On the surface, Newport is what it appears to be: the glamorous “Sailing Capital of the World” with a new sailing museum to show for it. On the Narragansett Bay side, the harbor brims with America’s Cup boats and celebrity yachts. On the Atlantic side, a rugged coastline with legendary surf and Gilded Age mansions. In between, picturesque streets are lined with boutiques, bars with tipsy brides-to-be, and one of the largest collections of colonial-era buildings in the United States.
Recently, locals have been reframing Newport’s well-worn nautical narrative with additions like new art galleries and an L.G.B.T.Q. pride center, and by unveiling, if gradually, the town’s leading role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Lesser-known stories about Newport can be found off-the-beaten path, but with the city’s compact grid, free trolley system, and bike-friendly hotels, car-free wanderers are sure to capture the essence of both worlds.
Read the full story at nytimes.com.