Like Oak Bluffs, Newport is a beach town known for its houses, though a very different sort. Ten enormous, historic mansions—once the summer homes of the Vanderbilts, Nevada silver heiresses, and other Westerners of unimaginable wealth—remain standing along the famous cliff walk. Today however, they are museums. The most famous two are The Breakers and Rosecliff. The Newport mansions famously earned the ire of writer Joan Didion, who wrote in her essay The Seacoast of Despair, “To stand in the dining room of ‘The Breakers’ is to imagine fleeing it, pleading migraine.” Today, in lieu of the Great Gatsby-esque lawn parties of yore where swans roamed the grounds, Newport attracts visitors of all stripes for events such as the Newport Folk Festival.


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