The entire town of Newport, Rhode Island looks like it walked straight of out a storybook. The water is so crisply blue I briefly wondered if it had been dyed. The sun, warm and bright, felt heavenly, not hellish. The famous Newport Mansions dotting the coast were the perfect final touch.
Luckily, the best photo spots in Newport, Rhode Island and the most interesting things to do in the area go hand and hand. If you have one day, one hour, or one week in this sometimes sleepy, sometimes sultry seaside town, here’s where you should visit:
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Gilded Age Mansion: The Breakers
Built in the 1890’s by the filthy rich Cornelius Vanderbilt II, The Breakers became a National Historic Landmark in 1994. The 125,339 square foot house is the closest thing you can get to a royal palace in America, as its over 70 rooms are crafted with only the finest marble and limestone.
It’s hard to imagine that it would not only belong to just one family, but that they wouldn’t even spend an entire month there each year because they owned so many other ornate homes. On top of everything, Cornelius Vanderbilt II wasn’t even the richest of the bunch. His grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt I was worth over $215 billion in today’s money.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is only worth $121 billion. Bill Gates is worth $91 billion.
So yeah. The Vanderbilts were rich.
Former Vanderbilt Home: Marble House
Marble House is one of the best photo spots in Newport, Rhode Island simply because of the history here.
Alva Vanderbilt was one of the original suffragettes and often held rallies calling for women’s rights on the front steps. When you visit, it’s hard not to close your eyes and imagine the commotion of it all unfolding around you.
The cool, marble exterior also sharply contrasts with the foliage and skyline, transforming Marble House from a simple structure into a striking statement. I can only imagine this was done entirely on purpose.
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The Ida Lewis Yacht Club
Speeding over the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on our way to visit the Newport Mansions, my friend Siobhan and I noticed the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and made sure to circle around on our way home to explore it.
After spending the day in the “old money” part of Newport, learning about the Gilded Age legends who once called the area home, it was rather grounding to be in a place where modern Newport, the Sailing Capital of the World, thrived.
Back in my mother’s BC years (before children) she raced sailboats out of Cedar Point Yacht Club in Connecticut, so I also took interest in Ida Lewis for what it could tell me about my mother.
Any of the Local Beaches
The best photo spots in Newport, Rhode Island are anywhere along the water, as the town is colloquially known as the city by the sea.
Like I mentioned, the water is too blue. The sun is perfectly warm. If you listen hard enough, over the sweet sound of the birds chirping, you might even heard the hallelujah chorus.