Hidden Gems of Newport: A Local's Perspective
by Chrissy Harrington at Kiel James Patrick Flagship Store
If you’re a Newport local you’ve definitely taken a walk down this wharf to check out the view of the harbor or if you haven’t yet then add it to the list of places to soak up this summer! Situated right behind IYRS on Thames Street is a small white shell path (catch these colorful boats pictured along the way) leading to a dock that jets out to a perfect view of the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, and beautiful Jamestown in the distance.
The Surf Club
A new addition to Newport in the last 6 months, formerly the Rhino Bar, is now The Surf Club. You enter the double doors behind the infamous wave statue in the center of town, down the stairs into the romantically-lit large bar and restaurant. They offer an array of funky cocktail combinations and delicious pizzas that you can actually watch them cook from the kitchen! For the ladies reading this post, make sure to grab a photo in front of the dark palm leaf wallpaper and gold sconces in the ladies room that give off Ralph Lauren Polo Bar vibes (a must see if you’re ever in Manhattan!). The photos on the walls leading to the restrooms are actually taken by local photographers of scenic spots around town including Ocean Drive and First Beach. With three outdoor dining spots and three eateries here at the wharf (including the brand new La Petite Creperie) you can send an entire weekend of great captures. Just steps from our own shops and tours The Surf Club’s outdoor bar in the summer months is a treat... frozen rosé!
Lincoln Drive by the Eisenhower House
The Eisenhower House is among the most popular places for weddings on the island, but the area surrounding the historical property offers more than just a place to host a celebration. Follow Lincoln Drive down to the waterfront, park your car and take in one of the best panoramic views of the bridge and the harbor. You can even walk a waterfront path from this local spot that brings you directly to Fort Adams, another popular destination in the summer for enjoying the harbor views and attending the iconic Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival.
8 Most Instagrammable Spots in Newport
If you’ve ever visited Newport, you’ve definitely stumbled upon Diego’s Restaurant located in the heart of Bowen’s Wharf. Recently expanded from a one story restaurant to two floors is the upbeat Mexican restaurant that serves over 45 craft cocktails, a full menu of classic-with-a-twist tacos, quesadillas and much more along with a mouth-watering brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. The entire restaurant is Instagram worthy, but a special new addition to the renovated space up the stairs are the tables that sit along the cactus wallpaper. Order their famous Braker’s Guac (you won’t regret it), a couple of their funky craft libations, the fried chicken tacos (a personal favorite) and grab your shot in front of the vibrant cactus wallpaper.
The Lawn at Castle Hill
A summertime favorite to enjoy with friends and family and to get the ultimate Instagram photo is the lawn at Castle Hill. Grab a seat on one of their white adirondack chairs overlooking the sailboats passing by in the Newport Harbor, order from their summer cocktail list (their charcuterie selection adds a nice touch to a photo as well and is also delicious!) and make sure you have your best New England attire on for your Instagram shot. A straw bag, a picnic blanket, and vibrant colored apparel can go a long way for the perfect photo on the lawn at Castle Hill as well. The scenery itself makes a great shot especially when the sun goes down on the harbor; a perfect opportunity to make a champagne toast to another idyllic summer evening in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. The Bowen's Wharf Pilot House sells their $10 launch tickets so leave the car in town and head out on the water to Castle Hill, part of the Newport Restaurant Group, sister to our very own 22Bowen's.
Coffee Grinder on Bannister’s Wharf
One of the most unique coffee shops on the island is the quaint and cozy Coffee Grinder on Bannister’s Wharf. Situated at the very end of the wharf, enjoy your frozen coffee (another personal favorite!) at the tables and adirondack chairs located directly on the dock and watch the sun go down on the harbor horizon. Some of the best sunset photos are snapped here and the 140 foot yachts docked alongside the coffee shop make it an even more envy worthy photo!
KJP Cabana Fitting Rooms
A new addition to Bowen’s Wharf in Newport is the Kiel James Patrick Flagship Store that opened its doors June of 2017. Once a small scale Rhode Island rope bracelet company created by owners Kiel and Sarah has developed into a complete social media sensation. The Made in America initiatives of this brand are captured in photos of teens and twenty somethings piling into antique cars along the Rhode Island coast sporting the Kiel James Patrick brand products that have expanded from the classic rope bracelets to a full New England inspired apparel line. Join the collective 1 million followers between Kiel and Sarah’s Instagrams and visit the store in Newport, Rhode Island to get your photo in front of the JFK inspired fireplace and the cabana fitting rooms.
A tourist and local favorite overlooking Easton’s Beach and the historic Bellevue Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island is the iconic Cliff Walk. Every point of view from this famous, picturesque path makes a perfect shot for an Instagram photo. Some highlights on Cliff Walk that especially draw the most tourist attention are the “40 steps” that lead down to the water, the Salve Regina campus and overlooking the surfers at Ruggles point where surf legends have taken on the dangerous, but best waves around the island.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame
Not only is the International Tennis Hall of Fame an iconic venue that honors tennis professionals all over the world, but it is also a known spot for weddings and social gatherings. The well-kept manicured grounds offer backdrops for pristine photo opportunities. Check out their museum for more historical information that highlight all of the legendary athletes that have played on the very same grounds where you can now enjoy a glass of rose or two.
If you’ve ever been to Newport you’ve definitely captured a shot of the Claiborne Pell Newport bridge whether from the water or from land. If you have the opportunity to get out on the water, you’ll capture the best photos of large sailboats slowly cruising by the Newport Bridge standing tall in the background. Photographed here is the mighty Eleanor sailboat that the Kiel James Patrick team rented last summer from Sailing Excursions on Bowen’s Wharf where you can find an assortment of private charter excursions or purchase tickets for public charter excursions. For more information about Island Style Parasailing, 12 Meter Charters, Sightsailing & Schooner Aquidneck, narrated tours
Newport Film Events
Each summer, Newport Film hosts a series of free-admission film events around Newport for locals and island visitors to enjoy. The non-profit organization features documentaries from around the world and at the end of the summer hosts an annual picnic display competition prior to one of the final films of the season. Last summer was Zac Posen’s, “House of Z”, where Posen made a special appearance at the event. Not only is this an enjoyable event for all, but offers many opportunities to capture a great Instagram moment in one of our many historic properties or on their lawns.