Staycations and local trips seem to be our best bet in 2020, trying to minimize the spread of covid-19 while still leaning into our #wanderlust, so I did just that and booked a mini girl’s getaway to Rhode Island. Keep in mind, I already reside in New England, so I didn’t really have to travel too far being Rhode Island is kind of like my backyard! I wrote a post about traveling safely during covid, read that HERE, I used these tactics to make sure I was both safe and responsible during my short holiday.
Some quick facts on Rhode Island as you either debate or plan your visit:
The Official State Name: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
RI is the smallest state in the United States
RI is affectionately known as the ocean state and sometimes as the vacation state
RI is one of 6 New England States
RI is 400 miles of coastline-offering great views & even better seafood
Where To Stay: The main street in Newport, RI is Thames Street, ideally, you’d want to be in close proximity to either this historic strip or right near the beach. You have your choice of Airbnb’s or hotels. We stayed in this lovely Airbnb, the listing can be found HERE, and video tour below! This two-bedroom was perfect for me and my girlfriends as we were within walking distance of the best restaurants & activities and a short drive of the Vineyard and Cliff Walk! I’ve only ever stayed in AirBnbs when visiting RI, but again, there are several great hotel options including the Hammett on Thames St, Cliffside Inn on the Cliffwalk or Club Wyndham Long Wharf across from the Newport Harbor! I usually book my hotels on Expedia or Booking.com. Just be sure to book near either Thames St or the Cliff Walk!
How To Get There: Though I am mainly recommending road trips in 2020, avoiding flying where possible, there are still ways to ensure you are flying safely and responsibly, so if this is your method of transportation, you’d fly into one of these airports:
BOS- Boston Logan Airport, Boston, MA, 50 miles from Rhode Island
PVD-Theodore Francis Green Memorial State Airport, Warwick, RI
The other option is catching a train via Amtrak. The two train stations in Rhode Island are in Kingston, RI or Providence, RI!
You could also easily drive to Rhode Island. DISTANCE FROM…
Boston, MA: 70 miles
Concord, NH: 149 miles
Hartford CT: 100 miles
New York City: 175 miles
Montpelier, VT: 261 miles
Philadelphia, PA: 275 miles
Portland, ME: 178 miles
Washington, DC: 403 miles
Best Time To Visit: High Season is June-August; Fall is also a good time to visit September-November. Rhode Island, similar to the rest of New England/the Northeast, is pretty pricey! Be prepared to spend on average $25 for a sit down meal!
How To Get Around: Newport is a very walkable city with most things in close proximity. You can also easily get around with your car, parking may prove to be a bit difficult during high season, but not impossible with a mix of metered parking or parking lots. You’ll also see people getting around via bikes, skateboard or even scooters- which you can rent HERE.
How Many Days: Newport, RI is doable in 4 days or an extended weekend!
Wineries & Vineyards: Newport Vineyard- Wine Tasting !! Touring the vines is actually closed at the moment because of COVID, but you can still taste the wine varietals and grab a bite (I recommend the pretzel bites & oysters). If you like one of the wines you try enough, you can purchase a bottle to take home. About 20-minute drive from Thames St.
Cliff Walk– Beautiful views, one of the most popular attractions in Rhode Island
Beaches -Gooseberry Beach, Easton’s Beach, Bailey’s Beach, Belmont Beach, Kings Beach, Collins Beach, Sachuest Beach…For More Information on the COVID specific protocols, parking, operating times & more, please check HERE
Breakers – Museum; Summer home of the Vanderbilt’s filled w/ ornate artwork & gardens- tours available
Comedy Show-Firehouse Theater, Call for showtimes/availability!
Eat Seafood- You’re in New England- lobster, clams & oysters are what they do best, but all of the seafood is delicious!
Live Music- Several restaurants and establishments have resorted to outdoor, live music to accommodate for COVID-19
Head to the Shops @ Thames St
Castle Hill Lighthouse
Visit a State park!
Restaurants & Night Life
Midtown Oyster Bar- Great Seafood (Especially oysters). We visit this restaurant every time we’re in town! If you’re an oyster lover, definitely try their $3 dollar oysters, the Rhode Island-style calamari, lobster pasta & fish tacos are also really good! ***Located on Thames St.
Benjamin’s- Great lobster rolls, shrimp & oysters!! ***Located on Thames St.
Del’s Lemonade- First Del’s lemonade stand was in Cranston, Rhode Island. Most known for the frozen lemonade slush- a must-try! ***Located on Thames St.
Newport Fudgery– Every day this fudge is made fresh & hand-poured- evident in the smells and taste, I got the salted caramel and it didn’t make it home 🙂 ***Located on Thames St.
Surf Club Newport -We just had the drinks, the self-proclaimed best drink on Rhode Island, the spicy watermelon margarita did not disappoint! Great outdoor patio option for late-night drinks!
Harvest Market – Local Eatery W/ Good Breakfast Options
The Nitro Bar– Speciality Drinks & Lattes – Get the lavender oat milk latte, super yummy!
Cold Fusion Gelato- Delicious gelato ***Located on Thames St.
Hammett’s Wharf- Recently renovated with a cute deck overlooking the water, perfect for late drinks & small bites!
The Mooring Seafood & Bar
White Horse Tavern
22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grill
The Chanler Cliffwalk
The Lobster Bar
** Before your trip, check for covid specific updates/procedures/changes as many businesses were either running at reduced capacity, running with changed hours or even closed.
For more photos & videos, including a look into our wine tasting & visit to Newport Vineyward, please check out my IG (@fitflyflournoy) and check for the “Rhode Island” section of my saved stories.
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Great article! You answered all of my questions and then some!
This is so cool !!! I’m planning to visit there and check out all the mansions. Thanks for the restaurant recommendations.