Boston Traveler: Newport, Rhode Island

Take a step back in time with sunset sails, champagne, and maybe even a polo match.

Watch the sun sink into the harbor on the Vanderbilt Grace’s roof deck. / Courtesy photo


Roll the top down and cruise south for an hour and a half until you cross the iconic bridge that spans Narragansett Bay.


Get into a Gatsby state of mind at the Grace Vanderbilt: The historical manse was built by a member of the powerful family for his mistress in the early 1900s. Now it’s a luxury hotel complete with a poolside terrace and a harbor-view roof deck perfect for morning yoga sessions or an evening glass of bubbly (it’s the only spot in Newport that serves Dom Pérignon by the glass).

The opulent Breakers offers tours of its underground infrastructure. / Courtesy photo


Order up a picnic lunch from the Grace Vanderbilt and lace up those sneakers: A warm late-spring morning is the ideal time for a stroll along the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, where crashing waves meet those famous 19th-century mansions. Looking for a new way to see your favorites? Sign up for the Beneath the Breakers tour and sneak a peek at the underground infrastructure that once supported the opulent façade (tickets available through the Preservation Society of Newport County), or swing by Rosecliff June 22 to 24 for the Newport Flower Show, a must for bloom lovers. Then it’s time to get back outside, for a private lesson on the grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame or a bivalve break on Midtown Oyster Bar’s bustling roof deck.


You’re in the City by the Sea—a sunset sail is practically mandated. If you left your yacht at home, book a private cruise aboard the Temma, a handsome vessel built in 1928. Prefer to stay on dry land? The Newport Polo season kicks off in June with matches every Saturday at 5 p.m. in nearby Portsmouth. When it’s time for dinner, options abound, from the recently reopened farm-to-table spot Thames Street Kitchen to the funky Malt, in the up-and-coming Broadway area, where you can pair Irish whiskey with Thai shrimp nachos. If you’re not in the mood to party with the twentysomethings at the Thames Street bars, end the day on a civilized note with a fireside nightcap on the Vanderbilt’s garden terrace, and you’ll feel like a million (or perhaps even a billion) bucks.