Newport’s Best Beach?
Its true Newport is known for its world class sailing but sometimes we all need to take a break from being on the water to being in the water. Luckily, Newport offers some great beaches for relaxing, walking, playing and swimming. Each beach has something that’s a little special just about it. So read on to discover which beach might be the best beach for you. (listed, not ranked)
1. Easton’s Beach (a.k.a. First Beach)
If you find yourself in Newport without a car, Easton’s beach is an easy choice. You can walk there from most parts of town, the road features bike lanes, and the sidewalks are wide enough for strollers. If its a family outing the kids will love a break from the sun to grab a snack at the snack bar, explore the Save the Bay touch tank or take a ride on the old carousel. And if sandcastles and carousels aren’t their thing – there is also a pretty nice playground. Easton’s Beach is a cove beach, with an awesome view of the famed Cliff Walk. Most days the surf isn’t too rough, but has enough movement to let you know you’re definitely in the ocean. If you’d like an adult beverage to wash the salt out of your mouth, there are a number of great bars nearby (I like Flo’s Clamshack and Easton’s Point) to cap off your beach day.
2. Sachuest Beach (a.k.a. Second Beach)
The largest of the beaches, Sachuest Beach has a bit of everything. If soothing views, long walks on the beach, boogie boarding, building 3′ sandcastles, surfing or kiteboarding, and slammin’ sunsets are your thing then Second Beach is the place for you. What’s that? You don’t think all those things go together? They do! The south end of the beach, “Surfer’s End” is often populated by locals, and beginners at surf camp. The north end of the beach, not only joins the beautiful Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge, but is also the place to see skilled kitesurfers late in the day. Everywhere in between is packed with families and people looking for that traditional beach experience. Pack up your chairs, umbrellas and coolers and head out for a day at the beach. Note that this beach does have a public restrooms but the snack bar is an on again off again thing- so you’ll want to bring a lunch, and keep it really contained lest the seagulls eat it before you do. Feeling thirsty? Take a walk down to Surfer’s End and grab a Del’s Lemonade, you won’t regret it.
3. Third Beach (actually called Third Beach)
No fancy name needed for this small no frills beach. A favorite of local families, Third Beach is a great place to take anyone who prefers pools or ponds to ocean adventures. A rare northeastern facing beach, there is basically never any surf and no steep drop off. Rumor has it this is the best place to try SUP, and it offers nice calm waters for kayaking, or a training swim. A public boat ramp is available to anyone who pays for parking, or has a season pass. The beach area has a few pavilions with barbecue pits, but they are hard to snag. You can also make reservations for private parties. No public restrooms or concessions.
4. Gooseberry Beach
Gooseberry Beach is a family-friendly beach situated off the Ocean Drive. With paid parking primarily for season members. You can try your luck early with a paid parking spot or can visit on a bike and enjoy this sheltered cove beach with views of the open ocean. The beach has virtually no surf because of the sheltering islands which, like a carefully placed folly in a garden, offer excellent views.
5. Reject’s Beach
A favorite of the younger adult crowd, Reject’s Beach is a wonderful “unofficial” beach in Newport. Situated between the southern Cliff Walk access and Bailey’s Beach (private, members only) is this great spot for hanging out, reading a book, or taking a swim. It’s got no amenities – not even a parking lot, but it does have plenty of room to lock up your bicycle, and the town trolley has a stop nearby. If you’re looking for a spot to meet up with friends, play some games, or relax on your own without a pile of children kicking sand nearby this is a great choice. Just don’t cross the line in the sand or you’ll get growled at by the Bailey’s guard.
I can’t let it pass without noting that two of the beaches on the list are not located in the 02840. When it’s all said and done, if your best beach is Second or Third, then maybe Newport’s best beach is actually in Middletown . . . Hi, neighbor!
General rules to remember – there is no smoking or alcohol permitted on any of the beaches, glass containers are not allowed and frowned upon, and your pets need to stay at home. Always expect to pay for parking (although you’ll occasionally get lucky if you just drop in for an evening swim.)
Post contributed by Newport resident Nichole Smith
All photographs ©Alexander Nesbitt Photography