There are many hotels in Newport. The ones nearer to the water are generally more expensive, but there are others sprinkled throughout. There are no kosher groceries or restaurants in Newport. During the summer months there is a minyan at the Touro Synagogue, but there are no official services during Sukkos. Minyan can be found, however, 45 minutes away in Providence, Rhode Island.
If you have limited time to spend in Newport, I’d definitely recommend the Cliff Walk. The path is a 3.5-mile public access walkway that borders the shoreline. The trail runs behind many of Newport’s famous mansions and is paved, although be aware, there are parts that are rugged and rocky. The Cliff Walk offers some of the most magnificent scenic sights that can be completed in just about 2.5 to 3 hours. There are also many exit points along the way if you find it too difficult or time consuming to complete. The Newport Cliff Walk is superb! No wonder it is one of the city’s top attractions.
117 Memorial Blvd
Newport, RI 02840
Sunrise to sunset.
Sailing Tour-Schooner Adirondack II
Sailing is a unique type of boating experience. It is a very popular way to enjoy the water and get to know the history and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Narragansett Bay.
We went on a tour on the 80-foot, turn-of-the-century-style pilot Schooner Adirondack II. The boat can hold up to 57 guests, and her masts reach over 70 feet above deck and have just under 2000 square feet of sail area. She is 65 feet on deck, 80 feet overall, and has a draft of 7 feet. On a high wind day, it is not uncommon for her to reach 10 knots under sail.
We took a morning tour and it was nice and empty. We had lots of space to move around.
Tours can be booked online. Covid-19 policies are clearly outlined on the website. Check https://sail-newport.com/covid-19-update/ to see their policies.
22 Bowens Wharf
Newport RI, 02840
Check online for when they have boat tours running. https://sail-newport.com/public-events/
A classic 1 ½ hour tour:
Adult (12+): $38
Children (ages 4-11): $30
Seniors (62+): $33
Infants (Ages 3 and under): $6
Packing well is the key to an organized trip. Here are some tips to get you started:
Zip Top bags or packing cubes work well to sort everyone’s socks, underwear, and accessories. Extra points for color-coordination, but a permanent marker or sticker works just as well for labeling.
Painter’s tape works great for tying outfits together without leaving a mark. Make little piles of each day’s clothing and wrap them with the tape – then label with the child’s name.
Plastic bins are easier to work with than suitcases when you are traveling by car. Because they are see-through, you can easily identify the contents of each.
Pack a small knapsack or bag for each child with snacks, books, and some form of entertainment. Add a small pack of tissues, some wet wipes, and a Zip Top bag (for garbage), and you’ll avoid numerous requests for “Can you pass me…?”
Don’t forget the garbage bags strategically placed in the car so everyone can access them. These can be special bins made for the car, or you can just use a regular shopping bag looped over the armrests. Either way, it’ll keep things clean more easily.
The Newport Mansions
Situated on 88 acres of gardens and parks, Newport’s Mansions offers a view of American history from the unique perspectives of each of the nine mansions’ owners. Every one of the historic house-museums has its own distinct personality with exceptional elegance, architecture, art, interior design, and landscapes. The mansions are under the ownership of the Newport Preservation Society.
Although each of the Mansions has its own unique history and design, my personal favorites are the Breakers and the Elms. The Breakers is the most impressive of Newport’s summer “cottages.” It is a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial success in the 1880s. The Elms is famous for their classical revival gardens in addition to the mansion. The gardens include beautiful grass, trees, marble and bronze sculptures, fountains, a sunken garden, and a magnificent area to stroll in. Currently, due to COVID-19, those are the only two mansions open to visitors.
Note: No videos or photography is allowed inside the mansions. Credit and debit cards are the only accepted forms of payment for tickets or store purchases. Covid-19 update: Masks are required while on the grounds of the mansions as well as inside them.
44 Ochre Point Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
367 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
The Elms is open 9-5 daily. Last tour admission is 4 P.M. The Breakers is open 10-6 daily, with the last tour admission at 5 P.M.
Mansions Duo Ticket:
Mansions Duo Adult: $32
Mansions Duo Youth (ages 6-17): $9
This ticket provides admission to House and Grounds of two properties: The Breakers, The Elms – Interior House and Grounds OR Green Animals Topiary Garden- Grounds only.
Breakers Only Ticket:
Breakers only Adult: $26
Breakers only Youth (ages 6-17): $8
This ticket provides admission to House and Grounds of Breakers only.
One House Ticket:
One House Adult: $18
One House Youth (ages 6-17):$8
This ticket provides admission to House and Grounds of Elms or Green Animals.
Green Animals Topiary Garden
Green Animals Topiary Garden is a self-sufficient estate featuring formal topiaries, vegetable and herb gardens, orchards, and a Victorian house overlooking Narragansett Bay. While it is also part of the Newport Preservation Society, the focus here is not on the house, but on the extraordinary garden, which feature 80 pieces of topiary sculpted into the forms of animals, birds, geometric figures, and ornamental designs. Combination tickets with the mansions can be purchased, although the Topiary Gardens are not right near the other mansions (it is about half an hour drive away).
It is hard to believe that all the sculpted bushes in the Topiary Gardens are made of real greenery. The sculptures are so amazing and authentic that you can’t help but wonder if they are made of plastic. The gardeners on site pruning and weeding the gardens assure you that the sculptures are very real and are made of California privet, yew, and English boxwood. Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States.
380 Cory’s Lane
Portsmouth, RI 02871
Green Animals Topiary Garden is open from 10 A.M. to sunset, with last tour admission at 6:30 P.M.
Youth (ages 6-17): $8
Tickets can be purchased as a package with mansion tickets. Read above for prices.
The Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the United States, is rich in the history of the Jewish people from the colonization period until 1946 when it was designated as a national historic site. The synagogue remains an active house of worship and is also toured by thousands of visitors every year.
The first Jewish residents of Newport, Rhode Island, who came from Barbados, seemed to have settled there as early as 1658. The community was comprised of Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin. When the new settlers made Newport their home, they started the Yeshuat Israel Congregation, the second oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.
The Jews in Newport prospered in the shipping and mercantile trades. In 1759, they began constructing a new building to house their congregation. The Touro Synagogue was completed in 1763 and was dedicated during Chanukah of that year.
Covid-19 update: The Synagogue and Loeb Visitors Center are closed to the public, so there are no on-site bathroom facilities available. Synagogue history presentations are given outdoors and are limited to a maximum of 15 people per presentation. Masks are mandatory and social distancing will be enforced. Reservations are not necessary.
85 Touro Street
Newport, Rhode Island 02840
Touro Synagogue grounds are open to the public, Sundays through Thursdays, from 11:00 A.M – 2:00 P.M., weather permitting.
Price: There is no fee for synagogue history presentations, but donations are greatly appreciated.
(Tickets are usually purchased at the Loeb Visitors Center. During prayer time, the entrance is free.)
Brenton Point State Park
The views here are outstanding and relaxing, which is probably why Brenton Point is a popular spot with quite a few people visiting. There are plenty of picnic tables if you wish to sit and dine. If you want someplace less populated, but beautiful nonetheless, drive through the park a bit more and you should be able to find an empty spot. Brenton Point State Park in Newport is an excellent choice for a tranquil getaway; it offers majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean as it meets Narragansett Bay.
Newport, RI 02840
Well- Fed on the Road
Planning an overnight trip is a lot of work – and when you need to bring along food to feed you gang, it can be daunting! Here are some ideas to keep your family well-fed throughout your travels.
A panini maker is a great item to pack. It doesn’t take up much space in the car, and once you reach your destination, you can make hot sandwiches, quesadillas, and more. Bring along an assortment of rolls, sauce, vegetables, and cheeses and set up a mini station in your hotel room to keep everyone happy.
Precooked pasta travels well in zip-top bags or small plastic containers, and it makes a quick and easy lunch or dinner on the go.
Pack a small picnic bag filled with disposable tablecloths, plates, cups, cutlery, and napkins so you can set up a meal quickly without having to dig through the trunk for supplies.
Minis are virtually mess-free and are fun to eat. Think squeezable yogurts, mini peanut butter containers, small bags of baby carrots, string cheese, and individual packs of rice cakes.
Disposable foil pans can be hard to find if there is not a kosher supermarket nearby. There are worth packing if you will be staying in a place with your own kitchen.
Preseasoned chicken and meat are easy to throw on a disposable grill, and you will save yourself the effort of having to slice or spice. Freeze them before you leave if you will not be using them immediately.
Hot and cold bags are available in most supermarkets and can keep food hot or cold for up to three hours. They are fantastic for transporting food without taking up too much space.
Don’t rely on sugary snacks or candy to keep the kids quiet. You will end up with cranky, overtired, and hungry children. Instead, keep them satisfied with healthier choices – like the miniature suggestions above.
Keep everyone well-hydrated instead of being afraid of too many pit-stops.