The Top 18 Things to Do in Newport, Vermont
Newport, Vermont is inarguably one of the best tourist destinations in the United States of America. Every year, tourists flock to the city for the experience of a lifetime. It has the most beautiful green lands and forests.
Newport is located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It was founded in 1793 and sits on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, at the United States and Canadian border. It has a population of 4,589 according to the 2010 census.
With its cool winters and wet summers, the number of activities to undertake, and sites to visit are numerous. From historic buildings to adrenaline-filled outdoor activities, Newport has it all.
Hotels, restaurants, and resorts provide ample accommodation space for you and your family.
How to get to Newport, VT?
Getting to Newport by Plane
Newport, VT is actually pretty far from most big airports. The biggest one you can choose is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. You can grab an insanely cheap flight to this airport and rent a car to get to Newport. It’s around a 2h 30mins drive.
A smaller airport you can also opt for is Burlington. Burlington is pretty close if you choose to rent a car and there are some direct flights available.
If you fail to find cheap flights to MHT you can also choose the Boston International Airport. It will have more options and it’s only a little further away from Newport, VT.
Getting to Newport, VT by car
The town of Newport is located right next to I-91. This makes it incredibly easy to access and find. If you are coming from Boston, you first need to take I-93 then transfer to I-91. The I-91 originates in New Haven, CT. This is where you can drive onto it.
Getting to Newport, VT by public transport
Unfortunately getting to Newport, Vermont via public transport is quite problematic. There are no good connections available. If you can’t come in your own car or rent one at the airport we recommend not visiting Newport.
Best Things to do in Newport, VT
1. Lake cruising on the Nothern Star
With a design inspired by the canal cruisers of the 1920s, the Northern Star is 65 feet long and has a capacity of 49 passengers. It has 8 cabins and handicapped-accessible restrooms. Having stopped their cruises in 2017, the Nothern Star resumed in 2021, offering better experiences.
Cruises offered include brunch cruises, dinner cruises, and themed cruises. The semi-enclosed upper deck provides visitors with a space to relax, while they enjoy the scenic view of Lake Memphremagog. They have a cozy pub on the lower deck, designed to make you feel at home.
Visitors are allowed to visit the captain in the pilothouse and enjoy the scenery from there.
You will definitely enjoy spending time with the friendly and accommodating staff, as you breathe in the cool breeze from the lake.
2. Explore historical sites
Newport, Vermont is one of the most historically rich cities in the United States. Most of the buildings from the early 1900s are still in use by the municipal and for trade purposes.
There are no skyscrapers here and the atmosphere is calm and quiet. A walk across the streets will definitely transport you back in time. Some of the buildings date back to the 1800s.
3. The Goodrich Memorial library
Build-in 1868, the Goodrich Memorial Library is not just a place for reading. It doubles as a museum of some sort, with stunning historical pieces on display.
It has a long glass case with an alligator, a squirrel that seems to be flying, and an ostrich egg from long ago. All these are well preserved.
The old paintings displayed in one room and the extravagant fireplaces are masterpieces unique to the library. No wonder it is recorded in the national register of historic places in the United States.
4. St Mary Star of the Sea
Standing majestically at the peak of Prospect Street is the church that was built in 1903. It is made of local granite with a perfectly chiseled exterior. Two towers, each 105 feet high with dome-shaped tops made of copper, add a unique touch to the ancient building. Although some changes have been made inside the church, it still retains original details. The beautiful paintings with biblical aspects and color-stained glasses give an insight into historical art.
Read More: Best Things to do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine
5. Visit the Eagle Point Wildlife Management Area
For those who consider a vacation incomplete without visiting the wild, this is the place for you. Located 5 miles north of Newport city, the area sits on a 420-acre parcel of land. It has wetlands, hemlocks, and mixed forests which are home to a variety of wild animals. The extensive meadows on the shores of Lake Memphremagog provide beautiful scenery for eye-catching photography.
Eagle point offers a diversity of bird species, from hawks to eagles, waterfowls to blue herons, and many more. Animals like the red fox, eastern coyote, deers, raccoons, and sometimes moose are visible on the long grasslands.
As if that is not enough, activities at Eagle point are endless. Guests are free to swim, kayak, hunt, and fish in the wetlands. Camping is also allowed for fishermen and women.
The most fun activity is cross-country skiing in the vast areas during the winter.
6. Long stretch biking
Newport- Beebe bike path is about 7.5 miles long. It stretches from downtown Newport, across the shores of Lake Memphremagog, through the high school and the country hospital to the Canadian border. This stretch offers a great view of the lake as well as the mountains. While walking, jogging, or biking, there are numerous places to stop and admire the view before continuing with your journey.
Beautiful wildflowers fill the fields along the trail. This trail is perfect for dog walks since it is never crowded. The path is famous for snow-shoeing during the winter.
There are bikes for rent and parking areas at the start of the stretch.
7. Ice skating and skiing
Perfect ice skating rinks are hard to find. Naturally formed rinks during winter, are even harder to find in most places. During winter, Gardener Memorial Park is usually the place to be. Visitors and locals flock to the park to enjoy the ice rinks. Free skates are issued at the park in different sizes.
The park feature 3 separate rinks which are connected. Fun activities such as ice hockey and public skating can be undertaken while you enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.
If you have enough time, make sure to visit the nearby Jay Peak Resort, a few miles from Newport. It has the best hills and 78 runs for skiing and snowboarding to give you an adrenaline-filled day.
8. Visit the Prouty Beach Campground for fun-filled activities
Imagine a perfect night under the stars, sitting around a born fire with your loved ones. That is the kind of experience you get at the Prouty Beach Campground. The vast 36-acre campground offers more than you can need. With over 75 campsites, Prouty Beach has enough ground to host team-building activities, office parties, and family bonding trips.
Numerous amenities such as tennis courts, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, and playgrounds for kids are available. There is even a disc golf course for golf lovers to break a sweat during a hot afternoon.
For outdoor picnics and gatherings, there is a perfect beachside pavilion with a barbecue area and numerous tables. The pavilion has clean water and a cooking pit. There is also a covered space in case the weather changes.
Buildings at the lower beach houses boat and bike rentals. It has bathrooms and changing facilities for activities at the beach.
The campground also hosts different tournaments on their multi-purpose ground with prior notice.
Read More: Top Things to do in Lake Champlain
9. Dog sledding at the Huskies Kingdom
If you thought sledding across the snow like Santa was impossible, well, you thought wrong. This thrilling activity is offered at Huskies in the Kingdom, a family-owned sledding company. Several huskies are tied to a sled which they pull across the snow-covered hills. Take your kids to this place and you’ll be their new hero.
The owners of this company had been training dogs for 16 years before they started offering the sledding tours at the Stowe flake Mountain Resort during the winter of 2019.
However, the tours are only available on Saturdays.
10. Visit the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center
The Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center hosts a mix of vendors. From a tasting bar to a bakery, this place offers all the glory of the northeastern part of Vermont.
The Eden Ice Cider Winery offers tasting for their award-winning ice ciders at the winery.
The Butternut Mountain Maple, the producers of the world-famous maple products, have a tasting center where visitors can taste their different products.
The bakery and the restaurants offer the best local dishes.
11. Visit MAC Centre for the Arts
The Memphremagog Arts Collaborative Centre for the Arts was started by a charitable organization to support local artists.
The Centre offers visual arts, Fiber arts, Woodcrafts, and original handcrafts. All this art is available for sale. Make sure to carry a souvenir from the stores before you leave Newport.
You can attend various classes and workshops to sharpen your art skills or attend special events and performances at the Centre. For those who are open to giving back to society, this is your chance.
12. Attend local festivals and events
The best way to experience the culture of any community is by attending their festivals and local events. Some of the events to attend around Newport are community concerts, carnivals, winter festivals, and tournaments for games such as softball, football, and hockey.
The most memorable event is the penguin plunge, where people gather into small groups and jump into ice-cold water. The main aim of this sport is to raise money for Special Olympics in Newport.
Whether you are a participant or a spectator, you will definitely enjoy the show-stopping performances.
13. Walk the Northeast Kingdom Scenic Byway
The Northeast Kingdom is said to have taken thousands of years to form. The magnificent land with mountains and multiple rolling hills was formed through glacial activities, natural erosion, and the collision of the earth’s crest.
The byway is 51 miles and offers endless recreational facilities. It is so breathtaking that it was ranked as the top Geotourism destination in the United States.
If you are an artist looking for inspiration, visit this destination and you’ll be bewildered. Musicians, writers, and other artistic people love this place for its simplicity and its untouched natural appearance. This is evident from the multiple studios, workshops, and galleries that line the byway corridors.
The well-conserved environment allows for the existence of wild sanctuaries such as the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.
The Northeast Kingdom also has fertile lands which produce fresh fruits and farm products. Be sure to have a taste of the best organic food from the village during your stay here.
14. Kayaking on the Clyde River
Clyde River is gentle on some parts and rocky on others. These conditions offer the best kayaking experience. You can rent a boat or a canoe to explore the river and enjoy the beautiful sea plants lining the banks. The Newport scenery is visible from the comfort of your boat.
During the morning and the evening, you can view the sunrise and the sunset respectively, sitting on the beaches of Lake Memphremagog. The fog rising from the lake in the morning offers a great spot for photography.
15. Enjoy the quiet Newport nightlife
This is especially best for old people looking to have a quiet night at the pub. Unlike big cities in the US, Newport does not have a flashy lifestyle. An ideal night out in this city is quiet with slow music.
Multiple bars offer rooftop views of the beautiful landscapes.
16. Visit the Old Stone House Museum
Sitting on 55 acres of land are six buildings, just 20 minutes south of Newport. The center building known as the Athenian hall is an ancient dormitory built in the 1830s. It still stands firmly and currently has 21 rooms with 19th-century exhibits. Beautifully portrayed furniture, photographs, art pieces, and textile are among the items exhibited.
17. Rock climbing
The high mountains of the Northeast kingdom, provide a thrilling rock climbing experience. Just a few minutes from the city is an indoor rock climbing arena for those who don’t enjoy outdoor activities.
18. Experience the hype of the Newport Farmers Market
As we know at this point, Newport has fresh farm products. Fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, maple syrup, and everything you can find in a market. Fish from the lakes and rivers are also available.
It is usually open from May to October, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The products in this market are usually in high demand.
Free samples are offered on deserts, coffee, cakes, and even pie.
Being one of the places in the world with its natural beauty still intact, Newport, Vermont is a perfect travel destination. The community is friendly and they know each other. Security at Newport is guaranteed with the presence of the Newport Police Department.
There is definitely a wide variety to choose from, should you decide to vacation in Newport, Vermont.