The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island is probably the single most scenic walk in this state, if not the entire East Coast. It is 3.5 miles of seaside path – sometimes on smooth pavement, other times rocks. I 100% recommend coming a little later in the day so that you get to enjoy a sunset while walking the path! But don’t come too late because you won’t be able to see in the dark, plus the path technically closes at dusk. Now that I have discovered this path, I’ll be coming back often. If you bring a picnic, camera and book, you could spend the entire day here.
About: The Cliff Walk
Since the path isn’t circular, you can start on either end. Depending on when you go, you can combine a scenic drive with a scenic walk. If you don’t want to walk both ways, consider taking an Uber to your car when you get to the end – that’s what we did! Also, keep in mind that this is Newport and finding parking either takes long or costs a lot. We chose to park by the beach at the top of the map below. We managed to snag a metered spot and we paid for three hours which gave us more than enough time.
Oceans vs. Mansions
The Cliff Walk is known for its breathtaking ocean views but also for the impressive mansions. Throughout most of the walk, you will struggle finding a direction to look in. I could stare at the waves breaking on the rocks indefinitely, but even I couldn’t stop peeking at the impressive structures. Newport is known for its huge and expensive houses, and this path is a great way to see many of them on foot. Each one seems better than the next, but the absolute craziest most jealousy-inducing one is right at the bottom of the map.
The Cliff Walk is relatively easy to walk with a few exceptions. Some of the rocky stretches are a little touch and slippery if you’re not wearing good shoes. There are a few stairs and tunnels as well, that can be tough if you’re claustrophobic or not steady on your feet. However most of the path is flat and perfectly paved. In fact, the first third is super easy so you can always start the path and turn back if it get’s too tough. There are also only bathrooms at the beginning, so keep that in mind unless you want to risk having millionaires watch you pee into the ocean.
Summary: The Cliff Walk
We decided to do the Cliff Walk because our guests, Patrick and Jenn were interested in doing it. We were tired after sailing with them and it was getting late. The plan was to do just a little bit and turn back. Obviously, it was so amazing that we not only did the whole thing, but I had to be rushed because I was clicking like crazy. Now we are desperate to go a few more times before it gets too cold. Our Uber driver also made a good point – 3.5 miles in the sun can be miserable in the summer. Consider weather, bring sunscreen, wear layers and good shoes for this adventure!