Top 10 Things to Do Newport, RI

Top 10 Things To Do

It’s a challenge to put together a destination “Top 10” list because quite frankly, there is so much to do here! So we asked visitors and locals alike what their favorite thing to do is around town. If you want to do it all, let’s just say you have your work cut out for you:



1. Cliff Walk

Experience Cliff Walk as this 3.5-mile path that traces the edge of the sea and is one of the most beloved “things to do” throughout New England. Whether you’re a casual walker, a mansion gawker, a long-distance runner, a hobby photographer, a dog walker or an international jetsetter, you’ll fall in love with this awe-inspiring place.

2. Fort Adams

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. Here you’ll find over 180 years of American history and military culture all within the walls of this architectural and engineering feat.

3. Mansions

See more than a dozen legendary mansions and get an insider’s look at how America’s wealthiest Gilded Age families spent their summers. The Breakers (famous for being the grand Vanderbilt home), Rosecliff (The Great Gatsby starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow was filmed here) and Rough Point (the home of Doris Duke) are just some highlights. Don’t forget Bristol’s stunning Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum and historic Linden Place.

4. East Bay Bike Path

Whether you walk, run, bike or snowshoe all or part of the scenic 14.5 mile Easy Bay Bike Path, you’re in for a treat. Extending from Bristol to Providence, this wide, welcoming and unobstructed path weaves through coves and marshes, over bridges and through gorgeous Colt State Park.

5. Sailing

Ready? Set? SAIL! Some accuse Newporters of having saltwater running through their veins and as the sailing capital of the world, it might just be true. Sailing is part of the very fabric of this coastal city. Race on an authentic America’s Cup-winning 12 meter yacht, sit back on an impressive 70+ foot three-masted schooner, sip local libations on a lobster boat, get cozy on a sleek sailboat—get your sea legs on the vessel that’s just right for you.

6. Beaches

Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the U.S. but it touts more than 400 miles of spectacular coastline, with much of it in Newport and Bristol counties. Visit our Beaches page for the scoop on what each distinct seashore offers.

7. Culinary Hot Spot

Our destination has earned its enviable reputation as a culinary hot spot. Local chefs celebrate the local dining experience, working with area farmers, foragers and fishermen so they can compose dishes highlighting seasonal ingredients, so eat your heart out!


8. Music

There’s a reason why legendary artists including Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Judy Garland, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, The Allman Brothers and other beloved musicians consider Newport hallowed ground. Our Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival can both be considered the brass ring of music festivals.


9. Natural Wonders

Explore our natural wonders including hundreds of acres of protected habitat, miles and miles of bucolic trails and places like Hanging Rock, where American author, poet, philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau found inspiration. Norman Bird Sanctuary alone boasts 325 acres and seven miles of trails that wind through diverse habitats.

10. Shoulder Season

The shoulder season (November through April) may just be our destination’s best kept secret. A vibrant community all year long, you’ll find so many of the things you love about visiting here except with a little bit of a slower place, lower lodging rates and rarely a need for reservations at the best restaurants in town!