When it’s a nice summer day in Newport, RI, the historical attractions face serious competition: the beaches. Many a visitor has come to the City on the Sea with the best intentions to learn about the Gilded Age and ended up relaxing on one of Newport’s five beaches. My favorite beach (pictured top, middle and bottom) is Sachuest Town Beach, also called Second Beach because of its position between Easton’s (First Beach) and Navy Beach (Third Beach). Second and Third Beaches are actually in Middletown, RI, the town next to Newport, but still in Newport County so it’s OK to call them Newport beaches. While it’s free to enter Second Beach, the parking fee is $10 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. There are restrooms and a few food trucks, like Del’s Lemonade, but the overall vibe is non-commercial.
At 1.25 miles long, Second Beach is Newport’s largest beach and enjoyed some lovely long walks along the shore, carrying the baby in the Bjorn. It’s a terrific beach for families because while surf is strong enough to attract a few surfers and keep away the dreaded red seaweed that plagues some of the area’s other beaches, the water stays quite shallow for a while.
Second Beach is not the world’s best beach. In fact, it’s not even Rhode Island’s best beach. (Despite being the smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island has an impressive number of excellent beaches. Second Beach is however way better than any beach in neighboring Connecticut.) But it’s picturesque setting — you can see Third Beach to the East and the chapel from St. Georges School to the West — and friendly feel make it one of my favorite beaches anywhere, and yet another reason to return to Newport.