Newport, R.I., is one of New England's most interesting coastal communities

From -- Home to spectacular coastal scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, a thriving waterfront downtown, and welcoming hospitality, Newport, Rhode Island is considered by many to be a shining gem in the coastal crown of New England.

Newport is conveniently located within driving distance of Boston (60 miles), Hartford (70 miles), and New York (150 miles). In addition, the destination is just 18 miles from T.F. Green Airport and within 40 miles of two Amtrak train stations (Providence & Kingston), making Newport easily accessible by car, plane, or train.

Founded in 1639 as a colony of religious freedom, Newport is now a treasure trove of historical sites such as Touro Synagogue (1763), the nation's oldest synagogue; the Newport Colony House (1739), the oldest state house in Rhode Island and the fourth oldest in the nation; Trinity Church (1698), the nation's first church steeple; and hundreds of preserved colonial homes and buildings.

In the late 1800s, America's wealthiest families chose Newport as their premiere resort destination. Today, visitors marvel at the magnificent Gilded Age mansions they built on Bellevue Avenue. Regarded by many as the grandest of Newport's treasures, this wide, tree-lined avenue is lined by Gothic Revival cottages, shingle-style houses, and opulent French and Italian-style palaces. The mansions, which bear notable names such as The Breakers, Marble House, Astorsí Beechwood, Belcourt Castle, and Rough Point, are now open for tours, and are always a impressive experience!

Labeled a sailing capital of the world for good reason, the city-by-the-sea holds great appeal for sports enthusiasts! A longtime home for the America's Cup, the waters of Newport Harbor annually welcome ships from around the world! In Newport, visitors can enjoy a sunset sail aboard a wooden sailboat, an afternoon sight-seeing cruise on a former rum runner built during the height of prohibition, or even a harbor excursion on a chartered former America's Cup 12-meter. Home to the Museum of Yachting and the International Yacht Restoration School, Newport is a sailor's dreamland. Newport's sporting mansion, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, offers a comprehensive and interactive tennis museum, as well as the only lawn courts available for public use in the nation. In addition, the Hall of Fame draws crowds annually for a men's professional tournament held on the lawn courts each summer!

Spectacular special events throughout the year offer something for every taste! The Newport Music Festival (July) annually brings in classical musicians for concerts in the magnificent setting of the mansions. The Schweppeís Great Chowder Cook-Off (June) appeals to food lovers looking to celebrate the flavor of a seaside city. The legendary JVC-Jazz Festival Newport (August) annually draws crowds for stellar performances in a historic fort beside the sea. In February crowds celebrate the season with ice-carvings and sleigh rides during Winterfestival, and in October the city comes alive with Oktoberfest!

Topping off the grand allure of the mansions and the sea, it is often the simple pleasures that make Newport such a remarkable destination. A stroll on the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile walking path that winds between the sprawling lawns of the Newport mansions and the pounding surf of the Atlantic, is a one of a kind experience. An afternoon spent downtown wandering the cobblestone wharves is sure to turn up an exciting discovery in a unique shop or fantastic restaurant. And the hospitality of Newport's quaint historic inns and comfortable hotels, is welcoming enough to make visitors extend their stay! A charming seaside city with an intriguing past and vibrant spirit, Newport, Rhode Island has the unique ability to offer something for everyone, while still dazzling visitors with special amenities that could not be found in any other destination!

Related articles:

Sporting Newport Style
Tennis, Polo, and, of course, sailing highlight the city-by-the-sea's sporty side

The Sounds of the Season
Exciting variety of live musical performances to sweep Newport in the summer of 2005!

Newport Mansions: Been there, done that? Think again with these memorable experiences!


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