8 Things I Wish I Did in Newport

By Sonya Matejko*

Florida was sitting pretty around 80 degrees and I was in need of a change. So I packed my bags and flew up to the New England for the weekend. I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect upon my descent to Providence, Rhode Island. I was taken aback by the small airport and the autumn colors – both of which I’m certainly not used to.

I reveled in the foliage and the slight drop in temperature. It felt good to wear a sweater and feel a breeze that wouldn’t completely ruin my hair. The air was fresh, the nature was vibrant, the laughter was filtering our lungs, and we were at peace wandering through Providence’s streets (all of which close dramatically early).

While the city of Providence didn’t really do it for me in the midst of all my other travels this year, it was our quick trip to neighboring Newport that made my soul jump a little. Whilst the clouds were grey and the wind was fierce there was something beautiful in the dreary palette. 

Against the cliffs where the waves crashed it was hard not the smile at the simplicity of it all. Ironic of course, with mansions behind me, but to be honest my eyes were on the ocean during our whole stroll down Cliff Walk – a path I certainly recommend. We walked a couple of miles against this picturesque scene any tourist would admire.

Our strides ended at The Breakers mansion where we turned back towards our car. For some indecipherable reason we were all really craving seafood… So we made our way to Newport’s downtown to the The Mooring nestled in against a charming marina.

Now, this very well might’ve been the best seafood I’ve had in my whole life. If you have the chance to go here I recommend: bag of donuts for an app, seafood pasta and shaved brussel sprouts for dinner, and top it off with a "Sweet Dreams" night cap. I even tried my first oyster before the app and I was pleasantly surprised that I loved it.

Upon leaving dinner we ventured along the lit-up streets, all of which closed regrettably early; yet the vibe all around was very calming and serene without high rises or masses of people. It was like the quiet streets were whispering for you to return just in the very moment you felt like you needed to get away.

Post dinner we trekked the noiseless streets to the oldest tavern in American, White Horse Tavern. According to Thrillist,

“…this spot was home to colonial assemblies, criminal courts, and civic government before it ever served a single drink. Once run by a pirate, WHT was restored in 1957 and is now better known as a home for some of the best seafood in New England. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of booze for you to sip while snapping a selfie of yourself having a drink in America’s oldest bar.”

We had a night of crafty and delicious drinks which paired well with good conversation. It was the type of night where you were completely content in the dark corner of a cozy bar with old friends talking about old jokes and making new memories. It was okay to spend the dollars on the fancy cocktail(s) because this was about experiencing rather than the act of drinking.

All things considered – our short day in Newport was a heavenly autumn dream, but there are some things that I wish I did while I was there. And this just means I’ll have to return…

1.     Newport Mansions. While we saw a couple on Cliff Walk, I would’ve loved to explore the inside(s) and drive down Bellevue for the full experience.

2.     Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Judge me, but I sure would’ve loved a quaint picture here.

3.     Servant Tour. To contrast seeing how the 1% lived, I wish I could’ve seen/heard about how servants lived during the Gilded Age.

4.     The Vanderbilt Grace. Judge me again, but I’m just obsessed with a good rooftop bar – especially one with a view.

5.     Fort Adams. Who wouldn’t want to visit “The Rock On Which the Storm Shall Beat”? Or in other words, one of America’s oldest fortresses.

6.     Thames Street. Though I saw the streets, I’d love to peruse the storefronts during the day and see what treasures lay inside.

7.     Newport Vineyards. Because wine.

8.    Stillwater Spa. A Hyatt hotel, named “Best of New England” by Boston Magazine for Spas. And Newport just seems like the type of place you go to relax.

So while I loved my trip up north, I know I’ll be making my way back again whenever I need another breath of fresh air and another bag of donuts.

*Sonya is a returning guest blogger for ATOB. She runs the blog Single Strides and is regularly featured on The Huffington Post and Elite Daily among other online publications.

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