If you're looking for coastal living in New England, there are few better places than Newport, Rhode Island. There's a reason celebrities like Jay Leno and Judge Judy have homes here and many others vacation here. 

"Not only is the City by the Sea is chock full of beautiful vistas, pristine beaches, fine restaurants, and quaint shops, it's also steeped in history," said Kazantzis Real Estate Owner and Agent Andrea Kazantzis. "There are so many things to see and do, you could truly be a tourist in your own community."

Historic Mansions

Perhaps one of the biggest attractions in Newport is the mansions.

During the Gilded Age, Newport was the summer playground for the rich. The Preservation Society of Newport County has meticulously preserved 11 of these properties - 7 of which are National Historic Landmarks.

The Breakers and Elms are both currently open for tours, but face coverings and social distancing are required. You can even take virtual tours on the Preservation Society's website.

Cliff Walk

Even if you don't want to take a tour of the mansions, there are ways you can still enjoy their beauty

Designated as a National Recreation Trail, Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile trail with stunning ocean views on one side and historic Newport mansions on the other. While part of the trail is paved, parts of it are rougher - so, make sure you wear sturdy footwear. 

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Ocean Drive

If you'd rather stay in the car, take a leisurely ride around the Ocean Drive. It's a 10-mile route dotted with historic landmarks, impressive estates, and stunning coastal views. You can make a quick trip of it, or you can stop at some of the attractions along the way, some of which include: 

  • King Park (with its statue of General Rochambeau, who arrived here in 1780 and helped us fight the British)
  • Ida Lewis Yacht Club
  • New York Yacht Club
  • Fort Adams State Park
  • U.S. Coast Guard Station
  • Castle Hill Inn & Resort
  • Brenton Point State Park
  • Gooseberry Beach

Return to Camelot 

Ocean Drive also features Hammersmith Farm - the childhood home of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. In fact, the couple had their wedding reception here in 1953. The estate used to be open to tours but hasn't been accessible to the public since it was sold in 1999. However, it can still be seen from the road.

Newport's ties to Camelot don't end there.

Jacqueline Bouvier and Sen. John F. Kennedy wed at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Newport. 

Each year the church - which is Rhode Island's oldest parish and a National Landmark - holds Return to Camelot. People can re-live that day by watching vintage film clips and enjoying a live performance of music from the couple's wedding ceremony and reception. If it sounds right up your alley, you'll have to wait until next year. The 2020 event has been canceled due to the pandemic.

While you're downtown you can dine at The White Horse Tavern. Jacqueline Kennedy was a regular there and even had a favorite table. Today, Judge Judy is known to dine at the restaurant, which was established in 1673 and is billed as the oldest tavern in America and the 10th oldest in the world.

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Thames Street 

Another place to soak up some history, and possibly a delicious meal or homemade ice cream, is Thames Street.

Flanked by cobblestone sidewalks, this historic street runs parallel to the waterfront and is one of the oldest, continuously used streets in the state. It has everything from restaurants and boutiques to museums. During the busy tourist seasons, it's the prime location for people watching.

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Bannister's Wharf 

Not far from Thames Street is Bannister's Wharf. Chock full of restaurants and shops, this has been the city's retail center since colonial times. It's also home to Clarke Cooke House, which Travel and Leisure Magazine lists as “one of America’s 10 best outdoor dining experiences,” and Frommer’s Guide cites as”...the quintessential Newport restaurant.”

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Sitting right on the water, Bannister's Wharf is also the place where you can catch several sunset cruises.

If history is not your thing, Newport has something for just about everyone, including parks, beaches, the Tennis Hall of Fame, and world-renown festivals like the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival. Musical legends like Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, and B.B. King have played at the two events over the decades.

Kazantzis Real Estate has plenty of listings in Newport if you'd like to become part of this historic city's future.