If you want to get to know Newport without getting stuck in tourist traps, harbor tours are the way to go. There are offerings to suit every type of traveler - from Amazing Grace Harbor tours, which detail Newport’s history, to a cruise aboard the Rum Runner II, which offers unlimited drinks. There really is no other way to see Newport than by water, so try starting out your trip with a romantic sunset cruise on Schooner Madeleine to get your bearings and kick off your vacation the right way.
Newport is known as the “Sailing Capital of the World,” so if you’re not comfortable renting a sailboat and being your own skipper, you’ll definitely want to try you hand at sailing lessons while you’re in town. Newport Sailing School and Tours offers classes for a variety of ability levels and lasts anywhere between five and 13 hours. You can also take a sailing tour to see Newport’s famous seaside estates and relax without the pressure of taking the helm yourself.
If you’re a little more comfortable with kayaking, rent a one- or two-seater from Adventure Watersports. The company charges by the hour, which makes it easy to explore the calm waters surrounding Newport for as long or as quickly as you'd like. Instead of venturing out on your own, you can also opt to take a tour through Eastern Mountain Sports. The harbor adventure lasts three hours and doesn’t require any previous kayaking experience.
Newport is a great area for fishing enthusiasts because it offers both freshwater and saltwater spots. The causeway linking Newport to Goat Island is a popular spot for local fisherman, as is Kings Beach and Fishing Access. Looking for a little guidance? Local small businesses like Flaherty Charters will be happy to take you deep sea fishing and lend their expertise. Sara Star Charters even provides poles, bait and complimentary snacks and beverages.
Rose Island Lighthouse
Located on an 18-acre island off the New England coast, Rose Island Lighthouse can only be arrived at by boat. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and guides ships as they navigate the coastal waters. The best way to get to the lighthouse is by taking the Newport-Jamestown Ferry, which makes the trip several times a day. Once you’re on the island, tour guides will tell you all about its storied past. You can even pack a picnic lunch and eat on the beach.
Looking for something a little more adventurous? Parasailing is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to brave the heights, it’s truly a breathtaking way to see the Newport coastline. The captain and crew at Island Style Parasail will make sure you have a safe and memorable experience as you glide hundreds of feet in the air.
Day at the Beach
Spending a day at the beach may seem ordinary, but Newport’s beaches are anything but. Easton’s Beach (known as 1st Beach by the locals) is the city’s most famous - you won’t want to miss the gorgeous Newport Cliff Walk. To catch a glimpse of some of the storied mansions along Ocean Drive, head to Brenton Point State Park and spend an afternoon at Gooseberry Beach. Because Gooseberry is set back in a cove, it’s incredibly peaceful.