Auston Matta a RoamRight Blog Author

Visiting Newport, Rhode Island on a Budget

Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. CT

Newport is not typically known as a budget destination. In fact, the whole city was originally built more than a century ago for the rich and famous. So while ritzy hotels and sailing cruises aren’t necessarily budget-friendly, with a bit of planning you can enjoy all of what Newport has to offer without breaking the bank.

Visiting Newport by Bus

Taking the bus into Newport is a great way to save some cash. Once you arrive, most of the sights around town are within a short walk or bus ride. If you’re coming from another east coast city like Boston or New York, you can take the Peter Pan or Megabus lines to Providence, and then catch a local bus from Providence to Newport. Direct routes to Newport are possible but are often more expensive. A route from Boston or New York to Newport can cost as little as $7 for the entire ride. Bus #60 connects Newport and Providence and you can find the route and schedules online.

Newport’s Cheap Eats

A hearty and filling bowl of New England clam chowder is a must have and can be purchased for $5-$8 in most restaurants. There are several other restaurants in town with good deals that won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet.

  • Gary’s Handy Lunch – a local diner known for their classic American breakfast and lunch foods.
  • Sardella’s Italian Restaurant – an Italian food favorite that offers an $8 main course special Monday – Wednesday evenings.
  • The Wharf Pub – a neighborhood pub in the middle of Newport’s famous wharf with live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Port Grill & Raw Bar – discover great seafood and happy hour specials. Events are hosted Thursday through Sunday. Great for watching the sunset but closed during the winter.
  • Flo’s Clam Shack – another great place to find well-priced seafood and a funky atmosphere at this local favorite located in Middletown, just a short distance from downtown Newport.
  • Belle’s – enjoy a lunch or dinner in the shipyard surrounded by yachts.

Transportation in Newport

Public transit in Newport is well developed and reliable. Several of the city bus lines are actually trolleys, which adds a nice charm to your ride. Another option to get around is to rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels. This can give you an advantage since you can come and go on your own schedule without having to wait for the bus. Newport has many designated bike lanes and most of the drivers are well accustomed to having bikers riding around the city. Newport also runs a $5 shuttle during the summer months to Middletown where you can find additional attractions including golf clubs, nature reserves and vineyards.

Free Activities in Newport

You can find many free activities to occupy your time in Newport. If you rent a bike, you can visit one of the three beaches in the area and enter without paying for parking. Other free activities include the Schuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and Norman Bird Sanctuary. Both are located near Middletown, a few miles out from central Newport. They aren’t always accessible by bus outside summer months, so you’ll need to have a car or bike to visit them. The Touro Synagogue, Castle Hill Lighthouse and Redwood Library & Anthenaeum are a few other spots you can make quick visits to without dropping a dime. The Sweet Berry Farm also hosts free concerts on the lawn during the months of July and August.


Newport is not necessarily known for budget accommodations. You won’t find traditional hostels here but you can find guest houses with shared rooms. For a single bed in a shared dorm, expect to pay about $30 per night. If you’re traveling alone or with just one other person, this might be a good option for you. A larger group can easily split a 3-4 person hotel room for less than $100 per night.

What budgeting tips do you use to save money while traveling?

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.


About the Author

Auston Matta

Auston Matta, a RoamRight Blog Author Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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