Chamber of Commerce
45 Valley Road
Newport 401-847-1600

Visitor’s Bureau
23 America’s Cup Avenue
Newport 800-326-6030

Newport County is home to Newport, the sailing capital of the world, as well as a number of other unique and historic destinations that capture the attention of visitors from around the world. Rugged coastlines with wonderful beaches, nature preserves, sweeping hillsides, eclectic attractions, and magnificent mansions are just a few of the features that endear this area to new residents. Like the nearby Cape Cod communities, the population of Newport County explodes during the summer months as it welcomes throngs of vacationers and seasonal residents.
Newport County is probably one of the most unusual in the nation in terms of its history and topography. The region includes Conanicut Island or Jamestown as well as Aquidneck Island. On the latter island is Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. The county also includes a land mass with the towns of Tiverton and Little Compton that borders Massachusetts and is separated from mainland Rhode Island by water. In fact, the latter was a point of bitter dispute between Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the colonial years.

Healthcare services in Newport County are anchored by Newport Hospital in Newport, a state-of-the-art facility that provides a wealth of services and programs including a birthing center, diagnostic imaging, and occupational health. Recent additions have enhanced the leading-edge surgical facilities, outpatient services, and emergency care. Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center, associated with the hospital, represents a specialized service that is conveniently close to home.
Students of all ages enjoy opportunities for a quality education in Newport County. In addition to high-caliber public schools from preschool through 12th grade, options for private education are available in both parochial and independent schools. Higher education is available within a reasonable commute from home in a number of colleges and universities, from Ivy League Brown University in Providence to the renowned Roger Williams University in the nearby city of Bristol. Newport is home to the U.S. Naval War College as well as a private institution affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, Salve Regina University.

Newport County now offers a campus for the Community College of Rhode Island, so students of all ages can look forward to an affordable resource for higher education just minutes from home. The metropolitan Providence region expands the possibilities for highly specialized career training at the New England Institute of Technology and the Rhode Island School of Design.

A good network of transportation services and facilities serve Newport County residents and businesses, from major highways to stately bridges that span the waters between land masses. Mt. Hope Bridge connects Portsmouth to Bristol; Newport Bridge crosses over to Jamestown and then becomes Jamestown Bridge as it continues on to the mainland and links with US Highway 1. Highway 24 bridges Tiverton and Little Compton with the Portsmouth area. Green Airport in Providence is only a 20-minute drive from Newport and is even closer for those who live in Jamestown.

Enjoy the Newport Jazz Festival, visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame, or enjoy the warm sunshine on a white-sand beach. From the famous Bellevue Avenue mansions in Newport to the sea breezes that rustle through nature preserves in Little Compton, Newport County is panoramic and diverse. Housing is equally varied in this unusual county, from affordable smaller homes to multi-million-dollar estates and mansions. In most communities, summer residents and visitors mingle with those who call the area their home twelve months out of the year.

Because tourism remains such an important contributor to the local economy, amenities tend to be first-rate and abundant in the more developed cities and towns. Gourmet restaurants, waterfront cafes, picturesque marinas, intriguing shopping districts, grand historic sites, and landmarks dot the region. Residents and visitors alike are able to walk in the footsteps of the earliest settlers of our nation, marvel at the mansions built by 19th-century industrialists, and enjoy great performances at music festivals. Museum displays and exhibits in this region range from Naval history to tennis, science, and local lore.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find golf courses, tennis courts, sports fields, campgrounds, horseback riding trails, equestrian attractions, hiking trails, biking paths, and opportunities to enjoy every imaginable type of water sport. Tranquil neighborhoods blend with open space that provides sweeping vistas of meadows, shoreline, or vast open space. Some state parks have developed reputations for exceptional recreational opportunities, such as the scuba diving available at Fort Wetherhill State Park. Settling in Newport County is one way of enjoying a vacation lifestyle every day of the year.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Because Jamestown is actually an island, the community was never developed as a commercial center or a port. This natural sense of privacy and seclusion encouraged the development of the town as a quiet residential haven. The Newport Bridge offers residents access to both sides of Narragansett Bay, while a bridge connects the island with the mainland. A good highway system serves most of the shoreline. The high rocky coast at the south end of Beaver Tail Light offers some of the world’s finest surfcast fishing, while Narragansett Bay surrounds the northern end of the island.

Rich in history, Jamestown invites visitors to walk Narragansett Avenue where the British marched in 1775 as they burned the town. Sydney L. Wright and Jamestown Museums proudly display Native American and colonial artifacts.

Active clubs and organizations enhance the quality of life on the island, including the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and the Quonononquott Garden Club. The chamber takes a leading role in organizing many of the special annual events that occur around the four seasons.

Little Compton
Municipal Offices
Chamber of Commerce

The small town of Little Compton was originally inhabited by the Sagonate or Sakonnet Indians, and the southern part of the community bordering the Atlantic is still known as Sakonnet. As the scene of many hostilities that first involved Native Americans and then the British during the American Revolution, this small community boasts a rich and colorful history and proud local spirit. The British soldiers met with stiff resistance in this area and were fiercely attacked by settlers during their raids.

However, newcomers to Little Compton today will find no evidence of yesterday’s turmoil in this peaceful and rural farming community that claims a unique charm. It was in Little Compton that the famous Rhode Island Red, distinguished as the state bird, was first bred. Fishing has remained a major industry in the community, and the fishing fleet from the Sakonnet Wharf departs daily in search of a plentiful catch. With its natural charm and “island” enchantment, the town has managed to develop a brisk tourist trade. As a result, Little Compton has emerged as a favored vacation destination in the tradition of colonial New England.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Middletown is ideally situated on historic Aquidneck Island between the beautiful communities of Newport and Portsmouth. This central location on the island was the inspiration for the name, “middle town.” Surrounded by sparkling bodies of water on three sides—Narragansett Bay to the west, the Sakonnet River on the east, and Rhode Island Sound on the south—Middletown is characterized as a marine community that offers all the charm and picturesque appeal of seaside living.

An efficient system of major highways and bridges serves the island, adding an element of convenience to a scenic and unique location. Residents enjoy easy access to other cities and towns in Rhode Island as well as to those in nearby Massachusetts. Middletown is characterized as semi-rural with a diverse landscape, pristine beaches, and sand dunes interspersed with rocky coastline. Stately stone walls complement the landscape, adding to the quaint New England atmosphere. First-rate swimming, boating, surfing, and fishing underline the recreational opportunities close to home. Newport adds a wide variety of outstanding recreational amenities and attractions.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Boasting a legacy of wealth from the combination of farming and fishing in the 1700s, Newport was the “birthplace of the Navy” and home to some of the finest craftsmen in furniture and silver prior to the American Revolution. In fact, Newport was undeniably one of the most important early settlements in the New World, joining the ranks of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charlestown. As early as the 1720s, sea captains were bringing visitors to this “resort” from warmer climates. The legacy continues, and summer vacationers discover a culturally rich atmosphere and panoramic natural beauty.

Bringing together permanent residents, a significant U.S. Navy population, and a crush of summer visitors, Newport manages to harmonize all these elements in a cohesive community spirit. Everyone works together for the success of performing and visual art events. Premier historic sites include the opulent Vanderbilt, Astor, and Belmont mansions. Newport proudly claims more standing buildings built before 1830 than any other American community. With the region’s picturesque shoreline, tourism and hospitality play important roles in the local economy. Wonderful museums, fine cultural attractions, charters and cruises, tennis, golf, fishing, scuba diving, boating and yachting, spectator sports, and five-star restaurants are just a few of the premier amenities.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Rich in history, the quaint community of Portsmouth was settled in 1638 and preserves many unique historic monuments, landmarks, and buildings. Highly balanced and fully developed, the Portsmouth area offers several golf courses, antiques shops, marinas—and a weekly newspaper serving Portsmouth, Tiverton, and Little Compton. Among the unique attractions is the Green Animals Topiary Gardens where 80 trees and shrubs are sculptured in the shape of animals. Another favored place to relax is the Heritage Foundation of Rhode Island Park, with 475 acres of natural landscape for hiking and bird watching on Prudence Island.

Many sections of Portsmouth such as Melville were once heavily occupied by large Naval operations prior to the mid-1970s. Typical of many such installations throughout the nation, these operations were drastically reduced in recent decades. The result of this transition for the Portsmouth community has been ultimately positive, since these former military installations have provided outstanding properties for vital new business centers and recreational amenities. Melville’s small boat basin is now home to an impressive marina as well as a boat-building complex that replaced the former Naval docking area and PT-boat training site.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Incorporated in 1747 as part of the original Massachusetts Bay Colony, Tiverton was also involved in a lengthy boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts. When the British held Aquidneck Island, the town offered refuge for Americans fleeing from British occupation. From its roots as a farming and milling community, Tiverton has emerged as a desirable summer resort destination and a residential community where trade establishments are among the major employers. The area popularly known as North Tiverton claims the lion’s share of development. Newcomers will discover a blend of well-kept older homes with newer construction in a variety of styles.

Chase-Coryhouse, nestled in the Tiverton Four Corners area, and historic Fort Barton are two of the major historic attractions. The Ruecker Wildlife Refuge operated by the Audubon Society features 48 acres of preserve with 1.5 miles of trails that wind through woodland, meadow, salt marsh, and open water. Herons, egrets, and osprey join a lush abundance of plants and trees.

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