Famous for its Gilded Age mansions, top-notch sailing, and stellar seafood, Newport, Rhode Island makes for the perfect weekend getaway. Here, we offer the best places to eat, play, and sleep in the picturesque New England town.
Eat: You can’t get more Rhode Island than Flo’s Clam Shack (check opening and hours). This shabby seafood joint is famous for fried clams, clam cakes, and undressed lobster rolls. For dinner, head to Stoneacre Brasserie. The restaurant’s incredibly cozy interior, with printed, pillow-covered banquettes and antique fans, matches the unfussy, and locally driven American fare. Here, you’ll find everything from buttery biscuits to bluefish pate.
Sleep: Book a room at the sleek, LEED-certified Forty 1° North, which offers fireplaces, two-person soaking tubs, and beds laid with Frette linens. Common areas are filled with chic furniture, which make for an ideal pre-dinner cocktail. The handsome library -- with a roaring fire and billiards tables -- beckons in cooler months, while the outdoor bar is filled with guests sipping Sauvignon Blanc in summer.
Play: Newport is known as one of America’s best places for sailing, and a cruise along the bay can make for one of those just-perfect New England days. To truly earn your chops on the water, America’s Cup Charters lets you take the helm of a sailing yacht. For something more leisurely, there’s Newport’s famous Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile stroll that offers sweeping views of the shoreline and the town’s grand mansions. To get a better sense of the mansions, however, you’ll want to step inside. The arrival of the wealthy Vanderbilt family brought palatial summer “cottages” to this picturesque town, and you’d be remiss not to visit The Breakers -- a European-style mansion touted as the most opulent in Newport (note: closed until May 5).