On the last day of our whirlwind tour of New England last summer, we drove the hour from Providence down to Newport. I’d done the same thing about six years earlier while living in New York and visiting a friend in Rhode Island, but SVV and several others in our group had never seen the famous mansions. So we indulged them.
While the mansions are absolutely stunning, in my opinion, it’s the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile paved path connecting all of the homes, that sells this attraction.
There are few places in the world that can rival New England’s rugged beauty—wouldn’t you agree?
On the way into Newport, we stopped at the visitor’s center and purchased our passes (which you also can do online in advance). We opted for the Breakers Plus ticket, which admitted us to Newport’s most famous home as well as one other of our choice for $24.50 a person. We chose the Marble House as our second, which is fitting as my mom is a proud Commodore, and the Marble House was the Vanderbilt family’s summer home.
In each home, we took an audio tour which lasted about an hour each and was pretty fascinating. I’m not generally a huge fan of guided tours—I’m way too impatient to wait for a group—but this one moved quickly and was very interesting, pointing out the multifaceted history of every object in each room. In between mansions, we’d mosey down the coastal trail, admiring the blatant displays of wealth and inhaling the salty sea scents.
Then, it was time to pile back in the car and make it to Providence in time for our flights. Newport is definitely one of those towns that you can see in a day, though I’d much prefer a long, relaxed weekend of coastal therapy. Maybe this summer during the Tall Ships Challenge? Who wants to meet us there?
Boston is the closest big city to Rhode Island; consider stopping over at one of these hotels in Boston before continuing on your journey to the Newport Mansions.