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Useful information for excursions in Newport (Rhode Island)
In the following paragraphs, you will find information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights and a lot of useful information for shore excursions in Newport (Rhode Island).
The most beautiful sights in Newport (Rhode Island)
Rhode Island is an 50 miles (80 kilometres) long and 37 miles (60 kilometres) wide state on the Atlantic coast of America and delights with wide beaches, pretty coastal roads and small villages. It is the smallest state of the USA and belongs to the New England region. Despite its misleading name, Rhode Island is not an island. Geographically Rhode Island is located between New York and Boston and is often called “Ocean State“.
The port city of Newport has about 24,000 inhabitants, covers an area of 11.6 mile² (30 km²) and offers above all a unique landscape. It is known for its old manorial country estates, rocky coasts and fine sandy beaches as well as its great hospitality. The tranquil port city is famous for its impressive villas, which were built in the 19th century during the legendary “Gilded Age“, when the city became popular as the summer residence of the American moneyed aristocracy.
The well-known and famous Mansion Row villas, which served as vacation homes for the famous Astors, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts families, are among the top attractions in Newport today.
“The Breakers” is the largest private residence in Newport and was built from 1893 to 1895 for about 7 million dollars for Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The architect was Richard Morris Hunt, who also designed the Marble House. Visit the magnificent property, which is about 5.25 hectares large, in the middle of the park and at Orche Point of the Atlantic Ocean. The house is built on three floors in the style of a Renaissance villa. It is 249.3 ft (76 metres) high, 150.9 ft (46 metres) wide and has 70 rooms.
Since the previous house burned down, the villa was built of limestone and the floors were laid with marble, bricks, terrazzo and mosaic. Visit and admire one of the first private houses to be equipped with electricity and an elevator. The Breakers has been listed as a building in the National Register of Historic Places since 1971. The beautiful residence is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County and can be visited.
Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 as a summer residence like The Breakers for the Vanderbilt family. The house is largely made of the finest marble and has 50 rooms. The Preservation Society of Newport County operates 11 Newport Mansions properties, the impressive Marble House being one of them.
If you are interested in history, Marble House is a must see, so make sure you take your time. The unique architecture and the history of the Vanderbilt family make the visit all the more fascinating. On the second floor, from the foyer through the reception hall, you can access the large ballroom, lounge, library and dining rooms, among other things.
Don’t miss another property worth seeing and visit “The Elms“, which was built between 1899 and 1914, mostly in French style. The attractive property, which has 30 rooms on three floors, was built for Edward Julius Berwind as a summer residence. At the entrance of the property you will come across an outstandingly large wrought-iron gate and you will see that the property is surrounded by a sandstone wall. Like The Breakers and Marble House, it is now a museum and open to the public.
The scenic Cliff Walk is one of the most popular and well-known top attractions Newport has to offer. Stroll along the 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) long hiking trail along the east coast and be impressed by a variety of views. The beautiful path offers fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and you can admire Newport’s many villas and marinas during your relaxing walk.
If you’re already in Newport, don’t miss Ocean Drive, also known as “Ten Mile Drive” (or “The Drive”). The Ocean Drive begins at Bellevue Avenue. From there, drive south and follow the road to Rough Point. Next, turn right towards Brenton Point. Finally you drive up to Fort Adams State Park and straight up you are back at your starting point. The Ocean Drive takes you once around the coast of Newport, with the permanent view of the sea.
On your way you will meet many yacht clubs and beautiful sights, as well as King Park in the northern part, where you will find the statue of General Rochambeau (fought the British in 1780). You will also have beautiful views of the magnificent villas and gardens of Newport while driving on Ocean Drive.
Another attraction on Ocean Drive is Hammersmith Farm, which was built in 1887. This Victorian mansion was once open to the public, but is now privately owned. On your journey you will pass many other parks and beaches.
Fort Adams State Park
The Ocean Drive also takes you directly to the next top attraction, the Fort Adams State Park. It is located at the mouth of Newport Harbour. Don’t miss the impressive Fort Adams Fortress, which is the largest coastal fortress in the United States. This magnificent fortress was built to defend the port and Narragansett Bay.
Fort Adams State Park is also known for the legendary Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. You can also visit various yacht museums and the house of President Eisenhower. From Fort Adams State Park, enjoy breathtaking views of the harbour, Narragansett Bay, picnic areas and recreational activities.
Narragansett Bay covers 146.7 mile² (380 km²) and is New England’s largest estuary. It includes not only the state of Rhode Island, but also smaller parts as far as neighbouring Massachusetts. The rivers Taunton, Providence and Sakonnet flow into the breathtaking bay.
Since colonial times it has been an active shipping centre. The most important ports are Providence (capital of Rhode Island) and Newport. There are more than 30 islands in the vast bay. The largest are Aquidneck Island, Conanicut Island and Prudence Island. Today the bay is a popular recreation & fishing area.
Map of the cruise port in Newport (Rhode Island)
The port of Newport is a small port located in the western part of the city, which itself does not have its own landing stage for large cruise ships. Therefore, they will usually lie in the roads and be brought ashore by tender boats.
With the tender boats you will reach the Perotti Park after a 10 minutes drive, which will be the first highlight of your stay. Near the park there is also a tourist information office. In only 10 minutes you can reach the historic center of Newport on foot. However, if you want to discover the beautiful coast or the villas, a guided land excursion is more worthwhile.
While the big cruise ships have to lie in the roads in front of the harbour, smaller ships also have the possibility to dock at the South Alofsin Pier at Fort Adams State Park. Here you are in direct proximity to the impressive fortress and other sights.
If you book a shore excursion through us, you will of course be picked up in direct proximity to the harbor.
Things to know before your trip to Newport (Rhode Island)
Cruise lines and routes
Many international cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean and Phoenix call at the port regularly on their transatlantic cruises and Canada & New England cruises. Other ports of call on these routes are then often ports such as Boston and New York.
Entry and visa
British citizens do not need a visa to visit the US, but they do need to apply online for an electronic authorization. All UK citizens need an ESTA to travel to the USA.
For more detailed information, we recommend that you obtain information on all valid entry requirements directly from your cruise line and from the Federal Foreign Office in good time before your trip.
Taxi and public transport
Newport has several bus lines in and around Newport Beach. You can take the regional bus line 1, which runs on the Long Beach-San Clemente route, to the beautiful and scenic coastal towns.
In addition, the Newport trolley service (RIPTA) offers quick and easy access to many attractive sights and the Mansion’s villas. From Perotti Park (the landing stage for the tender boats) the first stop “Newport Visitor Centre” is a 5 minute walk away. The final stop is “Bellevue & Ledge” and thus in close proximity to Rough Point. Buses run every 20 minutes from Monday to Saturday and every 15-20 minutes on Sundays and holidays.
Another way to explore Newport is by ferry. There has been a ferry line since 1919 and many properties have their own landing stages. Most of the city is close to water and many parts of the city are located along the coast and Newport Bay. Thus, many parts of the city are located on islands and popular destinations can be reached in a relaxed manner with speedboats.
The national currency of the USA is the US Dollar (USD). Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the USA and are therefore almost indispensable. In addition, you can easily withdraw cash with your credit card at an ATM. Alternatively, you can exchange money in advance or use one of the exchange offices. Please note, however, that you often have to pay high fees here.
Newport has a humid continental climate. In summer it is warm and dry and in winter it can get quite cold. The best time to travel to Newport (Rhode Island) is from June to September as you will have pleasant temperatures and little rainfall. The highest average temperature in Newport is 25°C in July and the lowest temperature is 2°C in January.
The peak season for cruise ships is from mid-April to the end of October.
Website travel guide and tourism organization
Video: Impressions of Newport (Rhode Island)
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