Newport County Colonial Landmark Trail
Newport County has one of the largest concentrations of colonial homes and buildings in America. Their clapboarded exteriors, massive chimneys and tiny-paned windows are uniquely American and quintessentially New England. Follow the Colonial Landmark Trail to get an unmatched first-hand lesson in early American architecture and history.
Located in Tiverton 4-Corners National Register Historic District. Built in the late 17th or early 18th century. This three-quarter cape with gambrel roof, now owned by the Tiverton Historical Society, was home to whaling captains and their families, descendants of one of the first of 27 freemen listed as original residents of Tiverton. The house and grounds retain many features original to a Colonial village farm including a corn-crib and wash house. Special exhibits throughout the season. By appointment. 3908 Main Road, at Tiverton Four Corners, Tiverton; 401-624-2096; www.tivertonfourcorners.com
Built in 1748, this Georgian Colonial houses an exemplary collection of furniture by noted 18th-century Newport artisans, silver and portraits of the period. Revolutionary War headquarters of French Admiral de Ternay. Restored 18th-century garden. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 54 Washington Street, Newport; 401-847-1000; www.newportmansions.org
Little Compton Historical Society
Tours of historic home and seven outbuildings built during 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and restored in 1955 by Little Compton Historical Society with period furnishings. There is also a carriage house, barn, one-room schoolhouse and Peggotty, the studio of artist Sidney Burleigh. Thursday-Sunday, July-August, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., last tour at 4 p.m.; September, weekends only. 548 West Road, Little Compton; 401-635-4035; www.littlecompton.org
The Newport Restoration Foundation has assembled and restored these Colonial farm buildings, featuring operating windmill (c. 1812), British General Prescott's guard house, and a country store. The visitor can stroll the walks, or woodland paths, feed the ducks and geese at pond side or enjoy the herb garden's aroma and color. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2009 West Main Road, Middletown; 401-847-6230; www.newportrestoration.org
Samuel Whitehorne House Museum
This Federal-period house features Goddard & Townsend furniture, and exquisite silver and pewter made by Newport's famed artisans from 1740 to 1840. A garden completes this Federal showcase. May-October, Thursday, Friday, Monday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 416 Thames Street, Newport; 401-849-7300
Sydney L. Wright Museum
Indian and Colonial artifacts from prehistoric and early settlements on Conanicut Island. Call for times. 26 North Road, Jamestown; 401-423-7280; www.jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org/
Wanton Lyman Hazard House
Built around 1697, the Wanton Lyman Hazard House is Newport's oldest private residence. It was the home of a colonial governor, a notorious Tory sympathizer, merchants, lawyers and craftsmen, and was the site of the Stamp Act Riot of 1765. The house and its colonial garden recently underwent restoration and archaeological investigation. 17 Broadway, Newport; Seasonal hours. Group inquiries welcome. For more information, call 401-846-0813; www.newporthistorical.org
Whitehall Museum House
Built by Dean George Berkeley, philosopher, educator and Anglican Bishop. Authentically furnished for 1729-1731. Maintained by the National Society of Colonial Dames. July-August, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and by appointment the rest of the year. 311 Berkeley Avenue, Middletown; 401-846-3116
Newport Gateway Center
23 America's Cup Avenue
Great spots for snapshots.
- Cliff Walk - picturesque 3.5-mile walkway overlooking the Atlantic and the backyard of Newport's famed mansions. www.newportcliffwalk.com
- Brenton Point State park - on a clear day you can see forever www.riparks.com/Locations/LocationBrentonPoint.html
Side trips for that one-of-a-kind find:
- Newport County has dozens of antique shops and art galleries for every collector's taste. www.gonewport.com/nav.aspx?id=142
- Newport Art Museum - www.newportartmuseum.com
- The National Museum of American Illustration - exhibiting original artworks form the Golden Age of American Illustration. www.americanillustration.org
Great side trips for outdoor fun:
- Cliff Walk - stroll along the walk to see the rocky Atlantic coast and view the backyards of some of Newport's famed Gilded Age mansions. www.newportcliffwalk.com
- Norman Bird Sanctuary - a 450-acre wildlife refuge offering over seven miles of hiking trails. www.normanbirdsanctuary.org
- Ocean Drive - drive, walk or bike along 10 miles of scenic ocean coastline in Newport. www.tenmiledrive.com
Here are some tips on shopping along the trail.
- Bowens, Bannisters and Sayers Wharf - shops and galleries along cobblestone streets and waterfront.
- Brick Marketplace; Historic Thames Street
- Famed Bellevue Avenue Shops
Did you know.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame has the only open public grass tennis courts in the country
- The White Horse Tavern is the oldest operating tavern in America
Learn more about Newport County at:
- Museum of Newport History - provides the whole family with an overview of Newport's rich and varied history and architectural beauty. www.newporthistorical.org
- Newport Historical Society Archives and Library - the society features changing exhibits and extensive holdings of colonial silver, china, portraits and ship models. www.newporthistorical.org
- Redwood Library and Athenaeum - oldest library building in America - holds collections of 18th- and 19th-century portraits, sculpture, antique furniture, rare and unique books. www.redwoodlibrary.org
- Jamestown Museum - 19th-century schoolhouse with permanent exhibit of memorabilia from Jamestown ferries and special annual exhibits
- International Yacht Restoration School - see students restore classic yachts of yesteryear. Tour Coronet - the most historic American grand yacht still in existence. www.iyrs.edu