More Than Mansions: A Peek into Newport’s Exclusive Clubs

Newport, RI boasts a captivating community where social clubs foster connections, camaraderie through mutual passions, and enduring friendships. These private establishments, steeped in tradition, extend experiences beyond golf courses and tennis courts. Let’s peek behind the velvet ropes and explore some of Newport’s most interesting private clubs.

Clubs For the Yachting Elite

  • Newport Yacht Club: Steeped in history dating back to 1894, this club offers a prestigious yacht racing scene. The Newport Yacht Club, located on Long Wharf Mall in Newport, is a not-for-profit volunteer-run organization that believes in supporting the community through education and action. Their vision is to promote, “a welcoming environment for individuals and families with shared interests in yachting, traditions, seamanship, and camaraderie.
  • The Ida Lewis Yacht Club: The Ida Lewis Yacht Club, established in 1928, is located on the eastern part of Brenton Cove on Wellington Avenue in Newport. Named for the Lime Rock lighthouse keeper, Ida Lewis, who famously rescued 18 seamen, the club offers adult and junior sailing clubs and hosts exclusive events for its members throughout the sailing season. 


Clubs For the Discerning Socialite

  • The Clambake Club of Newport: Founded in 1895, Newport Clambake Club is located on Easton’s Point in Middletown, RI. The club began as a place where Newport’s elite could relax and enjoy a delicious clambake without all the stuffy pretension that was common for the Gilded Age. Imagine sipping cocktails overlooking the harbor, and attending renowned clambakes under the stars. Membership here grants access to a private beach, sailing events, and a social calendar that early members Maximillian Agazziz, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Robert Goelet, and Charles Oelrichs would love to attend.
  • The Aquidneck Club: Nestled on sprawling waterfront property off of Cory’s Lane in Portsmouth, RI, this club offers more than an 18-hole championship course. Imagine indulging in lavish spa treatments, socializing by the pool, horseback riding, or attending elegant luncheons with fellow members. Fine dining, tennis, and unparalleled camaraderie.
  • Spouting Rock Beach Association: Known for its exclusivity and picturesque Bailey’s Beach, this club is a summer haven for the well-heeled. This club offers secluded beachfront cabanas, private tennis courts, and social gatherings in grand ballrooms. Bailey’s Beach was founded in 1890 as an exclusive beach club where Newport’s elite could play without the prying eyes of the working class at Easton’s Beach.  


Clubs For the Intellectual

  • Newport Reading Room: Founded in 1878, this library-turned-social club, located on Bellevue Avenue, boasts a stunning Gothic Revival building and a rich literary heritage. Enjoy lectures by renowned authors, engage in stimulating conversations, and immerse yourself in Newport’s intellectual scene.


Clubs For the Golf Enthusiast

  • Newport Country Club: Established in 1895, this club features a Donald Ross-designed course, known for its strategic layout and breathtaking ocean views. Members enjoy an active community, with tournaments, social events, and a vibrant junior program.
  • Wanumetonomy Golf & Country Club: This classic links-style course offers a challenging game and breathtaking views of the Sakonnet River. Steeped in history and tradition, Wanumetonomy provides a quintessential New England golfing experience, blending challenging play with timeless charm.


Clubs Beyond the Gates

It’s important to remember that information about these private clubs is limited due to their exclusivity. This glimpse is more of a tantalizing introduction than a comprehensive guide. Ultimately, Newport’s charm lies in its diverse experiences. Whether you’re drawn to the history, the allure of the waves, or the camaraderie of the green, this seaside gem offers something for everyone. 

To learn more about Newport’s private clubs or about buying or selling a home in Rhode Island, call (401) 680-6588 or send a message to info@hoganri.com. We’d be happy to guide you through the process.