"Newport, Rhode island" Top 5 Page for this destination Newport by Geoff_Wright
Newport Travel Guide: 496 reviews and 1,623 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.
And just in case you can't remember it, here is the Newport, RI zip code, on the wall of the Post Office. It's the only... more travel advice
Thames Street, bordering the Waterfront, is the main shopping area in Newport. Lined with interesting gift shops,... more travel advice
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