Photo credit Discover Newport
There's this phenomenon of "insider guides to Newport" from people that have been to Newport once. Yes, we hands down love the Snowball in Hell at Clarke Cooke House, but I hear locals ordering bloody bulls, the fish dish with the Ginger Soy Lime and begging for the caesar dressing more often than the famous dessert. Here's my rolling list of shopping and supporting local this Small Business Saturday, but if you live here, it's more of a year round routine.
Newport Restaurant Group's businesses span from fine dining and hotel at Castle Hill to market and grocer, Food Love and just about every cuisine in between. Buy their gift cards at the holidays for everyone on your list in need of eating and then get a few for your wallet too. Here's the deal
Similarly, Bodhi Spa runs a series of holiday promotions very worth the splurge to keep as gifts to give throughout the year or keep for yourself when in need of their powerful Water Journey and body treatments.
Sign up for their newsletter and follow on Instagram for their Days of Christmas offers.
The Newport Historical Society Museum and gift shop is hidden in plain site at the bottom of Washington Square right as Thames Street meets the downtown area (fine, it's in the cool building across from Banana Republic and Sephora, but I am trying to keep this local!). The gift shop is great and the walking tours are always educational.
is known for their boatbuilding and restoration programs, but there are also workshops including Sail Repair, Charcuterie Board Making and Marine Systems & Electrical for Women. Personally, my woodworking skills are not worth honing. I like walking around the buildings and getting color ideas for paintings, but I know locals love these classes too.
NewportFILM is not just a summertime affair, but a community builder through educational and mentorship programming. Giving a membership
as a gift helps support a Newport institution.
Newport Congregational Church is the only surviving comprehensive architectural interior by the renowned American artist John La Farge.
The La Farge Restoration Fund supports the efforts in restoring the church at the corner of Spring and Pelham. Tour the sanctuary and marvel at the restorations
, but don't miss the artist studios on the second floor for a contemporary take on Newport artists and artisans.
Annual events not to be missed are The Bowen's Wharf Tree Lighting, The Nutcracker at Rosecliff performed by Island Moving Company and decor at the mansions. In recent years there has been a rather festive and charming ice skating rink with a lit-up lighthouse at Goat Island by the other Newport Harbor [Island Resort] Hotel (formerly Gurney's and renamed by someone that didn't realize there already is a Newport Harbor Hotel here!), regardless of the name change they still promise skating and hot chocolate so we forgive them on the branding.
When you're ready for a break in shopping and looking for a snack and a fabulous cocktail, absolutely no one has caught on to the lounge at Vanderbilt Hotel. It surely will not stay that way, but to beat the crowds for now, go here. We also love breakfast at the Brenton Hotel and dinner at the downstairs or upstairs bar of the White Horse Tavern.
Here's my quick list for provisions for entertaining:
- Aquidneck Meat Market - the deli counter is prepared by the former chef of Fluke, it does not disappoint and has tons of vegetarian options
- Bellevue Wine & Spirits - the best alcohol selection in town with a friendly staff. We like Point Wine & Spirits too. Both deliver
- Grapes & Gourmet - The sweetest wine, cheese and dessert family run business just over the bridge in Jamestown
- FoodLove - Newport Restaurant Group's market grocery
- Sweetberry Farms - Get the Christmas tree and all the fixings for dinner at one stop or order early and they can cater your holiday meal
Wild Season - perfect fresh flowers and gifts, plus owner and florist extraordinaire carries her books on edible flowers and sweet miniature arrangements
It occurs to me that I have not really included any of my friend's retail stores or all the places I go to shop, but I find Discover Newport has done a really great job of that. For more things to do in and around Newport check out Discover Newport. They do an incredible job supporting the community.
Imagery and content from brand and businesses respectfully.