Top Spots to Check Out This Winter in Southern New England


Winter is a magical time in southern New England. From quintessential Newport, RI experiences to memorable days exploring our neighboring states, the coldest months present unique opportunities for having fun with friends and family.

There’s nothing like a peaceful seaside stroll on a deserted beach or the thrill of lacing up your skates for a few laps around the ice rink to cure your winter blues. We put together this list of some of our favorite winter happenings in our region.


Winter Fun in Rhode Island

Newport has always been a popular summer destination bustling with activity. In winter, it transforms into a quieter, more peaceful coastal gem.

Outdoor Dining Without the Chill

Photo Courtesy of Newport Harbor Resort

If you’re missing those warm summer days and casual al fresco dining, you’re in for a cold weather treat. Several restaurants in Newport offer outdoor dining in the cozy warmth of an igloo! These decorated spaces will keep you warm while you enjoy a delicious meal with those special people in your life. You can book an igloo at Newport Harbor Island Resort, The Reef,  or Diego’s.

Indoor Fun with Glass, Food, and Drink

Head over to Thames Glass for a lesson in the amazing art of glassblowing. You’ll create your own beautiful piece of glass artwork with an experienced glassblower at your side. A nice bonus: The 2000-degree oven keeps it warm and cozy inside. Learn more here. 

You can get in touch with your inner chef with a cooking class at Newport Cooks Cooking School. Chefs offer a variety of cooking classes for both adults and children. You can view the full calendar of classes here. 

Winter is also a great time to visit the local breweries and vineyards in the area too, like Reject’s Beer Co, Newport Vineyards & Taproot Brewing Company, and the newest brewery on the scene, Ragged Island where you can sip craft beer in a restored farmhouse and charming, plant-filled greenhouse.


Photo Courtesy of Ragged Island Brewery


Learn How Maple Syrup is Made

Photo Courtesy of Visit CT

When you think maple syrup, Canada and Vermont usually come to mind. But did you know Connecticut produces some of this naturally sweet treat as well? You can spend an afternoon at a farm to learn how maple syrup is produced, enjoy some tasting, and bring home a batch as well. Check out this list of local maple farms to plan a visit from mid-February to mid-March. 

Year-Round Hiking

Connecticut offers excellent nature walks year-round that become extra special during wintertime. Well-marked trails loop around stunning lakes and guide you through peaceful forest paths. You can explore 800 miles of trails throughout the state. The Connecticut Forest and Park Association website provides all the details you need here for selecting trails plus interactive maps and more. Check it out here. 

Explore the Mysteries of the Sea


Photo Courtesy of Mysitc Aquarium

A trip to the historic Mystic, CT, home to the nationally renowned Mystic Aquarium, during the off-season is a clever way to beat the crowds and enjoy unobstructed views of some delightful marine creatures. Mystic Aquarium is one of only two aquariums in the U.S. with sea lions and it’s the only facility in New England where you can see beluga whales. The ray and shark touch pool, African penguin exhibit, and the jelly gallery are just some of the special exhibits that are a hit with visitors. Grab a bit to eat or a sweet treat from Olde Mistick Village just two minutes down the road or head downtown to explore the charming waterfront historic district.  


Snow Tubing and Skiing

Photo Courtesy of New England Ski Journal

You don’t need to head to ski country in northern New England for classic winter activities. Massachusetts offers plenty of spots for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing just a quick drive away. Check out places such as Nashoba Valley Ski Area or Wachusett for hours of snowy fun for all you winter sports enthusiasts.

The Beauty of Spring all Winter Long

If you just can’t wait for the warm days and lush colors of springtime, then beat your winter blues by wandering the gorgeous greenhouses of the Smith College Botanic Gardens and its Lyman Plant House. Home to hundreds (thousands?) of beautiful flowers, plants, and fruit trees, the light-filled space and delicate smell of blossoms will help you forget that spring is still several weeks away. You can learn more here. https://garden.smith.edu/

Whether you’re looking for a classic New England winter pastime or a new experience, you can find it just a short drive away from Newport County. Want to learn more about living in Rhode Island? Feel free to give us a call at (401) 680-6588 or send a message to info@hoganri.com.