Newport is a city that is small enough to comfortably walk and drive around with a combination of good restaurants, water views, the famous cliffside walk, and the Gilded Age mansions or “cottages”. We spent a weekend here on a babymoon, leaving the two boys with grandparents and enjoyed a lot of good food and time outside.
We spent our first afternoon walking around Thames Street window shopping. We lucked out and found street side parking pretty quickly. Though we struggled with parking over the weekend. After meandering for a while, we hopped back in the car and checked into our hotel, relaxed a bit and got ready for the evening.
Back in town we had a beautiful view of the sun setting from a rooftop bar. We enjoyed a few drinks and then took a longer stroll to a restaurant that was rated as one of the top restaurants in town.
The next day we did the Cliff Walk, which was one of the best parts of the weekend. The coastline is really beautiful, filled with rocky and sandy beaches, surfers, wildflowers, and views of some of the mansions, including The Breakers, the most well-known of the “cottages”. We had been to The Breakers a few years before so we didn’t plan on visiting on this trip, but it is definitely worth it if you haven’t been.
At the Cliff Walk, we parked (for free) on Narragansett Ave, where there was a bathroom right at the Forty Steps entry point to the Cliff Walk. The bathroom was much appreciated, as I was seven months pregnant. The walk here is wide and flat with a few stairs here and there. There are sections that you could definitely do with a stroller, though you may want a hand carrying it up and down a few steps. We continued until we got to the Marine Ave entrance, where the walk turns into large flat rocks that you can walk/scramble across at Belmont Beach.
The rest of the afternoon we spent at the pool at our hotel, swimming and reading. We took our time getting ready for the evening. Since it was over the summer, it seemed that there was a lot of pent up demand for activities and dining (2021 covid summer) from everyone being cooped up earlier in the year. There was also a labor shortage in town, as was the case all over the country, and many restaurants were struggling to keep up with the demand. This made a couple of things more challenging: parking and finding a table at a restaurant, many of which were short staffed.
If you don’t mind driving and walking a bit, however, you can find a parking spot. Parking right in the center of town tends to be quite expensive. So, we parked further up a hill and walked down to find a place to eat. I had spotted a restaurant named Giusto on the water the day earlier, and after our first choice did not work out, we gave that a try.
It was EXCELLENT, and I’m so glad that our other choice didn’t work out. Despite being packed with diners, and not having a reservation, they were able to give us a table out overlooking the water: the perfect spot! Our server was so wonderful. She was incredibly helpful, funny, laidback, attentive and so, so nice to chat with. It seems that the restaurant was relatively new at the time and we didnt know anything about it, so I was unsure as to what to expect, but the restaurant looked so beautiful so we figured it was worth a try.
We enjoyed ourselves so much, watching the sunset over the water (for the second night), and eating a really, really good meal. We ordered The Scotch Meatball and the Ricotta Frittelle as appetizers, both of which were great. For the main course, we both ordered what I think were specials at the time. Mine was a ravioli type dish but the pasta dough was in part made from cornmeal, in a creamy sauce with sage and prosciutto, and Sebastian ordered a pasta dish with a tomato carrot sauce topped with dollops of pesto. They were both fantastic, and I’ve been dreaming of my dish ever since, wanting to recreate it at home.
We lingered over all of our dishes and it felt like we were back in Barcelona, not in a rush to go anywhere or do anything other than be where we were and enjoy our meal slow bite by slow bite. For dessert we ordered three different gelati, and especially enjoyed the Milk Chocolate, peanut butter fudge, which our server recommended. We ran into a friend of Sebastian’s on our way out which he hadn’t seen since childhood, which also made the night special. If we were to go back to Newport, I would definitely make a point of coming back here for a meal. The food was excellent, the setting was perfect, and the waitstaff was wonderful!
If you’re traveling to Newport, you could definitely see the city and sights in two or three days. You don’t really need more time than that unless you have specific plans to go to the beach or some other activity. My favorite parts of our trip to Newport was the Cliff Walk and our meal at Giusto, both of which made the trip worth it (it was only a few hour drive for us).
What to Do:
- Wander along Thames Street
- The Cliff Walk
- The Breakers
Where to Eat:
- Giusto (SO good!)