A History of Opulence

The Newport Mansions are just one of the many amazing things about this remarkable state. They offer a unique trip through 250 years of American history, architecture, art, and landscape design. To learn more about one of New England's greatest gems, visit

  • Newport, Rhode Island is home to some of the most famous Gilded Age mansions, built by the era’s wealthiest families. Many of these luxurious homes welcome visitors to tour their lavish interiors as well as their immaculately manicured grounds.
  • The most famous of these homes include The Breakers and Marble House, both built for the Vanderbilt family in the 1890s, Rosecliff, built for Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1902, and The Elms, a French chateau-style home constructed in 1901.
  • The Gilded Age lasted approximately from 1870-1910, when an unprecedented boom in industry resulted in a new super-wealthy class. Many of these families built opulent homes in Newport as a summer getaway.


Top Rhode Island Experiences

Skyview of mansion on coast

Newport Mansions

The mansions of Newport–originally called "cottages"–were built as summer homes from the 1850s to the 1900s by wealthy tycoons of New York and Philadelphia. Now, these massive houses, including the spectacular Rosecliff, Marble House, the Breakers, the Elms, Rough Point, and more, are open to the public, offering fascinating and informative tours. Special events, parties, balls, and performances are presented during summer, fall, and the Christmas season. The magnificent Newport Flower Show takes place yearly at Roseclilff.

Cliff Walk

The Cliff Walk is world famous as a public access walk that combines the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport's Gilded Age. Wildflowers, birds, geology all add to this delightful walk. *Please note due to structural damage to a section of the Cliff Walk, detours will be in place between Narragansett Avenue and Webster Street for the foreseeable future.


Want to get a sneak peek of your travels to the Ocean State? Create your FREE digital postcards you can share with friends!

This experience is intended for use on a mobile device.

Rhode Island Postcard Experience