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North America > United States of America > New England > Rhode Island > Newport County > Portsmouth (Rhode Island)

Portsmouth

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Portsmouth is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island. It is a small quaint town with a strong sense of community that has a lot of history for any traveler to discover. It was settled in 1638 by a group of religious dissenters from Boston, including Dr. John Clarke, William Coddington, and Anne Hutchinson.

Get in[edit]

Though it is on an island, Portsmouth is most readily accessible from RI Rt. 138.

Avoid the traffic on West Main Road by taking a left onto Access Road (next to a Courtyard Marriott) and follow. Go down a hill and take a slight right onto Defense Road. Follow until taking a sharp right ontp Stringham Road, which will bring you back up to West Main Road. By taking this quiet, scenic road, you bypass traffic and the commercialized portion of West Main Road.

Get around[edit]

As it is a small, quaint town, it is easiest to get around Portsmouth by car. Unlike a more metropolitan city which can easily be navigated on foot or by public transportation, Portsmouth is far too rural and suburban to rely on these types of transportation.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) does, however, have buses running to and from Portsmouth.

Taxi cab services on the island include:

See[edit]

The 1725 schoolhouse owned by the Portsmouth Historical Society is one of the oldest surviving in the U.S.
  • 1 Green Animals Topiary Garden, Cory’s Lane, +1 401 847-1000. Gorgeous, fanciful and set on a sprawling estate, the Green Animals Topiary Garden is a must-see. It is the oldest garden of its kind and the grounds are pristine. Kids and kids-at-heart will love the green menagerie of towering hedges pruned into animal shapes. The estate also features a splendid Victorian home, an orchard, and vegetable gardens. Green Animals Topiary Garden (Q5602279) on Wikidata Green Animals Topiary Garden on Wikipedia
  • 2 Greenvale Vineyards, 582 Wapping Road, +1 401 847-3777. Nestled on the beautiful Sakonet River, this family-operated vineyard offers a variety of artisan wines. The vineyard is open for wine-tastings and tours from 10AM to 5PM, the vineyard is a pleasant, romantic way to spend an afternoon, and indulge in some high-quality wine. Greenvale Farm (Q5604625) on Wikidata Greenvale Farm on Wikipedia
  • Old School House, East Main Road and Union Street, +1 401 683-9178. The Old School House is, quite literally, old school- it's the oldest schoolhouse in America. The Old School House is a fascinating and well-preserved historical attraction. It features antique textbooks, the original desks and school bell and other old-fashioned school supplies.
A cartoon centipede reads books and types on a laptop.
Portsmouth High School's Wind Turbine
  • Portsmouth Abbey Wind Turbine The Abbey is home to Rhode Island's first wind turbine. The blades first started turning on March 31, 2006. Within the first year, the turbine generated 1.3 million kWh of "clean" electricity and supplied 39.35 percent of the school's electrical energy use. This successful trend has continued.
  • Portsmouth WInd Turbine. The Town of Portsmouth has constructed an impressive 2 MW wind turbine on the grounds of the Portsmouth High School. It is truly an engineering site to see. The turbine is over 300 ft tall with a blade diameter of 246 ft.

Do[edit]

  • Escobar’s Highland Farms Corn Maze, 133 Middle Road. A quick 20-minute drive that should be a top priority on a to-do list. Run by Escobar's Highland Farms, this seasonal corn maze is a popular attraction for team building, families and dates, both on competitive and non-competitive basis. Escobar’s Highland Farms’ main attraction is the corn maze but its other attractions include hayrides, cow trains, pumpkin festivals, Halloween parties and other events that will occur during the operating months of August through November.
A cartoon centipede reads books and types on a laptop.
Polo Players
  • Sandy Point Beach. Sandy Point Beach is a quiet local beach perfect for relaxing. It is on deep in the bay on the Sakonnet River which means there is little surf perfect for recreation such as swimming, rowing, boating, and scuba diving. $10.
  • US Sailing Associated, 15 Maritime Dr, +1 401 683-0800. Portsmouth boasts the headquarters for the US Sailing association.
  • Newport International Polo Series, 2503 East Main Road. Portsmouth holds an international polo competition annually. A great event for the entire family, it was voted "Best Evening with the Kids" in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine in 2005. The 100 sprawling acres of green grass offers plenty of entertainment for children. Matches take place every Saturday throughout the summer and early fall at 5PM in June, July, and August and 4PM in September. Picnics are welcome, although food and beverages are offered at the game. General admission for lawn seating or grandstand is $10 (children are free).
  • Carneige Abbey, 125 Corys Lane, +1 401 293-0840. The Carnegie Abbey Club is a private high end sporting estate. The club provides a championship style golf course, yachting, tennis, fishing, and cultural events-as well as a variety of waterfront homes and hotels. If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it..
  • Green Valley Country Club, 371 Union Street, +1 401 847-9543. An 18-hole golf course with a driving range. The club house contains a bar and restaurant as well as banquet facilities.
  • Montaup Country Club, 500 Anthony Road, +1 401 683-0955. A scenic 18-hole golf course overlooking the Mt. Hope Bay and Bridge. Open to the public year round.

Buy[edit]

  • The Portsmouth Shop, 2511 E Main Rd., +1 401 683-2184. Fine women's and children's clothin, and gifts. It features a large selection of unique and well-made jewelry, stationery, serving ware and other interesting finds.
  • The John Goddard Antiques Shop, 2984 E Main Rd, +1 401 683-6883. This high-end antiques shop is a veritable treasure-trove teeming with exquisite oil paintings, gorgeous rugs, and fine home furnishings. Though this is not the best place to bring kids (it's brimming with breakable items), antique-hunters will love perusing the shop for rare finds.
  • Equine Connection, 1016 E Main Rd, +1 401 682-1650. Avid equestrians will love this sunny, spacious shop. It is (fittingly) in a barn-like building on Portsmouth's main commercial road. This outfitter sells everything ranging from saddles to riding boots and jackets. The staff is very friendly. It also sells a variety of consignment goods.

Eat[edit]

  • Rocco's Little Italy, 880 East Main Rd, +1 401 682-1777. Great Italian cuisine, especially their pizza.
  • El Parque Mexican Bar and Grill, 514 Park Ave, +1 401 682-2171. A festive Mexican restaurant. Friendly and inviting from the moment you open the door. All the regular foods you’d expect to find are on the menu at a very inexpensive cost. Bright colors and upbeat, lively music only adds on to your visit when you come to eat at this restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week and take out is available.
  • The North End Pizzeria, 3030 East Main Rd, +1 401 683-6633. Su–Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. A mixture of an old, antique history and fun, quirky atmosphere create an allure palpable as soon as you walk past the restaurant windows. There is a wide range of pizza choices available, Mexican to spinach to buffalo chicken are all options depending on your craving of the day.
  • Reidy's Restaurant, 3351 East Main Rd, +1 401 683-9802.
  • Green Valley Country Club, 371 Union St, +1 401 849-2162.
  • West Main Pizza, 1620 West Main Road, +1 401 683-1492. Voted best pizza and best calzones by RI monthly magazine.
  • Custom House Coffee, Square West Main Road @ King Charles Drive, +1 401 682-2600. Voted Best Coffee House in Newport County 2008 & 2009. A very friendly and inviting environment, Custom House offers a wide variety of coffees, teas, and specialty drinks as well as freshly made pastries and sandwiches. Enjoy your cappuccino in one of their large leather couches while surfing the web or watching television.
  • Clement's Marketplace, 2575 East Main Road, +1 401 683-0180. Daily 7AM-9PM. A great, locally owned marketplace with all of your typical grocery store brands, but without the big-store feel. Also, the deli has a great "to-go" lunch menu, including arguably the best tasting paninis on the island.
  • Foodworks, 2461 East Main Road, +1 401 683-4664. Daily. Foodworks is a family-owned restaurant with a friendly local atmosphere. Foodworks provides only a breakfast menu with a wide variety of affordable meals to choose from.

Drink[edit]

  • The Beach House. Live music and 15 types of chicken wings. Well-known bands play live music every Friday night. Beer pong is every Tuesday night if you’d rather play games while drinking.
  • Island Tap. The epitome of a townie bar. When you open the door, you’re in a wooden room, still outside. When you open the second door, however, with a step up you enter the dusty, old bar. There is a bar immediately to your left side, a pool table in the back and scattered, dirty tables. It is nothing too special to make someone want to stay but special enough to make someone question why they parked their car outside.
  • Bridges Restaurant & Cafe, 144 Anthony Rd, +1 401 683-3600, fax: +1 401 683-6690.

Sleep[edit]

  • The Shamrock Farm Inn, 465 Union Street, toll-free: +1-888-451-1240. A family-run bed and breakfast nestled nest to St. Mary's pond, the Shamrock Farm Inn is the perfect place for a quiet getaway. There are only six rooms, and they fill up quickly so book your reservations early. Each guest room features a Jacuzzi tub, a working fireplace, handpicked antiques, and a full breakfast served in the morning. This cozy bed and breakfast has rural charm to spare.
  • Melville Ponds Campground, +1 401 682-2424. This clean, family-friendly campground features hiking trails, a fishing pond, and secluded spots for RVs and tents. The showers and bathrooms are well-kept. The campground is minutes away from Newport's gorgeous beaches, and the hiking trails are the perfect place for a nature walk. Avid bird-watchers will enjoy scouting out their favorite species, and fishers can follow the blue trails all the way down a freshwater fishing pond.
  • The Bay Point Inn, 144 Anthony Road, +1 401 683-3600. Although less than-picturesque, this inn features all the amenities of a large hotel. It is open only during the summer months, but even during this peak season, rooms only go for $89 a night, The Bay Point Inn is a bit shabby, but features an indoor and an outdoor pool, air conditioning, and room service. It's nothing extraordinary to look at, but for those minding their budgets, it's a serviceable place to stay.

Go next[edit]

Shoreline of Easton Bay looking south from cliffside at east end of Narrangasett Ave
  • Newport: The breathtaking and beautiful town located right on the shore. Attractions of all kinds: streets filled with shopping, the town is surrounded by the beach, arts and theatre to add to the culture aspect of this well known spot. Go to their website, click on “things to do” and you will see an events calendar to your left. Check it out and plan a trip!
  • University of Rhode Island: 30 minutes away. Sporting events, concerts at the Ryan Center and around the beautiful campus. Make sure to check out the school’s website to see what’s happening at URI.
  • Providence: The state capital can either drive or take the RIPTA to experience a wide range of culture through various entertainment establishments or take the day to shop around the eclectic area.
  • Bristol: Visit this small, patriotic town on the Fourth of July and you’ll think you’re at the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. Bristol has hosted the oldest Independence Day parade in the nation, comparing to nothing else.
Routes through Portsmouth
Fall RiverTiverton  N Rhode Island 24.svg S  END
ProvidenceBristol  N Rhode Island 114.svg S  MiddletownNewport via Rhode Island 138.svg
Fall RiverTiverton  N Rhode Island 138.svg S  MiddletownNewport


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