Off-Season Newport Not Like it Used to Be


There was a time when Newport rolled up its sidewalks in the off season, but not any more. There are ample events in the City by the Sea to keep people coming back year round, even in the fall and winter.

Newport is a boating Mecca, which is home to the Newport International Boat Show, running this year from Sept. 11-14. Historic Bowen’s Wharf is part of it, encompassing more than a half mile of city waterfront. The show offers in-water basin and land displays featuring Hinckley, Hunt and other Down East-style boats. The event is owned and run by Newport Exhibition Group. For information and ticket pricing, visit

bw-i1.jpgThe 24th annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival runs Oct. 18 and 19, with free admission. Named one of the “10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast” by Coastal Living magazine, the festival honors the sea’s harvest, with restaurants and fisherman’s  associations offering food, including lobster dinners, chowders, stuffies, raw shellfish and more. Also, local musicians kick in with tunes. Food and beverage tickets can be bought on site. The festival draws upwards of 8,000 people a year. Visit for more information.

Later in the year, there is the holiday boat parade on Nov. 28 and Bowen’s Wharf 44th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, with appearances by Santa Claus and his wife arriving by boat, and Frosty the Snowman, as well as carol singing and live music. Admission is free. Bowen’s Wharf also hosts sale days Feb. 13-22 at the wharf’s annual winter festival. And if you’re getting married and want to plan ahead, check out the 13th annual Newport Bride Show Feb. 21 at Rosecliff and Oceancliff. Visit for full info.

Continue Reading Below