Warm, foggy, and still fully green, Newport turned out to be a sweet end to the summer.
Full disclosure: I went on this trip last year, and completely dropped the ball on writing about it. Whoops. As the seasons changed, it seemed weirder and weirder to post about my warm-weather weekend, but now that it’s been nearly a year since I went to Newport, RI, my pictures and itinerary seem current again (even though they definitely aren’t). Please forgive me for this major blogging faux pas. As my 8th grade English teacher said on repeat (whatever happened to you, Mr. Stillman?), it’s all about the willful suspension of disbelief. So, pretend with me people…
where to stay
We stayed in a suite at the Wyndham Long Wharf. (FYI, the photo above is of one of the Newport mansions—not our hotel. Ha, if only.) It was super spacious (two bedrooms, two baths, plus a living room and kitchenette) and affordable since it was someone’s timeshare that we nabbed on Airbnb. Woo-hoo for technology! It was also very centrally located—we could walk to tons of shops and eateries like J.Crew, Francesca’s, and morning coffee at Panera at the Shops at Long Wharf.
where to eat
We were only in Newport for the weekend, so we didn’t have too many opportunities to try new restaurants, but the places we hit were all great. We kicked off our first night with dinner and drinks at Diego’s in Bowen’s Wharf. It’s a small place but with indoor and outdoor seating, a second floor with water views, and plenty of string lights, this place had all the tiny restaurant charm. And delicious Mexican cuisine to match.
For our second and last dinner, we checked out The Red Parrot. Unlike Diego’s, this place was gigantic. Three (maybe four) huge floors filled with tables, and the place was still packed. We had to wait a bit, so we got drinks at one of the bars (that’s right, there were multiple). And if we thought the place was big, the menu was even bigger. Seriously, you could read a short novel in the time it takes to get through this menu. It’s massive in quantity, but the types of cuisine are extensive as well. From Asian-inspired to Carribbean flare to impressive pasta dishes and a wild dessert menu, it’s hard to get a handle on what this this place is going for. Even after eating there, I still don’t really know. All I can say is that we all enjoyed our meals—even if looking at each plate, you’d think we all ate at different restaurants.
Hands down, my favorite meal was brunch at Coast Guard House before we headed home. This spot is in Narragansett, RI, right on the water. We sat outside, just steps from the rocky beach, and enjoyed all the brunch staples (my side of bacon came in a cast iron skillet where it had been seasoned with yummy spices and seared in maple syrup. YASSSS.) This place is a must-visit.
what to do
Newport is known for it’s incredible mansions, and it would be kind of crazy to make a visit without checking out a few of these historic gems. There are a handful of super popular ones, but we were only staying for one full day (and I didn’t want to spend it all with a headset on listening to automated guided tours), so we only visited two.
The Breakers, the famous former summer home of the Vanderbilts, is a sight to be seen with its absurdly grand and ornate interiors and manicured gardens overlooking the water. This should be at the top of any Newport itinerary.
We also stopped by Rosecliff, which has a more quaint feel. (Can a mansion feel quaint? Probably not, but after The Breakers, almost anything feels scaled-back.) I loved the all white exterior and gardens—the definition of charming.
In between mansion tours, we took a path along the water called the Cliff Walk. If you do a quick google image search, you’ll see that the natural lanscape and water views are stunning along this path. When walked up and saw the blanket of fog over the water, I was a bit disappointed, but looking back on it, we still got some cool and unique photos of the area. Fog = edgy, people.
After a morning of walking, we hopped in an Uber to Newport Vineyards to relax with a glass of wine. If you plan ahead, I would recommend getting a reservation in the dining room for a full meal. We went on a whim, so we picked up snacks from the cafe area, and took our food and drinks out to the patio. The grounds were so pretty, and it was the perfect place to sit back and people watch. We lost count of the number of bridal parties there celebrating in matching t-shirts. Fascinating.
On our last morning, we packed up the car and took a spin along Ocean Drive on our way to brunch. Rocky shores lined with gorgeous homes, this road really captures the Newport vibe. Plus there are plenty of spots to pull over and snap pictures.
All in all, Newport proved to be the perfect place for a quick weekend away. Even a year later, this picturesque place is still on my mind—I’d go back any day!
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Hat: Urban Outfitters