Captain Vic's TOP 100
Your Guide to the Best of Newport, RI


Captain Vic's
sponsored by

Anchor B&B

Captain Vic's
Newport Guide:

Top 100
Bests of

Newport Top 40
Historic Sites

Bellevue Ave.

Cliff Walk
1st Beach

Harbor Walk

Harbor Guide


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Race 2004


Amistad Set

Shamrock V:
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Captain Vic
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      Captain Vic has hosted thousands of visitors to Newport during his 22 years as the concierge of Newport's Bellevue House, and now as "Helper" at Anchor B&B.

   His impartial advice was right, at the time this page was written ... but dates change, places get overcrowded, cooks get rushed, staff doesn't show up, funny things happen in Newport depending on the weather and events. Captain Vic guarantees nothing ... but adventure when you explore Newport.



The Top 100 +

Restaurants ($$$) | [top]

Best Historic Restaurant ....White Horse Tavern, corner Marlborough/Farewell Sts., (401) 849-7317
Best soufflé French restaurant ... Bouchard's, 505 Thames St., (401) 846-0123. [save room for the soufflé], the back room is more cozy.
Best Victorian restaurant on Memorial Blvd. ... Canfield House at 5 Memorial Blvd. East, (401) 847-0416.
Best continental waterfront restaurant ... The Black Pearl, Bannister's Wharf, (401) 846-5264.
[wine list heavy on the top end, sparse on the low end.]
Best chain hotel restaurant ... The Windward Grill, Hyatt on Goat Island, (401) 851-1234.

Restaurants ($$) | [top]

Best southern-style Italian, no smoking ... Puerini's at 24 Memorial Blvd. West, (401) 847-5506,[split a roasted red peppers, the lasagne is a unique treat, long waits at prime times, more space upstairs, no smoking].
Best seafood, such as linguini/calamari (served in a frying pan); open kitchen in the dining room ... Scales and Shells at 527 Thames St., (401) 846-3474 [try the broiled salmon or shrimp piccata], can be very noisy, crowded, and not the place for a quiet place to unwind, upstairs is quieter and the food is more "upscale."
Best Italian restaurant on waterfront... Lucia Italian Restaurant at 186 Thames St., (401) 846-4477.
Best Place for a real dinner between 10 p.m. and midnight ... upstairs at Benjamin's at 254 Thames St., (401) 846-8757.
Best native Italian (northern) ... Mamma Luisa 673 Thames St., (401) 848-5257. [Try the porcini bruschetta, vegetable medley, and the sauteed pork tenderloin with white wine sauce]
Best sunny-day Sunday brunch ... Castle Hill Inn & Resort on Ocean Drive, (401) 849-3800.
Most popular pub (Irish coffee, comprehensive menu) ... Brick Alley Pub at 140 Thames St., [crowded at prime times](401) 849-6334.
Best scallop chowder ... The Moorings at Sayers Wharf [opposite the Post Office] (401) 846-2260. Their Smoke House on the main street has great ribs and view of the walking traffic.

Food ($) | [top] Best and most-famous place for clam "chowda" ... The Black Pearl (pub or outside patio) on Bannister's Wharf "... everyone is supposed meet someone to have chowda and a beer at the Pe'rl."
Best outdoor activity in June ... pick your own strawberries, mid-Island (several locations).
Best cup of coffee ... Ocean Coffee Roasters at 22 Washington Sq.
Best traditional pizza ... Nikolas Pizza at 38 Memorial Blvd. W., (401) 849-6611.

Bar Scene | [top]

Best variety music, Jazz or/and loud pop bands, simultaneously in one crowded building ... One Pelham East, 270 Thames St.
Best sportsbar ... Mudville, 8 W. Marlbourgh St.
Best combination dancing, raw bar, and under 30 crowd ... The Landing Restaurant on Bowen's Wharf, (401) 847-4514.
Best place for sophisticated to get funky ... The Cooke House's Candy Store on Bannister's Wharf, (401) 849-2900.
Best view of busy Thames St. over a cocktail ... The Red Parrot at 348 Thames (corner of Memorial Blvd), (401) 847-3140, [known for small jazz combos, food is good too.].
Best view of Newport Bridge over a cocktail ... Pineapples on the Bay at Hyatt on Goat Island [be sure to walk out to the Green Light Lighthouse just a few steps away ... the only lighthouse in Newport Harbor].

Activities | [top]

Best Newport Harbor Walks along the residential and waterfront communities.
Best long run, bike ride, or car drive ... Ten Mile Drive (7-10 miles). Best to start on Thames St. and end on Bellevue Ave.
Best local train ride... Old Colony and Newport Scenic RR (401) 841-8700
Best nature walks ... Norman Bird Sanctuary at 583 Third Beach Rd., Middletown, (401) 846-2577 [Good bicycle destination].
Best walking tour ... Newport Historical Society starts at 82 Touro St., (401) 846-0813.
Best National Wildlife Refuge ... Sachuest Point Over 200 seasonal birds, 242 acres of habitats from salt and freshwater marshes, to grasslands to sandy beaches and dunes. Three miles of trails with observation platforms. Middletown, (401) 847-5511.
Best place to fly (or watch) a kite at a competition site ... Brenton State Park on Ocean Drive. [Sport Kite Championship, July ], (401) 846-3262.
Best October activity ... Harvest Fair, Norman Bird Sanctuary, (401) 846-2577.

Mansions and Places | [top]

Best non preservation society mansion: Doris Dukes' Rough Point
Best behind the scenes Mansion Tour ... The Elms provides a look at the mansion as well as the downstairs workings from the coal tunnel to the pastry chef's room. (401) 847-1000.

Best part of Cliff Walk ... Memorial Blvd. to Marble House's Chinese Tea House and back.
Oldest Synagogue in North America ... Touro Synagogue at 85 Touro St. [tours cover secret escape routes].
Best entertainment at a mansion tour ... Beechwood as its costumed guide/actors relive the gilded age (during the day). Murder Mystery scheduled for Thursday nights; Victorian Ball on Tuesday nights -- check for dates. (401) 846-3772
Best location to see boats leave harbor ... Ft. Adams State Park. Conducted tours of the Fort are a great combination with sunny days. [Museum of Yachting right on site; plenty of parking except on festival weekends].
Best known mansion ... The Breakers on Ochre Point Ave. [be sure to allow time to walk the front lawn to take picture with the Breakers in the background].
Best unknown mansion ... Chepstow on Narragansett Ave.
Best privately owned mansion featuring European Art ... Belcourt Castle at the southern end of Bellevue Ave., (401) 846-0669.
Best second choice mansion to see ... The Elms or Marble House or Rosecliff.
Most famous Roman Catholic Church ... St. Mary's [where Kennedys were married], corner Spring and Memorial Blvd.

Ethnic Events | [top]

Best sumo wrestling in RI ... Black Ships Festival, (Ikebana, kites, tea, etc.), July, (401) 847-7666.
Best Italian fest ... Festa'Italiana, with a variety of Columbus Day activites. (800) 976-5122.

Sports Events | [top]

Best and most famous grass tennis courts for rent ... and best tennis museum in the world ... Tennis Hall of Fame at 194 Bellevue Ave, (401) 846-0642.
Best men's grass court tennis in country ... Campbell's Hall of Fame Championship, July, Tennis Hall of Fame.
Best time to see Polo up close ... summer Saturday afternoons at the Glen, E. Main Rd., Portsmouth, [about 6 miles north of Newport], (401) 846-0200.

General Interest Events | [top]

Best waterfront film fest... The Newport International Film Festival June, the theaters on Washington Square, (401) 848-9443.
Best small theater/cabaret/buffet combination ... Newport Playhouse & Cabaret Restaurant at 102 Connell Hwy., [new comedy plays every two months] (401) 848-7529.
Best time to see fireworks ... Fourth of July Weekend but rarely on the Fourth ... nearly anywhere on the waterfront.
Best flowers ... Newport Flower Show, July , Rosecliff, (401) 847-1000.
Best time to tour gardens ... Secret Garden Tours, June//Sept. (401) 847-0514.

Music Events | [top]

Best time for classical music ... Newport Music Festival [daily concerts in mansions], July, (401) 846-1133.
Best time for folk music ... Newport Folk Festival, August, Ft. Adams, (401) 847-3700.
Best jazz ... JVC Jazz Festival, August, Ft. Adams, (401) 847-3700.

Just plain Tips | [top]

Best site to check Newport's Calendar of Events ... NCCVB Calendar of Events Page
Best concentration of diverse shops ... Brick Marketplace between America's Cup Ave. and Thames St.
Best Parking/Bus combination deal RIPTA Loop Bus.
Best clean, neat, B&B; walk everywhere, nautical decor and no smoking ... Anchor B&B, right off Bellevue Ave. at 19 Catherine St., toll free at (877) 511-7666 or (401) 847-1355 or email (
Best place to pick up cold beer, ice, etc. ... Vickers' Liquors at 274 Bellevue Ave. (Bellevue Shopping Plaza).
Best rainy day movie theaters ... The Opera House and the Jane Pickens Theatre on Washington Square.
Best bike rental ... Ten Speed Spokes, 18 Elm St., (401) 847-5609.
Best time to have dinner without reservations (summer weekends) ... 9:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Best place to get more tourist info ... Visitor's Center, 23 America's Cup Ave., (800) 326-6030.
Best time to "just visit"... mid-September to mid-November.
Historically best beach weather ... last three weeks of July, first two weeks of August.
Best place for non-emergency medical ... Newport County Medical, 67 Valley Rd., Middletown (near West Main Rd.), (401) 847-4950.
Best tour to put Newport in perspective ... the scenic tour by Viking Land Tours, (401) 847-6921.
Best time not to be in Newport unless you have to ... any summer official 3-day weekend or big event weekend.
Best place to taste great Rhode Island made coastal wines ... Sakonnet Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards or Newport Vineyards Winery. [best to do a wine tasting tour in this order as Sakonnet Vineyards are about 20 miles away from Newport]
Best rainy day picker-upper ... Jai Alai at 150 Admiral Kalbfus Rd. (also simulcast horse racing/video card games/coinless slot machines) .

On the Water |[top]

Best lighthouse to tour in area ... Rose Island Light House, check out schedule at (401) 847-4242.
. Best B&B on Ocean Drive near Castle Hill Light HouseSea Ledge.
Best small ferry ride Jamestown/ Newport Ferry, check out schedule at (401) 423-9900.
Best tall-ship short-cruises ... Aquidneck Schooner
Best quick harbor tour ... Oldport Marine on Sayer's Wharf (next to the Mooring Restaurant), (401) 847-9109.
Best time to see sail and power boats ... Newport International Boat Show, September, Newport Yachting Center, (401) 846-1600.
Best place to see yachting history Museum of Yachting Ft. Adams. (401) 847-1018
Best place to learn about wood boats International Yacht Restoration School 449 Thames St., (401) 848-5777.
Best place to put a 12 Meter Regatta together
America Cup Charters.

© 2007 by Captain Vic, Newport, RI 02840
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