Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, March 6, 2014

While at the Naval War College, What are Things to Do in Newport?

Photos by Salt Water New England

I am a young officer stationed in Newport, RI for the next few months. I stumbled upon your blog while trying to buy khakis.

I noticed a good number of your posts profiled the city of Newport, and so I must shamelessly ask you for tips on where to go eat, drink, shop, what to do, etc.

While here, I want to make the most of my time, and it is clear to me that you know the city well. I would especially love to learn more about WASP culture. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and the whole WASP scene both mystifies and intrigues me.


  1. Just to be clear, there are WASPs in LA too;). I might or might not be related to some of them...

  2. I live on the Point, which is right down the street from the NWC... check out the Rhumbline for a nice dinner or to sit at the bar. Also, when the weather is nice, head to Belle's - it's a great breakfast/lunch spot outside in the shipyard. Also good... and off The Point is The Mooring - great seafood with views, Pineapple on the Bay (goat island) for bar food with panoramic views, and the Corner Cafe for a yummy breakfast/lunch. I know Muffy would recommend the Royal Male in Newport, but I would suggest Brooks Brothers or Jack Willis (both on Thames).

  3. Zelda's for dinner (special occasions), Awful Awfuls at Newport Creamery for dessert, IYAC for drinks after, and reggae by the Ravers on Sundays at Billy Goode's (winter) or Dockside (summer). There's a neat marine consignment store with all sorts of treasures too but I'm not quite sure of the name, it might be Nautical Newport.

  4. New Englanders are a warm accepting group as a rule. When in Rome...

  5. So, the WASP thing “mystifies and intrigues” you? Come spend some time in Pasadena LOL!

    One recommendation: read "Theophilus North” by Thornton Wilder. From high to low you will dig up the Nine Cities of Newport (and places to see), and uncover life, love, and work. Of course, as a fellow Southern Californian, I would be remiss if I failed to add Hollywood’s contribution: “Mr. North.” If you have little free time for reading, Anthony Edwards, Robert Mitchum, Lauren Bacall, and Anjelica Huston do a creditable job on the story, and at least it was filmed in Newport. Though you would be missing a fine novel by one of America’s great writers.

  6. Newport is great, but if you are living there get off the island occasionally--I know many who don't. Cross the bridge, head to Narragansett, Point Judith, up to Wickford, and into Providence. Newport is great, but, if you're at all a foodie, Providence is the place to go.

  7. As no one has yet said it, the Black Pearl for chowder.

    A Newport Gulls game (summer collegiate baseball league) can be fun; further afield, the Paw Sox in Pawtucket are a Red Sox minor league affiliate.

  8. Looking East from Cliff Walk you'll see Sakkonet Point. To get there, head out of Newport on Rte 114, pick up Rte 24 to cross the Sakkonet Bridge, then head south on Rte 77. You'll pass through Tiverton Four Corners and get a sandwich at Provender. If the day's fine, take it down to the point and watch the water/fishing boats. Then head back, turning right on Meetinghouse Lane to get into Little Compton. It's the best of Rhode Island, IMHO.

  9. Okay, here goes:

    There are so many options. For food, I recommend (Cost ascending order):
    - PJ-2-Go on Broadway for good take-out on a budget (Pour Judgement's annex) Get the "Cali Chicken" sandwich.
    - Mission Burgers (New in the location of the departed Billy Goode's): Will be on your top 3-5 burgers of all time list. Same with hot dogs (believe it or now) Owned by owners of Thames Street Kitchen.
    - Pour Judgement on Broadway for the locals bar and good food at very good prices
    - Perro Salado for margaritas and 'mexican' - Get the avocado fries.
    - Benjamin's for a "touristy" experience (go to the crow's nest up stairs and get the french-dip or seafood (oysters))
    - Zelda's for a great (and affordable) sit-down with the boys (their burgers are legendary) or date-night
    - Black Pearl - For chowder, as mentioned, dark 'n stormies, and history.
    - Other, higher placed restaurants offer great food but for a price (Clarke Cook, Mooring, Tallulah, TSK, White Horse Tavern (Great for a drink or two though in the back bar); these can all be found on Yelp, so I'll leave you to that)
    - Avoid: Red Parrot (tourists), Obriens (except summers on the patio), Eating at Fastnet (other reasons to go)

    For a night out:
    Fastnet - The rowdy, young, locals and some tourists bar. Darts, pool, music, trivia (wednesdays?), beer, beer garden. Blues Night Monday's. Irish traditional music Sundays.
    IYAC and Zelda's - For the yachting crowd
    Midtown Oyster Bar - New last summer; lively, mix of young and old, and great architecture; multiple bars and patios.
    Pelham - Tourists and Salve Students, but live music
    Blues Cafe - Live music and a mix of people
    Studio Three - Night club (if that's your thing)
    Dockside - Summers; go for the Ravers.
    Tavern on Broadway (for raggae and blue grass nights)
    Billy Goode's, former winter home of the Ravers, is now closed.
    Avoid: Obrien's except rare occassions, Pelham unless the description above appeals

    Royal Male for High end english country wear and the original prep (Spring Street)
    Jack Wills for Neo-prep (Most will say this should not be a consideration) (Upper Thames)
    CLOSET REVIVAL on broadway for excellent consignment vintage, prep, and more. GO HERE. (Broadway)
    The Armory Antiques Center (Lower Thames)
    The Narraganset - Trad/Prep of a slightly more affordable level than Royal Male

    Cliff Walk, Mansions, Yachting Center, 12m. Charters, Ocean Drive, Fort Adams Park, Sailing out of Sail Newport (J22 Charters), 1st (sunbathing, some surfing), 2nd (best surfing), 3rd (best walking/dogs)beach, Newport Storm Brewery (tours and tastings and free beer on fridays; check out their fb page), Newport Vineyards, Firehouse Comedy Club (off broadway)

    Narragansett beaches, Jamestown shoreline drive, Providence (Piano bar is a fun night out), Bristol (Bee-hive cafe for food, Herreshoff Marine Museum, Persimmon (Best restaurant around, purportedly), DeWolf Tavern

    That should get you going.......

  10. First, thank you for your service, CDR. Where else can you find a Torpedo Museum? Some favorites in
    Mama Luisa's on Thames St. for Italian
    Mooring Restaurant on Sayers Wharf
    Thames St. Kitchen (which is BYOB)
    White Horse Tavern on Marlborough St. - elegant fine dining and $$$
    The Inn at Castle Hill - great for outdoor cocktails. Music on weekends.


  11. Four our Naval Officer Guest:

    I attended OCS in Newport in 1982 and always enjoyed The BRICK ALLEY PUB on Thames Street.

    The Black Pearl.

    Clarke Cooke House

    The Candy Store

    Most of the residents who live closer or in Newport are far more familiar than I am as I've been away for a long time and haven't been back to Newport since '08.

    I always liked the town and even back in '82 as an Officer Candidate, I still managed to have a good time while on liberty.

  12. Welcome to Newport! A few favorite places: walking at Sachuest Point, swimming at Second Beach, the Norman Bird Sanctuary.
    The Atlantic grill for breakfast.
    Take route 114 to the Mount Hope Bridge to the quintessential town of Bristol, RI. Favorite eateries: The Lobster Pot, Aidan's Pub, Robertos, Quitos Clam Shack. Also in Bristol, Colt State Park on the Bay for walking, running, picnicking, etc.

  13. One way to get a picture of current WASP culture in Newport would be attend Trinity Church on Honeyman Square. I did so as an Officer Candidate in 1982. One Sunday, I shared one of the pew boxes with then Senator Claiborne Pell.

    I also lived in Los Angeles and knew of the WASP enclaves in Pasadena.

    All of the suggestions you see here, many by folks who live in Newport and the surrounding areas will keep you busy with things to do.

    Paul Connors

  14. Thank you for sharing and bringing back fond memories of my tours in Newport. I enjoyed, and commented on, the Apres Christmas Stroll Around Newport post from just after Christmas. People have covered most of the great places to go, and yes there are more than a few. The O-Club had a great Sunday brunch back in the day, which is, sadly, getting to be a long time ago.

  15. Newport has a very diverse community; forget about WASP culture, it's inpenetrable unless you were born into it. You can really only watch from the sidelines. I lived in New England for decades and worked in Newport. Wickford is charming, Narragansett beaches are beautiful, Providence is real, Point Judith has deep-sea fishing boats ... have some Rhode Island clam chowder, a coffee cabinet, some clam fritters and some soupie in Westerly. And don't forget to have a regulah grindah.

  16. Semi Elite StatusMarch 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    In all of the entries on this blog referencing Newport, I've yet to see the Newport Jazz Festival mentioned. I've never been, but am curious to hear from others. Is it worth attending?

  17. Welcome to RI,
    For food
    -Gracies in Providence world class French
    -Persimmon in Bristol
    -The Barn in Middletown
    -Dewolf Tavern Bristol (Indian Fusion)
    -The Bristol 4th of July parade
    -Tour of Brown Univ
    -Melville point where JFK learned to be a PT boat CPT
    -Battleship Cove of Fall River MA
    -Lexington and Concord Battlefield, Bunker Hill, The Old North Church, Kennedy Museum all in MA
    -The Paw Sox (minor league for Red Sox)
    -Providence Bruins
    -The East Bay Bike Path
    -Gooseberry Newport formerly private
    Shopping Addition
    -J Press in Cambridge MA (shipped to APO address in Iraq)
    LTC Porter aka Lancer

  18. For those who like to sail or who wish they could, a trip to New England Boat Works and the Hinckley Yard in Portsmouth is always a treat. I understand all the old 12 meters and many famous racing boats are there under their winter wraps. Lunch at nearby Cindy's Country Cafe, 1324 W Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871, is always a treat. Home cooking and boat pictures on the wall signed by famous sailors add to the feeling of being at an "in" place where the real sailors go.

  19. Nine generations of my family were born and raised in Newport before my grandparents moved to Warwick (where my father was born) and Providence (where I was born). Still, eleventh generation Rhode Islander isn't too bad.

    Newport - my grandparent's Newport - was fascinating, and I only wish I listened more closely to their stories about the place, now that they're gone.

    Tourist Newport is basically the entire city, no matter where you go, in the summer. I studied at Salve for one year, and can safely say off-season Newport is more my speed. Every place on Thames and Bellevue is touristy, and that's something you can't get away from.

    My favorite place is Armory Antiques. There are some great finds there. A great evening drive is down Bellevue to Ocean and around to Ft Adams.

    If you do decide to pop up to Providence check out:
    The Dorrance
    Bar Eddy
    Flan y Ajo (BYOB tapas)
    Nicks on Broadway (the only place I will wait two hours for bunch on a Sunday)

  20. My father was a retired Reserve Navy Officer. Only called up when they needed him (WWII and Korea), he did his basic training at Newport in the summer of 1942 before being shipped out to the Pacific. Occasionally he would treat the family to a dinner at the Newport Officer's Club. Decent food. Fabulous view. My other recommendation would be the White Horse Tavern. On a cold night ask for a table by the roaring fire. Two hundred plus years of diners can't be wrong.

  21. New to here and NWC, too. Thanks for the good ideas above.

    -I've Found FastNet Pub to be great in terms of ambiance and drink.

    -Its worth trying a milkshake-like Awful Awful at Newport Creamery.

    -For a different type of ambiance, the Redwood Library can't be beat. It's easily walkable from where I live, and membership is well worth the $70 annual fee. Nice selection of circulating material(including an exceptional collection of classical music CDs) in a setting as historic as they come. Amazing "Patron" service. Also an active offering of lectures, readings, and concerts. More here:

    -A-1 pizza on Broadway.

    -Jane Pickens Theater for good movies AND a concession counter that sells beer.

    -Haven't made it to Flo's Clam Shack (across from First Beach) but I think it's re-opened now.

  22. Sorry if I am repeating what someone else has said, but do also see the houses.

    Sure they are decadent and, some, gaudy, but they are also history and culture.

    I suggest reading up on the houses before going to tour them--and tour them all, big and small.

    The architecture is fascinating. The interior design and decoration is inspiring.

    The story these houses tell about America and people from the time they were built to today is remarkable.

    OK I am rambling, but the houses are a real educational opportunity.