I can’t tell you how happy it made me to spend 48 hours in Newport, Rhode Island this past weekend! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Newport, RI (check out my first “guide” from 2015), but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to spend time in this charming New England city!
Newport is a city located on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay, and is known for sailing, seafood, beaches, cliffs and of course it’s Gilded Age mansions! While Newport was once an exclusive summer destination for the wealthiest families in the country in the late 1890s, it’s now one of New England’s most popular vacation destinations for all!
Newport is honestly the PERFECT place for a quick getaway – it’s only a few hour road trip from New York and the whole city is walkable – but it also has so many restaurants and so much to do there that it’s a place you can visit again and again and never get sick of it!
And while the Summer months are technically the best time to visit Newport, I truly don’t think there is a bad time of year to visit! New England in the Fall is magical, as is the winter, and seeing all the flowers bloom during the Spring is also amazing!
On this specific trip I spent exactly 48 hours in Newport, so I thought I would give you my exact itinerary so if you’re planning a trip you know exactly how much you can do! I also included more restaurants and activities that we didn’t get to on this particular trip (because there just wasn’t enough time or they aren’t seasonal for this time of year) so that if you’re spending more than 2 days in Newport you’ll have plenty of ideas!
Travel Guide: 48 Hours in Newport, Rhode Island
Plan to arrive in Newport around lunchtime on your first day. We left NY at 10:15am and arrived in Newport around 1pm! We knew our room wasn’t going to be ready for check in yet. So we headed right to Bowen’s Wharf for lunch.
I highly recommend The Red Parrot Restaurant, a Newport INSTITUTION, as your first meal! Some of my favorite dishes and drinks on their menu are Spicy Pineapple Margaritas, Maui Ahi Tuna Wrap, Coco Loco Coconut Shrimp Wrap, Blackened Mahi Sandwich and the Monsta Lobsta’ BLT. The Red Parrot is a must when visiting Newport so definitely add it to your itinerary for either lunch or dinner. And if you’re visiting in the Summer make sure to get one of their famous frozen drinks!
After lunch we walked and visited the shops around Bowen’s Wharf and along Thames St.
Right around 4pm I got a text from The Attwater saying that our room was ready so we headed over there to check in. This is the second time I’ve stayed at The Attwater (and the 5th time I’ve stayed at a Lark Hotels Property – I stayed also stayed with them in Vermont, Portsmouth & Portland) and I’m a huge fan!
The Attwater is a boutique hotel with bright rooms and suites that pop with color and unusual nautical touches.
Every room is different, the staff is amazing, there are multiple sitting rooms all around the property for guests to enjoy and there’s a back patio deck! They also offer a complimentary small plate breakfast (more on that later) that is legit amazing!
Lark Hotels are hands down some of the best-decorated hotels I’ve ever stayed in, the décor truly embraces the locations that they are in and I can’t recommend them enough!
The one restaurant that I literally could not wait to eat at was The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar so we made sure to make reservations when we booked our trip because I was NOT missing out on going there! I personally think it’s the best restaurant in Newport – best food and best sunset view – and I highly encourage adding it to your itinerary!
We got there a little early and were able to sit at the bar before dinner – the dirty martinis were delicious! Then once we were seated we ordered oysters (obviously) and the Bag of Doughnuts which are lobster & shrimp fritters with chipotle-maple mayo and BEYOND delicious!
For your main dish I can not recommend the Portuguese Roasted Cod enough! I’ve literally been dreaming about this dish since my last trip to Newport 5 years ago and it didn’t disappoint!
I also recommend the Sweet Onion Dip, Pan Roasted Cod, Seared Scallops and Crispy Redfish!
One of the perks of staying at The Attwater is that every morning they have coffee and breakfast small plates out in the lobby for you to enjoy! I’m not normally a breakfast as soon as I wake up type of person, but when I’m on vacation I love being able to eat a little something and drink a cup of coffee as I’m getting ready. And the breakfast bites they offer are AMAZING – and I’m not exaggerating. The offerings change every day, but some of my favorites have got to be Overnight Oats, Chia Seed Pudding, Muffins, Croissants and more!
Another reason I love staying at The Attwater and not one of the hotels in the harbor is that it’s right off Bellevue and in the middle of Newport, only a few blocks away from everything! It’s not a trip to Newport without a Cliff Walk visit so after a quick breakfast we walked over to the North End Entrance near Easton Beach!
If you’re not familiar with the Cliff Walk its a 3.5 mile walk along the shoreline. Most of it is an easy walk, but there are some rocky spots so I recommend wearing sneakers! There are also plenty of places to exit the walk so you don’t have to do the entire thing. We usually exit near Belmont Beach!
Whether it’s your first trip here or your hundredth this walk and its views never get old.
Make sure to snag a photo at Forty Steps!
It’s near the beginning of the walk and a great spot for photos of the shoreline.
If you do any mansion tours while you’re visiting Newport I recommend The Breakers. All of the Newport Mansions are beyond amazing, but The Breakers, the Vanderbilt family’s “Summer cottage” is by far the most opulent and not to be missed!
If The Breakers isn’t open for tours or you’re not able to get a ticket don’t worry you can still get a great view of it from the Cliff Walk and then on Bellevue Ave!
Since we visited in April all of the daffodils all over town were blooming and it made for quite the show!
We exited the Cliff Walk near Belmont Beach and walked through some of the Salve Regina Campus. And along Bellevue Avenue eventually making our way back to towards Thames St. We had lunch at Midtown Oyster, another favorite of mine in Newport! We sat at the bar to eat. But if you’re visiting in the Summer try and get a table on the rooftop! Order the Midtown Oyster Stout (BEYOND DELICIOUS) and the Blackened Salmon BLT.
We went back to the hotel for a little after lunch then headed to Stoneacre Brasserie for dinner. The inside of the restaurant is so beautiful and even if you only make it there for a drink it’s worth it!
The menu is small and ever changing featuring the freshest ingredients and while you can see a sample menu on their website it may be different when you get there! We ordered the Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs & Steak Frites.
After dinner we went and grabbed a drink at One Pelham East, but it honestly wasn’t worth it so I’d skip if I was you.
Our last morning we got up and had a few small breakfast plates at the hotel while we were getting ready then checked out of the hotel before doing a last bit of eating and exploring.
We were dying to try Diego’s Newport after so many people recommended it! We weren’t able to snag a dinner reservation, but we did get one for Saturday Brunch and magically got the best table in the whole restaurant overlooking the harbor!
The decor inside Diego’s is SO cool – super colorful and amazing wallpaper – and the food did not disappoint. Order the Diego’s House Bloody, Nitro Coffee, Tinga Chilaquiles & The Bowen Breakfast Burrito.
The next time I go to Newport I’m making a dinner reservation here well in advance because the dinner menu looks even more amazing than the brunch one!
After brunch we did a little bit more wandering, I’m a sucker for any cities with colorful houses (think Charleston, Key West, etc.) and Newport does not disappoint! And this morning they really turned the charm on!
We left Newport around noon to head back home and I already miss it!
the best Newport restaurants:
- Cru Cafe
- Belles Cafe
- Perro Salado
- Cafe at The Chandler Hotel
- Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant
- Wharf Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar
- 22 Bowen
- Surf Club & Surf Shack
- Newport Landing
- The Lobster Bar
- White Horse Tavern
Activities to do in Newport:
- Take the ten mile drive on Ocean Drive
- Watch the sunset in Adirondack chairs on the Castle Hill Inn Lawn
- If you’re visiting in the Summer make sure to head to the beach! Easton’s Beach is my favorite, but Newport has a bunch!
- Spend the day at Newport Vineyards and Taproot Brewing Co. They offer tastings and tours and you can also dine at their farm-to-table restaurant.
- Igloo Village at The Reef in the Winter
- Fort Adams State Park
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Newport:
- Make reservations for dinner (& lunch if you can). During the summer all the restaurants get super busy so reservations are a must! It’s essential to book ahead of time especially if you’re only spending 48 hours in Newport and you have your heart set on eating somewhere in particular.
- Make time to wander! You probably won’t move your car the entire time 48 hours in Newport (unless you’re driving Ocean Drive or heading to a farther away beach) and wandering around the small town is the best way to see everything. Just like in Charleston, all the hidden gems especially the beautiful colorful houses you don’t want to miss are tucked away in all the small streets.
PIN my 48 Hours in Newport Travel Guide for LATER:
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Location: Newport, Rhode Island | Photos: Christine Lasagne & myself