If you haven’t visited Newport in a while, it’s time to return. The City by the Sea is, of course, filled with an incredible coastline, colonial homes, a rich sailing history, unique boutiques, and decadent restaurants. The many mansions, scenic Cliff Walk, and beaches should all be on the top of your must list, but here are a few other ways you can enjoy this coastal community.
En route, take a brief detour for Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth. The property spans a seven-acre estate that is the most northern and oldest topiary garden in the country. The gardens are a fun adventure to do with kids: We walked around and found different groomed trees that were shaped to look like giraffes, lions, pineapples, and my daughter’s favorite, a unicorn. There are countless pathways and numerous varieties of flowers, an orchard, and an herb and vegetable garden. The 1859 Victorian Brayton house that overlooks the bay was also a show stopper. Pro tip: Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens.
One of my favorite stores is Kimberly Pucci Atelier. Located on Bellevue Avenue, find one-of-a-kind custom leather purses in a variety of colors and textures. Nearby, discover all kinds of shops and eateries, and the Newport Art Museum, which recently reopened and features an Andy Warhol exhibit.
What’s a vacation without photos? I discovered local photographer Hilary Block and fell in love with her work; she still shoots in film, which I found both exciting and refreshing. Hilary was able to capture my family with a backdrop of panoramic views of Narragansett Bay, while being so patient with our girls for this special souvenir.
It’s not always easy to please the whole family, but a sailing tour was a Brown family favorite. There are many excursions available, and knowledgeable sailboat captains will teach you about the history of Newport while pointing out historic buildings and dropping factoids. For photo-enthusiasts, the water offers a different vantage point of the city and sailboats.
On your daycation, be sure to stick around to catch a sunset. My top location is the Ocean Cliff Hotel. True to its name, you can see the Atlantic and the Newport Bridge with sail boats floating by from the property’s rolling hills. It’s a picture-perfect end to a picture-perfect day.