Founded in 1639, Newport, Rhode Island is often considered the shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. A critical Colonial Era port city, a thriving artists’ colony, a summer playground for America’s barons of industry during the Gilded Age, home to the U.S. Naval War College, and hailed as America’s First Resort—Newport is a destination like none other.
History in Newport is ubiquitous and alluring. The identity of the little New England town, beyond the beaches and lobster shacks, has long been tied up with its Gilded Age mansions and remarkable boats and super yachts. People often come to behold America’s elite: from the Vanderbilt’s magnificent summer “cottages”, The Breakers (the grandest of Newport’s mansions), and Marble House, with its all-marble interior and extraordinary Chinese Tea House (where Alva Vanderbilt hosted rallies for women’s right to vote); the Astor family’s sprawling “Beechwood” mansion; the Morgan family’s Tredegar House; and the Versailles-inspired Rosecliff and Chepstow… You will likely want to spend a day browsing through the otherworldly rooms, palatial staircases, and manicured gardens that the town of Newport has so beautifully preserved.
As any visitor of Newport will soon discover (and as every local already knows), together with the charming fudge shops and souvenir stores sprinkling Thames Street, lies a city with a distinct personality waiting to be discovered—one with chic bistros, craft-cocktail bars, and a unique blend of surf and fishing culture that makes the “town and gown” element of Newport so distinctly captivating and unique.