If you’re looking for a coastal vacation with fido in tow, look no further than Newport, Rhode Island. Full of history, nautical charm and plenty of dog-friendly activities (not to mention excellent seafood), Newport is a small town easy to enjoy over the course of a weekend, or longer if you want to spend your days walking on the beach, soaking up the sea breeze on the harbor and chowing down on chowder and lobster at night. With dog-friendly activities available all day long, your pup will never have to be on their own during a trip to Newport. Here’s what to do:
Where to stay with a dog in Newport, RI
Check into the super pup-friendly Wayfinder Hotel. Opened in Summer 2020, this stylish remodel is bright, bold and eager to pamper you and your pet. Spacious rooms offer plenty of play areas and speciality dog accommodations include a pet bed and bowls to borrow, plus mini fridges if you need to chill your dog’s food or meds. Speaking of food, the room service menu offers a varied pet menu with generous entrees featuring salmon, tuna or eggs, plus fresh veggies and whole grains. Humans can also order from the in-house restaurant Nomi Park, or head down to the bar, dining room or solarium with their furry friends for brunch or dinner. Lush lawns outside also offer nice space for quick and safe walks anytime of day.
What to do with a dog in Newport, RI
Newport is known for its Gilded Age mansions, which are one of few attractions that are not dog friendly. Instead, head to the famed Cliff Walk for 3.5 miles of exterior mansion views plus paved seaside terrain perfect for leashed doggos. Some parts can get steep, so older dogs may prefer being carried or just doing part of the walk, which is fine — you can turn around at any point. You can also walk down the sidewalk on Bellevue Avenue to admire the front facades of the historic mansions.
A sailing town, many of Newport’s boating trips welcome dogs on the water. Antique Yacht Charters welcomes groups of 19 or less, plus dogs, for private 2-4 hour cruises, which may even include a dip in for a swim in the Atlantic. For a 45-minute jaunt around the wharf with your dog, book the tourist friendly Newport Boat Ride.
No trip to Newport would be complete without a jaunt down Bowen’s Wharf, which dates back to 1760. Yes, it’s full of tourists, but for good reason — admire yachts, sailboats and stunning views and stop at a plethora of outdoor bars for a pint and oysters on the half shell. Several small shops in the area welcome dogs and have plenty of souvenirs to take home.
Ocean Drive is another popular scenic destination, which you can bike or drive by car with your dog in tow. Dogs who love the outdoors will enjoy running around Battery Park, as well as splashing on Easton’s Beach (but not between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
Where to eat with a dog in Newport, RI
Because Newport is a summer town, it’s full of outdoor dining options, many of which are enthusiastically dog friendly!
At Stoneacre Garden, dogs are welcome on the large patio and on the ground level – a perfect option in inclement weather. Asian-inspired dishes like General Tso’s Cauliflower, miso Caesar salad and a duck for two with steamed buns are served for dinner, along with sushi, plus dedicated brunch and lunch menus. Sip beer or cocktails and play a round of bocce under the garden lights.
Bar ‘Cino, a Newport favorite for festive Italian food, offers limited sidewalk tables for dinner with your dog. Start with a salad topped with crisp chicken Milanese, followed by a shared appetizer of baked clams and finish with a heap of tagliatelle with roasted Rhode Island mushrooms.
Housed in an 18th Century home, Perro Salado offers a heated and covered patio that’s hospitable to dogs. The New England inspired Mexican food includes plenty of plant-based options, plus brunch, and customizable burritos, tacos, daily specials and more. Vertical and horizontal tequila tastings are a highlight if you just want to chomp through some chips and sip some booze for a break.
With picnic benches spaced six feet apart (for social distancing, but still), Humming Bird offers Jamaican food and dog friendly dining. A range of hot plates include jerk chicken, Caribbean broiled oxtail, whole snapper, plus rice, plantains and more. Vegetarian options like spicy pastas and red bean stew are also served. The restaurant is also BYOB!