Newport, Rhode Island has a reputation as a summer playground for the elite, but in truth it makes for a great family vacation. Yes, you will see fabulous Gilded Age mansions and expensive sailing yachts in the harbor. But coastal Newport is an egalitarian town that can even be a bargain during the off-season.
In summer there are lots of low-cost public boating opportunities, free beaches, a rich line up of outdoor concerts, and easy hikes that exploit the area’s natural beauty. In winter months the public skating rink, free holiday festivities and the annual Winter Festival provide cold weather fun. There are casual restaurants and hotels that cater to families. Newport’s manageable size makes it a wonderful walking town, so if you don’t have a car, keep this in mind.
See our Rhode Island Fun Guide for more Rhode Island family activity ideas. Here's what to do, where to eat and stay in Newport for families: