With its yacht-filled harbor and Gilded Age mansions, the seaside city of Newport, RI is nothing short of a picturesque place to spend Independence Day. Only an hour and a half drive from Boston, the charming New England town lets locals and guests celebrate our country’s founding each year with holiday-inspired events, luxe hotel stays, and more. For an Americana-clad weekend along the coast, check out our guide to celebrating Fourth of July in Newport.
America just wouldn’t be the same without our affection for drinking and sports. On July 1, locals and visitors can don their finest summer attire and sip champagne at the annual Independence Cup, a part of The NBC10 Newport International Polo Series. As the games begin, toast to the weekend in the VIP Lounge as you devour complimentary hors d’oeuvres and take advantage of the cocktail bar. Begins at 5 PM. 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI, 401-846-0200
Looking for a chic spot to stay over the holiday weekend? Indulgence meets bliss at this luxe hotel that boasts water views, a fully stocked Italian coffee bar, and a private marina. After an afternoon exploring the town, opt for a water taxi back to the resort before sinking into the massage table for a detoxifying herbal wrap. Or sip on wine alfresco by the outdoor firepit—because our forefathers would want you to relax. 1 Goat Island, 401-849-2600
Sticking around for the long weekend? Bring on the clam chowder. The Third & Fourth of July Celebration at Herreshoff Marine Museum (a stone's throw away in Bristol) is a can’t-miss soirée this year. On Monday, guests will have the chance to snack, sip, and listen to live music by the harbor. Begins at 5:30 PM. Tickets are available at herreshoff.org. 1 Burnside St., Bristol, RI, 401-253-5000
In Newport, fireworks can best be appreciated from the water. Aspiring sailors and spirited mates can celebrate Independence Day in true New England fashion: aboard a 65-foot yacht. The night will begin with a sail around Narragansett Bay, a sunset cruise around the harbor, and end with an unforgettable viewing of the fireworks show from the water. $139 per person. 12 Bowen’s Wharf, 401-851-1216
This Fourth of July, embrace your right to chow down and throw a cold one back. Newport’s late night crowd can dig into rustic flavors with Smoke House’s latest summer offerings, which means half-off the entire menu from 10 PM to midnight, Sunday through Thursday—this way, barbecue enthusiasts won't feel guilty about satisfying their comfort food fix no matter what time it is. 31 Scotts Wharf, 401-848-9800