Granted: Newport, Rhode Island is a beautiful place to visit in the summer. With its fabulous coastline and yacht-filled harbor, it's a great destination for a sun-filled weekend getaway. But what about in the off-season?
Though other beach resort towns tend to shut down in the colder months, Newport remains a great go-to destination for those looking to unwind and take in the beautiful New England sights. It's still buzzy without being overrun, and there are plenty of fun events on offer year-round, including an 8 acre corn maze every November (!).
Intrigued? Here's how to make the most of your visit:
Cozy up in one of Newport's many B&Bs
On our visit, we chose to stay at the quaint Marshall Slocum Inn. A quick google informed me that there was a room there known as The Snuggery, complete with it's own private spiral staircase. I immediately informed my taller half that it would be The Snuggery or nothing for our trip. Give me The Snuggery or give me death!
Luckily, we got the room and it did not disappoint.
Following an excellent night's sleep, we were treated to a delicious home-cooked breakfast around the B&B's large communal table. I was very happy. As it turns out, the way to my heart is through food and spiral staircases.
If The Snuggery is already booked during your visit, never fear: there are plenty of quaint B&Bs around Newport for you to choose from.
Frolic to Your Heart's Content
One upside to visiting Newport in the off-season is that you can have the beach all to yourself. No, you probably won't want to go swimming, but it's fun just to explore and do a couple of cartwheels on the beach knowing that there's no one around to laugh should you happen to faceplant into some seaweed.
The Cliff Walk along Newport's eastern shore is another great way to spend a crisp afternoon. It's pretty much suitable for everyone and provides some stunning photo ops.
Explore the Local Lighthouses
New England has over 150 lighthouses, each with its own unique character and charm. Why not go for a drive and see how many you can find? One of the most famous Newport lighthouses is the Castle Hill Lighthouse (above), located at the end of the historic Ocean Drive.
I mean, really, who doesn't love a good lighthouse? *Insert Pete's Dragon song here*
Go House Hunting
No trip to Newport would be complete without a visit to the luxurious mansions lining Bellevue Avenue.
Formerly the "summer cottages" of America's rich and famous, these stunning residences are a great way to escape the cold and gather some ideas for your next home remodeling endeavor (gold walls paired with gold ceilings? Why not!). The Preservation Society of Newport County offers tours of nine different residences, so there's plenty to keep you occupied. If you only have the time/patience to see one though, make it The Breakers. The largest and most opulent of Newport's mansions, The Breakers was once owned by America's famous Vanderbilt family. Lush.
Eat, Drink, Repeat
Because what better way to prepare for your upcoming winter hibernation than to stuff your face silly?
Rest assured that you won't need to resort to a trip to KFC during your visit to Newport (unless, you know, you're into that kind of thing...). There are plenty of quality restaurants to choose from, with something to suit every budget.
For me, when the weather turns chilly, nothing beats snuggling up in the corner of a dimly-lit restaurant with a nice glass of red and some tasty nibbles. The evening we headed to Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen for dinner we opted to splurge on a nice bottle of red and then ordered off their small plates menu so we could try a variety of dishes. It was tasty perfection.
The next morning we enjoyed a lovely brunch at Tallulah on Thames. The service was top-notch and the small complimentary treats they gave us throughout our meal were a fantastic touch (proving again that food is indeed the way to my heart).
Needless to say, these restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of other fantastic places in Newport to choose from, so make sure you pack your stretchy pants!
So there you have it! Grab your coat and gloves and head over to Newport, Rhode Island for some excellent off-season exploring. Happy adventuring!
*This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.