Steeped in yachting history, the harbor in Newport, RI comes alive with an abundance of boaters each summer. Once known as a respite for the rich and famous, waterfront dining has long been in demand here. Here are just a few of the dock-able restaurants worth sampling.
Dock & Dine Ops:
The distinctively upscale Forty 1 North Grill is strategically located in the center of Newport’s seafront historic district. The menu focuses on locally sourced dishes from the classics like shrimp cocktail to the Chef’s brazed sea scallops. All locally caught fish are microchip tagged to show the place and time of their harvest, thus guaranteeing maximum freshness for their discriminating patrons.
Pier 49 Seafood Restaurant, located in the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina, offers classic New England seafood fare. This prior Navy pier now attracts boaters to its dock for bistro style plates and chowders. Try the Pier 49 Calamari for a distinctive seafood treat.
While you’re in Newport, you should definitely take in a “classic New England clam bake and lobster reveal.” The Hyatt Regency Newport offers these from time to time, so check ahead and enjoy.
Newport Shipyard Belle’s Cafe is located in a nautical and open-air setting. Boaters can pull up to this café for dining under a series of large umbrellas, all with a view of the marina and bay. A historical light ship is tied up next to the restaurant, which offers tours from time to time. The restaurant’s selection of gourmet sandwiches makes it a fabulous choice for lunchtime dock & diners.
Once again, all of the transient docks used for arriving diners are of the floating kind. So, you know the drill: double wrap cleats and put those fenders out. The harbor is a maze of mooring buoys, so it’s best to be alert for lines in the water. As in most places, close attention to following channel markets is imperative here. Also, watch out for the seabird detractors at 41 North when docking.
Stuff To Do:
Newport is jam-packed with interesting things to do. One that should not be missed is the Viking Trolley tour of Newport’s Historic Mansions. This ten-mile tour takes you along these waterfront estates, one of which was owned by William Vanderbilt and used in the filming of The Great Gatsby.
The International Yacht Restoration School can be visited during a walking tour of the waterfront district in Newport. Here, visitors can view the interesting stages of wooden boat building. Be sure to visit their library to view some outstanding ship models and maritime artifacts.
Just up the street from IYRS you will find Thames Street Glass. Visitors can watch skilled glassblowers shape molten glass into all kinds of objects and vessels. Or, for a small fee, you can try to blow your own creation.
One of the most interesting marine museums (perhaps in the world) is located in nearby Bristol. The Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall of Fame features over 60 early wood hull boats, many of which allow access to their interiors. Guests should also visit the Model Room where over 500 ship hull models are displayed.
So, check out these exemplary boat accessible dining establishments across America. Or, find your own favorite dock & dine restaurant. Without question, the experience of reaching a great eatery on your boat will draw you back time and time again.