NEWPORT, nicknamed “America’s First Resort”, is a place out of a picture book, distinct for its polished yacht fleets, rose-coloured sunsets and long-time association with America’s fine and fabulous. The Kennedys were married here (Jackie was a local girl); and during his presidency Eisenhower spent time at the Naval War College, which continues to introduce a uniformed presence to the lively streets. Tourists come today for the opulent fin-de-siècle mansions that line Bellevue Avenue – huge tree-lined estates and ornate palaces, former summer homes of the likes of the Astors and Vanderbilts.
Stroll beyond the extravagant facades, though, and you’ll find much more, including many original eighteenth-century homes that sit among downtown’s restaurants, boutiques and shops. The town’s prime seaside location also means that the views are often, if not always, free – a short drive and you’re greeted by unrivalled shores, with rugged seascapes and long swaths of sand.