For many, Newport, RI, conjures dramatic visions of America’s Cup yachts and seaside mansions. But for tennis fans, Newport means the International Tennis Hall of Fame—where on Saturday, Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick were inducted. That’s the same weekend as the finals of the Hall of Fame Open, which will see John Isner take on qualifier Matthew Ebden on Sunday.
If you’re in town for the action this summer, take their lead and indulge in the city’s crisp ocean breezes and relaxed atmosphere.
Court time is limited during tournament week, but The Hall of Fame Tennis Club’s intimate, historic venue is a great place for a lesson or match at other times of the year. Hit on one of 13 grass courts for a unique experience.
Get Your Groove On
Newport Jazz Festival’s lineup includes Bela Fleck & The Flecktones and Audra Day (August 4–6). Meanwhile, the Newport Folk Festival, July 28–30, will feature Fleet Foxes and Drive-By Truckers. More into classical music? The Newport Music Festival, with concerts inside some of the city’s stately mansions, runs July 7–23.
About those mansions: they could be straight out of Downton Abbey or Versailles. Take a tour for a closer look at Newport’s crown jewels, which include The Breakers, Rough Point, Rosecliff and The Elms.
Not surprisingly, the classic New England-style inn is a popular choice in Newport, with good options including Hotel Viking and The Chanler at Cliff Walk. For a true resort getaway, though, summer visitors may want to consider Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina—it is the former Hyatt Regency, with a top-to-bottom revamp. The resort has waterfront views, a full-service spa, a kids’ club and, as of May, a new signature restaurant, Scarpetta.
For something a little simpler, The East Island Reserve in Middletown has 24 new one-bedroom cottages, plus traditional hotel rooms and suites.
Get your requisite steps for the day with a world-class view. The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk path winds along the backyards of some of Newport’s most striking mansions, including the Ochre Court at Salve Regina University, with the ocean crashing against the rocks on the other side.
(Photo: Kate Whitney Lucey)
You can’t leave town without a visit to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The museum honoring the sport’s greats was renovated in 2015 and offers interactive experiences like a trivia touch table and a Roger Federer hologram, alongside early US Open trophies and venerable artifacts.
One of the most popular of Newport’s numerous beaches is Easton’s Beach, a.k.a. 1st Beach. It has a playground and a merry-go-round for kids, plus refreshments, and is conveniently located at the start of the Cliff Walk.
If you want to go big and authentic, spring for a yacht tour, charter or sailing excursion on Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. Options include schooners, fishing boats and America’s Cup 12-meters. Then, enjoy a 'Gansett Bancroft Up or Down ale, released on the Tuesday of the tournament.
The historic waterfront downtown is home to some great boutiques and antique stores. Take a stroll down Bellevue Avenue, Spring Street and Thames Street for a vibrant mix of fashion, gifts and homewares. Bannister’s Wharf, the one-time hub of colonial Newport and modern-day marina, brims with eclectic shopping options.