Newport: Sunny Days and Sometimes Foggy Nights

If you’ve spent a day in Newport, you know Newport’s coastline trumps all 400 miles of beaches throughout Rhode Island. The Vanderbilts, Astors, Belmonts and Van Beuren’s also knew. Come celebrate summer with us.

Independence Day is quickly approaching, and we all question where we’ll watch the fireworks. This year, the City of Newport’s fireworks will commence at 9:15pm. They are shot over the Harbor from Fort Adams. A few solid viewing locations open to the public are Fort Adams (90 Fort Adams Dr), King Park (125 Wellington Ave), Newport Harbor facing West (if you’re sailing or walking limited paths), the causeway connecting Goat Island, Perrotti Park (near the ferry landing), Storer Park (near the Goat Island causeway), Grace Vanderbilt Rooftop (fee after 7pm, 41 Mary St), Top of Newport (Hotel Viking, 1 Bellevue Ave), Rose Island Lighthouse (ticket price includes transportation to and from island, BBQ feast, clam chowder, soft drinks and music), The Lawn at Castle Hill (enjoy the adirondack chairs at 590 Ocean Dr).

newportFILM is a year-round, non-profit documentary film series in Newport that features established and emerging filmmakers and their current documentary films, curated from film festivals around the world. Now that we’re into the summer season, the films are being taken outdoors! Experience award-winning documentaries, live music, interviews with filmmakers and subjects, fabulous food and loads of community spirit among Aquidneck Island’s beautiful outdoor spaces. Thriving nature preserves, sprawling ocean-front lawns, elegant mansion gardens, public parks and working farms are just a sampling of venues used for these outdoor cinemas. These epic film events take place every Thursday night, all summer long, and are free of charge. Bring your own picnic or buy from one of the few food vendors participating in the series. newportfilm.com 

The Black Ships Festival takes place July 13 – 15, and this summer, the event is expanding to Bristol. blackshipsfestival.com

The Association Tennis Professionals (or ATP) will be on World Tour in Newport to compete in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on July 15 – 22. These rare grass courts have hosted the best of the best of tennis since 1880. This is the only opportunity to see professional men’s tennis in the Northeast prior to the US Open. halloffameopen.com

Visit the URI Athletic Fields this summer for camping, a carnival, food vendors, music and hot air balloons at the South County Balloon Festival, taking place July 20 – 22. You’ll find Roomful of Blues, tethered balloon rides, rock climbing, food and craft vendors. southcountyballoonfest.com

The Newport Jazz Festival is a three-day event sprawling across Fort Adams on August 3 – 5. World class musicians perform across four stages while ticket-holders absorb the smooth sounds across the surrounding lawns. It’s truly amazing how sound travels here, and how one performance doesn’t bleed into another unless you waltz to an adjacent stage. There is no shortage of food vendors, beer tents, Del’s Lemonade or merchandise. Check out newportjazz.org to plan which day(s) you would like to attend. Each artist in the event’s line-up is linked with a video of their sound. Allow yourself time to arrive because there will be car traffic. A launch will be available to transport ticketholders; however, be prepared to wait your turn. Cycling may be the quickest form of transportation.

Hosted by the Preservation Society of Newport County, authentic 19th century coaches drawn by matched and highly trained teams of horses visit Newport every three years for a Weekend of Coaching on August 16 – 19. The public can enjoy free viewing of the colorful and historic coaches every day, as they strut through the streets of Newport and the grounds of the Newport Mansions, celebrating and preserving a century-old sporting tradition. newportmansions.org/events/a-weekend-of-coaching

The Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival takes place September 20 – 23, and events include the Wine & Rosecliff Gala, tastings with hundreds of wines, celebrity chef appearances and cooking demonstrations, bordeaux dinner, jazz brunch, and an after dark party. Need I say more? If you’re a wino or a foodie, be there. newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival

The Preservation Society of Newport County is dedicated to historic preservation. They invite you to explore their 11 Newport mansion properties, representing more than 250 years of social, architectural and landscape history in one of America’s most historically intact cities. While you’re at the Breakers Mansion, grab a soft drink, sandwich or snack in the new, breathtaking, garden-feel welcome center. newportmansions.org/plan-a-visit And

Don’t be fooled by their similar logo — it’s not Warner Brothers that everyone is sporting in this city by the sea, it’s Water Brothers. This authentic, local surf shop has been around since 1971 and nods to some serious local surfers and their growing community. One of the best point breaks was saved by these guys. For lessons and gear, visit originalwaterbrothers.com Another surf shop is Island Surf & Sport islandsurfandsport.com Unfortunately, Rhody Surf is no longer with us. They’ve “Gone Surfing” as of this spring.

According to Discover Newport, the first U.S. Open Championship was held in Newport in 1895, and golf has thrived in the area ever since. Enjoy Scottish links-style courses with panoramic vistas of the Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean throughout Newport and Bristol County. Check out Green Valley Country Club, Jamestown Golf Course (jamestowngolf.com), Montaup Country Club (montaupcc.com), Newport National Golf Club (newportnational.com), Wanumetonomy Golf & Country Club (wanumetonomy.com) and Windmill Hill Golf Course.

Go tandem skydiving at 211 Airport Access Road in Middletown over New England’s most scenic dropzone. It’s the thrill of your life! You’ll want to see the world this way. Tell Nick Sergi I sent you. skydivenewport.com

What would this sea-faring state be without sailing? Please visit sailnewport.org/calendar for all and any sailing events in and around Newport this season.

Generations of families and friends return to Newport Polo year after year as a summer ritual and testament to the global fraternity of this sport and its place in the community. Teams from every continent have visited the grounds as international challengers. nptpolo.com

Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina is going into their second season, and whether you’re from out of town or local, this New York-based company has brought a new, updated vibe to the classic Newport scene. This location has everything. With sprawling ocean and harbor views come fiery sunsets, and the cabanas are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. You can sip on a casual cocktail at Pineapples bar or poolside while listening to various musicians during the day and cozy up to a fire pit at the Regent deck when the sun goes down. However, for a truly fine dining culinary experience, Scarpetta is unsurpassed. From house-made pastas to clean cooking with experimental layers of flavor, this restaurant is taking Newport by storm. If you’re a wino, you’ll want to read their wine list like a romance novel. Save room for dessert, the chefs did not fall short when creating their dolci. Experience your meal indoors in their restaurant designed like a mega yacht, or enjoy the al fresco dining overlooking the harbor and historic Point Neighborhood. Make a reservation. With dinner at Scarpetta, valet is free. gurneysresorts.com/newport