Newport is as famous for its coastal beauty, as it is for its architectural magnificence. Enjoy both on this tour that combines a spectacular stroll along the Cliff Walk trail with a visit to The Breakers, one of Bellevue Avenue’s most spectacular mansions. Begin with a nature walk along Newport’s famous cliff walk, resplendent with wildflowers, colorful birds, and interesting geology. This 1 1/4 mile stretch takes you on a path that runs between the rocky coastline and the “backyards” of many of Bellevue Avenue’s palatial cottages. As you walk, your guide will share the stories of America's "gilded age" and the cast of characters that made Newport one of the nation's wealthiest summer resorts. The walk will conclude at The Breakers (sometimes due to congestion, the walk will begin after touring the mansion).
From the 1870s to the 1920s, the Vanderbilts were one of America’s most affluent families and commissioned the most prestigious and expensive architectural firms to build a series of homes for them along the East Coast. In Newport, these homes, amusingly called “cottages,” are unparalleled in historic significance and beauty. Built during the period known as the “gilded age,” they’re now National Historic Landmarks. The Breakers is considered the grandest of all of the Newport summer cottages. Designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, this Italian Renaissance palace was completed in 1892 in less than three years at a cost of approximately $11 million, which would be over $200 million today! Originally constructed in France and reassembled here, the Grand Hall boasts 50 foot ceilings and has the largest room of any Newport mansion.