An Edith Wharton novel come to life, Newport’s lavish “cottages” still sprawl across lush green lawns along Bellevue as through the Gilded Age never ended. This historic fishing port has been the elegant playground of yachtsmen and East Coast society families since the mid-1800s, and remains Rhode Island’s most popular and relaxing destination.
Many of the mansions here offer detailed tours (including the magnificent Rough Point, a former Vanderbilt home owned by the late heiress Doris Duke), and you can further simulate the lap of luxury by enjoying cocktails at one of Newport’s luxurious seaside resorts.
The simplest pleasures of Newport take place in the fresh sea air. Take a stroll along the coastal Cliff Walk to watch pleasure boats glimmer in the harbor, or enjoy a Champagne toast on a sunset cruise. Wander through the shops and taverns of Bannister’s Wharf, explore nature preserves and quiet, windswept beaches, or sample cool-weather varietals on the nearby Coastal Wine Trail. Paired with local seafood and a cliff-side scattering of wildflowers, Newport offers a well-rounded education on the joys of New England.