Newport combines three communities in one--the settled community, the Navy (which bases its Naval Education and Training Center here), and the "summer colony." All work in harmony to produce and sponsor events of international importance such as opera and music festivals; the opening of the opulent Vanderbilt, Astor, and Belmont mansions to visitors; and outstanding exhibits and performances of the visual and performing arts.
Newport is located in Newport County just south of Middleton, along Highway 114 near Conanicut Island. Best known as a summer colony and resort, it lies on Narragansett Bay. The city was founded in 1639 by nine families fleeing religious intolerance in Massachusetts.
Prior to the American Revolution, it rivaled Boston and New York City as a shipping center. Around the beginning of the 20th century, many of the country's wealthiest families built magnificent "cottages" in Newport, several of which can be visited today.