Hotel at a Glance: Best Western Mainstay Inn
Best Western Mainstay Inn sits on a quiet street in northern Newport. But across the street is the Newport Grand Slots casino and just 2 miles down the road lie Newport Harbor and historic downtown Newport, lined with boutiques, pubs, and museums.
- 1-pound Texas T-bones at the onsite North End Steak House, which also serves breakfast and lunch
- Best place to hang out: at the onsite cocktail lounge, which has a big-screen TV
- Book a suite and you'll get a little extra space as well as an in-room microwave and refrigerator.
- Wine tastings and tours are available at Newport Vineyards, just 3 miles away.
Newport, Rhode Island: Harbor Town with World-Famous Mansions
Newport sits on Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Island, just 30 miles south of Providence and 70 miles south of Boston. With its picturesque cliffs running along the rocky coast, Newport understandably attracted America’s upper class at the turn of the 20th century. The prestigious Astor and Vanderbilt families joined other captains of industry in building their summer “cottages” here—sprawling estates that epitomized the Gilded Age’s glitz and glamour. You can sign up for mansion tours at the historic The Elms, Marble House, and The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance–style palazzo commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893 and inspired by the palaces of Genoa and Turin.
Year-round, the Cliff Walk is one of the most popular activities in town. From sunrise to sunset you’ll find visitors strolling the 3.5-mile path, ensconced between the beautiful Newport shoreline and the spectacular mansions. If the conditions are ripe, you might see surfers catching waves on the ocean breakers.
The city slows its pace in winter; find time to shop on Thames and Spring Streets or visit the city’s many museums. The town is home to the National Museum of American Illustration, which features works by Saturday Evening Post artist Norman Rockwell, as well as the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.
The ocean is easily accessible from Newport’s western, eastern, and southern coastlines. It’s often referred to as “the Sailing Capital of the World,” and in the summertime, fishing boats fill its harbors and beachgoers flock to its shores. Easton’s Beach (or 1st Beach if you’re a local), the largest public beach, sits cater-cornered to the Cliff Walk’s stunning homes. Back on land, the city hosts a variety of festivals, including the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Kite Festival, held in the ocean-facing Brenton Point State Park.