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The Grill at Forty 1? North

Stylish hotels, gourmet restaurants, and a host of attractions are all helping to put the “new” into Newport, Rhode Island. By, Andrew Conway

History may be a powerful draw for visitors to Newport, but this is a city that looks ahead as much as it looks back. New hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions keep this classic New England resort town looking fresh and vibrant, offering a summer sojourn that will put you in instant relaxation mode.


Perched on the waterfront on Thames Street, next to a private yet bustling marina, Forty 1? North has set a new standard in modern luxury accommodations. This stylish boutique hotel has 28 rooms, many with views of Newport Harbor, featuring Frette linens, soaking tubs, Malin + Goetz bath products, and on-trend accessories such as in-room iPads. The two Grand Suites and four Harbor View Suites are the pick of rooms, with two Cottage suites in separate buildings and two spacious Loft Suites above neighboring Christie’s restaurant. Start with a cocktail in the Oval Bar and a seafood dinner in The Grill, then relax at the Pavilion Bar on the marina. Check out the new 41?N Card offering priority access, exclusive benefits, and special events during the summer months. 351 Thames Street, 401-846-8018.


Celebrating its first anniversary this summer, Thames Street Kitchen continues to dazzle diners with its stellar cuisine. Chefs Chad Hoffer and Tyler Burnley deliver ever-changing “field-to-fork” menus featuring fresh and organic produce from local growers in a casual, vibrant setting. 677 Thames Street, 401-846-9100. Just along Thames Street, Restaurant Bouchard is perfect for a romantic dinner with classic French dishes prepared by chef and owner Albert Bouchard. It’s also one of the best inns in Newport, so you can make a weekend of your meal. 505 Thames Street, 401-846-0123. Christie’s is part of Forty 1? North but has a totally different vibe. Fun and playful with swing seats, Neptune chairs, a wall paying homage to Newport bathing beauties, and outdoor dining, Christie’s serves up delicious Asian-inspired tapas plates and high-octane cocktails. 351 Thames Street, 401-846-8018.


Jump in the car for a wonderful day of mansion hopping. The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms are the grandest of the Newport Mansions open to the public, but a visit to any of the 11 properties in The Preservation Society’s unique collection will provide a fascinating insight into America’s Gilded Age. 401-847-1000. For tennis fans, Newport’s International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has an unrivaled collection of memorabilia dating back to the 1800s, and you can watch some of today’s top professionals and amateurs playing on the historic grass courts during the summer. 194 Bellevue Avenue, 401-849-3990. Newport is awash with colorful festivals throughout the year. Summer 2012 highlights include the Annual Great Chowder Cook-Off (June 2), Ocean State Tall Ships Festival (July 6-9), and Celtic Rock Festival (August 25). 800-976-5122.