This city is older than most US states! Take in the breathtaking ocean vistas, lighthouses, water sports and visit National Historic Landmarks. One landmark, at 350 years old, is America’s oldest restaurant, and the 10th oldest in the world. If those walls could talk…
Incorporated in 1639, Newport is an old city with a prominent place in US history. With its deep water harbor suitable for vessels of any size, it was a major port city in the 18th century bringing prosperity through shipping and commerce. Religious tolerance attracted persecuted refugees both from Europe and and from other colonies, becoming the home of Portuguese and Spanish Jews fleeing the Inquisition, as well as Baptists, and Quakers. Newport was a major player in the American Revolution, a home port for pirates, a cultural center, and a summer getaway for the likes of the obscenely wealthy Astors and Vanderbilts. In the modern era the city is known for film, music, sports, and world-class dining.
Enjoy Newport with a leisurely walk
Start your day at the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames St. Located in the historic Brick Market, features include exhibits of everyday objects, photos, furniture, and more. Get tickets for tours of the “Common Burying Ground and God’s Little Acre, (which) seamlessly incorporate the roles and accomplishments of people of color in Newport’s history.” God’s Little Acre, a Colonial-era African burying ground, contains headstones with weather-worn carvings of “faces, symbols, and elegant lettering.”
Built in 1697, the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House at 17 Broadway is Newport’s oldest surviving house. Throughout its long history it’s been the home of Loyalists, Tories, slaves, and a Rhode Island governor. It was renovated when it became one of the Newport Restoration Foundation’s many properties.
The Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Visitors Center, 52 Spring Street, is the starting point for 2 tours: the Touro Synagogue National Historic Site and Newport’s 4 Faith Walking Tour. The LVC celebrates the First Amendment as well as the contributions of colonial American Jews in Newport’s long history.
Touro Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the US, houses the second-oldest congregation of Jews in the country, and is one of the ten most architecturally significant buildings of 18th century America. Take a tour of this stunning building at 72 Touro Street.
Next door to the synagogue, at 82 Touro Street, is the Newport Historical Society. The Society offers educational programs, tours and research services.
Continue up Touro St to Bellevue Avenue where you will find Redwood Library and Athenæum (50 Bellevue Ave), the Country’s oldest lending library housed within the oldest US library building in continuous use.
Walk a short distance south along the slate sidewalk to 76 Bellevue Avenue and the Newport Art Museum. With 2 galleries in historic buildings plus an art school, the museum was “founded in 1912 on the belief that art is a civilizing influence and an essential component to creating vibrant communities.”
Continue your journey southward and cross Memorial Boulevard to 194 Bellevue Avenue, home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Summer months bring the superstars of the sport to play on the grass courts. Visit the museum featuring tennis-inspired art, a holographic theater, and the Arthur Ashe VR experience.
A little further down on the same block, at 222 Bellevue, is the Audrain Auto Museum. The recently renovated Audrain Building is one of four Gilded Age buildings on an architecturally significant block. More than 400 cars and motorcycles are contained in the museum’s collections,