Welcome to Rhode Island
Rhode Island, the smallest of the US states, isn't actually an island. Although it takes only 45 minutes to traverse, this little wonder packs in over 400 miles of coastline with some of the finest white-sand swimming beaches in the northeast, deserted coves, rugged seaside cliffs and isolated lighthouses.Hugging the shoreline before heading inland, delightful resorts, quaint colonial villages and extravagant... Read More
Top experiences in Rhode Island
Rhode Island activities
Newport Mansion Tour
At your selected time, meet at the Newport Visitor’s Center to begin your drive along Newport’s famous Ocean Drive (also known as 10-Mile Drive). You have the option to visit one or two mansions of your choice; simply inform your guide of what you’d like to visit before your tour begins.Enjoy a comfortable drive down this treasured stretch of road while hearing historical facts and anecdotes. Ocean Drive is lined with numerous jaw-dropping million-dollar mansions that were once 19th-century houses of the New York elite, who escaped to Rhode Island during the summers. All these mansions played a role in transforming Newport’s coast from a quiet summer colony of wooden cottages to a legendary resort town brimming with opulent palaces. Visit either of the Vanderbilt family’s homes: The Breakers, the grandest of Newport's summer houses, or Marble House, both US National Historic Landmarks. These were symbols of the family's social and financial reputation at turn of the century. Modeled after the mid-18th-century French chateau d'Asnieres outside Paris, The Elms was the summer residence of the Berwind family, who made their fortune in the Pennsylvania coast industry. Be sure to take a walk through the elaborate Classical Revival gardens. 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.The Isaac Bell House is one of the country's best surviving examples of shingle-style architecture. Designed for Isaac Bell, a wealthy cotton broker and investor, this mansion is also a US National Historic Landmark.Chateau-sur-Mer is a landmark of High Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. It was the most palatial residence in Newport from its completion in 1852 until the appearance of the Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s, and hosted many elaborate, lavish parties.After your mansion tour, you’ll end with a scenic drive back to the Newport Visitor’s Center.
Newport Mansions Small-Group Day Trip from Boston
After pickup from your central Boston hotel in a minibus, enjoy a morning snack during the 1.5-hour drive to Newport, Rhode Island. Listen to your informative guide provide historical commentary about Newport, which has been called 'America's First Resort'; feel free to ask questions in the relaxed company of your small group. You’ll also be given a guidebook and discount card, which will come in handy later on.Arrive at The Breakers, the elegant summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his family, to explore for two hours. Tour the remarkable mansion, which covers a full acre of the 13-acre (5.2-hectare) oceanfront estate. It's one of many local mansions that served as getaways for America's rich and famous during the 20th century. During this time, you may take part in a 1.5-hour self-guided audio tour (available in nine languages). Directly behind The Breakers, take in gorgeous ocean views at the Newport Cliff Walk for great photo opportunities.Afterward, embark on an approx. 1-hour narrated city tour of Newport sights. See St Mary's Parish, where President John F Kennedy wed Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. Drive by Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the US, and pass by Fort Adams and the Naval War College. Learn why Newport is considered a sailing mecca and admire lovely waterfront vistas from Ocean Drive. Finish your guided city tour at the Newport Visitors Center, where you can plan out your 1.5 hours of free time. Public transportation makes it easy to get around the city from this location, and take advantage of the guidebook and discount card provided earlier. See the International Tennis Hall of Fame at a discounted price, enjoy lunch on the oceanfront or browse the shops on the city's boardwalk (all at own expense). Following this leisurely break, meet with your guide again and head to The Elms, the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind, modeled after a mid-18th century French chateau and now a National Historic Landmark. During your two hours here, learn about Mr. Berwind, who made his fortune in the coal industry, and wind through the Berwinds' lavish Renaissance art collection. Stroll through the Classic Revival grounds, admiring marble pavilions, sculptures, a sunken garden and a carriage house along the way.After The Elms, relax on the drive back to Boston and end your 10-hour tour with drop-off at your hotel.
Newport 10-Mile Ocean Drive Tour
Meet at the Newport Visitors Center at your chosen time to begin your drive along Newport’s renowned Ocean Drive (also known as 10-Mile Drive). Throughout your comfortable drive, your expert guide will provide interesting stories, facts and historical anecdotes about this treasured stretch of road.As you’ll learn, Ocean Drive dates back to the 1800s, when many wealthy New Yorkers escaped to Newport on Rhode Island during the hot summers. Large resorts were built along the Newport Harbor beaches/waterfront to accommodate the wealthy summer crowd, which grew every year, until finally the 10-mile (16-km) stretch of coastline became the summer's place to be. Travel past Bellevue Avenue’s magnificent mansions and, if weather permits, stop on Narragansett Avenue for a walk down the Forty Steps at Cliff Walk. Then, wind toward the oceanfront past some of the area’s most elite properties. On Ochre Point Avenue, pass historic estates and The Breakers mansion, the grandest of Newport's summer houses and a US National Historic Landmark. This was a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial power at turn of the century. Passing Gooseberry Beach, approach the Newport Country Club, Brenton Point State Park and the Inn at Castle Hill. You’ll also see Hammersmith Farm – Jackie Kennedy’s summer home – and Fort Adams, where the views are spectacular. Admire boats bobbing along the water at the New York Yacht Club and Ida Lewis Yacht Club, and pass historic King Park at the southern end of Newport Harbor and the Newport Harbor Walk. Other highlights along Ocean Drive include Beacon Rock, Rough Point, Belcourt Castle, Chateau-sur-Mer, Isaac Bell House, the Newport Naval Academy and Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House – the oldest house in Newport. You’ll make several stops along the way to take photos, soak up the scenery, and learn some history from your guide. Your drive concludes right back where you started at the Newport Harbor waterfront.
Newport Harbor Cruise Tour
Break away from the typical rushed harbor boat tour and take a quiet relaxing and delightful cruise of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay's East Passage in a comfortably cushioned and sun-shaded deck, or from the top 'sunny side' deck. The guides, many of whom grew up on these waters, are enthused to share the legends and rich history of their home port. On every cruise, there's something special and complimentary from the galley that is representative of Rhode Island cuisine and culture. The crew serves Del's Lemonade, Coffee Cabinets, RI State Clam Quahog "Stuffies" & Champagne Toasts (Sunset Cruise only) and more! Guests on board discover the true flavor of The Ocean State, all compliments of the Captain. The cash bar serves a selection of Narragansett Beer, Newport Vineyard white wines, and other Rhode Island signature drinks.
Newport Mansions and Waterfront Sightseeing From Boston
After pickup from your Boston hotel, sit back and relax on the 1.5-hour drive south to Newport, Rhode Island. When you arrive, you'll see why this fabulous New England resort city is nicknamed the 'Sailing Capital of the World.' Learn about the city's colonial heritage on your scenic drive along Ocean Drive (10-Mile Drive), affording views of historic mansions, beaches and secluded coves. This epic stretch of road is lined with jaw-dropping million-dollar mansions that were once the 19th-century houses of the New York elite, who fled the big city during the summer to Rhode Island. These mega-mansions played a role in transforming Newport’s coast from a quiet summer colony of quaint cottages to a legendary resort town brimming with opulent estates. Your first stop is The Breakers, the former home of the Vanderbilt family and a US National Historic Landmark. As you'll learn on your walking tour, this is the grandest of Newport's summer 'cottages,' and was a symbol of the family's social and financial reputation at turn of the century. Next, enjoy free time to stroll along Newport's beautifully restored waterfront. Spend time shopping and dining on your own, and enjoy views of the harbor dotted with glamorous private yachts, modern racing sailboats and Newport's fishing fleet and ships from around the world. In the afternoon, you'll visit a second mansion, Marble House, another home of the Vanderbilt family and a US National Historic Landmark. Take a guided walking tour to fully appreciate the grandiose of this majestic piece of property; the interior of this Gilded Age mansion is a sight to be seen. After your tour, enjoy more views of Newport's mansions and beaches from afar on your return journey along Ocean Drive back to Boston. This tour is seasonal and only operates from June to October.
Newport Sail Aboard Former America's Cup Yacht
Thirty minutes prior to your chosen departure time, meet at 1 Sayer’s Wharf near the Mooring Restaurant to meet your expert captain and crew and receive a safety briefing. Then, hop aboard a 70-foot (12-meter) yacht used in the famous America’s Cup races!While in the hands of your crew, enjoy an exciting, scenic 2-hour sailing experience on Newport Harbor. You’ll feel what it must be like to be an America’s Cup competitor as you navigate the Rhode Island waters. Sit back and enjoy the ride or show off your skills by participating in the sailing! Your captain and crew will help those wishing to be involved in the sailing, and no experience is necessary.Popular sights you’ll see on your cruise include the Rose Island Lighthouse, Hammersmith Farm, Jamestown Harbor, the New York Yacht Club, Fort Adams and Newport Pell Bridge. Enjoy chilled water and juice on board; you’re welcome to bring your own food to eat while enjoying the sights. This once-in-a-lifetime racing experience will not only be an unforgettable nautical adventure, but also give you second-to-none bragging rights at home!