The Newport Mansions
Touring the Newport Mansions is the big thing in Newport , Rhode Island .
The mansions were owned/build by American industrialists in the late 1800's .
There are twelve mansions open for viewing . Some are not open year round and some are cloesed on specific days .
Do not worry about this as taking a look at two should do.
The number one mansion is "Breakers" built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II .
At the Newport Visitor Centre in the center of the city you can purchase various types of packages.
The " Breakers Plus Package "
( $21 (US) in 2002) gets you in to The Breakers and one other property .
Budget 1.5 hours per house . There are guided tours or you can go on your own with an audio cassette. The mansions are mostly located on Bellevue Avenue . After your tour(s) head south on Bellevue until you hit Ocean Drive and follow it around the coast line back to the center of Newport .
Support history, become a member.
Something to consider before heading to Newport is to become a member of the Preservation Society Of Newport County. Becoming a member helps to support the preservation of the various mansions; it also provides you with some benefits that will be useful during your trip. As a member, you get free admission into the various mansions. In addition, you also get front of line privileges - which is great when the crowds are in full force.
And another thing, your membership donation is tax deductible.
Good food and a great atmosphere.
The restaurant is located in the tourist area on Thames St., but don't let that stop you from going there. The food was delicious and reasonably priced, and the service was very good.
As it was pretty crowded, it was a little noisy, but not so much that you couldn't carry on a normal conversation.
I would recommend that you give it a try. I had the Steak Frites, which was perfect. My wife had the striped bass, which she also enjoyed very much.
Newport Cliff Walk
Walking along these gorgeous seaside cliffs provides spectacular views of the seashore and of the impressive mansions of many of New England's rich and famous. Anyone who saw the movie Reversal of Fortune (about Klaus von Bulow, the doctor accused of poisoning his wife) will recognize this place.
Thames Street (shopping, eating, partying)
You can't really say you've been to newport until you have gone down to Thames Street. This is where most of the bar/clubs, restaraunts and shops are. This is in my opinion the highlight of newport. In the summer time the crowd is pretty crazy. This area runs along the western coast of the island and is the heart of downtown Newport. If you're looking for a party in mid summer, this is the place to be. But be forwarned of the prices. This is not a cheap place to go out. Most bars/clubs in the summer have a $10 minimum at the door and a cheap beer could run you $4 a glass. A great time, but could put a hole in your wallet if it's not budgeted for.