Moving to Newport, RI Tips [2021] | What Living in Newport, RI Is Like

The beautiful seaside community of Newport is located on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Newport, just 35 miles southwest of Providence and 74 miles south of Boston, boasts a convenient central location and an amazing quality of life. Newport, RI is known for its historic mansions, sailing, and its reputation as a summer resort town as well as its history as a major port city in the 1700s. This city of 25,000 has a median household income of $65,500 and boasts gorgeous scenery and the classic New England lifestyle with community events, amazing seafood, and endless outdoor recreation. Thinking about moving to Newport, RI? Here’s what you’re going to love.

Newport, RI Population & Demographics

Newport is located in the 02840 and 02841 zip codes and area code 401 as the county seat of Newport County. Newport, Rhode Island has a history dating back to 1639 when Aquidneck Island was known as Rhode Island. It grew quickly as one of the largest original settlements in the region in part thanks to two waves of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who immigrated and settled in the area in the 17th and 18th centuries. By the 18th century, Newport was Colonial America’s major slave ports but also became home to many free blacks and abolitionists. The Revolutionary War destroyed much of the city’s wealth and decimated its population as merchants left to New York, Boston, and Providence. This changed by the 1850s when the nation’s wealthiest families began building mansions as summer homes on the island.

Thanks to Newport’s rich history, it still boasts a diverse population. Many Irish immigrants settled in the area in the 19th century and St. Patrick’s Day remains important in the city. The racial and ethnic composition of Newport is 82% White, 7% African American or Black, 1.5% Asian, 1% Native American, and 8.5% Hispanic (including Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Guatemalan). Since the 1970s, however, Newport’s population has been steadily declining from 47,000 in 1960 to 24,000 in 2020.

Newport has had many famous residents, many of them only during the summer, including President Eisenhower, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, several Vanderbilts, and musician Paul Gordon.

Newport, RI Weather

Moving to Newport, Rhode Island from outside New England? The Newport climate is humid continental with very cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Newport gets about 31” of snow per year, around average for the U.S., but 48” of rain! July is the hottest year with average highs of 80 degrees and average January lows of 23 degrees. There are only three days per year on average in which temperatures top 90 degrees but 96 average nights per year with freezing nighttime temperatures.

Newport Schools & Colleges

While living in Newport, RI, you’ll be served by Newport Public Schools which includes Rogers High School and the Aquidneck Island Adult Learning Center. St. Michael’s Country Day School is a private elementary school in Newport with many nearby options for private schools like the Episcopal St. George’s School in Middletown and Portsmouth Abbey School, a Catholic boarding school.

There are several options for higher education in and near Newport. Post-secondary facilities in the city include the Naval War College, the Naval Academy Preparatory School and the International Yacht Restoration School. The Community College of Rhode Island Newport Campus and Salve Regina University.

Newport, RI Jobs & Local Economy

What type of job market can you expect after moving to Newport, RI? The U.S. Navy plays a major role in the city’s economy and the departure of the Navy’s Cruiser-Destroyer fleet in the 1970s devastated the economy, forcing property values down and leading to a dramatic drop in population. The Naval Station is the city’s largest employer by far with over 4,200 employees. Newport boasts a low unemployment rate of just 2.3% and strong anticipated job growth. Rhode Island, as a whole, has the country’s 9th best economy.

Top employers in Newport, RI include:

  • Naval Station Newport
  • City of Newport
  • Newport Hospital
  • Newport Harbor Corporation
  • Salve Regina University

Curious about your employment opportunities in the city? Start your search online for jobs in Newport, RI on Indeed and with the City of Newport.

Cost of Living in Newport, RI

Is Newport, Rhode Island expensive? That’s an important consideration if you’re planning on living in Newport. Like much of New England, particularly coastal cities, the Newport, RI cost of living is fairly high. The Newport cost of living index is 134, or 34% more expensive than the national average.

Healthcare is more affordable than most of the U.S. and groceries and utilities are about 10% higher than the U.S. average. Housing makes the biggest difference.

The median home price in Newport is $627,000, more than double the U.S. average. The Newport, RI real estate market is fairly competitive with homes often receiving multiple offers. While there are some modest homes in the community priced at under $400,000, the community is home to many multi-million dollar estates.

Considering renting while living in Newport? The average rent in Newport is $2,100, according to RentJungle. Rental properties are limited, however, and usually include townhomes and single-family homes with private owners. You’ll find greater rental availability in neighboring Middletown where studio apartments are around $1,100.

Best Neighborhoods in Newport, RI

Curious about your options when deciding where to settle after you move to Newport? The city may be small, but it’s home to distinct, historic neighborhoods with their own charm.

One of the best places to live in Newport, RI is Washington Street in the Point neighborhood. This street is known for massive, Georgian homes and it was established in the early 18th century overlooking Goat Island. There are two parks along the street which leads to the edge of the water. Kay Street in the Kay-Catherine neighborhood is another popular Newport neighborhood and home to stunning Queen Anne homes. Many of the homes have since been converted into condos and inns.

 

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Looking for an affordable neighborhood in Newport? Try John H Chaffee Boulevard in north Newport. This neighborhood is the city’s most recent and built in 2006 to renovate an area of deteriorating buildings from WWII. The wide, residential street leads to the CCRI building and offers affordable single-family homes.

Ready to explore Newport, Rhode Island neighborhoods? Start your search for Newport, RI homes for sale online to see what’s within your budget.

Fun Things to Do in Newport, RI

Newport, RI is nicknamed the Sailing Capital of the World with numerous sailing clubs like the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club. It also hosts many races and it’s the starting point for the Newport Bermuda Race. Sailing isn’t the only thing to do in Newport, though; this charming city has plenty of attractions to explore. There’s also convenient shopping in Newport, RI including Long Wharf Mall, Bowen’s Wharf, Bellevue Gardens Shopping Center, Stop & Shop, Newport Mansions Store, and Walmart. Whenever you want the attractions of the big city, you can make the 33.7-mile drive from Newport, RI to Providence, RI.

Here are some of the best things to do in Newport, RI for kids, families, and singles.

Newport Cliff Walk

 

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One of the top attractions in Newport, RI is the Newport Cliff Walk, an amazing 3.5-mile walk past crashing waves, panoramic views of the ocean, and Gilded Age mansions with paved paths and unpathed rocky areas. This is definitely one of the best free things to do in Newport on a nice day!

Cliff Walk, Newport, RI 02840

Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co.

Newport’s favorite brewery and distillery is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. Take an unguided or guided tour, enjoy rum and beer tastings, then stop by the visitor center.

Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co., 293 JT Connell Hwy, Newport, RI 02840 (401) 849-5232

Additional attractions in Newport, RI include:

Top Newport Restaurants

Ready to see what type of cuisine is waiting for you after moving to Newport? This coastal city has plenty of award-winning restaurants including small, locally owned restaurants you’ll love.

Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant

You’ll fall in love with Brick Alley, a Newport landmark one of the most popular restaurants in Newport, RI. This watering hole is famous for its lobster rolls and more than 250 vintages of wine.

Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant, 140 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840 (401) 849-6334

The Red Parrot Restaurant

 

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The Red Parrot is famous for its cocktails, pizza, and surf ‘n’ turf served in an historic meat-packing building from 1898. The restaurant is kid-friendly with a kids menu and an expansive menu of American favorites.

The Red Parrot Restaurant, 348 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840 (401) 847-3800

Have you settled on relocating to Newport, RI? Let the trusted Newport movers at Correira Brothers’ Moving & Storage for award-winning service and affordable rates.

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