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Cliff Walk and Newport Mansions in Rhode Island

Cliff Walk and Newport Mansions in Rhode Island

LUXURY TRAVEL, RHODE ISLAND, SITES TO SEE, TOURS, UNITED STATES

Located only 30 miles south of Providence is the picturesque city, Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is home to some of the nation’s most impressive mansions including The Breakers, Ochre Court, Rough Point, and many more. The Cliff Walk along with the Newport mansions, are among the most popular Newport, Rhode Island attractions. Once you begin walking the path you’ll see why.

The Newport Cliff Walk is a three and a half mile trail along part of the perimeter of the seaside city. On one side you have an incredible view of the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean, and on the other side you can see some of the famous mansions from the back side along with some other large homes.

 

The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island (Photo Credit: Alisa Krutovsky)
The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island (Photo Credit: Alisa Krutovsky)

 

Starting Point

This is the starting point of the Cliff Walk. The beach, Easton’s Beach, is accessible to the public, however, there is sometimes red algae which one may want to be aware of. Activities such as swimming and surfing can be done here. As you begin walking along the trail, you can see an assortment of large, ornate houses on the right side.

 

Easton's Beach, Newport, RI
Easton’s Beach, Newport, RI
Tree Along the Starting Point of the Trail
Tree Along the Starting Point of the Trail

 

Most of the trees were bare since we visited Newport in late March. However, the nature was still absolutely beautiful all throughout the trail.

 

Narrow Sidewalks and Passageways

 

Narrow Sidewalk, Cliff Walk
Narrow Sidewalk, Cliff Walk

 

Many parts of the Cliff Walk consist of narrow passageways. Take proper precautions and be careful while navigating around these parts. Dog owners can walk their dogs along the Cliff Walk, however, they must keep in mind that in some parts, such as these, there may be some poison ivy.

 

Caution Signs Along Cliff Walk
Caution Signs Along Cliff Walk

 

There are a multitude of caution signs scattered throughout the Cliff Walk to ensure safety. The Cliff Walk is paved and for the most part has many railings, however, do not get too close to the side of the cliff.

 

Cliff Walk Nature and More

 

Side of the Cliff and the Ocean
Side of the Cliff and the Ocean
Rocks at the Bottom of the Cliff
Rocks at the Bottom of the Cliff

 

The Cliff Walk has a large quantity of trees sprinkled throughout, along with plants and large assorted rocks. The majority of the vegetation was not in season because, as I mentioned, we visited Newport in the winter. If you look down towards the base of the cliff, there are a variety of different sized rocks submersed in the water.

 

Two Birds Perched on a Rock, Cliff Walk
Two Birds Perched on a Rock, Cliff Walk
Part of Easton's Beach in the Distance
Part of Easton’s Beach in the Distance

 

As you walk further along the trail, you can look behind you to see the town from a distance.

 

Me Doing a Cartwheel Along the Path (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
Me Doing a Cartwheel Along the Path (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
Me Taking Pictures of the Beautiful Ocean (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
Me Taking Pictures of the Beautiful Ocean (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)

 

During the middle of the day, around 1pm-4pm, the sunlight reflects off of the water in a way that makes the water look as if it is sparkling.

 

The Forty Steps

 

Wildlife in Front of the Forty Steps
Wildlife in Front of the Forty Steps
The Forty Steps, Cliff Walk
The Forty Steps, Cliff Walk

 

At about a mile into the Cliff Walk are the Forty Steps. The Forty Steps used to be a gathering spot for servants and other people who worked in the mansions during the Gilded Age. Now, however, visitors can climb down these steps (each one decorated with the name of a donor) and climb up on the large rocks below to get a spectacular view of the ocean and other interesting things. You must be very careful when climbing from rock to rock because most of them are covered in a layer of slippery algae. I’m not going to lie, I did slip a few times while jumping from rock to rock.

 

Me Sitting on the Giant Rocks (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
Me Sitting on the Giant Rocks (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
Small Cave at Bottom of Cliff Walk
Small Cave at Bottom of Cliff Walk

 

As I reached the bottom of the steps, I wandered around a little bit with my dad, and we stumbled upon this little cave. The rocks surrounding it were covered in algae which meant they were super slippery, however, we tried our best to get as close as possible to take cool pictures. The rocks are so slippery that we witnessed a man fall waist-deep into the water surrounding this cave.

 

My Dad and I Climbing Back up the Forty Steps (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
My Dad and I Climbing Back up the Forty Steps (Photo Credit: Dori Eckert)
Many of the Surrounding Fences had Love Locks
Many of the Surrounding Fences had Love Locks

 

Some Mansions Visible from Cliff Walk

 

Ochre Court Mansion, Newport
Ochre Court Mansion, Newport

 

Ochre Court was built in the year 1891 for the Goelet family. Even though these house owners weren’t as well know as, let’s say, the Vanderbuilts, the Goelets were amongst the largest land owners in the state of New York. The main purpose of most of the mansions in Newport were to serve as “summer cottages” for wealthy families.

Sadly, only one generation of the Goelets lived in Ochre Court. It was then presented to the Diocese of Providence, who then re-gifted it several years later. It was turned into a school. Today, this mansion houses several offices. Ochre Point may look familiar to you because it was shown in the beginning scene of the movie True Lies. It was also visible in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where it functioned as a Swiss chateau.

 

Rough Point Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island
Rough Point Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

 

Like most of the mansions in Newport, Rough Point was influenced by the Gilded Age. This stunning mansion was built for Frederick Vanderbilt in 1887. This mansion was recently owned by philanthropist Doris Duke up until her death in 1993. The home now functions as a museum featuring pieces by Renoir, Gainsborough and also van Dyck.

 

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island
The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

 

The Breakers is the largest mansion in all of Newport. It is located at the end of the Cliff Walk.  The Breakers was built in as little as two years (1893-1895). The total cost of the mansion was 7 million dollars (equivalent to approximately $150 million today). Now a national landmark, this amazing establishment used to be home to Cornelius Vanderbilt, or at least in the summer months.

 

Extra Information About the Cliff Walk

The Newport Cliff Walk is open year round from sunup to sundown each day. In the late winter when I went, most of the trees are bare and there are patches of snow left on the ground. However, if you visit in the spring or summer you will see beautiful vegetation and flowers all around.

The Cliff Walk is for people all ages, but for young children or seniors it may seem very long. The entire trail is roughly three and a half miles long from start to finish. Make sure to bring plenty of water to keep hydrated during your adventure.

 

 

Cliff Walk Sign
Cliff Walk Sign

 

The Newport Cliff Walk is fun for the entire family. All in all, this attraction is enjoyable for everyone, and you definitely would want to bring your camera!

 

About the author

Melanie is a high school student who loves writing and traveling. Although she hasn't explored too much of the world yet, she sees herself going on many adventures in the years to come. She enjoys spending time outside, discovering new things, and going on road trips with friends and family.

11 Comments

  1. Dori Eckert
    September 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm
    Reply

    Outstanding count of a memorable trip to Newport, Rhode Island. Great photo selection to illustrate your writing, Melanie! I am very happy to see your writing skills at work. Thank you Carmen, for the opportunity you have given Melanie introducing her to a world of travel and learning easily shared on the world wide web through her writing. I am sure this will be the first of many, many more trips and stories to share. GREAT JOB Melanie!

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      I’ve never been to Newport, but now it’s on my list of places to visit. Melanie did a fantastic job with her first post. I look forward to reading more about her travel adventures.

  2. The Educational Tourist
    September 12, 2015 at 9:11 am
    Reply

    What lovely photos – such a pretty place. The sushi boat – OMG…I want some now. 🙂

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      I’ve never been to Newport but it’s certainly worth a visit after reading Melanie’s article. I would love to go and visit some of these exquisite mansions and take a peek inside. My sushi boat was a huge hit at the party. 🙂

  3. Victoria@celebratetheweekend
    September 17, 2015 at 10:53 pm
    Reply

    I actually plan to be in Newport this weekend (going to be a gorgeous one here in Northeast). we a little over an hour away and visit at least once a year.

    • Carmen
      September 18, 2015 at 8:16 am

      That’s great that your going to have nice weather this weekend, and can enjoy the lovely sites of Newport.. I’ll have to plan a trip up there in late spring.

  4. Mary {The World Is A Book}
    September 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm
    Reply

    We were in the New England area last week and I wish we had more time to go further south to explore Newport. I’ve always wanted to see these stately homes. I hadn’t realized there was this great cliff walk too. What a great way to see the mansions and stunning views. Great job on this post, Melanie!

  5. Destiny
    October 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm
    Reply

    Love this post and great overview on the walk and mansions. I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s always breathtaking everytime I go. Love it ❤️

    • Melanie
      October 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      I agree with you, the walk is beautiful!

  6. Warm Winds Surf Shop
    May 15, 2016 at 12:02 am
    Reply

    I’ve been on these walks dozens of times because of visiting friends and family who insist on having me accompany them.

    I’m telling you. It never gets old.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 15, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      The scenery is so beautiful, and the homes are spectacular along the walk.

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