This site is produced and sponsored by Newport's
Friends of the Waterfront
... Preserving Our Shoreline for the Public
Interesting Newport Walks/Drives:
Cliff Walk
Ten Mile Drive [Ocean Drive]
Newport, RI
Newport Harbor Walk North               Newport Harbor Walk South
Newport Waterfront Walk Poster
You can print this Newport Harbor Walk Poster nearly any size. Prepared by Teresa Crean, URI Coastal Resource Council/RI Sea Grant. {Note the PDF file is 3M large -- click on image to download file.}
        Newport Harbor's history spans well over 300 years. This Colonial shipping hub, U.S. Navy center during the Wars, resort to the Industrial Barons, and past home of the America's Cup races offers an abundant variety of historical and waterfront scenery.

        Just as visitors to Newport can enjoy the fabulous Cliff Walk on Newport's south-eastern shore and Ten Mile Drive [Ocean Drive], on Newport's southern shore ... they can walk along the harbor waterfront community on Newport's north-western shore.

        Newport's Harbor Walk is a community effort in which neighborhood groups, residents, the Newport city's park division, businesses, and a variety of non-profit public interest groups are working together on this long term goal to establish this walk along Newport's waterfront. See Earth Day Event, King Park Walkway Improvement Project, and North Trust Historical Marker Sign Dedication for the process in action.

A Quick Look Back at Newport's History
        Since the discovery of America and its early colonization by the British, Newport specifically stood out from the rest of the colonies as it was one of the five major commercial seaports in the New World.

        Because of its location, resources, and geography, Newport became an ideal center for industry and commerce to flourish and thrive. In the early seventeenth century Newport quickly transitioned from a farming community into a bustling, growing urban landscape in which laborers, artisans, craftsmen, and merchants alike tried to establish their businesses and take part in the boundless opportunities that America offered.

        Newport continued to prosper and develop at a rapid rate throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, changing the landscape of Newport from farms and windmills to streets, neighborhoods, and shops. However, by 1760 this growth eventually slowed and came to a stop when British-Colonial relations became tense.

        Restrictive trade taxes and regulations such as the Stamp, Tea, and Sugar Acts put immense strain on Newport’s economy and increased anti-British sentiments. Finally, in 1776 Newport’s maritime economy literally ground to a halt when Crown troops occupied the city.

        With the conclusion of the American Revolution in 1783, Newport hoped to see the rebirth of its economy. However, by this time commerce and trade had shifted northward to Providence which had been less affected by the war. Attempts to jumpstart Newport’s economy through the illegal slave trade, the whaling industry, and the textile industry in the early nineteenth century were temporary solutions and ultimately failed.

        Newport’s economy finally turned around in the 1830s when the city became a popular choice among affluent families from the South, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia looking for a summer seaside resort. As the socially elite began to flock to Newport and build summer homes, a huge demand for laborers, carpenters, masons, plumbers, chefs, clerks, bookkeepers, gardeners, and servants arose.

        In order to meet this demand, Newport underwent a drastic revitalization in which the population swelled and construction increased in order to accommodate both the visiting upper class and the growing working class.

        Today Newport continues to attract visitors because of its picturesque scenery, history, cultural festivals, and variety of shops just as it did since its humble beginnings.

Newport Harbor Walk is broken into two segments Harbor Walk North [The Point] and Harbor Walk South [Main Harbor].

        Harbor Walk North covers Newport's historic residential Point Section which was the original colonial center of the city and waterfront. While the British managed to destroy Newport's colonial waterfront by breaking up and burning the wood docks for heat during the War for Independence, this section of the city has retained a surprisingly large number of colonial homes dating in the 1700s. Combined with a number a Victorian gems, this area of Newport is architecturally rich.

        The full Harbor Walk North tour starting at Perrotti Park is just under three miles.

        Harbor Walk South [Main Harbor] covers Newport's "Active" harbor with a wide selection of boating, sailing, entertainment, history, and night-time action. Here's the typical New England waterfront that now mixes everything from T-shirts, to trendy boutiques, to antique shops, to "Chowda" tasting, to lobster tank looking, to tall ship sailing, to learning how to pour brass marine fittings and bend oak ribs.

        While Harbor Walk South is about 2 miles from Stone Pier at King Park to Perrotti Park, the harbor explorer is exposed to multiple diversions ... this is not an area to be rushed. A walking round trip is about four miles.

Harbor Walk North [The Point]
Harbor Walk South [Main Harbor]
North Trust Historical Marker Sign Dedication
King Park Path Dedication
Earth Day Action at Coddington Wharf Park
Harbor Walk Aerial Photo
Cliff Walk
Ten Mile Drive [Ocean Drive]
Newport Harbor Walk Home Page
Friends of the Waterfront, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit, public interest group with a mission to:
Protect public access to the water;
Preserve historical uses and rights of way, and
Help foster the development of the waterfront in ways that maximize public access.
Friends of the Waterfront web sites include:,,, and
We are always looking for volunteer help with our mission tasks. Contact the President v.6.1.2010 copyright ©, Friends of the Waterfront, Inc., PO Box 932, Newport, RI 02840
Web Master Vic Farmer, WebGhosts, Editorial Credits to Liz Mathinos, Amity Mack, Dave Wixted, and Vic Farmer. Map credit to Linnea Amtson
        This Newport Harbor Walk web site is still under construction. We welcome information or photos anyone would like to share with Newport's Friends of the Waterfront for possible inclusion into this site. Contact Vic Farmer