Newport, Rhode Island is an indescribable place. JFK and Jackie Kennedy were married, Gatsby was filmed and the Vanderbilt’s ‘summered’ all in this wonderful little city by the sea. With its incredible nightlife and gorgeous ocean views, Newport seems to have it all. In the summer, you can do anything from dine on a yacht to tour the many mansions. It all sounds glamorous, but even in the dead of winter you can find magic in the city’s nooks and crannies.
Newport is a truly special place to me. I spent the past four years there while attending Salve Regina University. Needless to say, I think I have been to every restaurant, bar, shop, mansion and tourist attraction. And I can also say that you are missing a whole lot if you have never been to Newport.
The Inn at Castle Hill
Cue the fireworks. It would be a dream to be married at this magnificent resort. Normally I could not afford to stay or eat at The Inn at Castle Hilll, but whenever my mom used to visit she would take me to the inn for clam chowder and a mixed green salad. The popular wedding destination has incredible views of Narragansett Bay and the East Passage and there is a darling lighthouse perched atop of the extended rocky coast. With the likes of Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby all having boarded here – you know it’s worth it.
590 Ocean Drive Newport, RI 02840 401-849-3800
Located on Thames Street, Peaceable is a small café with yummy breakfast options and sandwiches. You won’t meet a Newport patron who hasn’t eaten there. Their ice coffee flavors change daily so you’ll never get bored. I typically get an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese and sliced tomatoes, but my friends are fans of the S.O.S. sandwich. The owner is a really sweet Mom who gets to know her customers personally, so pop in if you get a chance.
520 Thames St Newport, RI 02840 401-846-0036
Nothing better. Ocean Drive is a historic district that covers the southern shore. It became a landmark in 1976. I have spent many sunny days driving down the coastline hands in the air, hair in the wind with music blasting. The ten-mile drive sports views of incredible mansions, farmland, Fort Adams State Park, the U.S. Coast Guard, Gooseberry Beach, Hammersmith Farm, Brenton Point State Park and yacht clubs. The Dell Lemonade truck is never far away during warmer weather so cool off with a treat while enjoying the view.
The Clarke Cooke House
I may or may not credit the dessert here for the reason I chose Salve (Shhh don’t tell!). The Snowball in Hell dessert is a wonderful concoction of deliciousness. I am not even sure that’s a sentence. It’s a chilled wine glass that is covered in hardened chocolate sauce. Inside is a piece of double chocolate cake, scoops of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and cherries (hold the almonds for me). Yes, it’s just as delicious as it sounds. The restaurant is tucked away inside of Banister’s Wharf. It has three floors with a porch overlooking the water, a club/ lounge, a sushi bar, two bars and great seating.
1 Bannister’s Wharf Newport, RI 02840 401-849-2900
The Dock Side
Only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this nighttime hot spot is one of the best places to party in the summer. The Dock Side is one of Newport’s biggest bar venues. With four separate but fully stocked bars, customer service is impeccable. At the entrance, the vibe is quieter, yet lively, with speakers playing the latest hits. Once inside you will find a live band, a crowd singing along and lights flashing non-stop. With the seaside wind in your hair and a Bud Light in your hand, fun is an understatement. You could find my friends and I here many Saturday nights and those are memories I will never forget.
Waite’s Wharf Newport, RI 02840 401-619-1588