Insider Guide: Newport, R.I.

Molly Mele tells what you need to know before visiting Newport, Rhode Island.

Photography by Nick Mele

Newport, Rhode Island, holds a special place in Molly Mele’s heart for many reasons. Her great-grandfather owned a Newport residence that her parents inherited, and she spent a week there every summer growing up. It’s also where she met her husband, lifestyle and portrait photographer Nicholas Mele, and the couple now shares the destination with their young sons, Johnny and Archer, as well as their dog, Bodhi. The Meles stay at a family apartment in Lands End every summer—and sometimes holidays, too, if not at their South End home in West Palm Beach. In Newport, Molly enjoys the relaxed, refined lifestyle for which the area is known, including activities such as paddleboarding, playing tennis, attending an outdoor movie night by newportFILM, or spending the day at Bailey’s Beach Club with her family.

THE VIBE Beautiful, relaxed, full of history

FASHION ESSENTIALS FOR DAY A sundress from Reformation, studded sandals from Ash, and a Burgess sweater if it gets cold.

FASHION ESSENTIALS FOR NIGHT A Shoshanna dress with Loeffler Randall penny heels

WHERE TO EAT Breakfast at Belle’s Café at Newport Shipyard, which has lots to look at. Lunch on the patio at The Black Pearl, which has the best clam chowder in town. Dinner at Bar ‘Cino‘ for the amazing fig and goat cheese bruschetta.

BEST TIME TO GO September. The weather is amazing and there is still a great energy in town but most of the tourists have left.

LOCAL DISH TO DREAM ABOUT Fried chicken from Winner Winner

HOW TO SPEND A FREE MORNING Tackling the Cliff Walk

WHERE TO SHOP CK Bradley, Kristina Richards, and Monelle

UNWRITTEN RULE THE LOCALS LIVE BY Take the backroads if you want to get anywhere quickly. Summer tourist traffic is brutal!


MUST-DO EXPERIENCE Dinner at the SkyBar at the Clarke Cooke House , with a “Snowball in Hell” for dessert.

FOR A SOLO ACTIVITY Check out the Newport Mansions run by The Preservation Society of Newport County.

FUN CULTURAL OUTING Visit the Newport Art Museum or the Redwood Library & Athenæum.

HOMETOWN GOODS TO SAMPLE AND STOCKPILE Aquidneck Honey or canned clam chowder from The Black Pearl

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