A weekend guide to Rhode Island

Being the smallest state in the Union (by land mass), there is certainly plenty to see and do in Rhode Island. Summer is definitely the most ideal time to visit, having been a premier weekend getaway for New Yorkers, Bostonians, and New Englanders since the 19th century.

Even before the recent HBO series, there’s plenty to satisfy that Golden Age itch or, if you’re looking for more modern vibes, the Taylor Swift of the Folklore era with “The Last Great American Dynasty.”

This is by no means an exhaustive travel guide to everything in and around Rhode Island, but simply a few suggestions for filling a regular weekend or even a long weekend consisting of a day at the beach and some excursions.

Newport has more historic 18th century structures than any other city in America.

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What to see and do

The Breakers: Newport is home to some of the most impressive mansions in the United States, many of which are built in styles inspired by the grand castles and villas of France and Italy. None are grander than the Vanderbilt family’s former summer getaway. Go for a guided tour if you can as the tour guides on site are sources of knowledge. (The house also served as one of the main sets for HBO’s Golden age.)

Hobbit Maker’s Mark Houses: When you hear hobbit houses, you’re probably scratching your head thinking they’re in New Zealand, where The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed. But these are the only official hobbit houses authorized by New Line Cinema in North America. And they make the perfect setting for a rustic private dinner, which can be set up with tasting menus paired with new and rare bottles from the Maker’s Mark portfolio.

Newport Harbor: Being the original home of the famous America’s Cup sailing race, you can’t go to Newport without sailing yourself. Although you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) try to take a ride on some of the more modern racing catamarans, you can take a ride on a previous winner from the 1960s with with America’s Cup Chartersfor navigation around the bay.

Newport Jaguar Tours: Taking note of former Newport residents from the last century, travel around Newport in style. The tour operator has a choice of different Jaguars, including a convertible that can accommodate two people. Being a coastal town popular with tourists in the summer, you might not realize that Newport is quite big. Although you can walk to many places, you can see much more in the space of two to three hours, while seated in a luxury vehicle, while learning about Newport’s famous (and infamous) former residents .

The Sailing Museum: Among Newport’s new attractions, the nonprofit educational organization houses the National Sailing Hall of Fame and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in the space once used as the America’s Cup press room.

Bowen Wharf: San Francisco has Fisherman’s Wharf and Newport has Bowen’s Wharf. It is an unmissable and unmissable hub for boutiques, galleries, cafes, ice cream parlors and restaurants ideal for lunch and nightlife.

Sunset at Sachuest Beach in Middletown RI

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Where to eat and drink

Sydney Providence: This all-day Australian cafe offers some of the best breakfast options in Providence, from the healthiest to the most indulgent. Even if you don’t like avocado toast, you should still order it here. Also try the “brekkie bowl,” with a surprise layer of lemon curd and one of the specialty iced coffee drinks.

Bellini Providence: Located in The Beatrice hotel, Bellini prepares simple Italian dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients, expertly paired with an extensive and well-curated wine list. And even if you don’t go for a full meal, grab a cocktail in the beautiful bar and lounge.

Thea at Dune Cottage: Open this year only, Thēa, which translates to “view,” offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. (And on a clear day, you can even see as far as Montauk.)

Bar Cino: This Italian bistro is a neighborhood favorite in the heart of Newport’s historic Washington Square, which is often overlooked by tourists and more frequented by locals. Almost everything on the menu here is a winner, but don’t stop without ordering one of the restaurant’s signature grilled pizzas.

Cara-Restaurant: Tucked away in a small private room at The Chanler at Cliff Walk, this five-star restaurant offers contemporary and creative blind tasting menus based on your dietary preferences, all inspired by local ingredients and European cuisine with special food and wine pairings. Tasting menu dinners can last two to three hours, and at the moment the restaurant only serves at 5 and 8 p.m. And while the food is all you crave, you’ll also be spoiled for panoramic views of the beach and ocean at sunset.

The Vanderbilt rooftop terrace: Located at the very top of the historic downtown Newport mansion, it’s the perfect outdoor spot to watch the sunset and enjoy sweeping views of the historic town and harbor. The hotel, now an Auberge property, also has one of the best cocktail bars in the area, including a special “gold leaf” martini.

An aerial view of Newport Harbour.

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Where to stay

The Hotel Beatrice: Opened just before the pandemic, The Beatrice is a great choice for any type of trip, from business to pleasure. Try making a reservation for one of the corner suites among the 47 rooms on site, which offer floor-to-ceiling windows and lovely views of the Financial District. The Beatrice is also conveniently located downtown, near the river and Brown University. like the arts district, full of options for day and night life. )

The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences: This is the ultimate luxury getaway in Rhode Island. You can get there by car…or by helicopter…or even by private jet if you are a member of the club. Accommodations range from lavish hotel suites to multi-room townhouses to “small houseswhich may not seem so small if you’re from New York or Boston, but is nevertheless comfortable and fun (especially for children). (And soon, the property plans to open its treehouses starting this fall.) And while there are plenty of services and amenities on-site (such as a full-service hair and nail salon, spa , an outdoor pool, and a fitness center), the real draw here is all that is wonderful about the great outdoors. Some of the many activities you can take part in include tennis, archery, clay shooting, fishing and of course, Golf on the property’s mountain championship course.

Hotel Hammets: Managed by same hotel group Like The Beatrice, among other New England properties, Hammetts is one of Newport’s best-located hotels, right in the middle of the waterfront, just blocks from Bowen’s Wharf. The hotel has all the amenities you need, including a 24-hour gym, coffee service in the lobby in the morning, and on-site parking with valet parking. (Valet parking is plentiful in Newport.)

ocean house: There is perhaps nowhere more iconic in Rhode Island than the pale yellow Victorian mansion than Ocean House on Watch Hill, an affluent coastal area that has a long history as a summer getaway destination for New Englanders, but could also become a place of pilgrimage for young travelers in that it was an inspirational site for one of Taylor Swift’s albums. Ocean House meets the needs of any traveler, whether you need to work remotely, want to spend time with your family, host a birthday party, or just relax in a private cabana. And if you’re looking for athletic options, there’s a croquet lawn, underground squash courts, a full gym, and access to ocean paddleboards and boogie boards. (The hotel is also pet-friendly and will be happy to set up your best friend with treats, toys, a ceramic water bowl and their own dining menu, either in your room or in the hotel. one of the beach huts.)

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