Newport and The Classic Coast, known for its beautiful waters and rocky coastline, has some of the most scenic destinations in all of New England. With a variety of waterfront parks, beaches, and lighthouses, there are plenty of places to park your car or lay out a blanket to watch a guaranteed gorgeous sunset—or sunrise, if thats more your vibe.
Find the best spots for sunset and sunrise in and around Newport below.
Brenton Point State ParkBack to Top of List
In the clearing of Newport’s iconic Ocean Drive you will find Brenton Point State Park. Located at the southwestern tip of Aquidneck Island, this park offers one of the most commanding views on the East Coast.
With parking spots lined perfectly facing the Atlantic Ocean—this park is the ideal place to watch a sunset in the comfort of your own vehicle or at one of the many benches awaiting your arrival. You will often find people sitting in the back of their car with their tailgate open or in the bed of their pickup trucks. Your job? Kick back and enjoy the show.
Van Zandt PierBack to Top of List
If you are looking for a close up spot to the Newport Bridge, this is the place for you.
When you are standing on Van Zandt Pier, it feels as though you are standing at the foot of the bridge. The sounds of cars driving past combined with calm waves crashing, this spot is nothing short of remedial. Around the time of sunset, the bridge is illuminated by the sky, creating a scene straight out of a movie.
Beavertail State ParkBack to Top of List
Jamestown is a small but mighty island with some seriously substantial views. Located on southernmost tip of the island, Beavertail State Park is home to the Beavertail Lighthouse (the third oldest lighthouse in North America, and is still active today.) Being that the park is located on the cliffs of the island—you are able to watch the sunset from each and every angle. See for yourself below.
Castle Hill LighthouseBack to Top of List
Many people are familiar with Castle Hill Inn for their upscale rooms, world-class cuisine, and sweeping Lawn; where you can sip on delicious cocktails while sitting in Adirondack chairs overlooking Narragansett Bay. While this itself is a stunning sunset location, a spot with a little less traffic is the Castle Hill Lighthouse. A little off the beaten path, this iconic beacon is the perfect spot to take an Instagram-worthy sunset picture.
Perrotti ParkBack to Top of List
Perrotti Park is a prime location to stop and take in the view while walking in downtown Newport. This park has an up-close view of the harbor, allowing you to admire the boats, launches, and ferries arriving in Newport. The combination of boats, harborside views, and the glowing sky make for a stunning scene.
Colt State ParkBack to Top of List
If you are looking for somewhere to spend an entire day (maybe sunrise to sunset—wink, wink), this would be the perfect spot. With plenty of grassy areas and scenic hiking trails, Colt State Park is home to one of the state’s most spectacular shorelines. They don't call it the 'Gem' of the State Parks System, for nothing. And of course, ending a fun-filled day with a gorgeous, panoramic sunset is always a plus.
King ParkBack to Top of List
Located in Newport’s Fifth Ward, King Park not only has a beautiful view of the Newport Bridge, but also Newport Harbor. This park is home to many summer concerts and is one of the best spots to watch Newport’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display. There are benches, covered picnic tables, and barbeques calling your name for a sunset dinner with family and friends.
Sakonnet PointBack to Top of List
Spending the day in Little Compton is a must—you will find a boutique vineyard, Rhode Island’s only town common, classic New England cottages, and some of the best beaches around. While you are there, make your way to Sakonnet Point, located at the southernmost part in Little Compton.
From the beach to the lighthouse, Sakonnet Point has all the views that you could ask for, and some. Plus, there is truly nothing that can make a day better, than watching the sun set behind Sakonnet Lighthouse.
Eisenhower House at Fort AdamsBack to Top of List
Located in Fort Adams State Park, the Eisenhower House once belonged to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was appropriately called the "Summer White House" while he was in office. The lawn of this historic estate has panoramic views of the water and the Newport Bridge. If you continue driving past the house on Lincoln Drive—you will see rolling lawns fit for an incredible view of the sunset.
Rejects BeachBack to Top of List
Rejects Beach, located at the very end of Cliff Walk, delivers some of the best sunsets around. Picture this: a quiet beach, the sounds of waves crashing against the shore, and the shining sun gently fading into a glowing sky—it doesn't get much better than that.
Pro-tip: There is no parking at Rejects Beach—we suggest walking, biking, or using ride share to arrive.
Forty (40) Steps at Cliff WalkBack to Top of List
If you have ever walked Newport’s 3.5 mile long Cliff Walk, you have likely stumbled upon the iconic 40 Steps. What was once a favorite gathering spot for the Irish who lived and worked in Newport, this landmark continues to bring visitors together from across the world. If you can, make your way to the bottom of the 40 Steps for an extremely relaxing experience. Listen as the sounds of the crashing waves echoes in the cliffs and admire the sun as it rises to illuminate the sky and begin the day.
Third BeachBack to Top of List
At the easternmost part of Middletown, Third Beach is a popular family-friendly spot for beach-goers during the summer. If you are looking for a peaceful time to head to Third Beach, sunrise is definitely the time to go. There really is no better way to start the day than with a relaxing sunrise on a quiet, east facing beach.
Easton’s BeachBack to Top of List
You have likely driven past Easton’s Beach on your way to Newport from Middletown or vice versa. If you have happened to drive by—it speaks for itself—you know how beautiful it is. Whether you want to lay a blanket down to enjoy the show or only have time to do a quick drive-by, the sunrises at Easton’s Beach do not disappoint.
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