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Things to do in

Newport, Rhode Island

Our most recommended things to do in Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

1. Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

Take in the classic New England fall scenery aboard the comfortable Coastal Queen. Local guides will share their knowledge of the historic sites that surround beautiful Newport Harbor and the Jamestown shoreline. You will see historic church steeples, Bowen’s and Banisters Wharves, historic lighthouses, forts, mega yachts, and more on the tour. You may even spot a seal or two. The Coastal Queen offers maximum comfort and has a weatherproof interior that can be heated on chilly days, a bar, panoramic views, and an open-air top covered deck where the side curtains can roll up for catching the ocean breezes or rolled down for warmth.

Newport: Scenic Trolley Tour

2. Newport: Scenic Trolley Tour

Hop aboard an old-fashioned trolley and explore Newport, Rhode Island during this 90 minutes scenic tour. Begin your day meeting at the Visitor Center of Newport where you will be greeted by your tour guide. Begin your adventure as you set off into Newport to enjoy the charm of the historic downtown area and restored homes to glorious mansions on the water. Take in the rugged beauty of Ten-Mile Ocean Drive and the fabulous mansions along tree-lined Bellevue Avenue. Enjoy viewing homes and architecture from the Modern Age to the Gilded Age. During this narrated tour you will view over 150 points of interest including Historic Thames Street, The Newport Waterfront, The Breakers, Marble House, and Rosecliff.  Upgrade your ticket and visit the historic Breakers Mansion located on the elaborate estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Take in the lavish decor and waterfront views as you tour the property grounds. The additional mansion tour will last about 3 hours.

Newport, RI: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

3. Newport, RI: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

Start your day in with style on a 75-minute, narrated lighthouse tour of scenic Newport Harbor. Take in some classic New England scenery aboard the boat, while sipping a morning drink. Listen as local guides share their knowledge of the four lighthouses surrounding Newport Harbor. Along the way, see historic church steeples, the Jamestown shoreline, the Newport Pell Bridge, Clingstone, Hammersmith Farm, the Newport Harbor mansions, mega yachts, offshore lobster and fishing vessels, and so much more. Kick back in the warm, covered, and virtually weatherproof main salon, or hit the open-air upper deck for catching the ocean breeze. Wherever you choose, enjoy sipping your drink while taking in the panoramic views in absolute comfort

Newport, RI: Evening Cocktail Cruise of Narragansett Bay

4. Newport, RI: Evening Cocktail Cruise of Narragansett Bay

Experience Newport Harbor and Lower Narragansett Bay as the sun goes down while sipping a special complimentary drink. See mega yachts, lighthouses, historic church steeples, the Newport Pell Bridge, Rose Island, the Jamestown shoreline, historic forts, and so much more from aboard the Coastal Queen. Enjoy panoramic views from the warm and weatherproof main salon or from the open-air upper deck. Additional refreshments are available for purchase at the cash-only bar onboard. Coastal Queen staff follow the most current health guidelines to ensure your experience is safe and enjoyable. After the cruise, take a moment to walk around and soak up the vibrancy of this coastal town. Checkout out the shops or enjoy a sweet or savory treat in one of the many cafes lining the port.

From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

5. From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

Enjoy Newport on this van tour from Boston. See how the wealthiest families lived during the gilded age with a visit to the Vanderbilt summer home and the Elms Mansion. Along the way, enjoy some complimentary snacks and bottled water while reading over a provided Newport guide book. Begin with hotel pickup in a luxury minibus, where the approximately 2-hour journey to Newport starts. The first stop is the Breakers, the Vanderbilt family's summer home. Take a self-guided audio-tour and explore the 70-room summer cottage. Here, you can also spend some time exploring the cliffs on a scenic cliff walk. Next, it's back to the mini-coach for a bus tour of Newport, which passes St Mary's Parish, where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in 1953. After the bus tour, visit America's oldest existing synagogue, the Touro Synagogue. With your free time, you can do some shopping or have lunch on the waterfront. If you're a sports fan, you can enjoy discount admission to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Finally, visit the Elms Mansion, where you can take a 90-minute self-guided audio tour. After the tour, return to the minibus, sit back, and relax as you enjoy the ride back to Boston.

From Providence: Day Trip around Rhode Island

6. From Providence: Day Trip around Rhode Island

Marveling at scenic views and learn about the history and culture of the Ocean State on this full-day bus tour. Uncover the things that make Rhode Island so attractive, including the quaint New England villages, scenic islands, magnificent beaches, picturesque lighthouses, and spectacular mansions. Start your day meeting up with your expert guide and hop aboard a climate-controlled tour bus as you embark on this full-day journey. Explore the smallest state in America, at 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. Begin in historic Providence and wind your way around the largest estuary in New England. Pass through charming Wickford, stunning Newport, Bristol (deemed America’s most patriotic town), and many other places. Along the way, there will be opportunities for you to get out, take pictures, and see things up close. After a full day of exploration, your tour will conclude where you first met.

Newport: Cliff Walk Self-Guided Walking Tour

7. Newport: Cliff Walk Self-Guided Walking Tour

Embark on a scenic cliff walk along a 3.5-mile trail along the eastern shore of Newport Rhode Island. Use your audio guide which has been created by local guides, curated by creative writers, and narrated by professional voice artists. Begin the tour at Easton’s Beach. As you walk down the path, see Gilded Age mansions representing an era of lavish wealth and unbridled excess. Hear the stories of the Vanderbilts, Astors, and other American millionaires behind mansions like The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff, and others. After the walk at 40 Steps, continue to the Ochre Court. Discover the second-largest of Newport’s famous mansions, built for banker and real estate mogul Ogden Goelet. Finally, end the tour with scenic views at Bailey’s Beach.

Newport: Self-Guided Combo Tour

8. Newport: Self-Guided Combo Tour

Explore Newport on a self-guided driving tour via an app that functions as your own personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. See everything this seaside town has to offer at your own pace. Learn about local history, take a scenic walk, and admire elegant mansions as you drive. Download the app, then start the tour at the visitor center. As you drive down Bellevue Avenue, known as the "most beautiful avenue in the world." See and learn about the gorgeous Gilded Age Mansions along the way, including The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Château-Sur-Mer, and more. Continue along Ocean Drive, featuring breathtaking vistas. Learn about Newport's historic past, and iconic American millionaires like the Vanderbilts and Astors. Then, park up and stroll along the famous Cliff Walk which features the raw, untamed, crashing waves of the Atlantic to one side and lavish Gilded Age mansions to the other. This juxtaposition creates one of the most beautiful scenic walks in the world.

Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Self-Driving Audio Tour

9. Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Self-Driving Audio Tour

Discover the city known for its picturesque Gilded Age mansions on a self-driven audio tour. Found out how the rich in America made and spent their money at the turn of the twentieth century. This 12 mile-long tour covers the essentials of scenic Newport, Rhode Island, in 1-2 hours. Start from the Visitor Center on America’s Cup Avenue. Here, listen to the story of Gilded Age America and how it shaped the future. While driving, you will first see the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Next up is the Audrain Auto Museum before you start exploring the Gilded Age mansions. Marvel at the first among them, Edward King House, followed by Kingscote and Bellevue House. Continuing on the avenue, come across The Elms, Chepstow, Ochre Court, and then The Breakers. From there, proceed to Chateau-Sur-Mer, Rosecliff, Beechwood, Marble House, and Belcourt Castle before ending this part of the tour at Rough Point. From there, continue on Ocean Avenue and drive toward Crossways while enjoying the Ocean Drive and hearing its story. Next, listen to the story about Brenton Point State Park and Hammersmith Farm, the summer home of Jackie Kennedy, wife of John. F. Kennedy. On the last leg of the tour, drive and hear stories of Fort Adam, Beacon Rock, Bonniecrest, Ida Lewis Rock, and Rochambeau Monument. The tour concludes in the Irish District.

Newport, RI: Cliff Walk Self Guided Walking Mansion Tour

10. Newport, RI: Cliff Walk Self Guided Walking Mansion Tour

Download this activity to your smartphone and make the most of Newport’s Cliff Walk. Follow clues and learn all about the area's history while walking along the scenic route. Start by the Forty Steps landmark, once a gathering place for the servants who worked in Newport’s mansions. Head to the Overlook for views of the Atlantic, or admire Easton's Beach. Witness Ochre Court, the Vinland Estate, and The Breakers, the most famous and largest mansion on the tour. Learn about families like the Vanderbilts and see Anglesea, designed so the ocean is visible from every side. Encounter Rosecliff, Beechwood, the Marble House, and more. Pause at the Chinese Tea House, Rough Point, and Land’s End. End your tour at The Waves, and the private stretch of sand at Bailey’s Beach.

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What people are saying about Newport, Rhode Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 248 reviews

I was with 2 other friends and all of us are in the 70+ age group. We did not do the stairs to go on the upper level of the boat, but the tour guide came to the bow of the boat and he was excellent. The weather was great the trip was great. We did not drink the rum punch but they made us Virgin drinks and they were very, very good. Highly recommend!

Joe, our tour guide, was fabulous! Very knowledgeable and entertaining. He was very kind to stop for a bathroom break for 2 gentlemen on the tour who had the need. I was with a group of 11, and everyone had exceptionally positive feedback. We loved it!

Great narration of the sights, lots of spaces open and enclosed as it was a bit brisk. Bar is a nice area and staff very polite and courteous!

The Mimosa cruise was amazing! I loved hearing about the history of Newport and seeing all of the sights and landmarks.

Fun cruise. Informative and interesting. Worth the money!