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Newport Cliff Walk Tour Guide

The Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile walking trail along the eastern shore of Newport, Rhode Island. It’s world famous because it combines the natural beauty of the Newport coast with the architectural wonder of America’s Gilded Age. We’ll go past many of Newport’s most famous mansions, once home to historic American families such as the Vanderbilts and Astors.

Popular Highlights

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Forty Steps

The story of Forty Steps is that they were built by David Priestly Hall so his children could get to the beach from his property. In 1840 he gave the City of Newport a public right of way to the steps. They later became a meeting place for workers at nearby estates during the Gilded Age. 

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The Breakers

The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century.

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Rosecliff Mansion

One of the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, now open to the public as a historic house museum. Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles.

Key Stops-Cliff Walk
• Welcome  
• Easton’s Beach 
• The Chanler 
• The Gilded Age
• Ballroom Dancing
• High Society, High Fashion
• Women’s Rights in the Gilded Age
• Forty Steps
• The Overlook
• Ochre Court
• Locals, Keep Out
• Vinland Estate (McAuley Hall)
• The Breakers
• Beneath the Breakers
• Anglesea
• Rosecliff
• Beechwood
• The 400 List
• Marble House
• Chinese Tea House
• Who is Alva?
• Rough Point
• Doris and Her Pets
• An “Unfortunate Accident”
• Land’s End
• Edith Wharton
• The Waves
• Disputes Among Modern Millionaires
• Bailey’s Beach
• Conclusion