Wander Always & Stay Wilde


A Weekend in Newport, Rhode Island

What a weekend to remember in Newport, Rhode Island! This small town located in the southeastern corner of the state is the perfect weekend getaway. While in town, you can visit the Mansions of the Gilded Age, explore the different wharves along the Newport Harbor, walk along the iconic Cliff Walk, eat local and delicious seafood, and much, much more!

Continue reading to see where to visit, stay, and eat while in Newport, Rhode Island!

What to do in Newport, Rhode Island:


One of the most iconic things to do while in Newport is to visit the mansions situated along Bellevue Avenue. In the late 19th century, industrialists from the New York area chose Newport, Rhode Island as an ideal location to create summer “cottages” for their families. Although these are considered mansions to the average eye, they were named cottages due to the small portion of time that their owners spent there. Currently, the Preservation Society of Newport County owns and maintains 11 of the historic properties in the area, but there are still a few locations are that privately owned.

Select mansions are open to the public and can be toured with the purchase of a ticket. This is the perfect day outing while in Newport! There are a few different options offered on the Preservation Society of Newport County website (that can be found here). There is a Summer Passport, Newport Mansions Duo, a visit to just one house, or the Breakers tour. There is also a pass that includes three of the gardens and grounds of the property, and picnics are allowed. We opted for the Summer Passport that allowed us to visit three of the Mansions. The great thing about these passes is that if you live close by, you do not have to visit all three mansions in one day or weekend- you can come back and visit up until their expiration date. It takes roughly an hour or so to explore each Mansion (or more depending on crowds and your pace), so this is the perfect day activity during your time in Newport. Due to events being held at some of the Mansions, we decided to visit The Elms and the Breakers, and we ended with the Mable House. All three mansions were beautiful and intricate in their styles, some more ostentatious than others, but truly a sight to see!


As a summer retreat for its owners, Edward J. Berwind and his wife Herminie, The Elms was completed in 1901 and features Venetian paintings, Chinese lacquer panels, tapestries, and intricate furniture design. By consensus of our group, this was our favorite mansion that we toured! When heading south on Bellvue Avenue, The Elms will be the first Mansion that you encounter. It is on the right side of the road, and it cannot be seen from Cliffwalk. In place of an ocean view, The Elms has the most spectacular gardens. I felt as though I was transported to Europe and was a character in a Jane Austen novel!

Arriving promptly at the mansion at its opening time of 10 am, we were the first visitors to The Elms. It felt as though we had the entire place to ourselves and only passed the tour guides as we explored each room. As you walk through the mansion, you can also download an audio tour on the Newport Mansions app to hear commentary about the Elms. Tour guides can also provide you with a hand copy of the tour that you can read at your leisure as you explore the rooms.

*Note: if you are a fan of the HBO show The Gilded Age, you will recognize this as the Russell summer home. As stunning as it is to see the various rooms on screen in the show, it is truly awe-inspiring to see the architecture and decor of The Elms in person.


The most popular of the Mansions along the Cliffwalk and in Newport is the Breakers. This Gilded Age mansion dates to 1895, built as a summer residence for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the renowned Vanderbilt family. The mansion is filled with 70 rooms and 62,482 square feet of living area on five floors designed in the Renaissance Revival Style, and the estate overlooks the Easton Bay of the Atlantic Ocean.

This was the second Mansion that we visited with our Summer Passport ticket! The grounds were very well maintained, and the interiors were stunning, although more ostentatious than The Elms. We visited The Breakers promptly after The Elms, and the crowds picked up a bit by the time we arrived. In contrast with The Elms, the crowds took away from the splendor of the mansion, especially in the more narrow walkways and living spaces. I preferred the stillness and quiet beauty of The Elms as opposed to the Breakers, but it is worth a visit! If you are in Newport and you only have a few spare hours to visit the mansions, I suggest purchasing the “Newport Mansions Duo” pass and visiting The Elms and the Breakers. This will give you a taste of two different styles of mansions of the Gilded Age and will offer views of both the ocean and gardens.


Dating to 1892, the Marble House was a Gilded Age mansion and summer cottage for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. As one of the earliest examples of the Beaux-Arts style, Marble House’s design and its opulence for an American house were unparalleled compared to contemporary homes of the time. The mansion is comprised of fifty rooms on four floors and required a large staff which included several butlers, maids, coachmen, and footmen. The Chinese Tea House overlooking the seaside cliffs was added later to its original construction.

The Marble House was the third mansion visited with our Summer Passport ticket. Although the mansion was stunning and completely different than The Elms and The Breakers, in comparison, it was my least favorite to visit on our tours. In hindsight, if I had limited time I would have opted for the “Newport Mansions Duo” pass to visit just The Elms and the Breakers, but it was worth it to see three of the Newport Mansions!


One of the most quintessentially charming items to cross off of your list while visiting Newport is the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk that hugs the city’s eastern coastline. The walk is filled with panoramic ocean views, the refreshing sea breeze, and a look at the Gilded Age Mansions that overlook the ocean. You can either opt to walk the Cliff Walk in its entirety, or you can walk part of it, entering and exiting at the locations listed below. Either way, you cannot go wrong with either option!

Cliffwalk Entrances (listed from north to south):

Memorial Boulevard

Narragansett Avenue

Webster Street

Ruggles Avenue

Marine Avenue

Ledge Road

Bellevue Avenue


While in Newport, our lodging was central to neighborhoods that led down to the western coast of the city. It was far easier to walk around Newport instead of driving, mainly due to the lack of parking in the area. During our walks to lunch or while sightseeing, we explored the neighborhoods of Newport, with many homes adorned with plaques noting historical facts. Many of the homes we saw were from the 1700s!

While at Bowen’s Wharf, we found the Kiel James Patrick flagship store (pictured below)! If you are unfamiliar with this brand, they sell quintessential classic New England clothing and accessories. You can find more of their products here on their website. I also highly suggest if you are someone who uses Instagram and you love seasonal New England inspiration, follow KJP’s profile!

The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located on Bellevue Avenue, and the sight of the grounds alone is worth a visit! We walked around the beautifully manicured grounds and gardens for a bit while there. If you wish to tour the museum, tickets can be purchased online here. There are over 1,900 artifacts of tennis history on display throughout the galleries of the museum, which I am sure is worth a look to anyone with an interest in tennis!



Dating to the 1920s, Hotel Viking is considered an iconic and landmark hotel in Newport, Rhode Island. It is centrally located on Bellevue Avenue, which you will find is a vital street when visiting Newport. The rooms are elegant, fairly spacious, and feature period furnishings with a modern spin. There is a restaurant downstairs, adjacent to the hotel’s main entrance, as well as a rooftop bar that overlooks all of Newport. The hotel is located a short 12-minute walk from the Long Wharf area and only an 8-minute walk from the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. While in Newport, once we were settled in our hotel room, we opted to walk almost everywhere we ate and visited, except the Cliffwalk and the Newport Mansions tours. Due to its location and reasonable price compared to other lodgings in the area, I would choose to stay here again if visiting Newport, Rhode Island



While sitting in our room at Hotel Viking, I searched the area for somewhere to eat the following morning for breakfast. To my surprise and delight, there was a spot right across the street- Picnic Café! This spot is a hidden treasure, offering freshly baked breakfast and lunch items. There were so many options to choose from, but we all opted for egg sandwiches on croissants and bagels, and almond and chocolate croissants to snack on throughout the day. You can take your items to go or choose to eat in their quaint seating area, which is where we chose to eat. We adored this place so much, that we decided to come back a second morning for breakfast while in Newport!

You can find Picnic Café at 28 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840, across the street from Hotel Viking. Follow along with them on Instagram, @picnicnewport.


A short walk from the International Tennis Hall of Fame, you will find Jo’s American Bistro. The menu has an array of options from steak to seafood and both indoor and outdoor seating is available. We ordered the Southern Fried Chicken Bites as an appetizer, and the following entrees: the Fried Fish Sandwich, the Pan Roasted Cod, and the Butternut Squash Agnolotti- all pictured below. This was our first meal in Newport, and it did not disappoint. While eating our meal, our group even talked of coming back for a second meal during our trip, but we opted to try some other restaurants during our stay- but our meal was that good! I highly recommend Jo’s for your visit to the area.

You can find Jo’s American Bistro at 24 Memorial Blvd W, Newport, RI 02840.


Located in the Long Wharf area, the Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant is considered a Newport landmark. It is an iconic spot in town, visited by both locals and visitors alike. We went for a late lunch and ordered the Apple & Brie Bruschetta appetizer, a cup of their Creamy New England Clam Chowder, the Beef Short Rib Sandwich, and a platter of Fried Fish & Chips. Everything was so good! From the moment the waitress placed our food on the table, we began eating, finishing every last crumb on our plates. Unfortunately, we did not take any photos of the food (since we were so eager, and hungry, to eat), but everything we ordered was great!

140 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840.


Pictured above, you can see we stopped at the Newport Fudgery, which is only a few steps away and in walking distance, from the Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant. You can purchase 3 different flavors to sample for $10. Even though we split the flavors between ourselves, they lasted a while, even days after our trip!


Kilwins is also another option for a sweet treat while exploring the Bowen’s Wharf area. I felt like the fudge was a better deal to split amongst us, since our two-scoop ice cream was over $8, and it was on the small side. However, price aside, the ice cream was very refreshing at the moment and was the perfect way to end the night after our meal!

Have you ever been to Newport, Rhode Island? What are your favorite places to visit, stay, and eat?

Have you been to any of the places listed in this post? Comment below!

If you are traveling to the New England area soon, I hope this post can help with planning your adventure. Happy and safe travels!

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