During the Gilded Age, America’s wealthiest families flocked to Newport, turning the area into their summertime playground. The popular HBO series, The Gilded Age, has peaked the public’s curiosity about this era of high society.

From the creators of Downton Abbey,  The Gilded Age follows the story of “old” and “new money” in New York's and Newport’s high society, set in 1882. This Julian Fellowes masterpiece was filmed at and features many Newport Mansion properties; The Breakers, Marble House, The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Chateau-sur-Mer and Hunter House.

Today, visitors can experience how America's elites, and their staff lived with behind-the-scenes mansion tours, historic lectures, access to the breathtaking grounds and cliffside vantage points, all without those pesky corsets!

COVID-19 NOTE:

When you're ready, we can't wait to welcome you back to The Classic Coast. Rest assured, the safety and well-being of both visitors and locals remains our top priority. The mask mandate requiring face coverings in Rhode Island has been lifted, however local businesses may ask you to wear a mask when visiting their establishments. Please be prepared for individual business mask policies. Additionally, shops, attractions and tours are monitoring the number of guests at any given time and may ask you to socially distance to enter. 

All we ask when you land on these shores is that you play your part in keeping everyone safe. Please be kind, adhere to guidelines and maintain social distancing. 

Gilded Age Experiences

These upcoming events allow visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the grandeur of The Gilded Age.

1 Coaching Weekend Recreates 19th-century Travel

Where:
The streets of Newport including Bellevue Ave.
When:
Friday, August 19th – Sunday, August 21st, 2022
Cost:
Free

A Weekend of Coaching returns to Newport. This event occurs every three years allowing the public to enjoy free viewing of the colorful and historic coaches as they drive through the streets of Newport and the grounds of the Newport Mansions. This event enacts a century-old sporting tradition as authentic 19th-century coaches are drawn by highly-trained teams of horses throughout Newport. The Coaching Weekend is hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County.

 

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Weekend of Coaching

 

2 A Visit with Lady Carnarvon

Where:
Rosecliff Mansion And Other Newport Venues
When:
June 23, 2022
Cost:
Varies depending on Ticket

“If the Crawley family of Downton Abbey were American, they'd summer at Newport,” wrote Associated Press contributor Michelle R. Smith. Now is your chance to welcome Summer in Newport with Lady Carnarvon of Downton Abbey's unforgettable Highclere Castle. The Preservation Society and Lady Carnarvon offer a day full of royal experiences on June 23. From a lovely luncheon to an exclusive champagne adorned conversation at Rosecliff - plus a virtual hour lecture option - you'll spend the day sharing and celebrating with Lady Carnarvon during her Newport visit.

 

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3 The Blue Garden

Where:
The address, directions, and information about parking will be emailed to you when tickets are purchased
When:
Every Thursday from June 9 to October 6, Tours at 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:00 PM
Cost:
$15

The ultimate Gilded Age Garden, the Blue Garden stretched the length of 10 city blocks at one time. The Olmsted Brothers firm designed the property of railroad magnate Arthur Curtiss James between 1911–13. The gardens fell into disrepair, ravaged by time and invasive trees and shrubs. With the generosity of Dorrance H. Hamilton, a summer resident, philanthropist, and garden enthusiast, it was restored in 2014 to its original glory. As the name suggests, the garden incorporates a palette of blues and purples, with touches of white, and has something in bloom each month the garden is open. The Blue Garden is known today as a classic example of American landscape art and a triumph of historic preservation.

 

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4 Tea House at Marble House

Where:
Chinese Tea House at Marble House
When:
After May 27, 2022, Marble House will be closed until then
Cost:
Varies

Perched above the historic Cliff Walk, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Chinese Inspired Tea House at Marble House provides seasonal take-away style lunch options and afternoon tea service. Their Al Fresco by the Sea cafe inside the Chinese Tea House will offer similar options to the Breaker's Welcome Center Cafe, a daily self-serve selection of sandwiches and salads prepared locally. In addition, the Newport Mansions have partnered with Stoneacre Brasserie to offer an afternoon tea experience you don’t want to miss, featuring seasonal ingredients and artisan purveyors.

 

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5 Gilded Age Treasures

Where:
Rosecliff Mansion
When:
May 27-Oct. 30, 2022
Cost:
Included with regular admission

The Newport Mansions feature some of the greatest collections of fine and decorative arts of the Gilded Age.

Beginning Friday, May 27, The Preservation Society of Newport County will shine a spotlight on important Gilded Age artifacts with “Anything You Want: A Closer Look at Treasures from Newport’s Gilded Age.” The title of the show prompts visitors to ponder the question: Why did Gilded Age consumers desire such things? Visiting Curator Ulysses Grant Dietz has chosen more than 100 treasures from across the Preservation Society’s properties. The exhibition runs through Sunday, Oct. 30, in the second-floor galleries at Rosecliff.

HBO’s new drama “The Gilded Age” was filmed extensively at the Preservation Society’s historic houses. Spectacular objects from these same houses will be on view in the exhibition. Just like the fictional characters in the show, the real-life people of the Gilded Age were consumers, users, and admirers of beautiful things.

 

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6 Book Smart: Enjoy the library visited by Gilded Age Greats

Where:
The Redwood Library and Athenaeum
When:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Cost:
Free

The Redwood Library and Athenaeum celebrates its 275th birthday this year. Enjoy reading in a library established before the birth of the United States. Literary legends like Edith Wharton, Henry James and poet Julia Ward, who also co-founded the American Woman Suffrage Association, visited the library. Today the library is free to the public and offers lectures, exhibitions, fine arts displays and other educational activities.

 

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7 A Proper Proposal

Where:
The Breakers
When:
Ongoing
Cost:
$300

The Newport Mansions offers a unique experience in one of the most magnificent houses in America: An opportunity to propose marriage in a setting of elegance and beauty. 

Make your proposal at The Breakers under the serene sky painted on the 50-foot-high ceiling of the opulent Great Hall, or in the intimate Breakfast Room with its exquisite French decor. It’s a romantic place to share one of life’s most memorable moments. The fee includes either Great Hall or Breakfast Room at The Breakers for proposal location, a personal tour of the first floor of The Breakers and membership in The Preservation Society of Newport County.

 

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“The Gilded Age” on HBO

From the creators of Downton Abbey, HBO's The Gilded Age premiered in Winter of 2022, and follows the story of "old" and "new money" in New York's high society, set in 1882. This Julian Fellowes masterpiece was filmed at and features many Newport Mansion properties;  The BreakersMarble HouseThe ElmsRosecliffChateau-sur-Mer and Hunter House. Stream the first season of The Gilded Age now on HBO Max. Season 2 is already in production and filming has started in Newport.

*Please note: some Newport Mansions properties will be closed during the filming of this show, please check their operating schedule before purchasing tickets. 

 

Watch the Official Trailer

 

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Explore the Newport Mansions

From a 70-room Italian-renaissance style palazzo to the first home run on electricity without a back-up, the Newport Mansions are like nothing you’ve ever seen – we promise.

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.

Today, visitors can experience both mansion and ground tours, special events, and a small cafe at the Welcome center located on site. 

Location:
44 Ochre Point Avenue
Hours:
Open Daily, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost:
Adult: $29, Youth (6-12): $10, Member: Free

 

 

The Elms

Welcome to the summer retreat of Philadelphia coal magnate Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind who made his fortune in the coal industry. The Elms, a 48-room mansion on historic Bellevue Avenue, was modeled after the mid-18th-century French chateau d'Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris. 

The Elms offers both a mansion tour, with access to the grounds, and a servant life tour for visitors. 

Location:
367 Bellevue Ave
Hours:
Starting May 27, 2022: Open Daily, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost:
Adult: $25, Youth (6-12): $10, Member: Free

 

 

Marble House

Marble House was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport's subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces at the time it was built between 1888 and 1892.

Visitors can experience tours, special events, and afternoon tea in the Chinese Tea House at Marble House.

Location:
596 Bellevue Avenue
Hours:
Starting May 27, 2022: Open Daily, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost:
Adult: $25, Youth (6-12): $10, Member: Free

 

 

Rosecliff

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. Scenes from several films have been shot on location at Rosecliff, including The Great GatsbyTrue Lies, Amistad and 27 Dresses. 

Today, visitors can experience tours, special exhibits, private events, and the iconic Newport Flower Show at this wondrous mansion. 

Location:
548 Bellevue Ave
Hours:
Starting May 27, 2022: Open Daily, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, *Rosecliff closed June 15-19 for Flower Show and setup
Cost:
Adult: $25, Youth (6-12): $10, Member: Free

more mansions

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Virtual Mansion Tours

We're grateful the Newport Mansions expanded their exhibits and experiences into the digital space with virtual tours of these following properties.

more to explore

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