The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island: A New England Day Trip
Enjoy the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island…
and see the incredible ocean cliffs and famous mansions of Newport’s Gilded Age.
Know before you go
When To Go
Newport is gorgeous year round, but summer is the season for the beach. The New England Fall is stunning and will be less crowded. You may catch some lovley winter and spring days as well.
Where To Stay
Newport is an easy day trip from many places in New England, but if you want a romantic getaway, there are plenty of vacation rentals and hotels available on VRBO and Expedia.
Where To Eat
Plan on fish and chips or lobster and clams for lunch or dinner at The Deck or one of the many water side restaurants in town. The Deck has a live band and the view is awesome! Try the lobstah roll! A bit pricey and touristy, but quintessential New England.
The town has salt water taffy, ice cream, T-Shirts and all! Don’t miss the famous Newport Fudgery. Honestly some of the best fudge I have ever had!
Parking can be a challenge during high tourist seasons, but there is plenty of metered parking:
- Easton’s Beach on Memorial Boulevard.
Further up on Memorial Boulevard toward the center of town.
- Narragansett Avenue by the famous Forty Steps.
- Webster Street at the Salve Regina campus.
- Sheppard Avenue by the famous Breakers Mansion.
- Easton Beach Trail Head
- The Preservation Society of Newport sells tickets for tours of the mansions and gardens, so if you want to add a tour to your visit, then check out their website for a list of available mansions to see.
- Prices include admission into up to 5 mansions with one ticket price.
- Take a trolley tour that drives around in a vintage trolley car.
- The Newport Restoration Foundation also maintains some of the mansions.
- Wear proper walking shoes because part of the walk is on rocks and if you want to climb the famous Forty Steps, you’ll want to be prepared.
- Check times and availability before you go because the pandemic has a way of interfering with our plans!
Start at the Easton’s Beach trail head and walk to the end of the trail at Bailey’s Beach, 3.5 miles, 7 miles round trip. OR park your car strategically so you can exit the trail and walk back to your car easily.
Newport hosted the America’s Cup for many years, and is the spot of the world renowned Newport Jazz Festival, but is most widely known for the Gilded Age mansions along Bellevue Avenue.
The opulence of these “summer homes” is unlike anything you may have seen. The mansions offer a glimpse into an historic age when America’s most wealthy industrial and oil families chose to spend, spend, and spend.
11 of the mansions are open to the public as museums and many you have seen in the movies!
Start the day on a simple stroll and be enthralled by the captivating views, architecture, and stories of the people who lived in these homes.
Add a mansion tour to your Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island.
- The Breakers is the most famous, built by the Vanderbilt railroad tycoons, it is a 70 room Italian Renaissance mansion and is the largest of the mansions on the Cliff Walk.
If you have more time…
- The Vinland Estate is a Beaux-Arts style mansion, now owned by the Salve Regina University.
- The Rosecliff mansion was built in the style of the Palace of Versailles by the Nevada Silver heiress.
- The Elms mansion, built in 1901, is known as one of the first homes in America to be wired with electricity.
- Chateau Sur Mer was built by the Wetmore family in 1852 and was considered the biggest mansion until the Vanderbilts arrived.
- Kingscote was built in 1839 in a Gothic Revival style by a Florida Plantation owner.
- Isaac Bell House was built in 1883 and is considered to be one of the best examples of the shingle style architecture.
- Hunter House is a special mansion in Newport because it was built in 1748, approximately 100 years prior to the other homes. It’s designed in the Georgian Colonial style, which is quite different from the other mansions.
- Chepstow is an Italian style mansion built in 1860 and houses some very important early American paintings and documents.
- Rough Point was built for Fredrick Vanderbilt and inherited by his 12 year old daughter, Doris Duke. She became a famous philanthropist.
- Belcourt Mansion, built in 1891, is known as a Beaux-Arts Man’s Mansion because it was built for Oliver Belmont and his many horses.
Let me know if you go and take tours! I would love to get opinions on the best ones!
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You may also enjoy a perfect day in San Francisco!