Exploring Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island is to New England boaters what Paris is to art lovers or Las Vegas is to gamblers. It is the region’s premier boating destination, thanks to its history of America’s Cup yacht racing, its awe-inspiring mansions and its exciting waterfront with world-class restaurants, interesting shops and impressive yachts along its docks.

When navigating to Newport, visiting boaters should be mindful of the area’s heavy boat traffic and large number of moored boats. To use one of the moorings in Newport Harbor, contact the harbormaster (401-845-5815, VHF 14 or 16). Boats up to 40 feet can also tie up at the Newport Maritime Center (http://www.cityofnewport.com/visitors/newport-maritime-center; 401-845-5870; VHF 9) at the Ann Street Pier or at Perotti Park (401-845-5817) in the north end of the harbor.

At Goat Island Marina (http://www.newportexperience.com/#!goat-island-marina/c17xy; 401-841-8868, VHF 9), boaters can dock and find fuel. Bannister’s Wharf (www.bannistersnewport.com; 401-846-4500) also has fuel and dockage. Newport Yachting Center Marina (www.newportyachtingcenter.com; 800-653-3625, VHF 9) offers dockage, fuel and pumpout. Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina (www.newporthotel.com; 800-955-2558, VHF 9) has transient slips available from May to October. And Newport Shipyard (www.newportshipyard.com; 401-846-6000, VHF 9) has dockage, fuel and repair services.

Newport’s most famous attractions are its impressive mansions built during America’s Gilded Age. The Newport Mansions Preservation Society of Newport County (www.newportmansions.org; 401-847-1000) offers in-season tours of 9 mansions, including Marble House, the Breakers and the Elms.

Visitors to Newport will also enjoy Fort Adams State Park (www.fortadams.org; 401-841-0707), home to a large fort that was built on Castle Hill in 1824 and was once the largest coastal fortification in the U.S. While at Fort Adams, boaters should check out the Museum of Yachting (http://iyrs.edu/museum-yachting-iyrs/), which has many yachting-related exhibits, plus the 12-meter America’s Cup yachts Courageous and Freedom.

The Newport waterfront has a diverse selection of world-class restaurants and popular bars. A great dock-and-dine option at the Newport Shipyard is Belle’s Café (http://www.newportshipyard.com/bellescafe/; 401-846-6000), which offers free dockage for restaurant patrons and features delicious, creative breakfast and lunch options. Visitors looking to enjoy award-winning seafood and a raw bar should dine at Scales & Shells (www.scalesandshells.com; 401-846-3474) on Thames Street. The White Horse Tavern (www.whitehorsenewport.com; 401-849-3600) is an historic tavern that has been in business since 1673. It serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, including local seafood, beef and chicken dishes. The Black Pearl (www.blackpearlnewport.com; 401-846-5264) is a popular watering hole and restaurant with both outdoor and indoor seating on Bannisters Wharf.