Newport, Rhode Island: From the Revolution Through the Gilded Age

Newport, Rhode Island: From the Revolution Through the Gilded Age



See the lavish best of Newport, Rhode Island before the summer crowds arrive. On this five-day tour, go behind the scenes of palatial summer cottages of the Gilded Age, from the Italianate-style palazzo The Breakers, to the Versailles-inspired Rosecliff, viewing rooms not usually seen by the public. Enjoy special access to cultural sites that reflect the city’s origins as a mercantile hub and refuge for Baptists, Quakers, Jews, and other religious minorities. Behold the Touro Synagogue, the oldest in the country. With curators and local experts, learn about architecture and decorative arts from the 17th to the 20th century; dine at private homes and clubs; and visit with local craftspeople, including an opportunity to see a famous yacht under restoration. Accommodations are at the Vanderbilt Hotel, a vintage Newport mansion meticulously restored to its former glory. Transfers to and from Providence or New York City are included.


Pricing from
Trip Type
Closer to Home, Group Travel Tour
Departure Dates
May 16, 2021 - May 21, 2021


The Vanderbilt Hotel
Originally built in 1909 by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, a scion of the wealthy Vanderbilt family, this vintage Newport mansion has been meticulously restored to its former glory. The property is located just minutes from Newport’s charming waterfront. The lobby entrance features elegant fireplaces and pleasing artwork.


Through April 15, 2021, when you make a new reservation for any 2021 trip, your payments to Arrangements Abroad will be 100% refundable until 60 days prior to departure.


Newport map


  • day MAY 16


    Transfer from either New York City or Providence to The Vanderbilt, a vintage and meticulously restored mansion located just minutes from the charming Newport waterfront. Lunch will be included on the drive. Upon arrival, have some free time to stroll along the waterfront or browse in the city’s many unique shops. In the early evening, enjoy a welcome reception.

  • day MAY 17


    Today, we focus on the 18th century in Newport, starting in an area known for its impressive colonial-era homes. Visit Hunter House, a Preservation Society property, whose construction spanned six years. A fine example of Neo-Palladian architecture popular in the colonial period, Hunter House was the first property purchased by the Preservation Society in 1945. Venture to the nearby Historic Hill, where we will visit the Neo-Palladian-style Touro Synagogue, which is the oldest synagogue in the United States, dating to 1763. We will then walk a few blocks passing by Old Colony House, a 1739 Georgian brick structure that was the original colonial legislature building. Following lunch, enjoy two private visits with craftspeople at the John Stevens Shop, founded in 1705 and specializing in stone inscriptions, and artist Howard Newman’s metal restoration shop. Afterwards, head to Thames Street to the Whitehorne House Museum, a stately brick mansion dating from 1810 that is a property of the Newport Restoration Foundation. Today it displays furniture and decorative arts made or used in Rhode Island in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • day MAY 18


    Start the day on historic Bellevue Avenue at the Isaac Bell House, one of the properties under the stewardship of The Preservation Society of Newport County. This historic house was designed and completed in 1883 by the firm of McKim, Mead & White. It represents one of the best examples of shingle-style architecture and was revolutionary for its open plan interior. Next, visit Marble House, which was completed in 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt as their summer cottage. Its architect, Richard Morris Hunt, was inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles and used over 500,000 cubic feet of marble. This evening, enjoy a special reception and viewing of the current exhibit at the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, completed in 1747.

  • day MAY 19


    Take in a private visit at the Vernon House, an architecturally distinguished colonial-era house and National Historic Landmark with extraordinary Asian-inspired wall murals. During the American Revolutionary War, Vernon House served as the headquarters of the Comte de Rochambeau, commander of the French forces from 1780 to 1783. The highlight of the day’s experience is the ultimate of all the Newport summer cottages: The Breakers. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, who also designed the façade and Great Hall of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and completed in 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, this grand mansion has 70 rooms and 13 acres of landscape. We will end our visit with a stop at The Breakers Stable & Carriage House. Later, enjoy afternoon tea at a special location where we will meet a member of The Preservation Society of Newport County, who will explain how many of the cottages were saved from complete destruction. Dinner tonight is close to the hotel.

  • day MAY 20


    Begin the day heading down Bellevue Avenue to Rosecliff, the 1902 mansion commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs. Designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White, the house has stunning views of the ocean and has been the setting for The Great Gatsby (1974) and other films. This afternoon, head to the International Yacht Restoration School, a unique vocational school for the maritime trades. Here, in an adjacent building, observe the ongoing restoration of the 1885 sailing schooner yacht Coronet.

  • day MAY 21


    The tour concludes after breakfast. A transfer to Providence or New York City is provided.

Everything you need to know about the tour

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