Newport was one of the five most important settlements in the 13 colonies, sharing that distinction with Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charlestown. The city claims more standing buildings built before 1830, than any American community. It continues to live up to its reputation as a great place to summer and a great place to live.
While the population swells in the warmer months, a large year-round community has been established and housing covers just about every possible size and style. Bowen's Wharf is one of the big "get-together" areas of Newport with award winning seafood restaurants and enchanting waterfront views. Sit in a freshly painted Adirondack chair at a glittering seaside cafe, take a graceful sailboat for a leisurely ride, or just admire the lively atmosphere. One of the best places to take in the dramatic beauty of Newport is Easton's Beach which is perfect for a great day of surf and sand. Directly adjacent is Newport's prized "Cliff Walk" which is a well maintained walking path along the awe-inspiring mansions of the majestic shore. Historic Bellevue Avenue is one of the main thoroughfares of the city and provides an up-close experience of Newport's yesteryear appeal, including the Newport Art Museum, the Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, the charming landmark Newport Casino, and various high-end shops. The aesthetic of Newport is maintained in its quaint shopping center, which allows for all the necessary markets, shops, and daily errand stores. The well-regarded Redwood Library and Athenaeum, is a beautiful structure, and is the oldest lending library in America. There are windjammer cruises out of the port, excursion boats, harbor and city bus tours, scuba diving, surfing, spear fishing, summer theater, golf, tennis and fishing along with numerous yacht races.
Newport has 18 villages and neighborhoods: Castle Hill, Coasters Harbor, Coddington Point, Fort Adams, Forty Steps, Goat Island, Ochre Point, Rose Island, Tonomy Hill, Fifth Ward, Yachting Village, Broadway, Van Zandt, Kerry Hill, Bellevue, Historic Hill and Thames Street.