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Newport Family Summer Getaway

Newport in summer is an amazing place to bring your family. The sheer variety of attractions and things to do guarantees that everyone will find something to love.

Giant bug sculptures at Green Animals.
David Rogers' Big Bugs at Green Animals

EDUCATIONAL

Let’s start with some educational experiences that the whole family will enjoy. While all the opulent Newport Mansions are a must-see, if you can only pick one, make it The Breakers. Their Family Tour is structured so that children can enjoy an audio tour created just for them, where they can imagine themselves personally witnessing the mansion’s history. Meanwhile, adults can take The Breakers Revealed Tour which follows the same route and timing!

Next up, The International Tennis Hall of Fame tells the story of tennis history using exhibits and artifacts, fun interactive experiences, and even a hologram of tennis champion Roger Federer.

For more history, visit Fort Adams, which sits at the mouth of Newport Harbor and was designed to be the most heavily armed fort in America. You can explore parts of the fort on a self-guided tour or take an hour-long guided tour that takes you from the top of the fort walls to the depths of the underground tunnels. Fort Adams is also a spectacular place to watch the sunset over Newport Harbor, Narragansett Bay, and the Newport Bridge.

Another place for the whole family to enjoy while learning a thing or two is the Newport Car Museum. View this private collection of more than 75 automobiles, celebrate cars as works of art, and learn about seven decades of industrial automotive design. There are also six racing simulators, a large collection of Mid-Century modern furniture and the museum is completely handicap accessible.

OUTDOOR FUN

Next up is outdoor fun in Newport! A walk along the Cliff Walk is a must. Check out the Rhode Island coast on one side and the famous mansions on the other side of this National Recreation Trail. You’ll also enjoy wildflowers and birds along with shoreline views and the Gilded Age architecture.

Another wonderful place to go (especially with young children) is Green Animals Topiary Garden in nearby Portsmouth. It’s the oldest topiary garden in the USA, and full of large, green topiary animals. As an added attraction this summer is the David Rogers’ Big Bugs sculpture exhibit, featuring usually tiny pollinators on a massive scale (for example a 10-foot-tall Daddy Long Legs!) placed in various locations around Green Animals.

From there you can head to Rail Explorers to take a scenic, relaxing, and eco-friendly, pedal-powered ride along Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay. And on your way back to Newport from Portsmouth, you can make a stop in Middletown at Norman Bird Sanctuary and explore some of the 325 acres and seven miles of hiking trails through diverse habitats. This non-profit wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center is a terrific place to go for a walk and enjoy the local wildlife.

Other excellent ways to enjoy the outdoors in Newport include having a picnic at one of the Newport Mansions, kite flying at the fabulously windy Brenton Point, and OF COURSE, you must spend at least a day at one of Newport’s beautiful beaches!

TOURS

There are many excellent and interesting tours available in Newport, including some great historical walking tours (including a ghost tour!). Viking Trolley Tours give you an insider's look at Newport in adorable, old-fashioned trolleys. And because getting out on the water is a must when in Newport, there are many options for water tours, including schooner cruises on the Aurora, Madeleine, or Adirondack II; or a lobstering trip with Fish’n Tales Adventures.

FOOD

There are countless top-notch places to eat in Newport, which makes it easy to enjoy diverse and delicious meals throughout your stay. Here are a few family-friendly places to consider trying during your visit!

For breakfast, try Hungry Monkey for good food in a fun atmosphere. Mel’s Cafenio offers great food and fast, friendly service – and you can get breakfast all day. Corner Café has a diverse menu featuring Irish, Portuguese, and West Coast influences, as well as standard American dishes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Annie’s on Bellevue is footsteps from The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Audrain Car Museum. It’s a great spot for breakfast (all day), lunch or dinner.

Some great lunch options include Flo’s Clam Shack Drive-in, in Portsmouth, for fresh seafood, quick service, and a wonderful view. While at Easton’s Beach, you can hit up the Easton’s Beach Snack Bar for a lunch of seafood, burgers, churros and more, while overlooking the beach. Megs’ Aussie Milk Bar is an Australian-inspired breakfast and lunch spot with a unique menu that includes traditional American breakfast fare, Australian breakfast fare, wraps, burgers, milkshakes, and more.

Some family-friendly ideas for dinner include beloved Newport institution Brick Alley Pub. Enjoy pub-style comfort food, fresh local seafood, and more, along with an extensive wine & craft beer menu. Red Parrot is casual, festive, and located in a former meatpacking house on the National Register of Historical Places. Enjoy Caribbean-inspired American cuisine, a great kids’ menu, and a photo op with Russel, the six-foot parrot. Mission Middletown bills itself as “Good grub, good beer, good vibes” and offers burgers, hotdogs, and more.

If you are looking for sweets, check out Kilwins for chocolates, fudge, and ice cream. Cupcake Charlie’s offers (you guessed it) cupcakes! Also choose from cake pops, cookies, and vegan and gluten-free options. Cold Fusion Gelato features all-natural, handcrafted, traditional Italian gelato and sorbet, along with pies and dairy-free options.

EVENTS

Here are some fun, family-friendly events taking place in Newport this summer. Enjoy!