The Best Things to Do in Newport, Rhode Island: A Perfect Weekend Itinerary

things to do in newport

With a global pandemic keeping me grounded, I’ve found a new appreciation for road trip-able destinations. I had heard from so many people that there were a ton of great things to do in Newport, so off to Rhode Island we went…!

I’ll admit—I was definitely hesitant to travel given the current state. Plus, I worried I’d lose that sense of wanderlust and exploration I’ve come to associate with travel.

best things to do in newport
Photo by Caitlin Elizabeth James (she’s a local Newport photographer and so talented!)

Luckily, Newport set the bar high for mid-pandemic vacations. It was seriously the perfect weekend trip—totally explorable over the course of three days, beautiful in every season, and plenty of things to do without being overwhelming.

Newport makes for an awesome romantic getaway, but it’s also PERFECT for a girls trip.

We went during the early Fall, but I’ve heard that summer is amazing (albeit busy) and even in the Winter, Newport almost feels like a Hallmark movie IRL.

I compiled all of of my recommendations for the best things to do in Newport, Rhode Island below.

Best Activities in Newport

  • Cliff Walk: Famous 3.5-mile path with amazing views of the ocean and Newport’s insane architecture (think mega-mansions!)
  • Sail Boat Tour: There’s a ton of companies that do this (Sail Newport, Gansett Cruises, Sight Sailing Newport, Heron Luxury, Antique Yacht)
40 steps newport rhode island
The 40 Steps at Newport Cliff Walk is absolutely stunning at sunset.
  • Newport Lampshade: Home goods store!
  • Newport Wineries/Vineyards: Wine, duh (the Shark Bite wine is highly recommended)
  • The Breakers: Largest mansion in Newport
the breakers newport
Inside of my favorite room at The Breakers
breakers newport
Outside of The Breakers
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Goat Island Lighthouse
the goat island lighthouse in newport rhode island
The Goat Island Lighthouse is located right on the Gurney’s Newport property.
  • Castle Hill Lighthouse
castle hill lighthouse newport
Castle Hill Lighthouse
  • KJP: Preppy shopping!
Kiel James Patrick boutique newport
Inside KJP — the most perfectly curated boutique by Kiel James Patrick.

Pro Tip: If you’re heading to Newport for a special occasion, book a blow out appointment with the amazing Julie Rose—she’ll even come to your hotel!

Coffee and Breakfast in Newport

coffee grinder newport rhode island coffee shop
  • Belle’s Cafe (breakfast)
belle's cafe newport
Belle’s Cafe. Make a reservation on OpenTable!
  • Coffee Grinder (coffee)
  • Nitro Bar (coffee)
coffee grinder coffee shop newport rhode island
The Coffee Grinder. Located right on the Wharf. Pricey coffee but super cute atmosphere.

Restaurants in Newport

brenton hotel newport
The Living Room bar at The Brenton Hotel is definitely worth stopping by for a drink!
  • The Living Room Bar at The Brenton Hotel (go for a drink)
  • Giusto (new and amazing Italian food; go for dinner)
  • The Patio at Black Pearl (lunch)
  • Lawn at Castle Hill (drinks/dinner/brunch)

Pro Tip: Need a photographer to capture a proposal or engagement photos? Hit up Caitlin Elizabeth James. She’s an awesome local photographer, and shot some of the photos seen within this post!

the lawn at castle hill newport rhode island
The Lawn at Castle Hill
  • The Chanler (drinks/dinner)
  • The Black Pearl (drinks/dinner/lunch, try the mudslide cocktail!)
  • Clarke’s Cookhouse (dinner)
the chanler at cliff walk newport
The Chanler Hotel (above) is located on the Cliff Walk. Gorgeous for a special occasion dinner or drinks.
  • The Mooring (clam chowder)
  • Auberge Vanderbilt (rooftop drinks)
  • Scarpetta at Gurney’s (dinner)
sunset at gurneys goat island
The outdoor area at Gurney’s is fantastic for sunset drinks and dinner.
  • Bar Cio (Rhode Island style pizza)
  • Midtown Oyster Bar (lunch)
  • Diego’s (casual dinner/brunch)
drinks at gurneys newport
  • Thames Street Kitchen (dinner)
  • 41 North (drinks on the water)
  • White Horse Tavern (dinner)
the brenton hotel newport

Here’s a glimpse into more of our Newport trip!

the brenton hotel newport rhode island
The Brenton Hotel, where we stayed, was fabulous!
best things to do in newport rhode island


  • Amanda Court
    January 26, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Where did you stay?

  • Lauren
    November 10, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Been wanting to plan a fun trip with my sister and after reading your post, I’m completely sold on RI! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.


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