WHERE: Newport, Rhode Island
The lesson at Cliff Walk is: one millionaire’s mansion is another millionaire’s cottage, which is what the Gilded Age elite called their stately summer homes lining Newport’s rugged shore. The 3.5-mile trail is hair-raising in spots, and the amazing views along either side are distracting, so wander with care.
Or spend a day touring some of the 10 cottages open to the public under the purview of the Preservation Society of Newport County. Highlights include railroad-empire heir Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Italian Palazzo–style The Breakers; Rosecliff, modeled on a Versailles garden retreat and commissioned by Nevada silver heiress, Theresa “Tessie” Fair Oelrichs; and The Elms, a French Chateau–style confection paid for by money that Edward Julius Berwind made in the coal industry.
See full story by Laura Kidder on Fodors.com.