Newport, Rhode Island, is a breathtaking location for a destination wedding. Its rich history, picturesque scenery, and charming atmosphere make it the perfect setting for an unforgettable event. As a wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing many Newport destination weddings and have discovered the top 10 things to do in this beautiful city. From indulging in exquisite dining experiences to exploring the stunning coastline, Newport offers a wealth of activities for couples and their guests to enjoy. So, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in Newport during your destination wedding.
Tour the Newport Mansions
One of the most iconic attractions in Newport is its historic mansions. These grand estates, once owned by America’s wealthiest families, offer a glimpse into the opulence and luxury of a bygone era. When planning your Newport destination wedding, be sure to set aside time to explore these magnificent homes.
The Breakers, the most famous of the mansions, was once the summer residence of the Vanderbilt family. This Italian Renaissance-style palace features 70 rooms adorned with lavish furnishings and exquisite artwork. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and architecture of this stunning estate.
Another must-visit mansion is Marble House, inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France. Built for Alva Vanderbilt, it boasts a grand staircase made from marble, a Chinese Tea House, and sprawling gardens. Couples seeking a romantic backdrop for their wedding photos will find plenty of inspiration here.
Sail Newport Harbor
Newport is known as the sailing capital of the world, and a visit wouldn’t be complete without experiencing its picturesque harbor. A sailing excursion is an ideal activity for wedding guests, offering a unique perspective on the city’s stunning coastline and historic sites.
Book a private charter or join a group tour on a classic schooner or luxury yacht. As you sail through Newport Harbor, take in the impressive views of the iconic Newport Bridge, Fort Adams, and the beautiful shoreline dotted with luxurious mansions. This sailing experience will undoubtedly be a highlight of your Newport destination wedding weekend.
Enjoy a Romantic Dinner at The White Horse Tavern
The White Horse Tavern, established in 1673, is the oldest tavern in America and a culinary gem in Newport. Offering a sophisticated and cozy atmosphere, this historic restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic dinner or a rehearsal dinner for your Newport destination wedding.
Serving locally sourced and seasonally inspired dishes, The White Horse Tavern is renowned for its commitment to quality and flavor. Indulge in the chef’s signature dishes, such as the native lobster with sweet corn risotto or the pan-roasted Rhode Island duck. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list or a handcrafted cocktail for a truly memorable dining experience.
Stroll Along the Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk is a scenic 3.5-mile coastal path that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, dramatic cliffs, and opulent mansions. A leisurely stroll along this beautiful trail is a must-do activity during your Newport destination wedding weekend.
As you walk, take in the stunning vistas and fresh ocean breezes, making stops at picturesque locations like The Forty Steps and the beautiful Rosecliff Mansion. The Cliff Walk is not only a great way to explore Newport’s natural beauty but also an ideal spot for capturing unforgettable wedding photos.
Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Tennis enthusiasts and history buffs alike will enjoy a visit to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Located in the historic Newport Casino, this museum celebrates the sport’s rich history and its greatest champions.
Browse the extensive collection of memorabilia, including vintage tennis racquets, clothing, and photographs. Interactive exhibits and engaging displays make this a fun activity for all ages. The International Tennis Hall of Fame also features beautifully manicured grass tennis courts, where you can watch a match or even play a game yourself. A visit to this iconic site adds a touch of sports history to your Newport destination wedding experience.
Relax at Easton’s Beach
No Newport destination wedding would be complete without a visit to the beach. Easton’s Beach, also known as First Beach, is the largest public oceanfront beach in Newport. With its soft sand and gentle waves, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun with your loved ones.
Rent beach chairs and umbrellas, or indulge in a delicious lobster roll or clam chowder from the nearby snack bar. For those seeking adventure, try your hand at surfing or stand-up paddleboarding. Easton’s Beach is an idyllic spot to relax and create lasting memories during your destination wedding weekend.
Explore the Ocean Drive
One of the most scenic drives in Newport, the Ocean Drive, is a 10-mile loop that offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, luxurious mansions, and historic landmarks. Rent a classic convertible or luxury car and take a leisurely drive along this picturesque route during your Newport destination wedding.
Stop at Brenton Point State Park for a romantic picnic or to fly a kite, and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocean Drive is a must-see attraction that will leave you and your guests with unforgettable memories of your time in Newport.
Discover Newport’s Culinary Scene
Newport is home to a diverse and vibrant culinary scene, offering everything from casual seafood shacks to upscale fine dining establishments. Treat your wedding guests to a taste of local flavors at popular spots like Bouchard Restaurant & Inn, where you can savor exquisite French cuisine, or The Mooring, known for its exceptional seafood dishes and waterfront location.
For a more laid-back dining experience, head to Flo’s Clam Shack for fried clams and lobster rolls, or indulge in a classic New England clam bake at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. Exploring Newport’s culinary offerings is a delicious way to enhance your destination wedding experience.
Enjoy a Wine Tasting at Newport Vineyards
Newport Vineyards, located just a short drive from downtown Newport, offers an idyllic setting for a wine tasting during your destination wedding weekend. Surrounded by lush vineyards and rolling hills, this beautiful winery is the perfect place to relax and savor a selection of locally produced wines.
Take a guided tour of the vineyards and winemaking facilities, or enjoy a leisurely tasting on the outdoor patio. The on-site Brix Restaurant serves farm-to-table cuisine, making it an excellent option for a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch. A visit to Newport Vineyards adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your Newport destination wedding.
Experience Newport Nightlife
After a day of exploring Newport’s attractions, unwind with a night on the town. From lively bars and pubs to sophisticated lounges, Newport offers a variety of nightlife options to suit every taste. Dance the night away at the chic Dockside nightclub, or enjoy live music and signature cocktails at The Fifth Element.
For a more intimate evening, visit the Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina’s Pineapple Club, where you can sip on crafted cocktails while taking in the stunning harbor views. Experiencing Newport’s vibrant nightlife is the perfect way to celebrate your destination wedding with friends and family.
Newport, Rhode Island, is an enchanting location for a destination wedding, offering an abundance of activities, attractions, and unforgettable experiences. From historic mansions and stunning coastal views to world-class dining and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As a wedding photographer specializing in capturing the magic of Newport destination weddings, I can attest to the city’s charm and endless opportunities for creating lasting memories.
If you’re in need of a wedding photographer in the Newport area who not only shares a love for this charming town but is also familiar with each and every venue, look no further. I would be honored to help you document your special day and ensure that the memories of your Newport destination wedding last a lifetime. Don’t hesitate to contact me, and together, let’s create a beautiful and timeless visual story of your love in this stunning coastal town.