Newport Majestic Cruises provides finless mammals with opportunities to take in the seaside sights of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. Embark on a two-hour, coast-hugging harbor tour aboard the Majestic, Newport’s beautifully buoyant luxury yacht. Passengers pause inside the climate-controlled cabin before emerging as boat-born butterflies on one of three exterior decks while voice-over veterans nourish brains with sightseeing scoops, maritime mythology, and fresh air. The boat’s refreshments feature a buffet luncheon prepared on board by the cruises' Executive Chef, Percy Cook, providing mariners with enough beverage and snack options to satiate out-to-sea appetites and includes also includes. Guests can also revel in features that include two full service bars and climate controlled interior decks.
Blue and red pendant lamps glow above Newport Tokyo House's four hibachi grills, where chefs in matching hats sauté meat and vegetables for the diners gathered around each sizzling tabletop. At the sushi bar in the 100-seat dining room, cool knives slip through ribbons of fish and vegetables bound for specialty sushi rolls, some of which are deep fried, wrapped in sheets of pink soy, or crowned with neon constellations of tobiko. Bowls of udon or soba noodles pour forth steam near plates of scallops and chicken brimming with teriyaki sauce like the blooper reel from The Three Stooges Start a Catering Company.
Now in its 16th season riding the rails, the Newport Dinner Train whisks up to 200 passengers through the lush lands and rich history of Aquidneck Island. A 44-ton diesel engine powers the locomotive, which pulls vintage 1940s dining cars, similar to the ones grandparents had to haul barefoot through the snow on their way to school each morning.
Visitors to Rhino Bar & Grille can wipe the words “bored” and “hungry” from their vocabularies. In addition to a menu of hearty, fun-to-eat food such as saucy wings, Black Angus burgers, and fish 'n' chips, the bar offers bottles of Heineken by the bucketful, keeping patrons hydrated enough to sing along with frequent live music from local bands. DJs also amp up the atmosphere, and a pool table ensures that there is always someplace for customers to lie down for a communal nap.
Culled from farm-fresh ingredients and local seafood, Cafe Zelda's seasonally rotating lunch and dinner menus blend French and American cuisines with simple flair. Seated at tables draped in crisp linen or among flickering candles at the bar, midday diners ponder their lunch possibilities by browsing the menu or delicately chewing their chair legs. Tongues can savor Sakonnet River oysters on the half shell ($2.75 each) or the cooked-to-order Cafe Zelda burger ($10). Dinner options include classic shellfish bouillabaisse stewed in a piquant leek and saffron broth ($26) and the crispy duck-leg confit and duck sausage served with beets and wild mushrooms ($25).
When sitting down to eat inside the Bay Voyage Inn's waterfront dining room, the view of Narragansett Bay expands to the horizons, the waters calm and blue beneath a cordial sky visible through the wall-spanning windows. The Victorian-style house feels so rooted here that it's hard to believe it was actually built across the bay on Aquidneck Island and was floated on a raft to its current roost. Ever since that day in 1889, the classic Victorian beach house has rested no more than 40 feet from the shore on Conanicut Island, with its myriad windows forever turned toward the bay. No longer a house, it now contains a traditional New England inn and gourmet restaurant.
In the Bay Voyage's kitchen, head chef Casey Shea whips up American dishes with local and organic fish and produce to form recipes of his own invention. During the resort's holiday brunches, which have earned the title of the state's best brunch from Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, he lays out eggs benedict, carving meats, and house-made pastries. Servers ferry these plates, and those of lunch and dinner services, to white-clothed tables throughout the nautical-themed dining rooms. An 1890s-style lounge area with a bar finished in dark mahogany stands toward the front of the house to welcome patrons and confuse visiting time travelers.
From balconies in any of the inn's 33 one-bedroom suites, guests can peer out at sailboats cavorting by the bridge and along the bay. Each room contains Victorian furniture and all the modern creature comforts of home. Outside the rooms, a host of amenities such as a fitness center, outdoor pool, and hot tub let guests exercise or relax. With just a short walk along the harbor, guests can explore Jamestown's historic buildings or take on an afternoon of windsurfing and parasailing.