My husband and I did a day trip to Newport while on a weekend in New England. Our hotel was in Providence. I decided to share my trip report, since they were so helpful in my planning. My report is long- so hopefully you can get through it!
After eating leftover pizza for breakfast at our hotel, we headed down to Newport. What a beautiful town! We started at the visitors center. This was a good idea, because we were able to get a bit of an orientation on what to do complete with maps and brochures. We knew we wanted to see the mansions, so we finally decided to buy "The Breakers plus 1" ticket.
We chose Marble House as our plus 1 and it was a great choice. It was a self guided audio tour, which was easy to follow and let you tour at your own pace. The mansion is amazing and it gives a glimpse as to what life when it was first built.
After this tour we thought we would see the beach and do the cliff walk, we drove to the beach and found that parking was $20. We decided against it since we knew we wouldn't be there that long. We drove around and found free parking on Narragansett street. We started the cliff walk from there. The views from this walk are amazing. With a bit of a cool breeze in the air it was very nice. We inadvertently made our way to The Breakers, as the cliff walk is closed after that due to Hurricane Sandy.
The Breakers tour was also a self guided audio tour. This mansion is breathtaking. On a side note- you are not allowed to photograph or videotape inside these mansions, but they have postcards in the gift shop with pictures of some of the rooms for only $0.45. I love taking pictures so this made me feel better. I felt both mansions complemented each other, since they were both owned by different members of the Vanderbilt family. I was happy with our choice. By now we were starving, but decided to skip lunch (it was about 3-4) so we bought some snacks in the gift shop and enjoyed them on a bench, under a tree overlooking the gardens.
From here we drove the scenic ocean drive and made our way to Thames Street. We were able to find metered parking in front of the Marriott Wharf and spent about $3 for 3 hours of parking. We walked over by the pier and found The Lobster Bar. What a fabulous place! You walk in and you see the tanks of fresh seafood and the employees unloading the days catch. We got a table right on the water and watched the yachts. We both ordered the New England Clam Chowder for appetizer and then we got steamed clams and crab artichoke dip as our dinner, along with 2 specialty drinks. It was delicious! The cost was about $70. From there we walked around town going in and out of the little souvenir shops along the way.
Then it was back to our hotel in Providence where we ended the night with a swim in the pool and a dip in the hot tub. I fell in love with Newport and will definitely be back.