If flying with a motorized wheelchair or scooter, before allowing the crew to store your ride in the plane, make sure you remove or secure all items that can be detached easily to prevent loss or damage. We recommend removing the cushion, headrest, and thigh supports of the chair and placing them in a bag to carry on the plane.
Newport, located on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island, is a quaint little town with large, beautiful historic mansions. It is a perfect place to visit for a romantic summer getaway or a trip to yesteryear. We found Newport to be surprisingly accessible for the physically challenged traveler, especially given the age of some of the buildings.
The national language of the United States is English.
The official currency of the United States is the US dollar.
TF Green Airport: Newport is a short 45 minute drive from the TF Green Airport. The airport is equipped to handle the disabled traveler. Loaner wheelchairs are available (if needed), as are individuals to assist with transfers and transport to and from their flight.
For travelers unable to walk on the plane, “aisle chairs” are available. These chairs are small enough to fit down the aisle of a plane, with the assistance of airport personnel.
It is best to notify the gate personnel immediately upon arrival if boarding assistance is needed. It takes the ground crew extra time to transport a wheelchair to the tarmac and load onto the flight, which can cause delays if put off. Plus, by notifying the gate personnel early, the traveler has a better chance of being able to board first, which offers the benefits of privacy and availability of overhead bins near their seat.
Block Island Ferry: The ferry is wheelchair accessible on all three ferry’s (traditional, high speed, and Newport ferry). You can find out more information about accessibility on the Block Island Ferry’s FAQ page.
Orage Cab: Orange Cab (401-841-0030) provides wheelchair accessable cabs 24 hours per day. From Dan, the owner: “We have three rear entry Dodge Caravans. We service Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Jamestown, Little Compton, and the Newport Naval Base in Rhode Island. No reservation is required although it is helpful, the vehicles are used on a call and demand basis 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. They were purchased through the RITaxi program administered through the RI Public Transit Authority. More info can be obtained from their website www.ripta.com.”
Wheelchair Getaways: Wheelchair Getaways rents wheelchair accessible vans. According to the website, the company also provides 24 hour emergency vehicle service.
Adaptive Mobility: Adaptive Mobility serves Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and can deliver a wheelchair accessible rental van to the TF Green Airport (for an extra fee).
As we have always driven to Newport, we have not used any wheelchair van rental companies.
RIPTA: The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is wheelchair accessible and announces stops over the intercom for the visually impaired. All buses are equipped with a lift mechanisms and can also Kneel to the ground for easier access.
Hotel Viking: On both visits to Newport, we stayed at the Hotel Viking. The hotel is accessible despite its age. There is a ramp in front of the hotel to enter the lobby, and an elevator provides access to the floor with the wheelchair accessible rooms.
Rhode Island Bay Cruises: According to the website, this company offers wheelchair accessible cruises, but please contact the company to verify before booking. Highlights include a narrated tour of local islands, lighthouses and Newport Harbor. There is also free dockside parking.
Viking Tours of Newport: Viking Tours of Newport offers wheelchair accessible tours, however arrangements should be made by calling their office 24 hours in advance. Check the Viking Tours of Newport website for a list of day trips that are also offered.
Bowen’s Wharf: At Bowen’s Wharf there is something to do for everyone – shopping, dinning, music festivals, and harbor tours, just to name a few.
Ghost Tours: According to the website, the Ghost Tours are fully accessible walking tours. The tour takes place in downtown Newport, and features a lantern-equipped guide who will educate you on the ghostly legends of Newport.
Newport Grand Slots: The Newport Grand Slots is a casino featuring 1500 slot and video poker machines. The premises also offers a variety of dining options and just completed an expansion.
Newport Mansions: The Newport Mansions represent 11 historical properties. They are maintained by The Preservation Society of Newport County. According to the site, there are four mansions that are fully or partially wheelchair accessible. The Breakers and Rosecliff are fully accessible, and the Elms and Marble House are partially accessible.
Newport Vineyards: Located just 2 miles away from the ocean, Newport Vineyards is the perfect place to visit for a wine tasting and tour. The vineyard and winery is wheelchair accessible, however there is a short cobble stone path (6 feet long) out to the vineyard. For convenient access, there is one RIPTA Bus line that goes out past the winery.
Shake-A-Leg: If you love to sail, Shake-A-Leg offers adaptive sailing programs to people with physical and developmental disabilities.
Black Goose Cafe: Black Goose Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible by ramp which is located on the right side of the restaurant.
Corner Cafe: On both visits to Newport, we stopped at the Corner Cafe on Broadway for brunch. It is wheelchair accessible, and there are plenty of places to fit a large chair without obstructing the waitress. The bathroom at Corner Cafe is unisex.
Twenty-two Bowen’s: Twenty-two Bowen’s is an upscale wine bar and steak house located on Newport’s waterfront in the heart of Newport. The main entrance is wheelchair accessible and they also offer outdoor dining during the warmer months.
LifeSpan – Newport Hospital
Adaptive Mobility: Adaptive Mobility serves Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and rents Pride Go Go scooters.
One of Newport’s great attractions are the historic mansions. If you have a particular set of mansions you are interested in visiting, check ahead to make sure they are accessible.
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