Our site doesn’t have a paywall and all of our content and newsletters are always free to read.
Instead, reader support and advertising from local businesses power our locally owned, independent newsroom. If you like what we do, a contribution of $8/month means more than you’d think, and any amount helps.
Set for this weekend (September 17-20th, 2015) on Newport Harbor is the Newport International Boat Show (NIBS), the kick-off to the boat show season and a prime time to experience fall in New England.
It’s also one of the largest in-water boat shows in the country – hosting exhibitors from around the world with an exceptional assortment of sailboats, powerboats, marine equipment, services and accessories for boaters.
“In addition to attending the Newport International Boat Show, visitors should make plans to enjoy all that our seaside retreat has to offer,” said Nancy Piffard, show director of Newport Exhibition Group. “Our historic landmarks, amazing architecture, award winning restaurants, boutiques and museums should not be missed!”
Below are a few suggestions for enjoyment while in town.
The America’s Cup
Newport is steeped in nautical tradition. Early maritime trade built a thriving colonial town with rich architectural detail, while the predictable cooling summer breezes later attracted the summer colony of the grand mansions. For these same reasons, the New York Yacht Club chose to sail in Newport and make it the host for the America’s Cup from 1930-2003. Newport was and continues to be one of the best sailing venues on the East coast of the United States. The America’s Cup trophy was held by the New York Yacht Club from 1857 until 1983, the longest winning streak in the history of the sport. Some of the original yachts used in these regattas still call Newport their home and can often be seen racing in Narragansett Bay.
The Audrain Automobile Museum was established in the Fall of 2014 with the vision of becoming one of the most highly regarded automotive museums in New England, a beacon for the local community and a hub for car enthusiasts everywhere.
The Audrain collection is comprised of over 112 of the most remarkable vehicles in history. The museum houses fully restored vehicles that were built from the beginning of the 20th century to the modern day. To keep the museum fresh, the entire collection is never displayed at once. Instead, vehicles are showcased based on periodically changing exhibition themes. This gives visitors and members of the museum the opportunity to have a completely unique experience with each visit.
Fort Adams State Park
During its years of active service, Fort Adams housed generations of soldiers. Now the Fort is open to tours, and offers spectacular views of the bay and a wealth of history for enthusiasts. Bay Walks begin at the Fort and take visitors along the picturesque East Passage of Narragansett Bay with unobstructed views of the sun setting over Conanicut Island or to the east side of the bay, overlooking Newport Harbor and the downtown waterfront as well as picturesque Brenton Cove – one of the area’s most popular anchorages.
Scenic Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive, a National Historic Landmark District, with its spectacular views was once a favorite picnicking spot of the wealthy summer residents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today it is a favorite route for tourists who enjoy the breathtaking vistas.
The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo that Cornelius Vanderbilt II commissioned to be built in 1893, is the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages”. Today, the mansion is a National Historic Landmark and stands as a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence during the turn of the 20th century. The Breakers, and other Bellevue Avenue mansions such as Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Chateau-sur-Mer and more, are open and available for tours.
A visit to Newport is not complete without a stop by Castle Hill Inn for drinks or lunch. The epitome of classic New England style and elegance, Castle Hill Inn is located on a 40-acre peninsula at the western-most tip of Newport and the entrance to Narragansett Bay. Its rolling lawn down to the water’s edge is a timeless Newport icon.
Newport National Golf Club
Established in 1893 on the site of a 140-acre farm, the Newport National Golf Club is one of the earliest golf clubs in America and the playground of the Newport elite. A founding club of the Amateur Golf Association and the forefather of the United States Golf Association, Newport National Golf Club hosted the first U.S. Amateur Championship and the first U.S. Open.
International Tennis Hall of Fame
The first United States Lawn Tennis Association championships were held in Newport in 1881 and continued through 1914. In 1954, on those same grounds, the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum was established and officially sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association. The Hall of Fame hosts several tournaments including the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. Part of the ATP (Association of Tennis Pros) World Tour, the tournament is the only grass court event in North America.