Touring The Breakers and Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

At the beginning June I traveled to Newport, RI with my mom and cousin.  I first shared a tour of Chateau-sur-Mer that we enjoyed on the day that we arrived in Newport.  I then shared a tour of Marble House, Rosecliff, and The Elms that we saw on the first full day of our trip. 

Touring The Breakers and Hiking the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

On the second day of our trip the weather was pretty, so we headed out to do the Cliff Walk and planned to tour The Breakers when we got to it along the trail.  

The Cliff Walk

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

The Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile trail that meanders along the coast in Newport.  Not only do you get beautiful ocean views, you get to see the back side of mansions.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

The actual Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles, but by the time we walked to the trailhead, did the Cliff Walk plus toured The Breakers, and then walked back to our hotel, we walked 14 miles.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

The trail starts as a sidewalk and continues for a good distance.  If you look at the map above, green is the sidewalk section.  You can see on the map where the color changes to red.  The red section is very rocky and can be scary if you aren’t used to uneven footing.  The orange trail isn’t paved and also has some parts where you must take care as you walk.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

This shot is the view near the beginning of Cliff Walk. 

Wild roses blooming on the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

All along the trail are wild roses in bloom.  I remembered these from previous trips to Newport in July but wasn’t expecting to see them blooming so early in June.  

Flowering plant on the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

This plant’s bloom looks like Queen Anne’s Lace but the plant was a lot larger.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

Here you can see the terrain in one of the orange sections of the trail.  The couple in front of us were so kind and made sure that we safely got through some of the rocky area where the footing was tricky.  I posted this picture on Instagram and through a hashtag the couple found the picture and read what I’d written about their kindness.

View of Rough Point, the oceanside estate of Doris Duke, in Newport, RI

This is the rear side of Rough Point, the oceanfront estate of Doris Duke along Cliff Walk.  We didn’t have time to tour this mansion and if I ever return to Newport, it’s on my list of things I’d like to do.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

Here we are nearly at the end of Cliff Walk.  By the time we walked back to our hotel, we were all exhausted.

Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

I love the Cliff Walk and if I lived close by, I would walk it frequently.

The Breakers

The Breakers in Newport, RI

The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion, known as the grandest of all of the mansions in Newport.  

The Breakers in Newport, RI

This 1895 mansion consists of 70 rooms and has 62,482 square feet of living area on five floors.  This shot is of the right side of the mansion.

The Breakers in Newport, RI

This is the back side of the mansion which overlooks the ocean.  I took this picture as we walked along the Cliff Walk.

The Breakers in Newport, RI

This is the Great Hall in the center of the mansion.  This room opens up to a patio overlooking the water.  Can you imagine the parties thrown in this space?

Ceiling in The Breakers in Newport, RI

The ceiling is painted to look like the sky. 

Dining Room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

The dining room is 2,400 square feet with a table that can seat up to 34 guests. 

Dining Room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

The chandeliers work with either gas or electricity. 

Billiards room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

This is the billiards room.  Can’t you see men smoking cigars and enjoying a game of pool in this grand space?

Billiards room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

The walls are Cippolino marble from Italy.  Mosaics make up the ceiling.

Ceiling in the billiards room in The Breakers in Newport, RI
Ceiling in the billiards room in The Breakers in Newport, RI showing acorns, the Vanderbilt family emblem.

The acorn is the Vanderbilt family emblem, intended to show strength and longevity.

Lower loggia of The Breakers in Newport, RI

This beautiful porch is called the lower loggia.  More Italian mosaics are found here.

Morning room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

This house goes on and on and each room is grand beyond belief.  I am pretty sure that this is the morning room, but to be honest, the Newport mansions with all of their extravagant rooms run together in my mind.

Morning room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

Can you imagine the team of servants that it took to keep this place running?  Many probably spent all day every day dusting all of the intricate stonework and woodwork.

Music room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

The music room was gigantic and very ornate.

Ceiling in Music room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

I spent as much time looking up at the ceilings at The Breakers as I did looking at the rooms.

Ceiling in the music room in The Breakers in Newport, RI

90% of the furnishing in The Breakers are original.

The music room in The Breakers in Newport, RI


The library in The Breakers in Newport, RI

This is the library.

The ceiling in the library in The Breakers in Newport, RI

Another ornate ceiling!

Staircase in The Breakers in Newport, RI

The second floor is where the bedrooms are located.  The third floor and attic floor are servant quarters.  The basement contained the service areas which were interesting to see.

Mrs. Vanderbilt's bedroom at The Breakers in Newport, RI

The second floor bedrooms were interesting to tour but since this post is already quite long, I’m only sharing one bedroom picture.  I loved Mrs. Vanderbilt’s suite, especially the wallpaper.

View of the ocean from the upper loggia at The Breakers in Newport, RI

Here’s the view from the upper loggia.

We had so much fun in Newport and it was so enjoyable to tour the mansions. 

What’s great about Newport is that you can walk to everything.  We flew into Providence, got an Uber to our hotel, and then walked everywhere that we wanted to go during our vacation.  We had three full days in Newport which ended up not being quite enough time to do everything that we wanted to do.  We didn’t get to take a boat tour and we also wanted to tour Rough Point and Green Animals Topiary Garden.  If you are thinking about a Newport vacation, I would recommend staying five full days to be able to fully enjoy what Newport has to offer.

More Newport Posts

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Tour The Breakers and See the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

7 Comments

  1. I loved going on vacay vicariously with you! Your photography is fantastic! Toured some of the mansions 30 years ago; the lone fact that stuck in my head was the marble bathtubs needed to be refilled (carried by hand, I think), 3 times to warm the COLD marble. Would hate to have been a maid back then!

    1. What a lovely quaint summer cottage the Vanderbilts have! LOL, wow 14 miles, I’d say that was a very productive walk and a beautiful one at that. Thanks for sharing with us at #OMHGWW.

  2. I have walked parts of the cliff walk but never the whole thing. We really want to do the behind the breakers tour next time. It is such a beautiful mansion; it always bogles my mind that these were summer cottages only used for a few weeks a year!

    1. It is crazy to think that the Newport mansions were mostly used for just a few weeks each year. I also would like to do the behind the scenes tour of The Breakers. We did the servant’s tour at The Elms and it was great.

      Paula

  3. Paula, I don’t live too far from Newport, but I haven’t toured the mansions in over two decades. Your beautiful photos make me want to take a day trip! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

    1. This was my third visit to Newport and I’d go back in a heartbeat. I love touring the mansions and even though I just did it, I’d tour all of them again if I had the opportunity.

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