Historic mansions, waterfront dining and Cliffwalk are all things that come to mind when someone says they are visiting Newport, Rhode Island, and while visiting them will fill up plenty of time while here, there is lot more to Newport than just that. For those visiting for a second or third time, there are a variety of “off the beaten path” places to go and things to do. From vineyards, nature preserves, food tours, and more, you’ll be coming back again and again.
A ten minute drive can take you to two wonderful wineries with completely different styles. Both Newport Vineyards and Greenvale Vineyards produce a variety of great wines and offer daily tours and tastings. Newport Vineyards, located on East Main Road, is newly renovated and includes a new tasting room, marketplace and restaurant, Brix. They produce the greatest number of wine grapes in New England and have a large selection of wines. Daily tours leave at 1pm and 3pm, with tastings all day long. Greenvale Vineyards is located on Wapping Road and has a more country feel to it. They produce seven varieties of wine and offer daily tours at 2pm and tastings all day. On Saturday evenings, they host Jazz nights.
Sweetberry Farm is a 10 minute drive from Newport and depending on the time of year, you can pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, apples and pumpkins. They also have a small market, cafe, ice cream and a summer dinner and concert series every Tuesday night until September.
Cliffwalk may be the gem of Rhode Island but it isn’t the only scenic walk in town. The Sachuest Nature Preserve, the Normal Bird Sanctuary and Baywalk at Fort Adams all offer a different take on the scenic walk. The Sachuest Nature Preserve is just past second beach and offers two different trails, with about 3 miles of trail total. There are great views of second and third beach as well as the ocean, the Sakonnet River and over into Little Compton. The Norman Bird Sanctuary is in Middletown and offers seven miles of hiking trails, bird watching and hosts various events throughout the year. Baywalk at Fort Adams is a two mile loop that takes you around the whole park. This walk along the bay gives you great views of downtown Newport, the Newport Pell Bridge, Jamestown and the Historic Fort itself.
For those who aren’t sure where to eat, a food tour might be the thing for you. New to Newport, Newport Food Tours and Rhode Island Red Food Tours both offer great tastes of local foods. Newport Food Tours run Tuesday through Saturday at 5pm and takes guests on a two hour tasting tour of the Broadway area. Guests enjoy food and drinks at a variety of locally owned restaurants during this two hour tour. The Rhode Island Red Food Tour is a combined history, walking and food tour that lasts about three hours. They run on Fridays and Saturdays at 12pm. This tour teaches you about historic sites, architecture and folklore and you get to enjoy food from at least 6 different locally owned restaurants.
While the main beaches are located in Middletown, Ocean Drive has some great hidden beach gems. Both Gooseberry Beach and Reject’s Beach are great alternatives and are a little calmer and quieter. Gooseberry has a parking lot and some amenities, while Reject’s Beach can only be accessed by foot or bike. It is located at the end of Cliffwalk and is the public end of a private beach.
Sometimes the best way to end the day is with the sunset and a nice cocktail. While there are plenty of great waterfront restaurants downtown to enjoy a drink at dusk, Pineapples on the Bay , Castle Hill Inn and the Roof at the Vanderbilt Grace offer some of the best views in town. Pineapple’s is located at the Hyatt on Goat Island and offers picturesque views of the Newport Pell Bridge as well as the Goat Island Lighthouse. Castle Hill Inn is located on Ocean Drive and overlooks the bay. Sipping a cocktail in one of their Adirondack chairs on the lawn is a great way to end the day. The Roof at the Vanderbilt is located on Mary Street and has an incredible “top of Newport” view.
With so many things to do and see, we wouldn’t be surprised if you needed to extend your stay!