Newport County: Newport Cliff Walk
Newport County is in Rhode Island. Constituted in 1703, as one of the two original counties of Rhode Island, it is one of the most historic and culturally rich counties in Rhode Island. Covering 314 square miles, with about 200 miles of that being water, Newport county is full of opportunity for all people.Whether it is nature, art, history, or food you enjoy, Newport County has a lot to offer any traveler.
Cities and Towns
- Jamestown :According to the 2010 census, Jamestown is home to 5,405. This town is almost entirely situated on Conanicut Island which is the second largest island in the Narragansett Bay. Jamestown is home to two waterfront state parks, lots of shopping and delicious restaurants.
- Little Compton:This small town has only a population of around 3,492 people according to the 2010 census. Little Compton is located on the same land mass as Tiverton, and it’s significantly disconnected from the rest of Rhode Island. A fun fact about this town is that it was the birthplace of the Rhode Island Red Hen.
- Middletown:According to the 2010 census this town is home to 16,150 people. It is also located on the Aquidneck Island in between its neighboring towns, Portsmouth and Newport, hence the name Middletown.
- Newport:Newport is located on the Aquidneck Island and is home to around 24,672 people according to the 2010 census. This amazing town is home to the Newport Mansions, Salve Regina University and the United States Naval War College. Newport also contains among the highest number of surviving colonial buildings out of any city in the United States.
- Portsmouth:This town is located on the Aquidneck Island and according to the 2010 census, it is home to around 17,389 people. Portsmouth also consists of a few smaller islands including Prudence Island, Patience Island, Hog Island and Hope Island.
- Tiverton:This town of Tiverton is home to 15,780 according to the 2010 census. It is also located along with Little Compton on a land mass which is disconnected from the rest of the state of Rhode Island.
No matter what town of Newport County you are residing in, you have easy access to any other part of Rhode Island. The capital city of Providence is no more than 50 minutes away from the furthest area of Newport County. There is so much history in the city of Providence and it is only a short car ride away. Other nearby areas include Boston and Martha's Vineyard which are both in Massachusetts. Boston is about an hour and 45 minutes away and Martha's Vineyard is about a 2 1/2 hour drive. Boston is an amazing fast paced city and Martha's Vineyard is a more relaxed beach island. Either way Newport County is nearby some amazing tourist attractions.
Although if you are looking for other areas to visit that are a little closer by, Narragansett and South Kingstown are no more than 30 minutes away. In the summertime Narragansett is a popular tourist attraction filled with restaurants and beaches. In the winter, the tourists leave and this town becomes a beautiful winter beach spot for locals and the University of Rhode Island college students. South Kingston is another amazing beach town although it is a little quieter than Narragansett. This town is a perfect get away from the fast speed lifestyle of Newport County.
Newport County is a great county for going out, shopping and just having fun by the water. This county is just one of five counties in the state of Rhode Island. It consists of six towns; Portsmouth, Newport, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown and Tiverton. According to the 2010 census the population of this county was 82,888. Whether you’re from Rhode Island or not, Newport County is a great destination to travel to. In the summer time this area is swarmed with tourists from all over. There are many famous restaurants and historical sites in Newport County. One may find themselves touring the famous Newport mansions or taking a stroll along the Cliff Walk in Newport. In the fall, winter and springtime this is a leisurely county to enjoy with some of the locals and college students from the amazing Salve Regina University.
Since Newport County is a part of Rhode Island, the weather is never predictable. A great aspect of Rhode Island is that this state experiences every season to the fullest. In Newport County one will find hot, beautiful summers and cold winters engulfed in snow. Newport County is an amazing place to experience all the beauty of the seasons!
As in all of Rhode Island, you will find that many people talk with a New England accent which consists of a broad a and removing the letter r from any words. You will find that in Newport County, Aquidneck Island is referred to as the "island" and many people on this island refuse to leave it, especially if they have to cross both bridges.
There are several ways to get into Newport County depending on where you are coming from.
T.F. Green Airport (Warwick, RI)- located about 25 miles away from Newport County, T.F. Green (PVD) is the closest airport serving all major domestic airlines. These airlines include Air Canada, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, United Airlines and US Airways. Once your plane arrives at T.F. Green, there are several ways to get from the Airport to Newport County. The Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority offers several transportation options by bus. They also offer connecting service to most cities and towns in Rhode Island at Kennedy Plaza bus hub in downtown Providence. RIPTA buses 1, 14, and 20 stop at the end of the commercial roadway near the airport terminal. The bus routes from the airport are as follows:
Route #1: Cranston (Broad St. & Elmwood Ave.), Providence (Broad, Eddy & Richmond Streets), Warwick (Post Rd. & Warwick Ave.).
Route #8: Providence (via Jefferson Blvd. & Rt. 95) and Warwick (Buttonwoods & Greenwood).
Route #14: East Greenwich, Narragansett, Newport, North Kingstown, Providence (express), Warwick (south).
Route #20: Cranston (Elmwood Ave.), Providence (Broad St. & Elmwood Ave.) , Warwick (Elmwood Ave. & Post Rd.).
Rental cars are also available at T.F. Green. Major rental car services available include Alamo, Enterprise, Payless, Avis, Firefly, Thrifty, Budget, Hertz, Zipcar, Dollar, and National.
Taxi services are also available. Orange Cab Airport Shuttle (Newport/Middletown) serves Newport County with daily service between T.F. Green/Interlink and the Newport Naval Base, as well as the following area hotels: Holiday Inn Express, Courtyard Marriott, Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, Homewood Suites/Hilton, and the Best Western/Mainstay. Airport Taxi and Limousine Service also provides transportation from T.F. Green to surrounding areas.
Logan International Airport (Boston, MA)- located about 75 miles away from Newport County. Logan serves domestic airlines from all over the world. Once you have arrived at Logan, there are various ways of finding transportation to Newport County. These include: the MBTA commuter rail, Peter Pan Bus service, rental car service, and taxi service.
Newport State Airport (Newport, RI)- located within Newport County, this small airport offers service for executive jets. Charter service is also available to T.F. Green, Logan, and JFK airports.
Amtrak- Amtrak train stations are nearby both in Kingston, RI and in Providence, RI. Amtrak discounts are offered to AAA members, students, military, seniors, children and more. Routes can be found on the amtrak website.
Getting to Newport County is simple using interstate highways, I-95, I-195, and 24.
Now that you are in Newport County, there are several ways to get around! There are buses, taxis, tours, and other ground transportation available to make sure you see all you can during your stay.
A Peter Pan Bus Lines/Bonanza Bus Lines station available on America's Cup Avenue in Newport. This bus line will help you explore surrounding areas. Routes, prices, and schedules are available on their website. Greyhound Bus Lines are also available for transportation.
The Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority offers several bus routes around Newport County. Some RIPTA lines to be aware of within Newport County are as follows:
Route 60 (Providence/Newport)
Route 63 - Purple Line (Broadway/Middletown Shop)
Route 64 - (Newport/URI/Kingston Train Station)
Route 67 - Yellow Line (Bellevue/Mansions)
- Orange Cab, Phone: +1 401-841-0030.
- Newport Cabs, Phone: +1 401-841-0047.
- Cozy Cabs, Phone: +1 401-846-2500.
- Yellow Cab, Phone: 1-401-846-1500.
- Moriarty’s Taxi, Phone: +1 401-841-0030.
The two main roads on the island are East and West Main Road. These are routes 138 and 114 respectively. When traveling from Jamestown, you will be on Route 138 and you can follow this through the island to Route 24 where you will pass through Tiverton and Little Compton. Traffic conditions are not ideal on the "island", with many stop lights and intersections, so plan ahead when travelling. The Newport Bridge has a toll of $4 per axle which can be expensive for the traveler. If you own an EZPass make sure to bring it along!
- Ocean Drive, Newport This is a 10 mile drive along the beautiful Newport shoreline. Along the drive you will see, Green Bridge, The Private Beaches (Gooseberry Beach, Hazards Beach, Bailey's Beach), Brenton Point State Park, Castle Hill Inn, and many gorgeous houses that hug the shoreline.
- Fort Adams, Newport. Over 180 years of history, the Fort itself is the largest coastal fortress in the United States and offers seasonal guided tours that showcase the property’s soldier’s quarters, Naval War College Museum Exhibit, beautiful architecture and engineering. Besides looking at the splendor that is Fort Adams, you can see the view of the Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. There are also various festivals and events that are featured on the field. Some of the past events include Family Day, Folk Festival, Jazz Festival, and an annual clambake. Check out their website: http://www.fortadams.org/.
- Green Animals Topiary Garden, Portsmouth. A great place to bring the kids and enjoy the carefully decorated gardens. It is the oldest garden of its kind in the United States. There are more than 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens consisting mostly of animals and birds. It is open seasonally through the spring, summer and fall.
- Butterfly Zoo, Tiverton. Named Best of Rhode Island 2011 attraction by Yankee Mangazine, the Butterfly Zoo is home to a wide variety of butterflies from all over the world. They have unique gifts in the gift center including dry specimens of rare butterflies. Open on sunny days during June, July, and August.
- Donovan Gallery, Tiverton. This art gallery located at the popular Tiverton Four Corners site offers various forms of art including limited edition prints. All purchases are framed professionally.
- Sakonnet Light, Little Compton. Containing a lot of historical past, including being marked for demolition, a now family owned lighthouse is open for tours and functions as a lighthouse today.
A historical artifact that is a must see if you are in Newport County are the Newport Mansions. They consist of eleven historical sites that showcase historical house museums and usually offer functions throughout the year. When visiting these sites, make sure to join a tour for the best educational experience. The mansions are listed below:
- Astor's Beechwood Mansion, 580 Bellevue Avenue
- Belcourt Castle Bellevue Ave.
- The Breakers, Ruggles Ave.
- Chateau-sur-Mer, Bellevue Ave.
- Chepstow, Ruggles Ave.
- The Elms, Bellevue Ave.
- Hunter House, Washington St.
- Isaac Bell House, Bellevue Ave.
- Kingscote, Bellevue Ave.
- Marble House, Bellevue Ave.
- Ochre Court, Ochre Point Ave.
- Rosecliff, Bellevue Ave.
- Rough Point, Bellevue Ave.
For more information on the opportunities to see the mansions visit: http://wikitravel.org/en/Newport_%28Rhode_Island%29
One of the best things about Newport County are the beaches. The main part of Newport County is an island which means it is surrounded by lovely beaches. Here are the top beaches in all of the areas in Newport County.
- Easton's Beach,, Memorial Boulevard. This beach is best known as First Beach, and has a wonderful view of the beautiful Cliff Walk. The carousel, playground, and aquarium are perfect for children, while the concession stand and beach houses are nearby. Parking is available and there are restaurants within walking distance.
- Fort Adams State Beach, . Located in Fort Adams State Park on Ocean Avenue. Besides tours throughout the park, this historical site offers a beautiful beach with picnic and fishing areas. Concession stand and public bathrooms are also available.
- Gooseberry Beach, Ocean Avenue. This is a private beach club open to the public. Showers, chair rentals, and parking are available for guests. Seasonal parking passes are also available for those who can’t get enough.
- Sachuest Beach, Sachuest Point Road. Known as Second Beach, this is the largest beach in the area. Here you can find great surf, fine sand, showers, and a concession stand. Seasonal parking passes are available in the beginning of the summer season.
- Third Beach, Third Beach Road. This beach is known for its calm surf, which is perfect for water sports and small children. There are no public bathrooms or concession stand offered at this beach, but parking is available.
- Sandy Point Beach, Sandy Point Road. Little surf perfect for recreation such as swimming, rowing, boating, and scuba diving. It is free in the summer to get into this beach if you have a license from Rhode Island or $10 for the public.
- Mackerel Cove Beach, Beavertail Rd. Busy beach that has rough water which is perfect for boogie boarding at swimming. Lifeguards are on duty and parking is $15 per day. The beach is also open at night for walks, surfing and nighttime activities.
- Grinnell's Beach, Main Road. Grinnell's is a small family beach with lifegaurds, a playground, hiking and walking trails, fishing spots, picnic tables, benches, and parking. Weekday rate $5.00 Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
- South Shore Beach,Little Compton. Calm water where many locals and visitors gather. It is small and rocky but has beautiful ocean views. The beach doesn't have a concession stand, but a food cart is normal at the beach.
- International Tennis Hall of Fame , Bellevue Ave, Newport. This museum holds 18 galleries of the entire history of tennis in more than 20,000 square feet. The exhibits feature videos, memorabilia, and interesting facts about past and present tennis champions.
- Touro Synagogue National Historic Site, Touro Street,Newport. This is the oldest Jewish synagogue in the United States. Tours time vary, check their website at: http://www.tourosynagogue.org/. Tickets are $5 for adults and children under 13 are free.
- Beavertail, State Park and Lighthouse Museum, Beavertail Road, Jamestown. One of the oldest lighthouses on the east coast, it now houses a small museum and aquarium. Also offers four overlooks, hiking trails and a naturalist program for anyone interested in local ecology. Admission is free.
- Wilbor House, Barn, and Quaker Meeting House, West Road,Jamestown. Open during the summer months. Historic early 1700s building, maintained by Little Compton Historical Society. The Wilbor House was built during 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries and restored in 1956 by the Historical Society. Barn contains historical New England farm items and tools
One of the best parts of New England is the fact that we enjoy all four seasons. Being in Newport County, there is an unlimited supply of outdoor (and indoor) sports and recreational activities you can enjoy all year round!
When you come to Rhode Island, especially in the Newport County area, you really must take advatage of the amount of water surrounding our little state. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, boating, and much more. Here are a few places to get you started, but there is an unlimited supply of water activities in the area.
- Adventure Water Sports, Newport. They provide hourly rentals of jet skis, boats, kayaks and half/full day sailing, fishing, and yacht charters. Lessons and private tours are offered including photography tours of the harbor with a local photographer.
- Newport Sailing School and Tours. Goat Island Marina,Newport. Offers 1-2 hour leisure sailing tour of Newport Harbor on three different experience levels, including beginners.
- Surfing. The best place to surf in Newport County is at Second Beach in Middletown, especially for beginners. Ruggle's beach as rougher and larger swells for the more experiences surfer.
- SCUBA Diving at The Newport Diving Center, Newport. They offer snorkeling and scuba courses taught by trained professionals. Make sure to call ahead to make an appointment. They also offer gear to rent if you are already a certified diver.
- Newport National Golf Club, Newport. 18 hole golf course which offers great views on all of the holes and is open to the public.
- Newport Country Club, Newport. One of the oldest and most beautiful golf courses in the state, including a mansion for the clubhouse. Many professional golf tournaments have been held there. It is private but open to the public.
- Green Valley Country Club, Portsmouth. Featuring an 18-hole golf course with a driving range. The club house contains a bar and restaurant as well as banquet facilities. Open to the public.
- Montaup Country Club, Portsmouth. 18-hole golf course overlooking the Mt. Hope Bay and Bridge. Open to the public year round.
Because of the abundance of water in Newport County, there are many places to go fishing with varieties including striped bass, bluefish, and blackfish. The public and most accessible spots include Fort Adams, Brenton Point, and any of the public beaches. WARNING: In Rhode Island, there is a law that requires all fishers to obtain a liscense to fish in Rhode Island for seven dollars which can be purchased at the local Walmart.
- Sovereign Bank Skating Center', Newport. An outdoor skating arena open from November through March located in the center of downtown Newport. They offer lessons, rentals, and sharpening including concessions for all your warm winter treats.
- Skydive Newport', Newport State Airport. One of the only skydiving companies in New England, Skydive Newport offers a once in a lifetime opportunity. With only highly trained staff and safety equipment, you get to jump over the beaches and bay of Newport County.
Parks and trails
The selling point of Newport County is the amount of beautiful nature reserves in the area. No matter what town you end up exploring, every one offers so many opportunities to explore nature!
- Cliff Walk, Newport This beautiful walkway is about 3.5 miles. It offers beautiful ocean views as it hugs the ocean side and wildlife is common on the walk. The cliff walk also runs adjacent to many mansions, allowing a close up view of gorgeous pieces of architecture.
- Norman Bird Sanctuary,Third Beach Road, Middletown. This sanctuary encompasses over 300 acres full of wildlife including over 300 species of birds. There are about a dozen trails, about 1 mile each, that are open every day for exploring. You can access the hanging rock with overlooks of first beach. $6 for adults, $3 for children 3-12, children under 12 free.
- Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Sachuest Point Road, Middletown. A large refuge with over 240 acres that is full of scenic views and bird watching.Visitor center is open from 10-4.
- Weetamoo Woods ,Tiverton. With over 450 acres and 4 hiking trails, this is the best place to observe nature and even learn some history. A great place for locals or visitors.Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
- Ruecker Wildlife Refuge,Tiverton. This refuge has over 48 acres and 1.5 miles of trail. There is an assortment of wild animal and plant life. It hugs the Sakonnet river which allows for great views. It is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
- Fort Barton, Highland Road,Tiverton. Full of history, Fort Barton served as a staging area for troops when Aquidneck Island was invaded during the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. The park now comprises of three miles of trails including an observation tower which allows for panoramic views of the surrounding bodies of water. It is open year round from sunrise to sunset.
- Newport Gulls Baseball Team, Newport. During the summer, the team plays at the historic Cardine's Field. These games are family friendly with a special seventh inning stretch treat for the kids. Tickets at $4 for adults, $2 for ages 13-18, seniors, and military, and under 12, $1.
- Escobar’s Highland Farms Corn Maze, Portsmouth. This seasonal corn maze is a great fall activity for all ages. Their main atrraction is the corn maze, which changes shape every year, but also hold hayrides, cow trains, special events, and a pumpkin patch. It is open August through November.
- P-Greenvale Vineyards, Portsmouth.Located right on the Sakonnet River, this vineyard is family owned and operated and offers a variety of artisian wines. They offer wine tastings and tours daily from 10 to 5 for groups or friends or a romantic get away.
- Newport International Polo Series, Portsmouth. Located at the local Glen Farm, the international polo matches take place every Saturday evening throughout the summer and early fall. Many pack a picnic to enjoy the game, but food and beverages are offered.
There are many restaurants in Newport County that are worth visiting but here are a few you should try to stop in and have a bite. Individual listings can be found in the respective city articles
From Newport County you could go visit Narragansett in particular Galilee, a Fishing town where there are Ferries out to Block Island, or if you follow 138 you can end up in the campus of University of Rhode Island. Also you could go North and go up to Providence the capitol of Rhode Island where you can visit downtown and go to Water Fire at night or visit the Providence Place Mall. You could also visit Dartmouth (Massachusetts) where you can go shopping in the mall or the stores around.
|Routes through Newport County