What is your journey?

Mapping the world

Newport, RI: Cliffwalk and The Breakers August 3, 2010

Filed under: biking,hiking,RI,road biking,US — autonomy @ 7:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Salve Regina University's financial aid building

The Mansions tour is one of those outings that seems like you only do it to see what all the talk is about. Indeed, once you do it, you think can check it off your list… except there’s more to it than that.


I won’t attempt to tell the story of the mansions, let’s just say at some point in the past some rich people built amazing summer houses on the cliff, and we decided to visit one of such mansions.

The Breakers - $19 to enter

View of the front yard from the balcony

There was no photography allowed inside of the house and there were plenty of old ladies watching everybody like hawks, so I didn’t dare sneak a shot. The $19 entrance fee was kind of expensive, but the inside is pretty awesome. The wiki link has some shots. Every room on the inside was designed in its own unique way, one even with platinum on the walls. The outside had some pretty interesting architecture as well.

What I imagined before visiting was that there are jaw-dropping houses sitting right on the ocean and you can walk around, perhaps on some sort of boardwalk, and gawk at the lavish extravaganza. Not quite so. Lavish extravaganza equals extreme privacy, so most of the houses are fenced off and hidden by thick vegetation (and, in some cases, by barbwire). As far as I understand, the Cliffwalk travels entirely through private property. Most of the properties are somebody’s summer houses, but several houses have been designated as historical landmarks. You can see some of the buildings from the walk but most are hidden behind bushes.

The southernmost and pretty much the the last house on the walk - not much to see afterwards

If you return via Bellevue Ave, you will travel past some more mansions, many of the same ones you passed on the cliffs, but from the front. It seemed like most of the tourists just drive down this street and try to peek at what they can; walking certainly beats driving.

Bellevue Ave. is picturesque on its own

I’ll say, though, that I enjoyed the hike on the cliffs more than the mansions. The view of the ocean, the sun, the terrain were much more interesting to me.

See that tunnel in the cliff on the right?

One of the two tunnels on the trail (not the one in the above picture)

The terrain gets more difficult the further south you go

Sharp edges such as in this picture were not entirely comfortable for my feet even with sneakers (hiking shoes would've been more suitable at this point)

This was a pretty good daytrip and while we didn’t explore the town more, I felt that coming to Newport for more than a day might be on the boring side. As an additional activity I highly suggest a visit to the nearby Easton Beach to spend some time under the sun/in the water, as wandering around the cliffs alone is tiresome. There were people swimming off the Cliffwalk in several places, but it seemed like the area is too rocky for that. Take note that the trip starts out easy on a paved road but later turns into a hike, once you are traversing the cliffs.

Many people go road biking here, mostly on Bellevue Ave., it seems. I thought the idea is dangerous, since there are many tourists driving down that same road, trying to sightsee. So you have to watch out for the distracted drivers and I imagine that would distract you from sightseeing. But riding through without stopping to take pictures would probably work fine. There is a trolley that runs through the street, so there’s an option of riding it if you’re tired or as an alternative to walking.

Free 4-hour parking is available at the end of Naragansett Ave. There is a parking lot at Easton Beach, but I read that it is not free and can cost up to $20 for a day.

Free for the cliff walk, $19 to enter The Breakers. There are other mansions you can visit, I don’t know what the prices are. The Breakers mansion is worth a glance.

Did not eat anywhere, but I believe I saw pizza shops in town.

No info here.

Visiting Providence might be a good idea. Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge seemed like an interesting place for hiking, but we didn’t make it there.

GPX file Picasa pictures EveryTrail map
link link link

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s