Newport, RI is full of well-known attractions — and the Cliff Walk, Newport mansions, and Castle Hill are worth the hype! But there’s so much more to see, taste, and do in our beloved little city by the sea. If you’ve got a couple of extra days, or prefer to head off the beaten path, look no further than these eight hidden gems in Newport.
Belle’s Cafe at Newport Shipyard
Tucked away within the Newport Shipyard, Belle’s Cafe is one of Newport’s best-kept secrets. We like the up-close views of massive yachts and sailboats under repair, the good food, and the dog-friendly policies! Open daily for breakfast and lunch from March through December. Best on a sunny day. Belle’s is right on the water, so bring a cap and light jacket if it’s windy.
Just a few blocks south of the Newport Pell bridge, spanning one block between Battery St. and Pine St., sits Fort Greene (also called Battery Park). This small, peaceful patch of grass is about as close as you can get to the bridge without touching it. The park is a great place to boat-watch or catch a sunset away from the tourist hubbub of the wharves. There’s a small boat ramp on the south side that’s a bit tucked away, but gives access to the water to dip your toes or explore the rocks.
Just up the road in neighboring Middletown, Purgatory Chasm is a great place to stop for a quick nature respite. After a short walk from the parking lot to the chasm area, enjoy a soothing view of Second Beach and Sachuest Point Wildlife Reserve. A small bridge offers you the chance to stand over the 10-foot wide by 50-foot deep chasm. Though the walk is short, this is not a great place to take small kids as the rocks can be slippery.
This made-to-order sandwich joint also serves fresh salads and simple breakfasts. Delicious and reasonably priced, it’s a nice place to sit and watch Thames foot traffic roll by, or grab your food to go and keep exploring — but it’s only open for breakfast and lunch so plan accordingly!
Harbor Walk aside Wellington Resorts
This half-mile section of the Harbor Walk is a gravel path that winds along the edge of the harbor, with phenomenal vistas of King Park, Fort Adams, Goat Island, and the Newport Pell bridge. Pick up the gravel path near the ballfields at King Park, or at the very end of Coddington Wharf. This section is easy to get to but just beyond where most tourists venture.
The Lobster Shack
The Lobster Shack
Just a half-mile from downtown, at the north end of the tourist wharves, lives The Newport Lobster Shack. It’s really, truly, a shack, but don’t let that fool you! This place is the real deal. You can buy live lobsters to cook at home, or they’ll cook ‘em for you and you can eat at a picnic bench on the docks, taking in a quintessential Newport experience. You can even get a few shipped home! Open seasonally.
USS Bennington Memorial at Fort Adams
The huge open field and nice beach at Fort Adams State Park where the USS Bennington memorial resides is a huge open sloping field, perfect for picnicking and flying kites. Dedicated to the U.S. soldiers lost in an accidental shipboard explosion in 1954, soak up the important naval history and gulp down the salty breeze.
On the Docks
One of the most hidden spots worth checking out in Newport, RI is On the Docks. At the water’s edge at 1 Waites Wharf, it’s completely hidden from view from Thames St and lacks a website and social media pages. But should you feel like exploring, you’ll be rewarded with outdoor seating for drinks and American fare and gorgeous harbor views. Plus, you may have the place all to yourself. Open seasonally.
Hungry for more places to explore? Come for a sail and chat us up. Got a favorite place in Newport we missed? Let us know in the comments!