I fell in love with a place. Newport, Rhode Island has waterfront dining, boats, beaches, and gilded age mansions by the sea. From the Cliff Walk, to site sailing there’s lots to do and the restaurants are amazing, there are always seats outside, and after dinner you can stroll down the cobble streets for ice cream, a cookie, or to shop. I love it there. Darren and I have been every year for our anniversary, since our very first one, and it’s a tradition that’s not ending any time soon, especially now that we’ve picked our favorite spots!
There are restaurants, a coffee spot by the water, and a little shack for sweet treats that Darren and I find ourselves at year after year – Saradella’s, The Brick Alley Pub, The Gas Lamp Grille, The Coffee Grinder, and The Cookie Jar.
Saradella’s is (don’t tell Darren), but the reason we drive to Newport year after year, does that sound crazy? Okay, I love everything else there too, but I look forward to our anniversary dinner here every year, maybe more than the other stuff. The sangria is perfect, there’s indoor and outdoor dining, and the food, oh my God, the food. Their garlic bread is everything to me, and I always order the same dinner, it’s tortellini with mozzarella, spinach, and red pepper in a Pesto cream sauce, and it’s so good I’m hungry just thinking about it! I seriously wish Newport was a little closer today, just so we could drive there for dinner!
Next, The Brick Alley Pub. We usually go here the night we arrive, as it’s a big restaurant that is more of a walk-up, grab a drink, hang out, and eat when you’re hungry type of place. It’s casual, laid-back, nautical, and has crazy decorations on the walls, a huge salad buffet, and a staff of people who seem as charming as the town. This place has really yummy drinks! I got some special, it was a mojito, with pineapple and coconut, and it tasted like vacation and sunny days and I loved it. I usually get a sandwich here, I’ve had the chicken spinach sandwich, and a burger, and they were both really good! Be warned, this on the main street, so right at dinner time it’s pretty busy and usually there is a wait, which is why we generally go our first night, as we eat a late dinner after our long drive!
The Gas Lamp Grill has delicious mac and cheese. I’ve also had a BLT here, and a personal pizza. It’s basically the perfect lunch spot! The front has giant windows that are open to the street so you can people watch, and talk about your plans for the afternoon as onlookers check out the menu and ask about drink specials. I really like it here! The food is consistently good, and me and Darren always end up picking off each other’s place, as it’s kind of super likable comfort foods.
The Coffee Grinder is down on the wharf, right by the water and serves coffee from morning to night, we grabbed early morning coffees here, and late night lattes as we watched the sun set. The frozen cappuccino in amazing. The prices are high, but it seems to be a one woman show, she’s there all day, and she owns the place, and I’m happy to pay a little extra for the view, and for the cute conversation as you wait. The menu looks crazy, it’s like every time she thought of a new drink she wrote a little smaller on the chalkboard, which is now completely out of room, and now there are post-its on the cash register, on the counter, and all around with seasonal offerings and more!
The Cookie Jar is my guilty pleasure. When on vacation we went there at least once a day, it was our after dinner treat, Darren gets the Snickerdoodle, and I go for the Shortbread, it’s fresh baked and delicious; they also have breakfast sandwiches in the morning, which was super convenient as our hotel was a quick walk from there (The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina is where we stayed most recently and the place we’ll continue to stay, as the location is PERFECT – dining is walking distance away, and the beach is a quick drive).
This year we did something I’ve always considered, but never been ready to commit to. They have signs on the wharf advertising different sunset sails and morning mimosa sails and I could never choose which one or decide if I wanted to spend 2 hours on what seemed like a tourist trap. I was wrong! This year we decided to book a morning mimosa sail one night after I had one too many mojitos and we decided to walk down to the Cookie Jar for a bed time snack. We got aboard the Aquidneck the next morning, and it was so fun! The crew was great, we got some beautiful photos, and it was so serene and scenic. Next year, we’ll try the sunset sail and I’m sure we’ll take lots of pictures.
The Cliff Walk
Okay, the Cliff Walk is the real reason we go year after year. I love it here. The Cliff Walk is the perfect place to walk and watch the sunset, or to take your morning coffee and get in a quick walk before a day of activities. We generally go here once a day while we’re there. I love the sea-foam green fencing, and all the mansions. Growing up in the Hudson Valley, I often went to Vanderbilt and Montgomery Place, and Olana, and being in Newport makes me feel like I’m on vacation, but close to home at the same time. I guess gilded age families felt the same. Wear sneakers, as there are lots of rocks, and a section that is a little harder to navigate, and bring a camera because the views are spectacular.
So beaches on the East Coast aren’t exactly the beaches of the Bahamas, there’s a lot of red seaweed in Newport, but Easton beach is very nice, we always fall asleep for an afternoon here!
Brenton Point State Park
Alright, this is always the last stop on our way home. I am always so sad to leave the place I love, and Darren always tries to stretch out our last morning with a long breakfast, an offer to go to the Cookie Jar for enough shortbread to last the year, and always says we should stop at “the place with the kites.” We drive down Ocean Drive and admire the beautiful homes one last time on our way to Brenton State Park. We sit on benches by the water, talk about our trip, and watch the kites before we go back to work and real life.
So take a few days off, drive to Newport, and eat a shortbread cookie for me.