Newport RI bed and breakfasts range from Victorian mansions to quaint cottages. Many are located near the city’s famed historic districts and offer walking-distance proximity to must-see attractions, like the Cliff Walk and the Pelham nightlife area.
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As a visitor, you can opt to stay in a restored 1890s building or in a cottage framed by wafting beech trees. You’ll be close to the ocean and the beaches, where you can watch sailboats and yachts move through the water, and lay out to enjoy the sun. Bed and breakfasts in Newport RI offer luxurious rooms, free WiFi, air-conditioning and cable, as well as thoughtful seaside decor and delicious breakfasts prepared fresh by innkeepers.
The city of Newport has historic roots as an eighteenth-century port and shipping center. Traces of its heritage remain visible in the colonial-style architecture, particularly the elegant Bellevue Avenue Historic District and the Casino Historic District. It’s famed as a classic New England summer resort, and its luxurious mansions are just as appealing as the sailboats that perennially dot the ocean horizon. Annual sailing races take place in the city, which is also home to the National Sailing Hall of Fame--and is sometimes referred to as the “Sailing Capital of the World.” Downtown Newport features cultural attractions, like the Museum of Yachting, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene.
Newport is famous for its blue waters and gorgeous coastline. The Cliff Walk features both green seagrass and large gray rocks, and waves spray up against the jetties and cast plumes of foam into the air, particularly during windy days. The seas are often calm, however; Newport’s waters are typically full of fishermen’s skiffs, sailboats, and luxury yachts alike, since its temperate waters make for excellent sailing. Animals common to the Maine region include the ubiquitous lobster, a wide variety of shellfish and aquatic animals, seals, and moose. Since Newport is located on Aquidneck Island, it is a coastal region.
Newport features warm, temperate summer weather. Ocean breezes break up the summer heat, and closer to the beaches the summer weather is often cooler due to the wind coming in off the water. Summer thunderstorms are relatively infrequent. In the fall, the weather chills and the leaves begin to turn; Newport is an arboreal city and the sight of red and yellow leaves clinging to the trees is common in the autumn months. In winter, Newport experiences classic New England snowstorms and cozy holiday weather. Springtime brings flowering blossoms to the trees that line Newport’s streets, and sailing and other outdoor activities return to the waters as they warm in the runup to summer.
Newport RI was one of the first colonial settlements founded in the U.S., when settlers of Portsmouth split off in 1639 to form their own town. In the seventeenth century, Newport grew to be one of the four major settlements that made up Rhode Island, and in the eighteenth century it experienced a boom of maritime commerce that established the city as a major oceanside economy. Newport’s growth was fueled by goods such as whale-oil candles, rum, and ships, but also by the transatlantic slave trade. A community of abolitionists sprung up in the downtown, including Reverend Samuel Hopkins, sometimes referred to as “America’s first abolitionist,” and a community of 17 free blacks, including Newport Gardner, who together founded the Free African Union Society in 1780--the first African mutual aid society in America. The Revolutionary War played out partly in Newport, and the Rhode Island General Assembly ratified the Constitution there in 1790.
Throughout the nineteenth century, Newport gained prominence as a summer destination for the American elite, and families with large fortunes built the sprawling mansions that attract visitors to Newport today. Author Edith Wharton stayed at a Newport “cottage” called Land’s End--and satirized the social scene in her novel Age of Innocence. Newport’s reputation as a glamorous summer town persisted in the twentieth century. President Kennedy had his wedding reception there, and he and President Eisenhower both made Newport the site of their “Summer White Houses” during their terms in office. The city’s economy was driven by its association with the Navy, including as a home base for the Cruiser-Destroyer fleet, and it has since transitioned to primarily a tourist economy.
Newport offers a range of activities for visitors. For an outdoor option, the beaches are always popular, and chartered sailboats are available for guests to spend a day on the water. The Cliff Walk offers a rambling outdoor path that traces the shoreline, allowing visitors to feel the ocean breeze on their faces and to witness the splendor of elegant mansions lining the coast.
Many of the Newport mansions are open to the public as converted and preserved museums. Popular residences include The Elms and the opulent homes of the Vanderbilt family, including The Breakers and Marble House. Guests can walk through these historical landmarks, exploring the luxurious decor, the idyllic gardens, and the trappings of a nineteenth-century mansion--the velvet furniture, servants’ telephones, and gilded molding, to name a few examples.
Downtown Newport is an excellent place for nighttime activities. Guests can stroll along Bowen’s Wharf with an ice-cream cone, perfect for families with kids who love to explore. Couples on a romantic getaway can enjoy a delicious dinner of Maine lobster at Newport’s seaside restaurants, or grab a drink at one of Newport’s energetic bars, often frequented by New England college students.
If you’re visiting Newport, walking past--or through--the city’s famed mansions is an absolute must. Each of Newport’s accessible mansions has a rich and stories history, so guests love to visit these preserved buildings and learn about their origins. For one example, the popular Rosecliff Mansion exposes guests to a wonderland of nineteenth-century architecture; visitors can walk through the ballrooms where lavish parties were thrown, including one that featured magician Harry Houdini.
Many of the mansions have been used as the shooting locations for films; at Rosecliff, for example, the films The Great Gatsby, True Lies, Amistad, and 27 Dresses all feature scenes in the house. Other mansions function as museums--the Rough Point home, for example, contains an extensive collection of fine art. The property has been maintained to resemble its appearance during the lifetime of its most famous owner, the heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke, making for a hybrid experience of museum-going and home exploration.
In addition to exploring the mansions, guests can visit museums and Hall of Fames related to boating, sailing, and summer athletics. The Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, as is the National Sailing Hall of Fame, a recent addition to the city since its move in 2019. Guests can sail themselves on chartered boats, or watch the sailors from one of Newport’s numerous beaches. Easton Beach is a popular sandy destination for visitors, with a view of the Cliff Walk from its shores and inviting water for swimmers.
Newport is a clean and well-maintained city with beautiful summer weather, so guests often enjoy taking a simple stroll through the streets. Spring Street is a popular place for families to walk and take in the natural beauty of the area.
Newport is known for its fresh seafood--many fishermen and lobstermen work locally in the city--particularly at the Bowen’s wharf area. The city is also famed in New England for its nightlife, especially in the Pelham Area, which features a range of drinking options and live music.
Guests can sample seafood at the Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, which is located in the center of Newport’s historic district. The restaurant features “top of the catch” fish offerings, a raw bar, and an award-winning wine list, as well as harbor views and panoramic sunsets that are visible from the indoor windows. For a classic tavern option, visitors can enjoy a drink at 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, another waterfront dining destination. 22 Bowen’s features an open-air bar and its guests can be seen enjoying the night from the historic sidewalks. For visitors craving oysters, the Midtown Oyster Bar is a popular option: the restaurant offers cocktails and surf-n-turf in an airy space with lofty ceilings.
The best bed and breakfasts in Newport RI include classic New England, colonial-style homes and Victorian mansions that are well-suited to the opulence of a famed resort town.
Historic bed and breakfasts, such the Almondy Inn B&B, are tucked into the gas-lit historic hill district of the city. These buildings were built in the nineteenth century and restored to their full, original splendor, and offer close proximity to the downtown of the city, with its antique shops, museums, and galleries. Victorian bed and breakfasts, including the Ivy Lodge Bed & Breakfast Inn, combine antique furnishings inspired by the Gilded Age with the modern conveniences of the best hotels.
Classic bed and breakfasts are located in natural beauty; the popular Beech Tree Inn and Cottage is framed by an enormous beech tree and is close to the historic Newport Harbor Lighthouse, among other oceanside attractions. Other historic bed and breakfasts include the Marshall Slocum Guest House, an Inn fitted with nautical artwork, period antiques, and fresh linens, and located in an 1855 restored colonial home.
The Town and Tide Inn on Memorial Boulevard features whimsical courtyards, private guest rooms with spa-like bathrooms, and luxurious soaps and shampoos; it is named for its convenient location, a half-mile walk to Easton’s Beach and downtown Newport.
Newport bed and breakfasts promise peace and relaxation. Check out the Serenity Inn, which features luxurious decorations, as well as access to spa services, and recommendations for boat charters, sailing, and helicopter tours. The Cliffside Inn is an elegant Victorian home with unique decoration--its historic building has been updated with details inspired by the noted twentieth-century painter Beatrice Turner, who summered at the mansion from 1907 to 1948. These indulgent bed and breakfasts are perfect for romantic getaways, such as honeymoons and elopements.
Many of the city’s bed and breakfasts are located in the heart of Newport, offering walking distance to the city’s vibrant nightlife and restaurants, as well as its historic and cultural attractions, including the museums and athletic Hall of Fames. Bed and breakfasts such as Almondy Inn are located within walking distance of Newport’s restaurants, antique shops, galleries, and boutique shops. Bed and breakfasts such as the Ivy Lodge Bed & Breakfast Inn are a short walk from the mansions, downtown Newport, The Cliff Walk and the beaches.
Car and bike rentals are available in the city, and Newport is very amenable to pedestrians. The closest airport is the Newport State Airport, located just miles from the city; Newport is also just an hour and a half by car from Boston Logan International Airport.
Newport RI bed and breakfasts feature top-of-the-line amenities. Guests can expect free WiFi and free parking, as well as comfy beds in carefully decorated rooms and Jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms. The bed and breakfasts are centrally located, offering great locations with respect to the city’s attractions, including the Cliff Walk and the beaches. Visitors can opt for a Victorian house or a boutique style cottage, both of which offer home-cooked breakfasts and spacious rooms for a perfect romantic getaway. Newport bed and breakfasts are staffed by experienced and friendly innkeepers who are happy to offer advice about what to do in the city--what times to visit the mansions, where to eat and drink, and what local attractions are seasonally available, perfect for guests who visit for a vacation rental.