by Catherine Cunningham

Newport, RI has a lot to offer. Due for a shopping spree? Head to Thames Street and find some of the best varieties of stores. Yearning for a bit of sun and a swim in the ocean? Spend the day at one of the handful of beaches along the coast. Ready for an adventure or just overdue for a long walk? Newport is your place. Specifically, the famous Cliff Walk that lines 3+ miles of Newport’s coast.

The Cliff Walk, established in 1880, attracts hundred’s of thousands from all over the world each year. For purposes such as the historical landmarks including the Breakers mansion, the preserved land, or simply for the view, you are granted a memorable experience simply by walking.

But, what you bring with you during that walk, whether it be five minutes or five miles, is crucial. As an active ‘cliff walker’, I have found myself feeling lost without a variety of items. Here’s a list of your Cliff Walk essentials:

1. Camera. Especially if you live far away, you will be thanking your camera after you’re able to print the pictures you took on your walk. The Cliff Walk is a tourist’s best friend when it comes to photos. You can capture everything from crashing waves, beautiful architecture, and original land such as boulders, plant life, and beaches. Make sure you bring a camera that offers high definition, but also check to make sure that it won’t be too heavy to carry.

2. Walking shoes. Everyone regrets wearing a pair of Converse on the Cliff Walk. Why? Because these shoes do not offer support. In order to make it from the beginning to the end of the walk without your ankles screaming, wear a comfortable pair of walking/running shoes to keep you light on your feet. Areas of the Cliff Walk offer climbing, terrain, and dirt. Another note; don’t wear your brand new pair of white Nikes. You will be mad at yourself by the end of the walk.

3. Food/Water. The Cliff Walk is about a 3.5-mile walk start to finish. If you are planning a day trip on the Cliff Walk, then proper hydration is very important. If you’re looking for something more satisfying than a bottle of water, grab a few homemade sandwiches and a bottle of wine and plan to stop for a mini picnic. This is the perfect idea for a first-date, friendly walk, or a simple solo-getaway.

4. Dog. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the people around you. A nice long walk without any talking sounds appealing to most people. But the idea of being alone isn’t always as satisfying. Without establishing the ‘quiet-game’ at the beginning of your excursion, use the best alternative there is; your four-legged friend. The Cliff Walk is dog friendly and is much better than a fenced-in yard.

5. Headphones. If you’re not a dog-person and enjoy an unaccompanied adventure, headphones are just what you will need. There is nothing better than taking your favorite band on the go while looking at the natural beauty of Newport. A tip: Create a Cliff Walk playlist prior to your excursion in order to prevent reaching into your pocket after every song.

6. Sunglasses. The entire purpose of the Cliff Walk is to be exposed to the beautiful sights of Newport and the waterfront. It goes without being said, someone must have good vision in order to see. So, if you remember to bring one thing with you, may it be your sunglasses. Trust me when I tell you, you’ll really regret not being able to look into the distance at that seal resting on a rock because of the suns crazy rays.

The outdoors is wonderful. Exercise is healthy. And Newport is beautiful. Pack your bags; it’s time for a proper walk on the Cliff Walk.

And remember…no smoking!