Newport and nearby Middletown are easy to master and maneuver. Several major roads – America ’s Cup Boulevard and Thames Street – run north-south along the downtown wharf area, while several streets from the wharves travel up into the neighborhoods that vary from well maintained colonial period housing to the high society mansions that are open to the public to communities with contemporary housing.
Newport is a walking town for several reasons: 1) most attractions are close and located on the wharves or only a few blocks away and 2) traffic/parking can be frustrating during peak tourist times.
While it is easy to negotiate Newport and find key tourist attractions, restaurants and shops, a first time visitor might opt for a guided tour. Several local tour companies can provide the lay of the land.
Historic Tours of Newport
Historic Tours of Newport provides 370 years of history and information about the architectural features of the mansions. It provides the stories about the town’s claim as the social capital of America and the 400 people who made Newport their summer homes.
Tour #1 travels along the famous Ten Mile Ocean Drive of 17th century buildings and the mansions along Bellevue Avenue . When weather permits, a brief walk is scheduled at the Cliff Walk/Forty Steps. Tour #2 includes the Ten Mile Ocean Drive plus a visit to one of the following mansion: The Breakers or Marble House, or The Elms, or Rosecliff.
Viking Tours of Newport
Viking Tours provides customized motor coaches and trolleys. Tours leave from the Newport Visitors Center (23 America ’s Cup Avenue ).
Tour #1 is the scenic overview trip covering more than 150 points of interest. Tour #2 includes the trip of Tour #1 and includes a visit to Marble House, Rosecliff, or The Breakers. Tour #3 is the deluxe trip that includes admission to two mansions.
Native Newporter Tours
This is a personal one and one-half hour guided tour with a native Newporter. One hour guided tours feature the historical, cultural and photographic qualities of Newport from a city native. Tickets can be purchased at the Newport Visitors Center or by calling 401-662-1407.
Rates are $21 per person ($14 for ages 5-17). Departures times are 9:30 and 11 a.m., and one, three and 4:30 p.m. Rates and times always subject to change.
[Image: Mike Virgintino]