For a glorious hike take the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, which hugs the coast along the back side of Newport's mansions from Memorial Blvd to Bailey's Beach. You will not only enjoy the same dramatic ocean views that were once reserved for the Newport elite, but you'll also get to gawk at their mansions along the way.
A scenic place to start is at Ruggles Ave near the Breakers.
In 1975, eager to protect their privacy, Newport’s mansion owners sought to close Cliff Walk. The move was prevented by local fishermen and the path was designated a National Recreation Trail. The best section runs from Ledge Rd near Rough Point to the Forty Steps (each one named for someone lost at sea) on Narragansett Ave.
There is metered parking on Narragansett Ave from 6am to 9pm ($1.25 per hour). There's a four-hour limit. Many favor this entry point because it shaves the first half-mile off the walk (which is pretty, but lacks mansions).