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October 13, 2016


Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

In the 19th century, Newport was America's Versailles. It was here that the great merchant princes and robber barons of the Gilded Age erected the elaborate summerhouses they so ingenuously dubbed "cottages." At the height of its splendor, a Newport season was a giddy whirl of grand fêtes, yacht races and elaborate beach picnics for assorted Vanderbilts, Astors and Morgans. Today, it is the privileged traveler who marvels at the splendor of great mansions like The Breakers, The Elms, or Rosecliff. Gone are the days when "Tessie" Oelrichs, one of Newport's fabled hostesses, had 12 skeleton ships anchored offshore and dramatically lit for her legendary "White Ball."

Excursion: Vanderbilt's Newport, The Breakers & Marble House

The historic section of Newport is well-preserved, historic area has been authentically restored, and showcases wonderful examples of 18th-century design. Newport is home to magnificent coastal scenery, dramatic architecture, a thriving waterfront and welcoming hospitality. The city's symbol is the pineapple, which harkens back to the time of Newport's great commercial significance. Traders from the West Indies would put fragrant pineapples outside of their doors to entice buyers to visit their warehouses. Today you will notice the symbol on a number of sights that you see. A plethora of historic and cultural attractions await as you discovery this gem of New England.

From the 1870s to the 1920s, the Vanderbilts, one of America's most affluent families, commissioned the most prestigious architectural firms to build a series of homes for them across the East Coast. In Newport, two homes, amusingly called "cottages," were built, unparalleled in historic significance and beauty. Constructed during the "Gilded Age," they are now designated as National Historic Landmarks. Your tour takes you to these two magnificent homes for views of their deluxe interiors and spectacular grounds.

The most-visited attraction in Newport, 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 1895 in less than three years at a cost of approximately 7 million dollars, which would be over $200 million today!

The magnificent Marble House, one of the most opulent estates in America. Built by William K. Vanderbilt for his wife Alva's birthday in 1892, Marble House features more than 500,000 square feet of white marble and was intended as Vanderbilt's "Temple of the Arts.


Click on a picture to view.

The Breakers

The Marble House


We invite you to sign our guest book.