Newport Activities

Activity neighborhood
Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals
Fort Adams State Park, Rams Head
Each year, Fort Adams State Park, with its 360° views of the harbor and Naragansett Bay, hosts two long-standing music festivals (among the first of their kind): The Newport Folk Festival from July 25th to 27th, and The Newport Jazz Festival, August 1st through 3rd. While the folk festival veers toward indie musicians like Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst and Band of Horses, the jazz festival, has stuck with traditional big-name headliners like Wynton Marsalis, Lee Konitz, and Ravi Coltrane.
Redwood Library
50 Bellevue Ave., Downtown
Founded in 1747, this is the oldest lending library in America. Its history is pronounced: There’s a wide selection of rare and first-edition hardcover books on the shelves, while portraits of prominent leaders hang above. It’s a great place to think and read, especially in the large Terry Reading Room. There’s also their version of a bookstore in the back: At the 1747 Store, anything from an old design hardcover to an esoteric history book can be bought for as little as 50 cents.
The Newport Sailing School and Tours
Goat Island Marina, Marina Plaza
Newport is basically mecca in the sailing community. It hosts several big-name regattas, including the Americas Cup (The Newport Regatta was June 9th-12th). If you’re new to the sport, there are plenty of spots offering lessons, though this family-run business on Goat Island—in operation since the ‘60s—is one of the classics. They offer courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced sailors in two to four class packages, ideal if you’re staying in Newport for a short stint. If you’re only in town for the weekend and looking to get out on the water, you can also book an hour’s tour of the harbor and Naragansett Bay.
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