A visit to The Classic Coast—nine vibrant and historic towns all sharing some seriously prime New England coastline—is both everything you expect and enjoyably unpredictable. This is a place and a people made of surf and soul; raised by the ocean and built by eccentric and outspoken rebels some 300-plus years ago. If you’re looking for classic Colonial architecture and breathtaking New England landscapes, we’ve got ’em. Trust us. But it’s a feeling you get here of being switched off yet inspired; engaged yet refreshed. There’s no word for it, but it happens everyday on The Classic Coast.

Discover Newport is a non-profit destination management organization dedicated to the promotion of the City of Newport and its eight surrounding townships in Newport and Bristol Counties Rhode Island including Barrington, Bristol, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Warren as a premiere destination for business and leisure travel.

1. What is your destination most known for?
Newport, Rhode Island, America’s First Resort is known for so many facets of travel. First, I would say our Colonial History, as we have the largest number of “stick homes” which translates into preserved wooden colonial homes in the country. All thanks to the preservation of these homes by the late Doris Duke, and her creation of the Newport Restoration Foundation. https://www.newportrestoration.org

Secondly, the Gilded Age Mansions, or as they were know in there day as “summer cottages”, preserved, maintained and providing educational opportunities thru their many tours and special events of the 11 properties by the Preservation Society of Newport County, https://www.newportmansions.org/

The rich and famous built these beautiful mansions as their summer “vacation” destination. Why? Because it was a location on the water will cool winds and a short distance (Ferry or yacht) from New York City.

2. During this time, how can we enjoy your destination?
Several decades ago, Newport, RI was considered strictly a “summer destination” but that is certainly not true anymore.  With a bevy of year-round special events, mansions, museums, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and lodging properties available, we are always “on.”

3. What hidden gem should not be missed when visiting your destination?
We have a lot of “hidden gems,” like the famed Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile path along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean offering a sneak peek of the manicured mansions grounds. Like the Breakers, Marble house, Ochre Court and many more. Also, the many hiking, biking, and birding tours we offer throughout many of our nine coastal communities. https://www.discovernewport.org/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/

More recently our culinary scene has become a hidden gem, with a plethora of cuisines from traditional New England seafood, to authentic Jamaican restaurant, award-winning ramen, fun and funky establishments, world-renowned dining experiences, and most recently five 2024 James Beard Foundation semi-finalists along The Classic Coast.

4. What’s one feature that can’t be missed when visiting your website?
My favorite feature on our site DiscoverNewport.org, would be our entertaining and informative Blog posts! https://www.discovernewport.org/blog/

5. How did you hear about NATJA, and why did you join?
We hosted the very first NATJA conference back in Newport-2003 and the association (staff and members) has been and continues to be a valuable asset to my DMO. 

6. During this season, what are some must-see attractions in Newport?
Some of our newest attractions encapture the heart of our ‘backyard’ the ocean. The Sailing Museum opened in 2022 and includes 8,500 square feet of exhibits chronicalling the history of sailing as a sport, along with galleries that honor the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world, and the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Just this year, in 2024, Save The Bay opened its doors to their new 7,000 square foot Hamilton Family Aquarium featuring 13-exhibits of Narragansett Bay native critters, ample educational opportunities and more.

7. What are some of the resources Discover Newport provides for travel media?
We have developed a robust VIP program for applicable travel media, which allows complimentary access to nearly four dozen of our region’s top attractions, venues, tours, sightseeing and more. Participating media are able to enjoy the destination at their leisure with this program without a structured itinerary, which we of course offer as well when applicable.

8. What is the thinking process that goes into the development of a press trip? Are they tailored differently for travel journalists and social media influencers?
We aim to tailor all our press trips both individually and as a group to the best and newest our destination has to offer. This could include more active, outdoor, hidden gem, luxury, family friendly itineraries, all based on the genre, demographic of the reader or viewer, and angle of each particular media outlet. We are fortunate our destination has so much to offer for everyone, so curating something for generally any audience is a breeze.

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