Gorgeous Views on Ocean Drive!

Whisk yourself away for a beautiful coastal retreat this summer and admire the history and grandeur of America’s most decadent era. The Gilded Age Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, are a hallmark of our coastal town, and there are plenty of ways to admire them, including the breathtakingly beautiful Ocean Drive in Newport. 

Newport’s Mansions – often referred to as “cottages” by their Gilded Age owners – are sprawling estates that are anything but modest. These architectural marvels, primarily constructed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflect the immense wealth and lavish lifestyles of their original inhabitants, who were some of America’s most affluent families. Visiting Newport offers a glimpse into this bygone era of extravagance, with many mansions now preserved and open to the public as museums. Notable among these are The Breakers, Marble House, and Rosecliff, each with its own unique history and stunning design, showcasing the pinnacle of luxury and craftsmanship of their time.

Beyond their architectural significance, these mansions are imbued with stories of the families who lived there, their social gatherings, and their role in America’s social history. Whether it’s the sumptuous interiors, the meticulously landscaped gardens, or the compelling histories, the mansions of Newport offer a fascinating journey through time. Though touring these beautiful mansions in Rhode Island is often at the top of “to-do” lists for our guests who come to town, it’s not the only way to view the town’s stunning homes. 

The scenic Ocean Drive in Newport is a great way to access a series of mansions along its winding path, all the while enjoying breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. This 10-mile drive is a must-do for visitors. Of course, the mansions and associated attractions, including Ocean Drive and the Newport Cliff Walk, are just a few of the many things you can do while visiting our Newport, RI, Bed and Breakfast. We’re conveniently located near downtown Newport, offering easy access to many of the area’s top attractions. Summer is just around the corner – book your room at our charming Inn in Newport, RI, today! 

One of the historic mansions on Ocean Drive in Newport, RI

Ocean Drive in Newport: 10 Gorgeous Miles

Imagine the warmth of the summer sun on your face, the wind whipping through your hair, and breathtaking ocean scenery and magnificent mansions just beyond your windows. That’s what you’ll find on Ocean Drive in Newport. Ocean Drive in Newport is one of the area’s most iconic attractions, and though the drive is short – at just 10 miles – it packs in some of the best of Newport. 

Ocean Drive in Newport – also known locally as “ten-mile drive” – gives you a front-row seat to some of the most stunning and historic mansions in the area, not to mention the famed views of the Atlantic Ocean that drew these wealthy families here in the first place. The drive starts just after Bellevue Avenue and loops around the southern tip of Aquidneck Island. Along the way, Ocean Drive runs past several notable landmarks, historical areas of significance, and public parks. Notable landmarks as you leave our Newport Inn and head out along Ocean Drive include the following: 

  1. As you start the drive, you’ll pass two local yacht clubs. The first is the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the Newport Bridge. The next is the New York Yacht Club, which resides in the former John Nicholas Brown Mansion overlooking Newport Harbor.
  2. From there, head on to Fort Adams State Park, home to Newport’s own sailing school, a family-friendly beach, and its namesake fort, built in the 1800s. This area was once considered one of the best deep-water harbors in the nation, and the unobstructed views of Newport Harbor, The Pell Bridge, and Goat Island are more than worth the stop as you drive along Ocean Drive in Newport.
  3. After you leave Fort Adams, you’ll pass by Hammersmith Farm. Though it’s no longer open to the public, this farm is where Jackie Kennedy Grew up and was later the summer home of President Kennedy. It’s also where their wedding reception was held here in 1953.
  4. Continue on to the beautiful Castle Hill Inn and its historic lighthouse, a great place to stop for lunch or an afternoon drink. 
  5. Once you reach the tip of the island, make sure to stop at Brenton Point State Park. Though it’s windy here (a plus if you’re looking to cool down or want to fly a kite!), Brenton State Park is also home to some of the best unobstructed ocean views and is a true gem along Ocean Drive in Newport.
  6. As you reach the end of Ocean Drive in Newport, you’ll come across a series of beaches, some private and some public. Hazards Beach is private, but there is public access to both Gooseberry and Bailey’s beaches. Of these, Gooseberry Beach is the easiest to visit, as there is parking here. 
  7. From there, as you head back to Bellevue Avenue, you’ll get views of some of the Gilded Age Mansions, notably The Breakers and Doris Duke’s Rough Point.

If you want to enjoy a particularly magical drive along Ocean Drive in Newport, we recommend you hit the road early and take in a sunrise from here. But no matter the time of day you explore Ocean Drive in Newport, you’ll find the experience unparalleled. It encapsulates the beauty, history, and unique character of Newport.

The Breakers is one of the best-known mansions in Newport, RI

Make the Time to Tour The Breakers in Newport, RI

Of course, there are plenty of mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, to enjoy. Whether you just want to marvel at their exteriors along Ocean Drive or the magnificent Newport Cliff Walk, or you take the time to tour the interiors of those that are open, we have no doubt the mansions will feature prominently in your getaway—even if only as a backdrop to your experiences. If you only have time to visit one of the Newport Mansions, make it The Breakers. 

The Breakers is a crown jewel among Newport’s historic mansions and an enduring symbol of the opulence and luxury of the Gilded Age. Built between 1893 and 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy Vanderbilt family, It is an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th-century palaces of Genoa and Turin. This 70-room mansion is a testament to the extravagant lifestyle of one of America’s most affluent families during that era.

The Breakers is open for tours throughout the majority of the year, making it one of the most accessible Newport Mansions. There are self-guided audio tours through the interior of The Breakers, guiding you through the carefully preserved exquisite rooms filled with ornate decorations. The mansion’s interior showcases fine craftsmanship, featuring rare marble, gilded rooms, intricate woodwork, and a grand staircase that exemplifies the architectural brilliance of the time. Guided tours add much more depth and color to the experience, allowing you to understand the families and people behind this magnificent building. 

There are also specialty events and tours, including a “Beneath the Breakers” Tour that features the unique underground network beneath this house and the incredible-for-the-times technology that made this house a true marvel for its time. 

The Breakers is a short five-minute drive (or 30-minute walk) from our Newport Inn and should truly be at the top of your list of things to do in Newport, RI. Summer is nearly here, and it’s time to start planning your adventures. From the scenery of Ocean Drive in Newport to the grandeur of The Breakers, we’d love to be your home base for all of it. Book your room at our Newport Inn today!  

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