Already planning next summer’s big vacay? Check out Newport, RI, an idyllic New England hidden gem perfect for escaping the heat of the South in spring and summer.
I recently visited Newport for the first time for a girlfriend’s wedding weekend (hello, rehearsal dinner on a sailboat) and for the iconic Newport Folk Festival (more on that in a moment).
- Vibe: Newport is Coastal Grandmother Summer realized. Not only is the landscape stunning (think: sailboats and hydrangeas everywhere you look), but the decor and street style is nautical and old money chic, too.
- Weather: The town averages a high of 76° in June and July, so it’s an ideal summer getaway (avoid it in the winter if you’re Southern, like me).
- Culture: Newport made headlines in July 2022 for a surprise guest appearance and performance by legendary folk singer Joni Mitchell at Newport Folk: Joni Mitchell Performs at Length for First Time in 22 Years at Surprise Newport Folk Festival Appearance (Variety)
- Guides: Wildsam Field Guides: New England, What to do in Newport, RI on TikTok, This Tavern Is The Oldest Restaurant In The United States (Mashed)
Act like a local:
- Food: Bag of Doughnuts at The Mooring ($16), Lobster Salad Sandwich at The Black Pearl ($34), nachos at Diego’s ($17), Hangover Cure at kaffeology ($9)
- Drink: Nitro Mocha Oat Latte at Nitro Bar ($6), Dante’s Inferno (pro tip: get it ‘large format’ for a group) at Stoneacre Garden ($110), Gin-gnonette oyster shooter ($10) + Narragansett Fresh Catch ($6) at Midtown Oyster Bar
- Outdoors: Stroll the Cliff Walk (free), go on a ticketed sunset sail ($55) or just take the ferry in and out of Providence ($24 roundtrip), walk the winery fields at Newport Vineyards (access free with purchase), watch the sunset on The Lawn at Castle Hill (free)
- Listen: Newport Folk Festival (July 28-30, 2023), Newport Blues Café (pro tip: snag coveted tickets to the official Newport Folk After Shows here ahead of time)
- Learn: Tuck into the bar at America’s oldest restaurant, The White Horse Tavern, and learn its ghost stories from the bartender
- Shop: Newport sweater at the KJP Flagship Store at Bowen’s Wharf ($128), Original Recycled-Sail Seabag duffle at Resails ($169), Sea salt dark chocolate at Rhode Island Reef ($5), Newport map coaster set at Frazzleberries ($30)
Where to stay:
- Vrbo: Pet-friendly Point cottage within a walk to the water (~$290/night)*
- Airbnb: Apartment in Middletown (~10-min. Uber to waterfront) (~$125/night)
- Splurge hotel: The Chanler at Cliff Walk (luxury, baby) (~$1,400/night)
- Save hotel: East Island Reserve Hotel (where we stayed) (~$230/night)
Newport is absolutely worth a planned trip. Trust me, you’ll want to go back every summer.
Bonus message from our partner: If you’re looking to book this trip, Scott’s Cheap Flights offers all the affordable flight hacks from your home airport. Sign up here.*