Rhode Island Activities
Antique Yacht Collection
31 Bowens Wharf, Newport
Locals will tell you that the best way to see Newport is by boat—from the Narragansett Bay, you'll have gorgeous views of the town's rocky coastline and beautiful mansions, plus the over-the-top yachts and sailboats the town is famous for. Husband-and-wife team Greg and Alana have several stunning antique boats in their lineup, with the capacity for a romantic sunset cruise for two, or up to 68 passengers on a tall sailing ship. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks, or Alana can arrange for catering through the company.
Newport Polo Club
250 Linden Ln., Portsmouth
Newport's polo club is the oldest in the country (founded in 1876), so it's no surprise that the grounds are a huge part of the appeal here; the original property was called Glen Farm, and was complete with an incredible stone barn and stable. There are matches every Saturday in the summer, and the tailgate is an important part of the scene–regulars will have huge spreads and tents, but all you need is a bottle of champagne, cheese, and a picnic blanket to take part. Elaborate Kentucky-Derby-style hats are highly encouraged.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame
194 Bellevue Ave., Bellevue
Newport's preppy reputation precedes it, so it's fitting that the town is home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Housed in the former Newport Casino (a grand, old shingle-style building that's officially a National Historic Landmark), it's home to exhibitions of historic memorabilia–including some incredible old-school tennis whites–as well as several beautifully maintained tennis courts. Book a time slot in advance, and you can play a few games on the immaculate historic grass courts.
769 Sachuest Point Rd., Middletown
Despite Newport's serious yacht culture, the gorgeous scenery can still be enjoyed with both feet on solid ground.
117 Memorial Blvd., Cliff Walk
On one side, take in the stunning coastline and on the other you'll get a stellar view of many of Newport’s gilded age era mansions.
Classic Cruises of Newport
24 Bannister's Wharf, Newport Wharf
Classic Cruises and their custom tours take full advantage of the amazing vantage point that is the water in Newport. Thrill seekers can relive the sea chases of the prohibition era on high-speed motorboat Rum Runner II, built in 1929. Meanwhile, the romantics can glide through Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay on the seventy-two-foot schooner, The Madeleine. The incredibly knowledgeable crew will give you the insider scoop on every cove, lighthouse, and seaside home on the coastline. Aim for a sunset cruise to take in the scenery with a glass of wine‚ and for those looking for an even more special experience, the boats are available for small groups and private charter.
Mobile Kayaks takes all the hassle out of renting water sports equipment and brings the kayaks and paddle boards to you and your party.
175 Memorial Blvd., Easton Bay
This is one of Newport’s most popular beaches (which means you’ll be braving the crowds) but it’s a worthwhile stop if you’re traveling with kids for its playground, old-school merry-go-round, dime-size aquarium, Del’s Lemonade (an RI classic), and lobster rolls at the snack bar. There are better swimming holes, but Newport’s only ocean beach boasts the most attractions.
Green Animals Topiary Garden
380 Cory’s Lane, Downtown
The name pretty much explains why this is an ideal daytrip for kids. Take a picnic (stop by Le Petit Gourmet enroute) and head 20 minutes out of town to Portsmouth. There’s a mansion on the property with an antique toy collection, but the real attraction is the multitude of topiary animals, geometric shapes, and manicured flower gardens outdoors.
Second Beach, Middletown
While pro surfers head to Newport to catch ten and 15 foot swells at Ruggles break point, there are gentler beaches like Second where the waves are more appropriate for beginners. It’s here that Rhody’s instructors teach one hour private and group lessons (they also provide all the necessary equipment). Kids can also join their week-long morning surf camps—sign up online, as they fill up quickly.
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