Tennis brings its fans to some of the world’s most desirable destinations, from exciting cities to beautiful resorts. Newport, home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, measures up to that standard—and then some.

One of America’s original playgrounds for the wealthy, the sophisticated resort on Aquidneck Island brims with the trappings of the good life wrapped in quaint coastal charm. Visitors indulge in fine dining and sailing excursions in a relaxed, rejuvenating setting steeped in rich American history.

Newport has been rediscovered of late thanks to recent pop-culture associations. Taylor Swift owns a home there and throws celebrity-studded Fourth of July parties, and two seasons of the HBO series The Gilded Age have made Newport a hot destination for “screen tourism.” Fans come to see the outrageous oceanfront mansions built by 18th-century industry barons and blue bloods who came to Newport between 1850 and 1900 to escape the summer heat in the cities.

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Early American architecture features prominently around Newport, including at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Early American architecture features prominently around Newport, including at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Professional tennis arrived in Newport in the same era when the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championship debuted in 1881. Now, the fantastic Hall of Fame occupies the site with grass courts and a museum that rewinds the sport’s story all the way to the 12th century. The landmark gives tennis fans a special reason to book a getaway to Newport, where there are endless activities on the water, around the wharfs, and along the coasts.

When Destination Tennis host Monica Puig visited, she was transported back to the site of a tournament she used to play before Wimbledon.

“The town looks a lot like Eastbourne,” she says. “With the old wooden buildings and so much history, they could be sister cities.”

Visitors indulge in fine dining and sailing excursions in a relaxed, rejuvenating setting steeped in rich American history.

Visitors indulge in fine dining and sailing excursions in a relaxed, rejuvenating setting steeped in rich American history.

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Early-American history adds depth to Newport’s lifestyle reputation. It’s home to 18 National Historic Landmarks, ranging from opulent estates to the country’s first lending library and its largest coastal fortification, Fort Adams. Walking tours, trolley tours and interpretive programs cover five centuries of fascinating heritage.

Accommodations span luxurious boutique hotels, full-scale family resorts, historic inns, cottage rentals, midrange chains and even a lighthouse keeper’s apartment (on Rose Island). Swanky cocktail spots cozy up next to family-run chowder shacks, and seafood and music festivals keep the town buzzing all summer. You never know who you might rub shoulders with in line for a lobster roll—pop star, tennis legend, HBO producer. Newport is the new place to be.

Steps away from the International Tennis Hall of Fame—and countless other charming attractions—the Hotel Viking elegantly bridges history with luxury.

Steps away from the International Tennis Hall of Fame—and countless other charming attractions—the Hotel Viking elegantly bridges history with luxury.

Where to Stay

The Vanderbilt

  • 41 Mary St., aubergeresorts.com/vanderbilt
  • Vacation-like American royalty in a home built by one of the namesake family’s heirs, now a lavish hotel with a rooftop bar where oysters and champagne flow.
  • Rate: $720/night

Hotel Viking

  • One Bellevue Ave., hotelviking.com
  • The players’ hotel during the ATP Hall of Fame Open in July is a 232-room luxury property combining fine resort amenities with sophisticated boutique design.
  • Rate: $325/night

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Gilded

  • 23 Brinley St., larkhotels.com
  • A bold, modern take on Gilded Age opulence transforms a 17-room historic home into a punchy design hotel.
  • Rate: $338/night

One Thing You Need to Know: Don’t leave Newport without hoisting a jib and cranking a winch, whether it’s on the water with Sail Newport or at the Sailing Museum’s interactive stations.