It's the filming location of the original Great Gatsby, the summer destination of the Vanderbilts, and the home of sapphire blue water. I sort of fell in love with Newport, particularly the Cliff Walk. Just check out this view! I don't think I'll ever get over it.
Had the joy of staying at the historic mansion turned hotel, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, and these views were just a short jaunt off the hotel lawn. If you walk the whole Cliff Walk from one end to the other and back, its a 7 mile trip (just 3.5 miles from one end to the other). However, the Cliff Walk was under construction during my trip, so I made it as far as The Breakers from my hotel.
What's The Breakers you ask? The Breakers is the name of one of Newport's historic mansions. The Cliff Walk leads you along the Atlantic just between the gorgeous mansion lawns and this crazy blue water. Touring the mansions is something I would highly recommend. And buy the membership! If you're going to tour more than one mansion, it's a better value to buy the membership. Plus, you'll support a organization preserving great works of art and pieces of history that have been at risk of being destroyed. The Breakers, once the Vanderbilt family's summer home, was my personal favorite of the ones I toured. The mansions mark what Mark Twain called a gilded age, but I found myself romanced by my Gatsby-esque surroundings. In fact, the Rosecliff mansion was one of the filming locations for the original Great Gatsby.
All along the Cliff Walk you'll find these signs:
The edges are seriously steep and the rocks at the bottom do not look so inviting. So be careful. If you really want to get near the water, the 40 Steps is a great place to get down to it without taking the plunge of the stick figure on the warning sign. The steps (below)
lead to this view:
You don't want to miss it. Also, if you walk down the stairs and look hard right at the bottom landing, you will see a waterfall tucked in a small cave where the tide rushes in and out. It's pretty cool!
Beyond the gorgeous views, Newport offers some pretty great food! My favorite meals here included breakfast at Chanler at the Cliff Walk, lunch on the patio at Castle Hill Inn, and dinner at Brick Alley Pub.
With only getting to spend a couple days here, I feel like I hardly scratched the surface of Newport. Which is all the more reason to go back! I look forward to exploring the quaint boutiques, other mansions, beaches, and maybe taking sailing lessons when I return. But I'm not sure anything will capture my water-loving heart like the Cliff Walk. It will be hard to beat this leisurely hike and it's breathtaking views.