There’s no doubt Newport, R.I., shines in the summer. The city’s nod to its history combined with its idyllic coastal location attracts visitors from near and far. But if you suspect the fun ends as August draws to a close, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn there are plenty of Newport attractions and events for everyone, well into the off-season.
Newport’s famous beaches can’t be missed during summer vacation, but you can enjoy the benefit of sunbathing and riding the waves with fewer crowds and free admission after Labor Day. The temperatures in Rhode Island are still warm in September, and you’ll find the water temperature is also fairly mild.
Newport Keeps Buzzing Into Fall
Fun activities occur throughout the month of September on Aquidneck Island.
If you love being on the water and are perhaps in the market for some new boating equipment, be sure to attend the Newport International Boat Show, conveniently located right in Newport Harbor and featuring over 600 boating specialists and exhibitors.
Before you book a flight to Europe to attend Oktoberfest, consider staying stateside to revel in the activities of the fall celebration in Newport as the city hosts its second annual Oktoberfest on the sprawling lawns of Fort Adams State Park. Here guests 21 years or older will find German beer, wine, food and live music.
Looking to learn about food, wine and spirits in a historic and refined setting? Head to the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival where you can attend various seminars, a wine dinner, or a lavish brunch at the famous Rosecliff mansion.
Automobile aficionados shouldn’t miss Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week when historic cars descend on the city. The event honors Newport’s historical connection to automobiles with the city being home to the Vanderbilt Cup, the nation’s very first automobile race.
Head over to neighboring Middletown, R.I., for the day where the whole family will love attending the Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fair. Discover the island’s best tomatoes and sunflowers at the home and garden competition, hop on a hayride, sample food truck cuisine or participate in fun field games like potato sack races and tug of war.
Newport Polo fun runs every Saturday through the month of September in nearby Portsmouth, R.I. Plan ahead and reserve a picnic area or pavilion table or attend on a whim and purchase lawn tickets at the gate.
And if you didn’t get a chance to see the creative Umbrella Sky Newport exhibit at Brick Market during the summer, the artistic display continues to be featured through the month of September. Upon entering the market, look up and you’ll find more than 500 umbrellas of various colors floating above you, offering both creativity and imagination.
Maybe you have a family tradition of heading to a local farm to pick your own strawberries or raspberries during the summer, but early fall brings a new season of fun and yumminess.
At Sweet Berry Farm, a favorite local Aquidneck Island outdoor destination, you can pick both peaches and blackberries through the month of September. Over in Little Compton, R.I., visit the 5-acre orchard at Young Family Farm, where you’ll find 10 different varieties of apples and pumpkin picking through October. Apple fans also won’t want to miss Rocky Brook Orchard, in Portsmouth, which features 60 types of apples, as well as peaches and pears, all for your picking pleasure.
Newport’s famous jazz and folk festivals may be over until next summer, but you can still find live music at various Newport venues.
Not far from Newport’s city center, the Shops at Long Wharf free summer concerts continue through early October. Stroll in and enjoy the sweet sounds of bands specializing in a variety of genres including classic rock and jazz.
Or board the Coastal Queen as it departs from nearby Jamestown, R.I., for a sunset cruise complete with music performed by The Narrow River Band. Bring your dancing shoes and hit the dance floor or relax on the deck while you tap your feet to the beat.
As September winds down, Linden Place Mansion, in Bristol, R.I., will host an event on its lawns featuring barbecue food and southern rock you won’t be able to help but jam to.
So, what are you waiting for? Discover Newport today.