Newport Gallery Night Walking Tours
With the water, the history, and all kinds of galleries and restaurants packed into its downtown, Newport is an outstanding place for a stroll. And there’s no better time than on Gallery Nights, when up to 26 galleries, museums and cultural institutions throw open their doors.
Every second Thursday from 5-8 pm (with the exception of the coldest winter months), the Newport Gallery Organization organizes an open house, as well as guided walking tours. Newport has been an artists’ colony since the 18th century, and the art tradition is very much alive today , with everything from classic work to folk art to things more cutting edge.
The Free Guided Walking Art Tours act as 30-45 minute introductions to Gallery Night on specific streets and areas of town, along with info about all participants plus other interesting art-related stories. Tours depart hourly from different venues and are arranged so you can take in more than one, if you wish – the 4 pm Thames Street Tour starts inside Thames Glass; 5 pm Bellevue Tour starts inside Spring Bull Gallery; 6 pm Spring Street Tour starts inside Art on Spring; 7 pm Downtown Tour starts at Arnold Art Gallery. There are no tickets or reservations needed; to join the tour, you just meet inside the gallery at the designated time
For those who’d rather make their own way, that’s fine, too. There’s a map and brochure that features descriptions of each gallery that can be found in participating galleries, and well as in hotels, B&Bs and other local venues. There’s no cost for either the tour or the gallery nights, and there are added bonuses: participating galleries often have discount coupons for select restaurants, and the works you purchase -- whether historic, traditional, contemporary or avant-garde – are all sales tax free throughout Newport. Newport Visitor Center is a good place to park, with rates of $2 for the first half-hour and $1.50 per half hour after that.