Great Fall Getaways: Newport, Rhode Island

Photograph by Christopher Churchill

Photograph by Christopher Churchill

For the Epicurean

Thanks to farm-to-fork restaurants sprouting up all over the city, Newport is fast becoming a dining destination. Local favorite TSK is owned by Chad Hoffer and Tyler Burnley, who worked together at New York’s BLT Prime and fell for twin sisters from Newport. The small New American menu follows the seasons (pistachio-crusted venison with caramelized-maple sweet potatoes make the most of fall’s bounty), and the space is warm and homey — especially since it’s BYOB. After dinner, swing by Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen, where the classic cocktails are bested only by the second-floor view of Narragansett Bay. And to nurse that morning-after headache, tuck into an Irish breakfast at the Corner Café, a joint popular with townies and tourists alike.

For the Adventurer

With the Atlantic on one side and manicured lawns and mansions on the other, it’s hard to top a stroll along the Cliff Walk — the trail is best in fall, sans summer crowds. Then take in the sea from another angle, either aboard Classic Cruises of Newport’s 72-foot schooner Madeleine, which offers a sunset sail around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, or on the Rum Runner II, a motor yacht that rips by the famed manses. Come dusk, look for snowy owls at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown; alternatively, explore the hiking trails with expert birder Jay Manning on one of his Sunday-morning excursions.

For the Escapist

The spa at the Vanderbilt Grace hotel recently introduced the Duet treatment room, which boasts a fireplace and enough space for two. Once you’re buffed and polished, escape to the waterfront Castle Hill Inn for dinner in the lounge or drinks on the lawn. Top off the evening at the Jane Pickens Theater, where you can enjoy a long-lost cinema classic and snack on chocolate-covered almonds.

Where to Stay

Do as the well-to-do and stay at Vanderbilt Grace (fall rates from $450), a boutique hotel with a hot restaurant: Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, executive chef at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk Beach, Maine. Forty 1 North Marina Resort (fall rates from $425) features 24 rooms and suites, as well as a marina for yachts under 250 feet (apologies if you arrived on a bigger boat).

Save this Date: October 8 – 10

The live bands, German eats, Bavarian folk dancers, and family activities at Newport’s International Oktoberfest ( will keep you going until the accordion stops.

The Essentials

Drive time: One hour, 20 minutes