Travel Talk with Jamie: The Best Things to Do in Newport, Rhode Island
As we continue to see coronavirus cases rise in the U.S., I highly encourage you to refrain from traveling around this country as much as possible. However, as I mentioned in my last Travel Talk interview about Seattle, one of my favorite ways to get through these difficult times is reading and dreaming about all the places I might go once it’s safe to do so again. So I’m back with another interview with a fellow traveler, this time about a place I’ll admit I know next to nothing about: Newport, Rhode Island.
Jamie of The Daily Adventures of Me is originally from California but has lived in Rhode Island for over a decade and in New England since 2003. Since I’ve never explored Rhode Island myself, I was curious to learn more about the state and its city of Newport. In our interview, Jamie explained what she loves about Newport, Rhode Island and shared her favorite tips for travelers.
Thanks for joining me, Jamie! What do you love about Newport?
Newport is a hip seaside town set in colonial buildings on the coast of Rhode Island, one of the nicest U.S. states.
What’s your all-time favorite sight, attraction, or spot there?
I love the Cliff Walk. In the 1920s, America’s uber-wealthy built “summer cottages” on the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. After being found not-guilty for a questionable death, Doris Duke built a 3.5 mile pathway in front of the houses along Newport’s rocky shoreline. You can read more about visiting Cliff Walk.
It sounds beautiful! If a traveler only had 24 hours in Newport, what are some places you’d tell them they absolutely can’t miss?
Obviously the Cliff Walk, then walk through the old Bannister and Barrister’s Wharfs. Have a great lunch. You can even visit the oldest synagogue in the United States—Touro Synagogue. Here is an ideal itinerary for 24 hours in Newport, RI.
What should travelers know about the local culture?
I think Rhode Islanders are quite friendly, although sometimes we talk a bit funny…
Any cool historical tidbits or important history that visitors should be aware of?
Even though the town is much older than the 1700s, most of the buildings are colonial because the British burned down most of the town when they were leaving after having control of it in the Revolutionary War. The oldest tavern in the U.S., The White Horse Tavern, is still in operation.
I’d love to see that tavern! What’s your favorite off-the-beaten-path thing to do that wouldn’t be found in a typical guidebook?
The sunsets at Castle Hill are the best around. This hotel on Newport’s shore actually faces the Newport Bridge and Jamestown Island. You can have dinner or drinks on the lawn in the summer and then take a walk to the Castle Hill Lighthouse.
Tell me about some of your favorite restaurants in Newport. What food must people try when visiting the city?
My favorite restaurant in town is an eclectic place called Salvation Cafe on a more modern street, Broadway.
I love the escargot at The Black Pearl, the fried spinach at Salvation Cafe, homemade pasta at Pasta Beach, cheese tasting at Newport Wine and Gourmet, ice cream at Kilwins, Mexican at Pero Salada. You could spend weeks eating in Newport!
Those all sound fantastic! Where would you recommend tourists stay when visiting Newport?
The place I would most want to stay is the Inn at Castle Hill. Any place in downtown Newport would be well-located.
What are the most photo-worthy or Instagrammable spots? Any fantastic lookouts or otherwise photogenic spots?
I am going with Castle Hill again! To get great close-up shots of the bridge, Guerney’s Hotel and Marina is the perfect spot after you grab some apps at Pineapples.
Are there any must-see museums or monuments?
The largest fort on the east coast is in Newport, Fort Adams. It is surrounded by water on three sides. Read more about it here.
What tips do you have for travelers looking to avoid the crowds?
I much prefer Newport in the shoulder seasons, spring and fall, when we have many festivals and fewer people.
Good advice! What should visitors know about transportation around Newport?
There is a trolley available at the Transportation Center, and most of the town is accessible by foot.