Newport Rhode Island Beaches

Newport Rhode Island beaches abound, since the town occupies the southern tip of Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay and is surrounded by water on three sides. While many of the beaches in Newport are exclusive and private, there are plenty available to the public. Taking tours of the opulent "Summer Cottage" mansions will give you glimpses of some of the exclusive private stretches of sand—as will hiking along the famous Newport Cliff Walk. But if beach vacations in Newport Rhode Island are your ultimate goal, you have some excellent choices. One of the first choices might be Ocean Beach that is located near the beginning of the Cliff Walk. It has plenty of facilities, from cabana and beach gear rentals to a playground and a skateboard park.

Three main Newport Rhode Island beaches serve the public as recreation areas. The are located in a row along the shore, separated by jutting rocks, and known to the locals as First Beach (officially named Easton's Beach), Second Beach (Sachuest Beach), and Third Beach (Navy Beach). Easton's Beach boasts an old-time carousel, an interesting aquarium, and an area with food concessions. There are also excellent restaurants with great seafood dining and live music on weekends. This means there are plenty of things to do to keep the whole family busy, even if the weather isn't perfect.

In addition to beaches in Newport you will find some fine nature preserves and wildlife refuges. Second Beach is adjacent to the approximately 250-acre Sachuest Point National Wildlife Reserve. It is the longest of the Newport Rhode Island beaches and is still quite peaceful and "untouristy." The neighboring wildlife refuge itself offers many pristine hiking trails through a variety of coastal and wetland habitats that boasts the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the East Coast. It is also extremely popular for its excellent saltwater fishing. The beach has good surf, fine sand, restrooms and showers, and some food concessions. The area around Second Beach is a wonderful location for beach vacations in Newport Rhode Island that will get you away from it all. On the other side of Sachuest Point is Third Beach. Its actual name is Navy Beach, and it is in a small cove facing Narragansett Bay. Because of this, the surf is fairly calm, making it a good place for families with children. On the other hand, there is a good offshore breeze, making it a popular spot for windsurfing and kite surfing.

Other beaches in Newport include Bailey's Beach that is accessible only by foot or bicycle. The area around this small beach is quite exclusive, surrounded by homes of the wealthy, and is the location of some of the finest Rhode Island beach resorts. Therefore, its relative isolation that keeps most of the public out means it is a wonderful place to stop for quiet contemplation of the surf. Be prepared for some walking, and don't expect tourist facilities. Adjacent to this is Gooseberry Beach. With both changing facilities and plenty of parking, this is much more convenient while still not so crowded.

Almost everyone enjoying beach vacations in Newport Rhode Island will visit Fort Adams State Park, which is the location for the ferry to Block Island and a site that played an important role in the history of the state and the United States. It contains the second largest bastioned Revolutionary War fort in the country, and is the location of many Newport special events—from the town's Fourth of July fireworks and concerts to prestigious music festivals. There is a good swimming beach in the park, as well as fishing, soccer and rugby fields, and boat launches.

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