Newport: A Charming Seaside Destination

Newport

Set on Aquidneck Island, Newport is a quintessential New England town, known for its yacht-filled harbor. For many years it was the host of the America’s Cup, a renowned annual sailing regatta. Visitors flock to the beautiful Gilded Age mansions up and down Bellevue Avenue. One of the most famous is The Breakers, an 1895 property patterned after a Renaissance palace and the former summer cottage of the Vanderbilt family. Outdoorsy tourists and locals alike love the cliff way around the shoreline, and shoppers won’t want to miss Thames Street—home to favorite shops like Thames Glass and Newport Fudgery.

Summer is the perfect time to explore local vineyards—farmland and a moderate micro-climate allow for a long growing season that produces complex flavors, making Rhode Island into a mini Napa in New England. Adventure travelers should take a hot air balloon ride over the coastal city for unsurpassed views, and there’s also plenty to do for history buffs, like exploring Fort Adams State Park, a historic military compound previously used to defend Newport’s harbor. Today the fortress is a historic landmark, and you can walk through the forts’ underground tunnels and take in the harbor views.

The iconic Castle Hill Inn, a historic Relais & Châteaux waterfront property, is a luxury base for exploring Newport. Set on a 40-acre peninsula overlooking Naragansett Bay, the property combines the elegance of a boutique hotel with the comforts of a coastal inn. There are seven rooms and suites in the original 19th-century Agassiz Mansion, and 26 private waterfront accommodations in the Harbor Houses, Chalet, Beach Houses and Beach Cottages. One of the highlights is The Retreat at Castle Hill by Farmaesthetics—the property’s oceanfront spa suites. Seafood aficionados will love The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn, which has some of the best views in New England.

Guests can relax on the inn’s private yacht, the custom-designed Hinckley, while nibbling on bites from the inn’s culinary team. The Castle Hill Inn’s water taxi, M/V Mistress, is a great way to get to Newport Harbor, and allows you to skip tourist traffic. Yogis can start Saturday mornings in July and August by taking part in the one-hour yoga class set on the inn’s 40-acre waterfront.

One of the most popular New England experiences is the clambake and the inn hosts this
tradition throughout the summer.  Watch the cooking process led by Executive Chef Rossi, sip artisan cocktails in Adirondack chairs, or play bocce and croquet against the backdrop ofNewport Harbor until it’s time to gather for a local feast. On Sunday evenings, July through September, the property hosts its popular Beach Bonfires, Stargazing & S’mores events. A local astronomer leads everyone through a fireside astronomical experience while indulging on delicious homemade treats—a sweet finish to a perfect Newport weekend.

Photos by Onne Van Der Wal