Newport, R.I., is best known for its peaceful coastal views, stunning historical sites and delicious local seafood. While summer is popular for tourists, winter in Newport exudes charm, nostalgia and a peaceful quiet that warm-weather crowds don’t have the opportunity to experience.
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or just need a relaxing daytrip, Newport has something for everyone, no matter the season.
The Famous Mansions
No matter the season, a trip to Newport isn’t complete without a tour of the opulent mansions. Tours are given daily, showcasing these architectural marvels. You can visit The Breakers, Rosecliff and Marble House in January and February. If you’re interested in learning about the homes’ inner workings, a new underground tour explores the basement and boiler room of The Breakers, with a little history thrown in from the diary of the home’s engineer.
Indulge in Local Cuisine
Newport’s food scene is just as rich as the city’s history. Christopher Hughes, assistant branch manager at the AAA Middletown branch, R.I., and Newport native, provided some suggestions. If you want to splurge a little on your weekend away, the Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn is the “all-star Newport” place to go for dinner. Be prepared for a culinary journey at the AAA Four Diamond Rated restaurant, with the option of a three-, four- or six-course dining experience and over 800 wine selections. For a more casual experience, Midtown Oyster Bar offers local seafood dishes, along with sandwiches, salads, steaks and more.
Newport Winter Festival
New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza, as it bills itself, is the perfect antidote for beating the winter blues. From Feb. 15-24, visitors can take part in all sorts of events, from beach polo and ice sculpting demonstrations to a mac and cheese smackdown and twinkling illuminated gardens. There’s even an ice bar – Polar Pineapples – at Gurney’s Newport Resort. Bundle up!
Seal Watch Tours
Summer isn’t the only time to head out on the water. Save the Bay hosts seal watch tours from November through April, where you can board an education vessel and observe harbor seals resting on rocks in Narragansett Bay. Opt for the two-hour excursion for a tour of Rose Island Lighthouse.