Bannister's Wharf has been central to life in Newport since the mid-16th century, when citizens came to hear news from the incoming boats and buy food, cloth, and other necessities. In 1813, crowds gathered on the docks to welcome back commodore Oliver Hazard Perry after his victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. You can get nice views of the water from the Bannister's Wharf Guestrooms, located right along Newport Harbor.
Room with a view: Two-double units open onto a shared deck with views of the harbor, while two-bedroom suites have lots of space, including living rooms and kitchenettes.
Home of the Elite: The seaside town became popular with America’s upper class at the turn of the 20th century. The Astors, Vanderbilts, and other captains of industry all built summer “cottages” here—sprawling estates that epitomize the Gilded Age.
Take a Mansion Tour: You can sign up for mansion tours at historic homes like The Elms, Marble House, and The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance–style palazzo commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893.
Must-do activity: The Cliff Walk—from sunrise to sunset, you’ll find visitors strolling this 3.5-mile path, between the beautiful shoreline and spectacular mansions. If the conditions are right, you might see surfers catching waves on the ocean.