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Where to Stay, Eat, and Walk in Newport, Rhode Island

The Newport Beach Hotel & Suites

After visiting New Bedford and before going on to the Berkshires, we took a side trip of three days to visit Newport Rhode Island. We stayed at the Newport Beach Hotel & Suites, right across from Easton Beach (First Beach). (Don’t be put off by its “luxury hotel” status, you can get a good deal in the off-season) Despite the busy road beneath our window, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the beach. It’s a very nice hotel in a great location: a ten minute stroll to the famous Cliff Walk and less than ten minute drive to the Newport waterfront.

One Wave Avenue, Middletown, Rhode Island (still part of Newport)
The View of Easton Beach from the Newport Beach Hotel & Suites, photo by Bill Gough
View of Easton Beach Heading toward the Newport Beach Inn & Suites

We went to Newport specifically to view Gilded-Age mansions, but before I get to that I want to talk about how much we enjoyed Newport’s waterfront.

The Newport Waterfront

There are charming shops and wonderful restaurants waiting for visitors at the waterfront. We didn’t take advantage of it, but there are lots of opportunities for sailing and fishing as well. We were happy to shop and eat.

The Black Dog

We discovered a great clothing chain called The Black Dog. Everyone back east is familiar with this chain but it was new to us. I first noticed it on Martha’s Vineyard (bar and shop), and then started seeing it everywhere. At first it really bugged me, who wants a shirt with a black dog on it? But then we walked inside and saw the quantity–and noticed the high quality–of their clothing. I know I sound like a commercial but I was really struck! And best of all, there’s a story to go with the business. Click here if you want to view it.

I also want to talk about our favorite restaurant on the waterfront:

The Southern Kitchen and Whisky Bar

Outdoor and Indoor Seating, including Upstairs. Photo by Bill Gough

The ambience of the Southern Kitchen and Whisky Bar is great. I loved its funky interior and tin ceiling.

They had a wide-range of choices for dinner; I can’t remember what my husband had, but I had the grilled shrimp and grits – delicious. We shared a drink for dessert–a whiskey of course! We had one called Scorched Earth, recommended by our waiter. It tasted like smoke from a campfire but was surprisingly good.

A Scorched Earth Drink Complete with Charred Orange Peel
Loved this sign (and the man at the table!)

Shout-Out for Bruce and @Blackfangmorphs

We had fun talking to Bruce, our waiter/bartender. He and his sister Deanna have a side business breeding and selling reptiles. Bruce spoke enthusiastically about the business and how they try to vet any clients from Florida–they don’t want them releasing snakes into the Everglades. They specialize in Ball Pythons, which, he told me, wouldn’t survive in the Everglades anyway. I told him I’d give him a shout-out, so here is his instagram: @Blackfangmorphs

Ball Python, photo from @Blackfangmorphs

The Drift Cafe

I have to give a shout-out to another place just inland from the waterfront – The Drift Cafe at 190 Thames Street. They have the best blended acai bowls! We had never had them before (late to the party) and enjoyed them so much we went back the next day to have another.

A Local Favorite – The Drift Cafe, 190 Thames Street, Newport.

We didn’t spend all our time at the Waterfront, like I said, we came to Newport to see the mansions. To get in you in mood for that upcoming blog, I’ll post some photos of Cliff Walk.

Cliff Walk

Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile walk that runs along Newport’s cliffs and just below the backyards of many Gilded-Age “cottages.” It’s an easy walk with gorgeous views; best of all, it’s free. We walked there from our hotel, but you can park on Memorial Boulevard at Easton’s Beach, or on Narragansett Avenue at 40 Steps. Here is more info on the walk. (Note – most of the photos below are by Bill Gough)

This Gilded-Age Cottage–The Breakers–Makes a Nice Backdrop.

My next blog will be about the mansions of Newport. Stay tuned!




  1. Jeannine Thompson Jeannine Thompson

    Thank you for this post. I never knew The Black Dog’s origin story. Now I can appreciate the logo from a lovely perspective. For all these years, I had been thinking it was simply a status symbol for the rich and famous of MV. Shame on me for being so cynical. Oh, well. I’m happy to now understand that their iconic logo evolved out of a man’s love for his mixed breed black dog.

    • KarenGough KarenGough

      I was questioning the dog symbol myself! Shows how important it is to know the whole story. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  2. Anonymous Anonymous

    Awesome post, Karen. I was intrigued also by the Black Dog story. I am anticipating a ‘Black Dog’ purchase through their website! If I may ask, what dates were you staying in Martha’s Vineyard? Its allure is taunting me to plan a trip in the future!! Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

    • KarenGough KarenGough

      We traveled MA during the first three weeks of October. It was great because the summer crowds were gone and the weather was great. Just be aware that many services (like the ferry from New Bedford to Martha’s) close down by mid-October. However, hotels are cheaper (they are anyway cause of covid), and the autumn colors are beautiful.
      I’m so glad to hear I may have inspired you. Thank you for commenting! And enjoy your Black Dog purchase!

  3. Always wanted to venture out to the cliff walk but haven’t gotten the chance yet… maybe this summer! Thanks for the suggestions!

    • KarenGough KarenGough

      Oh it’s so pretty! I hope you do. And going in the off-season was especially nice for us because it was so peaceful. I imagine it must be crowded in the summer. Go early in the morning! 😊 Thanks for commenting.

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