Newport, Rhode Island: Waterfront
Two other ventures that hark back to Newport’s artisan history are Thames Glass, founded by Matthew Buechner, and Anchor Bend, a four-man cooperative owned by some of Buechner’s former students. You can watch glassblowing at both studios and pick up sea mementos — colorful fish at Thames and curling blue waves at Anchor Bend — in their galleries.
Though the former sailor bars on this stretch of waterfront have been replaced by shops and restaurants, their legacy lives on in a few spruced-up corners. Cafe Zelda is half bistro, half Irish pub, with a loyal neighborhood following. The West Deck makes a great martini (and knock-your-socks-off fish chowder). And Pronto has a fine wine list with excellent Mediterranean/Italian dishes as well as a view of the harbor from the second floor. For a nonalcoholic cocktail, try Cold Fusion’s mojito sorbet or any of Torrance Kopfer’s handmade gelatos.
If your intellectual curiosity about all things nautical has been spiked by your waterfront wanderings, there’s no better place to explore than the Armchair Sailor Bookstore with its extensive selection of marine and travel books, navigational charts, and maps. At Armchair, you’ll discover new attractions, and then you can begin Newport’s one-mile harborside jaunt all over again.