Anyone who has been to Newport, Rhode Island learns quickly that there are many things to do. For first time visitors, it is difficult to know where to start. This is a list of our favorite things and activities to do in Newport. We will update our blog in the future by expanding on each item on our list but this will certainly get you started!
Top Ten Things to do in Newport, Rhode Island (according to the innkeepers at the Samuel Durfee House):
1. Cliff Walk! This is a beautiful 3.5 scenic walk which runs behind the mansions and above the ocean.
2. The Mansions! The Preservation Society of Newport County and the Newport Restoration Foundation give visitors the chance to explore these beautiful “summer cottages.”
3. Ocean Drive. This 10 mile scenic drive around the southern tip of the island is breathtaking.
4. Have a drink on the lawn at Castle Hill.
5. Take a sail around the harbor.
6. Stroll Thames Street, America’s Cup Avenue, and Bellevue Avenue Restaurants and Shops.
7. Visit Fort Adams for either a tour, concert or both.
8. Visit Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in America.
9. Take a tour and tasting at a local vineyard or brewery.
10. Relax at one of our many beaches.
There are many attractions that draw people to Newport but what you might not have realized is that Newport is also know for its birding! Birders from all over New England and beyond have flocked (pun intended) to Newport recently to see the snowy owl. The barn owl was also recently spotted. We had a return guest visit us recently that wanted to do something outside. Since only part of cliff walk is currently open, I suggested a couple of other places he could explore for taking pictures. I told him about Sachuest Point, a nature preserve located a 10 minute drive away in Middletown. He and his wife were enjoying their trail walk and were fortunate enough to see a snowy owl in flight and he had his camera ready! I was visiting Sachuest Point this summer when I spotted many beautiful smaller birds. Another wonderful place for birding in the area is at the Norman Bird Sanctuary, not far from Sachuest Point. There are many trails to explore through the woods. If you would prefer to bird by car, there is a wonderful side road off of the Ocean Drive where I have been fortunate enough to spot many birds at sunrise.
If you have not yet heard the story of the Red Chair Travels, it is a story about an innkeeper who took a now famous photo of a simple red chair on a frozen pond and posted the photo on her facebook page. The photo inspired a photographer to visit the inn and take photos of the red chair in different settings. The Red Chair took a trip to several New England Inns last year. This June the Red Chair began a journey that will take it down the east coast and then across the country. The Red Chair Traveled to the Samuel Durfee House in mid-June and we got to show the Red Chair some of what Newport has to offer (there is so much to do here that one would need to visit for many days or more to see everything). We began our tour of Newport by visiting Easton’s Beach and the Cliff Walk-the Red Chair even got to sit on a lifeguard stand! We then took the Red Chair for a drive down Bellevue Avenue to see the famous Newport Mansions, the Red Chair even stopped for a photo with the ‘camels’ at Doris Duke’s Rough Point! It was then off to the Ocean Drive, a beautiful scenic coastal drive around the Southern tip of our island. We took a break and had afternoon tea at the Samuel Durfee House before heading downtown to Newport’s new Queen Anne Square and Trinity Church. We then headed to Bannister and Bowen’s Wharf to check out the shops and restaurants and visit the lobsters at the Aquidneck Lobster Company (the Red Chair even gave a lobster a place to take a break). To see another side of Newport, we went out to Fort Adams and walked around the fort before watching a sailing race in the bay. After a long day of touring Newport, we decided to take the Red Chair to one of our favorite places to watch the sunset, Castle Hill. The Red Chair had a wonderful visit to Newport and the Samuel Durfee House before heading to Connecticut to begin the next stop in it’s long journey.
Last year my husband and I saw a news report of a photo of a red chair on a frozen pond. The photo was taken by an innkeeper on Cape Cod and posted on the inn’s facebook page. It spread across the cyber world and found its way to a photographer who was inspired to visit the red chair and photo it in different settings. We both were intrigued and inspired by the story. The red chair began a journey traveling to different inns. The red chair has just begun a journey that will take it from New England traveling across the country staying in bed and breakfasts and inns along the way. We are honored to be chosen to host the red chair while it travels to Newport, Rhode Island! We will treat the red chair like an honored guest showing it all Newport has to offer. The red chair will arrive at the Samuel Durfee House on June 11th and stay with us until the morning of June 14th when the red chair will travel to Connecticut. Please check back on our blog next week when we will post photos of all of the exciting places the red chair will see in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island! In the meantime, please check out the website www.redchairtravels.com for the story of the red chair!
If you are looking for a New England fall getaway, look no further than Newport and the Samuel Durfee House. Fall has arrived in Newport, Rhode Island. The leaves have just begun to change and fall to the ground and the air is getting cooler. New England is known for it’s fall foliage and it is a beautiful time to visit Newport. The drive to and from Newport is one of the things I look most forward to this time of year. In addition to the beauty this time of year brings, are many unique and fun events. This upcoming weekend is one of our favorite festivals in Newport, the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival. Delicious New England dishes are available from some of Newport’s finest restaurants, under colorful tents with live music playing all day-a perfect way to spend a fall day! Also this upcoming weekend, is the 10th Annual Ballard Park Pumpkin Tour. A community wide event in which area schools and businesses carve over 1,000 jack-o-lanterns. As you walk the trails, this will certainly get you in the fall spirit! Other ongoing special events include ghost tours, finding your way through a local corn maze, visiting a local farmers market, and visiting the pumpkin patch at Trinity Church. Another exciting happening in Newport this fall is the Newport Fall Restaurant Week. This event is from November 2nd through November 11th and is the perfect chance to try one (or more) of our excellent restaurants! Participating Restaurants will be serving three course lunches ($16) and three course dinners ($30). We hope to see you at the Samuel Durfee House for your New England Fall Getaway!