“RE/MAX Around New England” is our insiders’ look at the communities of New England. “RE/MAX Around New England” gives you the key, top-line facts and figures any home buyer needs to know. But, just as importantly, “RE/MAX Around New England” will give you a sense about what statistics can’t tell you, but what you really need to know: what’s the character of the community?
For this personalized view, we ask our agents to share their “Five Faves” about the towns where they not only do business, but in which they live. Our hope is that you may find some special tidbit on “RE/MAX Around New England” that could help make it your town.
This month’s “RE/MAX Around New England” takes a look at Newport, RI.
When most people think of Newport, Bellevue Avenue and images of grand mansions or “summer cottages,” as they were referred to by their wealthy owners in the early 19th century, come to mind.
Some of the more famous cottages include The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo, owned by the famous Vanderbilt family, and Rosecliff, an equally-stunning mansion that was modeled after the Grand Trianon in Versailles, and is notable as the backdrop for movies including, ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Amistad.’
And, Newport would not be complete without a Kennedy link. In fact, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ childhood home, Hammersmith Farm, which was also the location for her wedding reception to John F. Kennedy, is located on the island.
But, known for more than the famous and the wealthy, Newport is regaled as one of the best sailing and yachting areas in the United States. In fact, in the summer months, the regattas are numerous and watching is a Rhode Island pastime.
A wonderfully historic and quaint city, Newport is home to the first synagogue in America, Touro Synagogue, which still serves an active Jewish congregation. Newport also offers a wealth of educational opportunities including Salve Regina University, the Naval War College, Community College of RI and the International Yacht Restoration School. The city is also home to several private boarding schools.
Newport is located on Aquidneck Island, the largest island in Narragansett Bay and is about an hour and forty five minutes from Boston and 30 miles south of Rhode Island’s capital, Providence.
For this issue of “RE/MAX Around New England,” we spoke with Agent Jack McVicker or RE/MAX Professionals of Newport.
1. What is the median price of a Single Family home?
The median price of a single family home in Newport is approximately $369,000.
2. What is the public transportation system like?
During the winter months we rely on the RI Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) which provides bus routes, as well as local taxi drivers.
With summertime comes additional, exciting ways to get around city streets. In the downtown area, in addition to trolleys, we have pedi-cabs (bicycle cabs), Segway rentals, and 3-wheel scooters for the adventurous. In addition, there is also a bus loop that brings visitors to the active destinations around town.
Summer also brings activity to the harbor. Transportation to and from the mooring fields and anchorages is provided through Oldport Marine. During special events there are usually special water taxis in service. There are several ferry services that run in an out of the harbor. The ferries run from Newport to Jamestown, Providence, and Block Island.
3. What is access to major highways?
Being located on an island presents some obstacles to easy highway access. However, getting to the major routes of 95 North and South is manageable if you do your homework! 95 North is accessed via Route 24 North and 95 South is accessed via Rte. 138, over the Jamestown (Pell) Bridge.
4. How are the school systems in the area?
Newport has fantastic schools including many public and private options. In addition, we are also home to several higher education outlets including Salve Regina University, and the Naval War College.
5. Who is this area attractive to?
Newport attracts people of all ages and interests. During the active summer season we have a great mix of day-trippers and vacation folks. With an incredibly diverse menu of activities anyone can find a great time. The well known events and activities include sailing regattas, the Newport Folk Fest & Jazz Fest, the Newport Film Fest, touring the mansions, walking the Cliff Walk, taking a harbor cruise, and shopping downtown.
6. Total population?
Newport boasts a population of about 28,000 residents. During the summer months the population swells to over 80,000.
7. Average age of population?
The average age in Newport is approximately 25-44 years old.
Jack’s Five Faves about Newport:
1. Best Beer Spot: Anywhere on Broadway. I live in the off Broadway area and I love the dozen or so eateries on Broadway. The area has a local appeal and unlike downtown it is not overrun by tourists in the summer. A popular spot is Pour Judgement Bar & Grille.
2. Best Breakfast Spot: Brunch is a way of life on the weekends in Newport. Most of the greasy spoons have lines of diners waiting for a table. I enjoy the Franklin Spa and Ocean Coffee Roasters.
3. Best Restaurant: There are so many great restaurants that I have favorites by type of place. For a great dinner with all the elegance of Newport and the excitement of the crowds I like dinner at Clarke Cooke House next to an open window on Bowens Wharf. For America bistro type dining I enjoy my overall favorite restaurant – the Salvation Café. In addition, the elegant White Horse Tavern is one of America’s oldest taverns originally constructed in 1673.
4. Best Area to Explore: The famous Cliff Walk is a tremendous walking experience that takes you by the ocean and the famous mansions on Bellevue Avenue. Since I am an avid bird watcher my favorite walk is along the trails at Norman Bird Sanctuary.
5. Best Market: The best market is at Sweet Berry Farm. It has a great selection of fresh food in a small building and is located in the middle of a working farm.
I am an avid sailor and living in Newport means enjoying one of the greatest sailing venues in the world. I sail out of SailNewport all year round (yes, even through the winter). The winters are dedicating to racing and the summers are a good mix of racing and cruising. The fact that Newport Harbor is at the mouth of Narragansett Bay allows sailors to sail in the shelter of the bay but quickly escape into Rhode Island Sound for trips to Block Island, Cutty Hunk, Nantucket, The Vineyard, and more.
To learn more about Newport, RI, please contact Jack McVicker.
RE/MAX Professionals of Newport
55 Memorial Boulevard
Newport, RI 02840