Offbeat Places in Newport


Newport, Rhode Island, is renowned for its Gilded Age mansions, scenic waterfront, and bustling harbor. However, beneath the veneer of its popular tourist attractions lies a world of lesser-known gems waiting to be explored. If you’re the type of traveler who seeks unique and offbeat experiences, Newport has plenty to offer. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey to discover some of the hidden treasures and offbeat places in Newport that often go unnoticed by the average tourist.

Whitehorne House Museum

Tucked away on historic Thames Street, the Whitehorne House Museum is a lesser-known Newport gem that transports you back in time. This charming museum is dedicated to showcasing the finest American furniture and decorative arts from the late 18th century. As you wander through its beautifully appointed rooms, you’ll gain insight into the craftsmanship and elegance of the era, all within a tranquil and intimate setting.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

While Newport is known for its stunning beaches, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge offers a different coastal experience. Located just a short drive from the city center, this refuge is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Explore its scenic trails and you may encounter various bird species, including ospreys and snowy egrets, as well as breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.

Newport Car Museum

For automobile aficionados, the Newport Car Museum is a hidden treasure worth discovering. Situated in Portsmouth, just a short drive from Newport, this museum houses a remarkable collection of over 70 automobiles, from classic cars to modern-day marvels. The sleek, contemporary design of the museum’s interior adds a unique touch to the experience, making it a must-visit for car enthusiasts and design enthusiasts alike.

Local Culinary Delights

While Newport boasts numerous world-class restaurants, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the flavors of its lesser-known eateries. Seek out charming seafood shacks with fresh catches of the day, or venture into quirky, themed cafes that offer a taste of Newport’s vibrant local culture. These hidden culinary gems not only offer delicious fare but also a glimpse into the community’s culinary diversity.

Gooseberry Beach

Escape the crowds and discover Gooseberry Beach, a secluded haven nestled on the eastern side of Aquidneck Island. This serene spot offers a quieter alternative to Newport’s more popular beaches. With its gentle waves, soft sands, and stunning views of the coastline, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak in the natural beauty of Rhode Island’s coast.

Offbeat Shops and Boutiques

Newport is home to numerous offbeat shops and boutiques, each with its own unique charm. Explore vintage clothing stores where you can uncover fashion treasures from bygone eras, or peruse boutiques specializing in local handicrafts and artisanal goods. These shops offer a shopping experience that’s far from the ordinary.

Local Events and Festivals

Newport hosts a variety of local events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing the city’s vibrant culture and heritage. The Newport Folk Festival, for example, brings together musicians and fans for a celebration of folk music in a picturesque setting. Meanwhile, the Newport International Boat Show allows you to explore a world of maritime innovation and craftsmanship.

As you venture beyond the well-trodden paths of Newport, you’ll find that the city has a wealth of offbeat and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. These lesser-known attractions offer a unique perspective on Newport’s rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. So, the next time you visit this coastal gem, take the road less traveled and uncover the secrets of Newport’s offbeat side.

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