Newport, Rhode Island is an easy getaway for city families desiring a historic, picturesque, and relaxing escape. You’ll love the beaches and oceanfront parks and leisurely sails and strolls around historic Newport – along the wharfs, Cliff Walk or Thames Street. You can marvel at Gilded Age mansions, sail in an America’s Cup yacht, sip and savor local delicacies, and enjoy the rich tradition and modern amenities throughout the city. Newport itself is small enough to explore in a weekend but the experiences will transport you so you will want to stay longer.
The Hotel Viking is perched atop Newport’s Historic Hill with breathtaking views of Bellevue Avenue and is centrally located right in the middle of it all. You get the bustle of downtown with easy access to all your heart desires. The 208-room Hotel Viking is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and recently underwent a $6.2 million restoration. The boutique hotel offers the perfect family combination of style, comfort and modern amenities.
Whether you stay in a newly-refreshed guestroom or a luxury suite, there is a sense of history and luxury with a stay custom-designed for your family needs. Don’t miss the Bellevue Suite, which offers a bedroom and sitting area separated by a spiral staircase. The living room separate from the bedroom features a pull-out queen size sleeper sofa which makes it perfect for families. They even warmly welcome your four-legged family members!
From the Front Desk depicting ancient Nordic Runes to the original 1926 key box where kids get an antique key, kids of all ages will love the history. Kids will especially love the kids club, indoor pool, game room, and outdoor games like corn hole and Jenga.
The culinary and cocktail experience at Hotel Viking was family-friendly with menu items to please every palette. The Top of Newport rooftop terrace is so inviting, you can take in the stunning 360-degree city and ocean views while sipping a beverage and savoring delicious bites while watching the children play around. The bartender will even make super special Shirley Temples for the little ones and help them take in the 11 am “scene.”
Enjoy a dining affair at One Bellevue Restaurant. It offers a beautiful outdoor terrace to enjoy its American bistro fare. Our waiter made dining delightful and even made sure the pup had his water refilled. The hotel’s café, Hill Market, has quick and easy specialties like freshly brewed coffee, homemade pastries and local artisanal products (like Newport Sea Salt Co with salts made from the ocean and Sea Coast Sweets, the chocolate truffles from a Portsmouth woman who makes them in her backyard).
For a little rest and relaxation, bring your little loved ones with you to take respite at Spa Fjor. Their Prince & Princess Children’s Menu has specialty treatments like My First Massage, Children’s Facial, Twinkle Toes Pedicure, and Princess Manicure. They will enjoy this pampering while you can enjoy the signature Balinese Massage.
The Great Outdoors
Arrange a beach butler with the concierge and make your first stop Easton’s Beach, Newport’s largest beach and recreation area. You’ll get chauffeured to and from the beach in style, having beach chairs waiting for you upon arrival and someone else packing the ideal beach bag with a delicious picnic from Hill’s Market! The whole family will love swimming in the ocean, building sand castles, and playing on the swings overlooking the ocean under the Rhode Island sun.
The beachfront Save the Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium allows you to get up close and personal with creatures from the Narragansett Bay like urchins, sea stars and more. Next, go merrily around on the historic Carousel at Easton’s Beach. Then stroll along the beach over to the Cliff Walk (which even has a stroller-friendly patch and spots easily navigated for the littlest legs) and stop at the Breakers or Elms for a family mansion tour. You’ll experience a summer day in the life of the Vanderbilt children through the voice of the house-sharing its secrets.
If you and the tots prefer to transform into land rovers, don’t miss a family favorite activity, the Rail Explorers. Join the 20,000+ visitors who “ride the rails” on innovative new pedal-powered bike/vehicle hybrids. Kids of all ages will relish in riding the train track along the edge of Narragansett Bay. You’ll delight in the scenery as you pedal over the nature trails and have tireless fun. Riding is hands-free (and not strenuous at all!) and there are tour guides in the lead and in the last position, guiding you all along the way. It is novel and memorable and magic on the rails — pure fun!
Then end the perfect day with dinner at White Horse Tavern (America’s oldest tavern) and retreat to the hotel for a favorite tradition of bonfires & s’mores on the terrace. You can cozy up next to the fire and enjoy tasty s’mores, storytelling and family fun.
The Seaside City
Peruse the quaint shops along Bellevue Avenue as you stroll past mansions and continue your discovery of Newport up and down Thames Street. After a fun day exploring town, leisurely make your way down the wharf and let the kids count the sailboats as you relax and savor the fresh local catch at 22 Bowen’s or The Mooring. And if the kids are good, let them have a cookie at the cookie jar and ice cream at Sprinkles before you retreat to the hotel.
Indulge in the luxuries of Newport on the water with Cruise Newport with a scenic day sail on the Madeleine. We were warmly welcomed aboard by the captain and crew, and it was smooth sailing for the duration. It was blissful to circumnavigate the island in style from under the sails of the Madeliene. You’ll be admiring views of the mansions and harbor and little ones won’t even ask “are we there yet?” since they will be busy taking in the beautiful seaside scenery and mansions and more.
Once at the wharf, you’ll take a leisurely stroll home and savor your time in the city by the sea.
For travel tips with your kids, check out Ask Sally: Traveling With YourYoung Kids & How Not to Hit the Skids!
For more information on lodging, dining, attractions, transportation and more, visit discovernewport.org