Newport and Derby are as close as you can get to the Canada without a passport. Whether you choose the lake, the bike paths, or the opera house, you can approach the border a multitude of ways.
Half Day Walking Tour In Newport City
It's a hard-hat summer in Newport City, with Main Street being paved. But that means walking might be just as fast as driving to sights in this tiny walkable city. Check with Vermont's North Country Chamber of Commerce for events on your day. The distances are short between sites so this works even on a rainy day.
Start at Gardner Park where you can rent a kayak or peddle boat for a paddle around Newport City's scenic shoreline. If you've brought a picnic lunch, the park is a great place to sit and enjoy the view. If you want lunch out, try a Newport City eatery like the Brown Cow on East Main Street.
From Gardner Park, cross the Causeway bridge and watch the crew at work on the Long Bridge nearby. There's a little lighthouse in Railroad Park where the two bridges meet.
Don't forget to stop at the fish sculpture at the Emory A. Hebard State Office Building to snap some pics with kids. It's a salmon, a reminder of the city's historic salmon run days.
Enjoy a coffee and snack with one of the local papers at Woodknot Bookshop while kids check out the books. Or bring the books to try the homemade treats at the bakery or a maple sundae at Tim & Doug's at the iconic Pick and Shovel on Coventry Street. Plan to spend a while at Pick and Shovel because there are multiple floors of fun in this old-style department/store, including a big pet shop!
Walk up Main Street, checking out the shops and the 100-year-old Goodrich Free Library and the 100-year-old courthouse. The library has historic displays and is wonderfully restored.
Walk west on Main to Pleasant Street and then up the hill to the best view in the city at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church for an incredible look out onto international Lake Memphremagog.
Walk back down to the city dock and enjoy a walk along the boardwalk. Wrap up a lazy afternoon with gourmet hot dogs at the Gateway Cafe or enjoy a meal at the various downtown restaurants that the city is becoming known for, like Baan Thai, Lago Trattoria, or Tappas at Le Belvedere.
Finish the day with an evening walk on the boardwalk, the best time of day to enjoy it.
Check our calendar for evenings when you can enjoy a free concert at the band stand at the entrance to the park.
A Full Day In The Newport Area
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is an extensive paddling trail that stretches from Maine to New York, including jaunts into Canada. Part of that trail goes right through the Newport area and is perfect for both short and long water trips.
The whole family can enjoy a one-day paddling exploration of Lake Memphremagog's South Bay which features the marshy outlets of the Black and Barton rivers. This is a calm-water paddle, although there can be high winds and weather. The paddle features the 1,600-acre South Bay State Wildlife Management Area, look for ducks and waterfowl.
Check out the Trail website (listed below) for maps and other itinerary ideas from the Newport area. Look for Section 6: Lake Memphremagog to the Connecticut River.
Plan to end your paddle at Prouty Beach where you can pull up your boats, take a swim and have a picnic in Gardner Park. All of the restaurants and amenities of Newport City area are within walking distance.
For travelers who prefer roadways to waterways, there are numerous bike trails available in the area, including the Beebe Bike Path that runs from the Gateway Center in downtown Newport into Quebec. There are warnings before you get to the border, but remember that if you want to cross you'll need your passport! The Newport Bike Path stretches around Lake Memphremagog for a glorious view.
At the end of a day of activities, let yourself be entertained at the Haskell Opera House. Check our calendar for season highlights including plays, dance, music and more. The Opera House and Library is a destination on its own, sitting right on the American/Canadian border and having an entrance in both countries.
A Full Weekend Of Delights
A full weekend is needed to enjoy some of the many attractions and scenes of the Newport area in the Northeast Kingdom. There are outdoors attractions suited for the enthusiast and for the entire family.
Base your family's activities out of the hotel at Jay Peak Resort, which boasts spectacular amenities including a tram, a golf course and a water park.
Start the day with golf at Jay Peak Resort, Orleans Country Club or Newport Country Club while the kids enjoy the Pump House Water Park at Jay Peak Resort, the largest indoor park in the Northeast.
In the afternoon take the kids on a bike trip to the border, as described above. Or drive into Westfield and stop at Couture's Maple Shop and other shops for Vermont maple treats.
You can have dinner at Jay Peak or try one of the other well-known local restaurants in the area, including the Black Bear Restaurant in Jay and Bernie's Restaurant in Montgomery Center.
Round out your day by catching a ball game in Gardner Park in Newport City or enjoying a concert at Jay Peak (check the calendar for listings).
On your second day, take an opportunity to visit the towns east of Newport City like Island Pond, Charleston and Montgomery.
For more biking, try the routes through eastern Orleans County to Island Pond.
If you're inclined toward more water activities, Montgomery Center boasts Montgomery Adventure Tours and West Charleston offers Clyde River Recreation. Both offer equipment rentals and self-guided tours. Montgomery Adventures also offers guided trips.
Stop at crystal clear Seymour Lake for a swim in Morgan on Route 111.
If you're here in the late summer and want an adventure that the whole family will love, don't miss the River Of Life Corn Maze in Irasburg!
Mentioned in this article:
North Country Chamber of Commerce - 246 Causeway St., Newport, 802-334-7782 - vtnorthcountry.org
Brown Cow - 350 East Main St., Newport, 802-334-7887
Emory E. Hebard State Office Building - 100 Main St., Newport
Woodknot Bookshop - 137 Main St., Newport, 802-334-6720 - woodknotbookshop.com
Pick and Shovel - 54 Coventry St., Newport, 802-334-8370 - pickandshovel.doitbest.com
Goodrich Free Library & Haskell Opera House - 93 Caswell Avenue, Derby Line, 802-873-3022 (U.S. side) / 1 Rue Church, Stanstead, Quebec, 819-876-2471 (Canada side) - haskellopera.com (click "Library" for the library website)
St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church - 191 Clermont Terrace, Newport, 802-334-5066 - materdeivermont.com/St.html
Baan Thai - 158 Main Street, Newport, 802-334-8833 - baanthaicuisinevt.com
Lago Trattoria - 95 Main Street Newport, 802-334-8222 - lagotrattoria.com
Le Belvedere - 100 Main Street, Newport, 802-487-9147 - lebelvedererestaurant.com
Northern Forest Canoe Trail - 802-496-2285 - northernforestcanoetrail.org
Jay Peak Resort & Pump House Water Park - 830 Jay Peak Road, Jay, 802-988-2611 - jaypeakresort.com
Orleans Country Club - 316 Country Club Lane, Orleans, 802-754-2333 - orleanscc.com
Newport Country Club - 590 Mount Vernon St., Newport, 802-334-2391 - newportscountryclub.com
Couture's Maple Shop - 560 VT. Route 100, Westfield, 802-744-2733 - maplesyrupvermont.com
Black Bear Restaurant - 1078 VT Route 242, Jay, 802-988-2306
Bernie's Restaurant - 72 Main Street, Montgomery Center, 802-326-4682
Montgomery Adventure Tours - 262 Deep Gibou Road, Montgomery Center, 802-370-2103 - montgomeryadventures.com
Clyde River Recreation - 2355 VT Route 105, West Charleston, 802-895-4333 - clyderiverrecreation.com
River Of Life Corn Maze - riveroflifecamp.weebly.com/corn-maze.html
Information compiled by Robin Smith.