Charts: NOAA 13221, 13223, 13218
Newport lies on the southeast corner of Narragansett Bay at 41º29’12”N/71º18’20”W. As you approach the East Passage from Block Island Sound, be sure to keep to port of Brenton Reef, the tip of which lies just below the surface (you’ll usually see water breaking or boiling over the high point when a swell is running). The approaches to Newport are deep and safe in virtually all weather, but heavy boating traffic and swift currents in this area demand constant alertness. Newport Harbor itself is packed with moored vessels and boats of all sizes and types zipping around. The floating docks near the abandoned Federal Channel off Newport Shipyard reach about 300 feet into the turning basin south of the Goat Island causeway and are not lighted. North of the Goat Island causeway, the Federal Channel is also obstructed by moorings and moored vessels. The harbor speed limit is 5 mph, and quiet hours are 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Many of the moorings in the harbor are available for transients, but you must first check with the Harbormaster (401-845-5815, VHF 14 or 16). Vessels up to 40′ can tie up at the Newport Maritime Center (401-845-5870; VHF 9) at Ann St. Pier and Perotti Park (401-845-5817), in the north end of the harbor, for an hourly fee. Both places also offer free dinghy tie-up until 10:00 p.m. The Maritime Center is just off Thames Street and offers WiFi, laundry, vending machines, ice, TV, lockers and a reading library. It’s a wonderful resource for boaters.
- Bannister’s Wharf (401-846-4500, VHF 9): Dockage, diesel and gas.
- Casey’s Marina (401-848-5945): Spring Wharf. Offers boat-hauling service, diesel and gas. Also offers sailboat, kayak and PWC rental.
- Clark Boatyard (401-423-3625): Located in Jamestown. Offers transient slips, haulout, rigging, repair, showers and bathrooms, and more.
- Conanicut Marine Services (401-423-1556, VHF 71): Located in Jamestown. Offers 1,200′ of fixed pier dockage, 100 floating slips and 205 deep-water moorings (rates vary), as well as diesel and gas.
- Goat Island Marina (401-841-8868, VHF 9): Offers 150 slips for vessels up to 160′, as well as diesel and gas.
- New England Boatworks (401-683-4000): Located 5 miles north of Newport, NEB is a full-service yard offering deep-water slips for vessels up to 120′, fuel, ice, pool, showers, pump-out and picnic facilities. Repair and haulout.
- Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina (800-955-2558, VHF 9): Offers 60 transient slips from May through October.
- Newport Shipyard (401-846-6000, VHF 9): Offers dockage and full repair services, including hauling of large vessels.
- Newport Yachting Center Marina (401-846-1600, 800-653-3625, VHF 9): Offer 2,500′ of transient docking space for yachts up to 160′, as well as diesel and gas. Also offers pumpout service.
- Oldport Marine Services (401-847-9109, VHF 68): Offers moorings, parts and diesel service via Sayer’s Wharf. Also runs a launch service and offers pumpout.
- Free public dinghy tie-up is available at Newport Maritime Center/Ann Street Pier (off Thames Street) and Perotti Park (at the north end of the harbor, near Goat Island Causeway).
- Pumpouts available at the Newport Yachting Center or via the Long Wharf Mobile Pumpout Boat.
The Newport anchorage is a small triangle at the southern end of the main harbor, north of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. Yachts are requested to anchor in the northeast corner of Brenton Cove or north of the Goat Island causeway. Both areas have 15′ to 25′ depths, but holding ground can be poor in some spots. Before dropping anchor, be sure to note the locations of various cable crossings. Do not anchor within designated mooring fields.
There is an excellent concrete ramp (3 feet at MLW) with parking at Fort Adams State Park. The ramp offers immediate access to Brenton Cove and Newport Harbor, as well as the waters of Narragansett Bay to the north and the ocean waters to the south.
Kayaks and other small craft can be launched at the natural rock and cement ramp at Kings Beach on Ocean Drive. There are also small town-managed ramps at Elm and Poplar Streets north of downtown Newport, although parking may be limited.
(401-845-5815, VHF 14 or 16).
- Casey’s Marina (401-848-5945): Offers PWC, kayak, SUP and small sailboat rentals in Newport.
- Adventure Watersports (401-849-4820): Offers small-boat, PWC and kayak rental in nearby Jamestown.
- Sail Newport (401-846-1983); Sailboat rental and lessons.
A Stop & Shop (401-848-7200) is located at the top of Bellevue Avenue, a short walk from downtown.
- The Yellow Line #67 trolley of Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (401-781-9400) shuttles between the waterfront visitors center and the mansions of Bellevue Avenue.
- Bicycle and moped rentals are available from Scooter World (401-619-1349)
- Cozy Cab (401-846-2500)
- Yellow Cab (401-846-1500)
Newport offers all manner of restaurants and bars to suit any taste. Here is but a sampling:
- The Black Pearl (401-846-5264): A popular (and often crowded) watering hole and restaurant with both outdoor and indoor seating on Bannisters Wharf, right on the waterfront. Waterside bar and patio.
- Gary’s Handy Lunch (401-847-9480): Another Thames Street favorite for breakfast and lunch at a reasonable price.
- Aloha Café (401-846-7038): Much loved by locals, the Aloha serves inexpensive but delicious breakfasts and lunch. Located close to the harbor on Market St.
- The Market on the Boulevard (401-848-2600): Sells picnic fixings, good deli sandwiches and pastries.
- Puerini’s (401-847-5506): Reasonably priced Italian.
- Roba!Dolce (401-848-9600): Gourmet gelato.
- Newport Mansions Preservation Society of Newport County (401-847-1000): Offers in-season tours of 9 mansions, including Marble House, the Breakers and the Elms.
- Seasonal boat tours of Newport Harbor can be enjoyed on the Sea Rocket (401-662-6547), Sightsailer (401-849-3333) and Rum Runner II (401-847-0298).
- Tours and charter excursions are also available via America’s Cup Charters (401-846-9886), which has a fleet of classic 12-Meter America’s Cup boats, including three Cup winners.
- Rose Island Lighthouse & Fort Hamilton (401-847-4242). The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation opens Rose Island Light Station and Fort Hamilton for tours July through Labor Day. Built in 1869, the lighthouse is located on an 18-acre island in Narragansett Bay, minutes from Newport, and can be reached by small boat and kayak. After the Pell-Newport Bridge was built in 1969, the Light Station was abandoned. For the next 14 years it fell victim to scavengers, vandals and the weather. In 1984, volunteers of the nonprofit, the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation, restored the site to its 1912 appearance, installing environmentally friendly utilities for electricity, water, sewer and heat. In 1993, the beacon was relit. It is one of only a few operating lighthouses maintained by working vacationers who sign on for a week at a time as part of the organization’s environmental education program. The lighthouse is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The island’s dock is available for dinghy and kayak use only. Seal-watch tours are offered from November through April.
- Museum of Yachting: Located on the grounds of Fort Adams, the Museum of Yachting is open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., May through October 1. It is closed on Tuesday. It offers numerous yachting-related exhibits, and is also where you can see the 12-meter yachts Courageous and Freedom, reminders of Newport’s now-vanished hegemony in the America’s Cup. $5 general admission.
- Fort Adams State Park (401-841-0707): Built in 1824, this magnificent fort on Castle Hill once guarded the ocean approach to Newport. It was the largest coastal fortification in the U.S. Daily tours of the fort are given in season.
- International Yacht Restoration School (401-848-5777): Located on the Newport Waterfront, just off Thames Street. You can visit the school and view classic vessels, from Beetle Cats to commuter yachts, in various stages of restoration. Some restored vessels can also be purchased from the school.
- Hotel Viking (800-556-7126)
- Newport Harbor Hotel (800-955-2558)
- Francis Malbone House (800-846-0392)
- Cliffside Inn (800-845-1811)
There are also numerous bed-and-breakfasts to choose from in Newport; contact the Chamber of Commerce for a listing (see below).
Newport County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (800-976-5122)