City of Newport, Rhode Island
- Established: 1639
- Incorporated: 1784
- Form of government: Council and city manager.
- Council meetings: The second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., the board of license commissioners follows the council meeting.
- Fiscal year begins: July 1
Rhode Island was founded on the basis of complete religious and political freedom, and in Newport, Quakers and Jews found a comfortable haven shortly after its founding. By the early 1700s, commerce, combined with a successful farming and fishing industry, brought great wealth to the community. Newport ships probably developed what became the first resort in British North America when, during the 1720s, sea captains brought passengers from the Carolinas and Caribbean who wished to get away from the heat, fever and humidity of their plantations.
Newport was one of the five most important settlements in the 13 colonies, sharing that distinction with Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charlestown. Newport was the "Birthplace of the Navy,” and with private and naval shipping combined, added to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the community. Newport combines three communities in one — the settled community, the Navy (which bases its Naval Education and Training Center here), and the “summer colony.”
The city claims more standing buildings built before 1830, than any American community. Contemporary Newport has a variety of museum attractions, including the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Newport Art Museum and the Museum of Newport History. There are windjammer cruises out of the port, excursion boats, harbor and city bus tours, scuba diving, surfing, spearfishing, summer theater, golf, tennis and fishing along with numerous yacht races. Its numerous restaurants serve up the best in Rhode Island seafood, and several are known for their continental cuisine.