We moved to Boston less than a year ago. It’s been a tough adjustment, if I’m honest. But, I’ve quickly learned the best part about living here is the close proximity to historical and unique places, like Newport Rhode Island. We had a rare weekend free (I’ve been traveling to the west coast a ton), so we decided to check it out.
Newport Rhode Island is an Easy Drive from Boston
If you’re in the Boston area, it’s less than an two hours to get to Newport Rhode Island. It was a super easy drive and I kept my kids entertained with a mini dvd player, cartoons on demand, and headphones.
The Parking and Local Driving is a Bit Challenging
When we got there, we quickly realized the place was packed. There were so many tourists, and the streets are super narrow. Much of the architecture is 17th-18th century. Seriously, I saw a church that was built in the 1690s. So the streets are super narrow and parking and driving are not the easiest.
You know how I said Boston has been an adjustment, well, the parking and driving is actually a big part of that. I hate how narrow and curvy all the roads are. You can’t get anywhere easily, everything takes way longer than it should, due to poor architectural planning. I know, it’s historical, it’s old, what do you expect? I’m just so used to my west coast living, that it’s been such a challenge for me. Thankfully, I take the train most days, so at least the public transportation is a breeze here.
All the Shops and Restaurants are So Quant
Ok, back to Newport. Well, we were able to find free street parking – the parking gods were on my side that day. Once we parked, we walked a few blocks and stumbled into the main downtown area. The streets are lined with lots of adorable shops and restaurants. The entire time, I just kept thinking that I wished I had left my kids at home and got a hotel for the night. It would have been a ton of fun to bar/restaurant hop and try all the local fare. I noticed a lot of cute pottery and home decor shops, as well as clothing shops, I really wanted to stop in. However, with the kids, that’s just too tough.
It Wasn’t Very Kid-Friendly
We only visited the main downtown area, so I can’t speak to the entire area. However, the downtown area definitely wasn’t that kid-friendly. Although some restaurants would work for kids (like the little Sprinkles Ice Cream shop we stopped at), most of the city skewed much more adult to me. I just kept daydreaming about an adult-only trip – actually a girls’ trip – so I could shop all day and drink and eat all night.
While we were there, my kids mostly just got in people’s way and we worried they’d run into the busy traffic-lined streets constantly. They did enjoy walking by the water and playing on the giant anchors, but that was about it for them. Their highlight was when we stopped at the ice cream shop, which I did out of sheer lack of other ideas of how to keep them happy.
Newport Rhode Island is Very Picturesque
Despite the fact that our kids weren’t really into it, I did enjoy the scenery. The drive to Newport is quite pretty, especially right before you arrive. There are a couple of very large bridges and you can see the coastline, the boats and all the little islands. All of the old buildings and history of the city is also really neat. I loved walking along the harbor to see all the boats. We also had a perfect weather day, so it was fun to stroll along the narrow, cobblestone streets.
If you’re considering a trip to Newport Rhode Island, my biggest suggestion would be to leave your kids at home. I know I would have really loved it there, if only it was an adult trip. However, I’m definitely glad I had the chance to check it out and would plan a return trip, if I had the chance.