Visit Newport Rhode Island Mansions, Museums & Historic Sites
One of the most popular attractions are the Historic Gilded Age Newport Rhode Island Mansions. Built near the turn of the century, these magnificent structures are each a museum onto itself. Combination mansion tickets can be purchased here at the Inn. Single mansion tickets and combination mansion tickets can also be purchased at all of the mansions, and all have complimentary parking located on or near Bellevue Avenue. Tickets are valid for up to a year. All of the houses are well marked and labeled on the map provided. In addition to our Historic Gilded Age Mansions, the area is also home to fabulous museums and historic sites. Additional information, brochures and illustrated books can be found in the dining room at the Inn.
Explore Newport Rhode Island Mansions:
The Breakers, Ruggles Avenue
The grand 70 room Italian Renaissance-style villa built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad, after his first house burned down. The most elegant and opulent, by far, of all the Newport mansions.
Chateau-sur-Mer, Bellevue Avenue
Chateau-sur-Mer is a landmark of High Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. It was the most palatial residence in Newport from its completion in 1852 until the appearance of the Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s. Chateau-sur-Mer was the scene of memorable entertainment, from the “Fete Champetre”, an elaborate country picnic for over two thousand guests held in 1857, to the debutante ball for Miss Edith Wetmore in 1889. Chateau-su-Mer’s grand scale and lavish parties ushered in the Gilded Age of Newport.
Chepstow, Narragansett Avenue
An Italianate-style villa, Chepstow was built in 1860 by resident Newport architect George Champlin Mason as the summer residence of Edmund Schermerhorn. Acquired by Mrs. Emily Morris Gallatin in 1911, the estate continued in the Morris family until bequeathed in 1986 to the Preservation Society with its collections intact and an endowment by Mrs. Alletta Morris McBean. Containing the original Morris-Gallatin furnishings together with important 19th century American paintings and documents from other former Morris family residences, Chepstow is highly evocative of the taste and collections of a descendant of one of America’s founding families, placed in the context of a contemporary Newport summer home.
The Elms, Bellevue Avenue
The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the Pennsylvania coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris. Construction of The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost reported at approximately $1.4 million. The interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and were the setting for the Berwinds’ collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th century French and Venetian paintings, and Oriental jades. The elaborate Classical Revival gardens on the grounds were developed between 1907 and 1914.
Green Animals Topiary Garden, Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth
This small country estate was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton (1844-1939), Treasurer of the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts. It consisted of seven acres of land, a white clapboard summer residence, farm outbuildings, a pasture and a vegetable garden. There are 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens, including 21 animals and birds in addition to geometric figures and ornamental designs, sculpted from California privet, yew, and English boxwood. Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States.
Hunter House, Washington Street (Point Section)
The Hunter House is one of the finest examples of Georgian Colonial architecture from Newport’s “golden age” in the mid-18th century. The house was built and decorated when Newport was a cosmopolitan city with a principle of religious tolerance that attracted Quakers, Baptists, Congregationalists and Sephardic Jews. The great mercantile families lived patrician lives, building harbor front mansions overlooking their trading ships, and entertained in grand style. They bought furniture and silver from local craftsmen and were the patrons of such important early painters as Robert Feke and Gilbert Stuart.
Isaac Bell House, Bellevue Avenue
The Isaac Bell House is one of the best surviving examples of shingle style architecture in the country. The house was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White in 1883 for Isaac Bell, a wealthy cotton broker and investor. It is a combination of Old English and European architecture with colonial American and exotic details, such as a Japanese-inspired open floor plan and bamboo-style porch columns.
Kingscote, Bellevue Avenue
A landmark of the Gothic Revival style in American architecture. Its appearance in Newport marked the beginning of the “cottage boom” that would distinguish the town as a veritable laboratory for the design o picturesque houses throughout the 19th century. In 1839 Southern planter George Noble Jones commissioned architect Richard Upjohn to design a summer cottage along a country road, known as Bellevue Avenue, on the outskirts of town.
Marble House, Bellevue Avenue
The Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. It was designed as a summerhouse, or “cottage”, as Newporters called them in remembrance of the modest houses of the early 19th century. Marble House was much more than a cottage; it was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport’s subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. Alva E. Smith was educated in France and married the second son of William H. Vanderbilt and had three children before she divorced Vanderbilt to marry Oliver Belmont in 1895.
Rosecliff, Bellevue Avenue
Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1889, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. After the house was completed in 1902, at a reported cost of $2.5 million, Mrs. Oelrichs hosted fabulous parties. Scenes from several films have been shot on location at Rosecliff, including High Society, The Great Gatsby, True Lies and Amistad.
Rough Point, Bellevue Avenue
At the end of famed Bellevue Avenue, past some of the grandest homes in the country, the mansion called Rough Point sits behind trimmed trees and shrubs. For years, Doris Duke, the tobacco heiress dubbed “The Richest Girl in the World,” let few strangers glimpse the ocean side home she inherited from her parents. Experience her life and legacy through the house and historic landscape with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Newport RI Museums & Historic Sites
Fort Adams State Park (pictured): Harrison Avenue, Newport. Phone: (401) 847-2400 Website: fortadams.org
Beavertail State Park: Beavertail Road, Jamestown. Phone: (401) 423-9941 Website: riparks.ri.gov/parks/beavertail-state-park
U.S. Naval War College Museum: 686 Cushing Rd. Newport. Phone: (401) 856-5000 Website: www.usnwc.edu/NWC-Museum
International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum: 194 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Phone: (401) 849-3990 Website: tennisfame.com
Museum of Newport History: 127 Thames Street, Newport. Phone: (401) 846-0813. Website: www.newporthistory.org
The Sailing Museum: 365 Thames Street, Newport. Phone: (401) 324-5761 Website: www.thesailingmuseum.org
The Artillery Company of Newport Museum: 23 Clarke Street, Newport. Phone: (401) 846-8488 Website: www.newportartillery.org/our-museum
Newport Art Museum: 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Phone: (401) 848-8200 Website: www.newportartmuseum.org
What Our Guests are Saying:
“Newport Getaway. A lovely place to stay for our first trip to Newport. Well priced and a great location, walking or biking distance to everything in Newport. This is an outstanding little inn and the owner and staff are all very helpful and attentive, while not being intrusive – which is perfect for us. If we’re ever back in New England we will certainly be staying here.” Mark V