Newport, Rhode Island
Steeped in yachting history, the harbor in Newport comes alive with an abundance of boaters each summer. Here are just a few of the dockable restaurants worth sampling.
1. Forty 1° North Grill, located in the center of Newport’s seafront historic district, offers a menu focused on locally sourced dishes. All locally caught fish are microchip-tagged to show the place and time of their harvest, thus guaranteeing maximum freshness. Got to Try: The braised sea scallops are the chef’s specialty.
2. Pier 49 Seafood Restaurant, located in the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina, offers classic New England seafood. This erstwhile Navy pier now attracts boaters to its dock for bistro-style plates and chowders. Got to Try: The Pier 49 calamari is a distinctive and delectable seafood treat.
3. The Hyatt Regency Newport offers a “classic New England clam bake and lobster reveal” from time to time, so check ahead and enjoy. Got to Try: The Aquidneck clam chowder (part of the clam bake) is a favorite dish.
4. Newport Shipyard Belle’s Cafe is in a nautical setting with a historic lightship moored beside it. Boaters can pull up under a series of large umbrellas, with a view of the bay. The selection of gourmet sandwiches makes the cafe a fabulous choice for lunchtime dockers. Got to Try: The slammin’ shipyard breakfast sandwich is a delicious way to start your day.
Things To Do
Newport is jam-packed with interesting things to do. One is the Viking trolley tour of Newport’s historic mansions; a 10-mile tour takes you along these waterfront estates, one of which was owned by William Vanderbilt and used in the filming of The Great Gatsby. On a walking tour of the waterfront district, visit the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS). Here, visitors can view a variety of wooden boats being built and restored by students. Be sure to visit its library to view some outstanding ship models and maritime artifacts. Just up the street from IYRS you will find Thames Street Glass. Visitors can watch skilled glass blowers shape molten glass into all kinds of objects. Or, for a small fee, you can attempt to blow your own creation.
All of the transient docks used for arriving diners are of the floating kind. So, you know the drill: Put those fenders out. Leaving a crowded float can be almost as thrilling as approaching, especially here in Newport where the sea breeze is fresh. Remember that boats steer from the stern, so cutting the wheel away from the float and using reverse to get clear is often a better option than leaving the dock in forward gear if the wind is pinning you against it. The harbor is a maze of mooring buoys, so it’s best to be alert for lines in the water. As in most places, close attention to channel markers is imperative here. Also, watch out for the seabird detractors at the Forty 1° North Grill when docking.