Newport, Rhode Island is a scenic New England summer resort city located on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. It is famous for its sailing history and historic mansions.
Newport was founded in 1639 by religious refugees from Massachusetts, and quickly became one of the busiest seaports in colonial America. In the late 1800s, due to the summer climate and proximity to the ocean, Newport developed as an opulent summer resort with stately mansions such as The Breakers, Rosecliff, The Elms, and the Marble House.
Newport is home to several firsts in America. The first jazz fest was held in Newport in 1954, at the Newport Casino in the Bellevue Avenue Historic District. Newport is home to the country’s oldest continually used library, the Redwood Library. The White Horse Tavern, built-in 1673, is the oldest tavern building in the United States. Pelham Street in Newport was the first street in the country to use gas-illuminated streetlights. The first U.S. National Tennis Championship was held in 1881 at the Newport casino. It’s still an annual event today, making it America’s oldest tennis tournament. The Newport Casino is now the site of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Newport is known as a center of yachting, and was home to the America’s Cup yacht races from the 1930’s through 1983. The Museum of Yachting is located at Fort Adams State Park.
The US Navy has roots in Newport’s early colonial fleet, and has been a significant presence in Newport since the 1860s. The Navy is still one of the largest employers in the area, bringing many industry and service businesses to the region as well.
Newport is also famous for its beautiful beaches. Some of the well-known beaches include Easton Beach, Bailey’s Beach and Rejects Beach.