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Best Things To Do in Newport, Rhode Island in the Winter

By Editor 2022, January

Newport, Rhode Island is the picturesque New England seaside town you’ve visited summer after summer. But this is a place that’s always in season — while other coastal towns get sleepy as warm weather cools, Newport stays vibrant all year. 

Just a short drive from Boston (90 minutes) and New York City (3.5 hours), Newport has been a cultural hub and retreat for over 100 years. Located on Aquidneck Island, the city is synonymous with old-world glamour thanks to its Gilded Age mansions, historic sailing scene, and abundance of seafood-related attractions around every turn. Ready to explore? We’ve rounded up our favorite places to eat and play while you’re staying at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina this season.

EAT

Newport restaurants, coffee shops, and more.

The Nitro Bar

Downtown & Newport Wharf

With two locations in Newport, double down on your local coffee fix at The Nitro Bar. Initially launched as a cold brew coffee cart, The Nitro Bar gained traction and eventually expanded to brick-and-mortar shops in Newport and Providence. And while all of their locations serve great coffee, they also serve delicious pastries and an all-day menu, too. Craving something indulgent? Try the Nitro Mocha Oat Latte (cold brew combined with chocolate and oat milk) or the Iced Matcha Latte (house-made matcha infused with nitrogen and sweetened with honey).

Open Daily, 7am - 5pm

 

Newport Lobster Shack

Newport Wharf

Real Rhoadies know their seafood, and the Newport Lobster Shack is a low-key joint locals and visitors love equally. Best known for their live market, the Newport Fisherman’s Co-Op was founded in 2009 by — you guessed it — local fishermen. Seven days a week, this beloved spot offers some of the freshest, wild-caught fish in town. Although their unofficial motto of “we only sell what we catch” rings true, don’t let this fool you: their options are endless and range from lobster to fish, crab, and conch (yes, conch is local to Rhode Island’s waters). 

Open Thursday - Monday, 11:30am - 6pm

 

White Horse Tavern

Downtown 

White Horse Tavern is perhaps the oldest operating restaurant in the United States — if you can believe it, they opened this watering hole in the late 1600s. And while the historic tavern plays up its heritage with colonial decor, the menu kicks it up a notch with modern takes on New England classics made with locally sourced fish and veggies from nearby farms. Luckily, guests are no longer expected to don their formal dining attire (in the 1700s, you had to dress your best), but be aware that ‘smart casual’ is still preferred (i.e., best to leave your workout clothes at home).

Open Daily, 5pm - 9pm

 

Igloo Pop-Up

Goat Island

Get ready to cozy up in our ever-so-popular outdoor igloos at Gurney’s Newport this fall. Overlooking Narragansett Bay and Newport Bridge, each igloo is private, heated, and built to hold up to four guests. Once inside, order seasonal cocktails and bites with our curated menu. The seasonal pop-up will kick off at the end of October and will stay open through April 2022. 

Open Daily - make a reservation here 

 

 

Newport Craft Brewing Co

Newport

Located in the northern part of town, this brewery and taproom, which opened in 1999, is technically a brewstillery — in other words, it crafts beer and spirits. Visit the tasting room to sample a selection of craft beverages that are all distilled and brewed on-site. Try their latest seasonal brew, a new Double India Pale Ale that’s aptly named Fall Forward with notes of berries and tropical fruits (it’s sure to brighten any fall day). For something a little stronger, sample their assortment of gin, vodka, amaro, single-barrel rum, moonshine, and whiskey. Pro tip: the outdoor pavilion is dog-friendly, so don’t leave your four-legged family member at home. 

Open Daily, 12pm - 8pm

 

The Clarke Cooke House 

Newport Wharf

For over 20 years, this longtime foodie favorite has served up fine New England cuisine right on Bannisters Wharf. The quintessential Newport dining fixture is naturally named after the wealthy sea captain, Clarke Cooke, and you’re sure to meet some local characters if you stick around for cocktails at The Sky Bar, a cozy joint located upstairs.
Open Daily, Dinner 5pm - 10pm, Weekend Lunch/Brunch 11:30am - 3pm



 

PLAY

Things to do in Newport, Rhode Island.

 

Gilded Age Mansions

Bellevue

A stroll through Bellevue Avenue’s historic district offers a glimpse into the lives of America’s wealthiest tycoons through their restored summer homes (also known as cottages). Formally run by the Preservation Society of Newport county, each mansion is as unique as its former owner, and every home feels grander than the next. Keen to see the best of them? First, head to The Breakers, an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo formerly owned by the Vanderbilt family (it’s the most historic cottage in Newport). Then, drop by The Elms to see a historic home modeled after a mid-18th century French chateau. Many of the mansions are open to the public, as well as their grounds and gardens, and most offer incredible views.

 

Gurney’s Newport Skating Rink 

Goat Island 

Join us this fall and winter to skate by the sea. Guests and locals alike can glide across the ice while taking in unobstructed views of the famed Newport Bridge and Newport Harbor Lighthouse, decorated for the festive season. 

Open Daily until 9pm

 

Rail Explorers Bike Tour

Portsmouth

Rail Explorers offers an unforgettable scenic ride along the Old Colony Railroad (which dates back to 1862). Hop on custom-built, pedal-powered rail bikes and travel along abandoned railroad tracks alongside the historic Aquidneck Island and spectacular Narragansett Bay. Available from spring to fall, choose from two tour options:  “The Northern Ramble,” a six-mile journey on the historic railroad between Portsmouth and the Sakonnet River, or “The Southern Circuit,” a six-mile round trip tour (3 miles out, 3 miles back) with a stop at Bayside Station, an exclusive waterfront picnic area.

 

Gurney’s Newport Seawater Spa 

Goat Island

Wellness isn’t a seasonal pursuit, and that’s why our Seawater Spa is open year-round. Work out, go for a swim, or just relax before enjoying one of our signature massages, facials, body treatments, manicures, or pedicures. Better yet? Spa guests enjoy complimentary use of our private locker rooms, dry eucalyptus saunas, and relaxation area — make a whole day of it, and feel great about it, too. And if you’re hoping to kickstart your fitness routine, stop by our 24-hour fitness center where top-of-the-line elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, and weights will help you get in tip-top shape. 

Open Daily 

 

Classic Cruises of Newport 

Newport Wharf

There’s no question that Newport, often touted as the ‘sailing capital of America,’ is best experienced by boat. Classic Cruises offers a variety of ways to see Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay: you can book a private coastal cruise, harbor tour, or even a scenic day sail from April through November. Looking for a departure with a little extra style? Hop on a scenic sail aboard their 72' schooner, The Madeleine, to get a 19th-century boating experience. Looking for an experience with a little more spirit? Their Rum Runner II, a classic motor yacht, offers harbor tours and cocktail cruises.
Open Daily


 

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