It took me a while to visit Newport and Providence in Rhode Island, as they’re so close to Boston, but a few weeks before leaving I made it – and using public transportation nonetheless! I started my trip from Newport and then worked my way up to Providence. The weather didn’t help much, but at least it didn’t rain, so I got to enjoy both cities without the need of an umbrella! Without further ado, here’s what I got up to!
Newport is a charming coastal town (which I’m a sucker for after visiting a couple of coastal cities in Lake Michigan years ago), famous for the “summer cottages” of prominent and wealthy New York families, like the Vanderbilts! I added the quotation marks there as we are talking about mansions here and not actual cottages (although some of them had humble beginnings size and style wise). Grand, opulent, gilded mansions that honestly put the Versailles to shame!
There are 9 mansions maintained by the Preservation Society of Newport County, which are open to the public. Those are: The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Chateau sur Mer, Kingscote, The Isaac Bell house, Chepstow and Hunter House. I chose to visit The Breakers as it is the grandest! The entry fee was $20.99 (but you can check for combined tickets, which are value for money if you are visiting more than one mansion) and included free audio guide which I suggest you take as it’s the only way to understand the function of each room and learn details about the Vanderbilt family and the house itself. Photography is not allowed (a thing that always annoys me), so I ended up buying a book about the mansions so I could keep the memory of what I saw!
Next on my list was the Cliff road which goes around those mansions and you are walking by the coast. I chose to walk all the way from The Breakers to Ledge road, which proved to be a big mistake because the last mile is on uneven terrain. Now being Greek and having to hike up and down to visit secluded beaches meant that it was easy, but it was very time-consuming which left me with just a few hours to explore downtown Newport!
I wandered around the wharves up to the bus stop and went to snap a few photos of the bridge and nearby houses, as they were so colorful! Then it was time to get in the bus and head to Providence!
The bus to Providence passed by the cities of Portsmouth and Bristol which looked very picturesque! As I reached the city I made my way to Faust, which is Dean Hotel’s restaurant and which I had discovered thanks to Instagram! After
lunch dinner it was time to explore Providence so I made my way towards College Hill to check out Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It was overcast but the bloomed magnolias made up for it. I cannot even recall how many photos of magnolias I shot!
After wandering around Brown I stumbled upon an exhibition from the department of Textiles, so as a fashion enthusiast I entered to look around and snap some photos. As it was getting dark I made my way to the RISD Museum which was open until late. It has many exhibits both modern and old ones, but it was difficult to navigate!
Before getting on the train to Boston I made a stop at Providence Place (a huge mall by the river) where I resisted the urge to by some rings from Madewell! I bid the city farewell and headed home!
Have you visited Newport or Providence? Which aspect of these cities did you like the most?
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