City Guide: Newport, R.I.

City Guide: Newport, R.I.

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I love beach towns. I live in Michigan’s West Coast, just 30 minutes from Lake Michigan. Michigan has amazing, quaint, friendly beach towns: South Haven, Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven, all easily within an hour of Grand Rapids. As you travel Up North in the mitten state, you are met with hot, white sand beaches and crystal clear, tropical blue hues in the water that immediately mentally transport you to the Caribbean: Frankfort, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Glen Arbor.

Growing up, my family spent a lot of time and created many memories along Lake Michigan, and I grew to love the beach, small town boutiques, sunsets over the water, and local restaurants. My favorite places to travel involve the water in some aspect and I love searching out new beaches, new restaurants, new boutiques, and watching the colors change as the sun dips beyond the water. I don’t mind traveling alone, especially when by the water. Its where I do my best reflecting on life and feel most at peace.

Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State and the views certainly earn the title. Rhode Island is also the smallest state, which makes getting around the East Coast easy. Newport is everything nautical: cape cod style houses in town, boutiques selling Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, and every anchor decorated knickknack you can imagine. There is money in Newport, certainly, and you can tell by the entrée prices, B&B rates, and the outfits.

Here are my Newport recommendations for a daytrip or weekend in town:
DINE
Diego’s: $$
Diego’s is located just off Thames St. in the harbor, tucked into shops and restaurants. There is plenty of outdoor seating for dining al fresco and the cocktail menu is incredible. I recommend the crispy pork belly tacos with zesty mango pico de gallo, queso fresco, cilantro, and chipotle crema. Order the chips and trio of salsas on the side.
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22 Bowen’s Harbor: $
Kale salad and prosecco in the middle of the harbor? Can’t be beat.

The Mooring: $$$$
The Mooring is an excellent dinner choice and right off Thames St. There are many different dining rooms available, both inside and outside, overlooking the marina. It is a perfect place to watch the sun set. They have an impressive oyster list to choose from (although I almost always go with Blue Point!) and a great wine list as well. For the main, I’d recommend the 8 oz filet with blue cheese potatoes and asparagus paired with a glass of red.

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EXPLORE:
Thames Street:
Thames Street is the main road running through downtown Newport. It is where all the action is-shops, restaurants, people watching, activities, where to catch the Ferry, etc.
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Cliff Walk/Bellevue Mansions:
Hands down, my favorite part of Newport. The Cliff Walk (off Bellevue Street-plenty of parking for up to 4 hours) is a 3.5 mile trail along the coast of Newport. The path ranges from sidewalk, to rocks, to sand, to grass, and everything in between. It makes for a great run and you’ll be able to see the dreamy, famous mansions of Newport along the way. While the houses in town are more cottage style, cape cod, and craftsman, the enormous mansions along the coast are mainly Elizabethan and Victorian revival, or Beaux Arts. I’ve never been a fan of the Beaux Arts style, and often find it creepy or haunted, but nonetheless, they are spectacular to view!

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Volvo Ocean Race:
I was extremely fortunate to visit Newport while the Volvo Ocean Race was going on.  If you haven’t heard of the Volvo Ocean Race, it is a 9 month sailing race around the world. Nearly 39,000 nautical miles and 11 ports, they start in Alicante, and travel to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Itajai, Newport, Lisbon, Lorient, and end in Gothenburg. Each port sets up a race village for the time they are visiting. You can learn about the teams, watch them practice, shop their gear, and so much more. It is truly remarkable.
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Have you been to Newport? I’d love to hear what you’d recommend!

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