
What to Eat
Newport is known for amazing seafood and insiders know the best deal in town: the no-frills Easton’s Beach Snack Bar. Enjoy two lobster rolls and a basket of fries for just $15.87 while overlooking the sea for lunch or dinner. Little ones in tow? Go for a spin on the classic carousal there, a fixture since 1958, for just $2 a ride. Parking: 60-minute validated parking is available in the Short Term / Reserved lot (just past the Rotunda). The cost is free on weekdays and $2.00 on weekends and holidays. You will need to pay the parking fee when you enter ($20) BUT that will be returned when you present a validated parking stub and return within 60 minutes.
Want to dine among yacht owners? Belle’s Café at Newport Shipyard is a local favorite! This dockside café offers inside and outside dining and is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast or lunch in the spring, summer and fall.
Where to Stay
At just 11 square miles, Newport offers a spectrum of lodging from full-service hotels to high end inns to more budget friendly options. You’ll find the majority of the latter in neighboring Middletown with familiar family-friendly brand names like Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Howard Johnson Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and many more. The Stay & Save page offers value added packages.