How to Explore Newport Like the Wealthy
We name the top 7 things you must do to get the full City by the Sea experience.
You have a full day ahead, so begin with a hearty breakfast.
Don’t let the red barn façade fool you, the White Horse Tavern is all class with glossy hardwoods, crisp white tablecloths and napkins and candlelit lighting. And while the dinner menu is peppered in delicious dishes like Rhode Island mushroom saute and Narragansett Bay bouillabaisse, the brunch menu is a local favorite, boasting items like “Farewell Benedict” eggs and cranberry pecan french toast. Just note: It’s one of the oldest (if not the oldest) running taverns in the United States, so give respect where respect is due and remember take heed of its business casual dress code.
In a rush? Grab a bagel with boursin cream cheese to go at Rosemary and Thyme Cafe.
Visit Newport’s “summer cottages.”
The grandest of them all, the Breakers is a seventy-room Italian Renaissance-style mansion on Ocher Point Avenue. The wealthy Vanderbilt family had it constructed in 1893 and later named it in recognition of the waves that continually crash into the base of the cliff it stands on.
Another Vanderbilt property, the Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 before going on to serve as a social and architectural landmark that transformed the Newport community. Reports say that $7 million dollars was spent on acquiring the 500,000 cubic feet of marble that makes up the building alone.
Rosecliff was first commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899. Costing more than $2 million to build, Oelrich used the mansion to put on fabulous soirees including a fairy tale-themed dinner party featuring famed magician Harry Houdini.
Note: More historic houses worth touring in Newport include the Elms, the Chateau-sur-Mer, Rough Point and the Whitehorne House.
Enjoy a lunch fit for a Vanderbilt.
After working up an appetite while taking a scenic stroll along the Cliffwalk, stop by the nearby Spiced Pear restaurant at the Chanler. Its cuisine blends New England and French dishes into perfect dining harmony. And, thanks to its oceanfront view, you can bask in all the elegance and relaxation that this eatery has to offer.
Seen enough of this part of Newport already? Then head on over to the OceanCliff instead and grab a bite at its onsite waterfront restaurant, the Safari Room.
Take an afternoon sail around the bay.
What better way to soak up the sunset over the Newport waters than with a sail around the bay? Both of Sailing Excursions’ yachts, the Adirondack II and the Sloop Eleanor, will allow you to enjoy seaside views of the mansions, a nineteenth-century military fort, the Newport and Jamestown bridges and beautiful antique lighthouses.
If sailboats aren’t your preferred method of seafaring travel, look into Gansett Cruises for a private charter tour (or perhaps even a helicopter ride!).
Catch an evening Polo Match.
Unlike your more common sporting events, a polo match is the type of event where there’s just as much to see off the field as on thanks to spectators’ inclination to dress to the nines and sip on fabulous artisan cocktails. If you’re looking to get in on the highbrow action, the Newport International Polo Series hosts professional games every Saturday at 5 p.m. sharp.
Interested in a shopping break instead? Check out page 33 for the lo down on the local Broadway District and Thames Street.
Satiate your seafood cravings.
Originally built in the 1920s, the Black Pearl is a time-honored establishment that is dedicated to providing both locals and visitors alike with an authentic New England experience. That includes your choice of dining in the elegant Commodore’s Room or al fresco with uninterrupted dockside views, as well as a robust seafood menu filled with fresh raw bar samples and savory steak and seafood entrees.
Can’t get a reservation? More upscale restaurant choices include the Newport Playhouse and Cabaret, the Mooring, the Bouchard Inn and Restaurant and 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar and Grill.
And finally, get your groove thang on.
Grab drinks and dance the night away with local musicians amongst the cool, unfiltered ocean breezes at the Landing. People from old New England money might seem stuffy at first glance, but we assure you they like to let loose every now and again, too.
Bar hoppers should also check out O’Brien’s Pub, One Pelham East, the Boom Boom Room at Clarke Cooke House and Dockside.
Want to hit the beach?
You can really experience how the other half lives by enlisting the services of a Beach Butler from the Hotel Viking for the day.