"Newport, Rhode island" Top 5 Page for this destination Newport by Geoff_Wright

Newport Travel Guide: 504 reviews and 1,658 photos

The city of Newport is situated on Aquidneck Island, and was settled in 1639, and incorporated in 1784. The economy of this historic city, a port of entry, revolves chefly around its many naval installations. Also important are the summer tourist industry, educational facilities, fishing, and agriculture.

William Coddington and John Clarke folunded Newport in 1639. Newport and Portsmouth united in 1640 and entered a permanent federation with Providence and Warwick in 1654. Shipbuilding, dating from 1646, and foreign commerce, especially trade in black slaves, pineapplkes, rum, and molasses, brought prosperity. The town early harboured refugees of various groups - Friends and Jews first arrived in the 1650's, and the Seventh-Day Baptists organized a church here in 1671. Jewish merchants contributed greatly to Newport's pre-Revolutionary prosperity, and it became the leading town of the colony.

In the American Revolution the British occupied the town from 1776 - 1779; many buildings were destroyed, most of the citizens moved away, and Newport never fully regained its former economic prestige. It was replaced in importance by Providence, with which it was the joint State Capital until 1900.

In the 19th Century, Newport developed as a fashionable resort of the very rich, and many palacial mansions were built. Outstanding tourist attractions are: The Breakers, the former summer house of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Belcourt Castle, The Elms, Marble House, and Chateau-sur-Mer. Cliff Walk and Ocean Drive are known for their spectacular views of the ocean and the coastline. Oh historic interest are theWanton-Lyman -Hazard House (c.1675); scene of a Stamp Act riot in 1765); Trinity Church (1726); the beautiful old colony house or statehouse (1739); Touro Synagogue (1763), oldest in the country and since 1946 a national historic site; the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (1747); and the brick market house or city hall (1726).

Newport is host to yacht races (including the America's Cup) and tennis tournaments (tennis was popularized here, and the National Tennis Hall of Fame is in the Newport casino). Notable jazz and folk music festivals were held here in the 1950's and 1960's. The US navy base in Newport was closed in early 1974. Newport has been hard hit by hurricanes in 1938 and 1954; and the historic waterfront has undergone major redevelopement.

  • Last visit to Newport: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated Dec 19, 2003
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Reviews (21)

Comments (12)

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2005 at 11:15 AM

    It was fun to revisit Newport through your photos and commentary--we loved touring the mansions!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2005 at 5:08 AM

    Remembering your RI visit...and hoping you are enjoying the summer. Your dockside pic was featured on the front page this AM.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2005 at 5:35 AM

    Vibrant, vivid photographs. What a quaint, picturesque place. I enjoyed your perceptive narrative to accompany your excellent pictures.

  • Beach_dog's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2005 at 4:00 PM

    I´ve been reading about this controversial tower (mill) the last few days. I decided to check VT, lo and behold me old mate has visited it. B Arnold, the viking in your pp pic or now even the Chinese built it. In 1421 when they discovered the world.

  • vivimero's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2004 at 2:15 PM

    wonderful pictures. thanks!

  • bugalugs's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2004 at 2:56 PM

    A wonderful page Geoff, I love the buildings and seeing you and Mary with Paula was just great :-)

  • BerniShand's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2004 at 1:05 AM

    lovely page Geoff, you espresso yourself so well LOL

  • hooiluangoh's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2004 at 4:11 PM

    Newport - such beautiful dockside picture you have taken ! And the flowers are gorgeous. More flower pics ?

  • IIGUANA's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2004 at 6:55 AM

    This page is getting better and better. Great pictures! Keep up the good job Geoff!!!

  • lomi's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2004 at 1:27 PM

    Great pictures! and fascinating history, it really puts the place in context.


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