Newport, Rhode Island, US
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Downtown Newport manages to be two very different things at once: a fishing port full of plainspoken pubs and shops; and a resort town full of sailing yachts, bespoke boutiques and wine bars, serving the summer elite. Diversity is part of the fabric of the city: Newport was settled in 1639 by colonists fleeing the rigid Puritanism of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their more inclusive religious and political views attracted other settlers, including Quakers and Jews, and both groups strongly influenced the culture, commerce and architecture of early Newport.
Before Newport became known as a playground for the rich, artists, writers and scholars discovered its picturesque beaches and shoreline, untouched by industrialization during the post–Civil War period. Wealthy patrons of the arts followed and built mansions southeast of the harbor, transforming the small town into the summertime hub of Gilded Age society.
Your visit to this charming port can straddle these two worlds—the friendly working harbor and the avenue of lavish historic homes. The chilly blue waters of the Narragansett Bay and the long dramatic stretches of rocky New England coastline vie for your attention, too. Prepare to fall in love.