A different perspective of Newport: Embrace the water
When you come to Newport, you can easily tour the island by either walking, biking, or by car or bus. Why not try a new perspective and take a sailing tour around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay? Newport's heritage goes just as deep in the water is does on land, if not deeper. Before 1969 there was no bridge connecting Aquidneck Island to Jamestown – which has been connected to the main land by the Old Jamestown bridge since 1940 and the Jamestown Verrazano bridge in 1992 – so the only way to and from Newport was by boat.
The first attraction to see in Narragansett Bay is the Rose Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built back in 1870 to help sailors navigate the bay. It's more notable history is from World War I and II when the island was used as a torpedo storage station. In both world wars, many of the torpedoes used were manufactured on nearby Goat Island. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was abandoned after the construction of the Newport bridge in 1970 and fell victim to vandalism and went in to disrepair. In 1984 a group of citizens formed a non-profit organization (the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation) to restore the lighthouse to its former turn of the century appeal, and 9 years later the Rose Island Lighthouse was ceremonially lit once again and is listed on today's charts as a private aid to navigation.
Rose Island itself is a wildlife habitat as well as a protective nesting ground for birds from August 1st – August 15th. When on the island, visitors are allowed to walk the beaches around the island, but may not leave the beachs or lighthouse because of the unsafe buildings left over from the two world wars.
Now there are many ways to get around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. If you fancy yourself an intrepid sailor then Sail Newport, a non-profit organization and the largest public sailing center in New England, offers 22 foot and 19 foot sailboats for rental. They also offer both public and private instructional classes for those that wish to learn how to sail. Sail Newport is located right at Fort Adams State Park, which makes it very easy to find.
If you're looking for a more relaxing experience then you should definitely check out Madeline of Classic Cruises of Newport. Madeline is a 72 foot sailing yacht that was built specifically to carry passengers comfortably and safely through the waters of Newport. Classic Cruises of Newport offers both harbor tours and sunset sailing cruises aboard Madeline with her experienced crew. It will make a memory you'll surely never forget.
Although, you may be looking for a more private experience on the water, then Sight Sailing of Newport is what you want. They offer up their 34 foot sailboat Starlight only for private 2 and 4 hour charters, complete with a captain, for up to 2 – 6 guests. This makes Starlight the perfect romantic getaway on the beautiful waters around Newport and Jamestown. From Castle Hill Light to the shores of Ocean Drive, to passing along the shoreline of Jamestown and the magnificent estates of Brenton's Cove, Sight Sailing will take you to wherever you wish to go. This luxurious and comfortable sailboat is bound to be the highlight of your next trip to Newport