|Belcourt Castle, Newport, R.I. (photo by Eric)|
Once "summer cottages" to the rich and famous from the Gilded Age (beginning in the mid-19th century), many of the Newport mansions remain in great shape and available for tours. The Preservation Society of Newport County offers the majority of house tours, including The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff. The tours can take up to 90 minutes, given the size, details and nuances of each home. My recommendation would be to see no more than two homes a day, as the experience can eventually become overkill. By purchasing a multi-house ticket, you can spread out the visits on different days. Speaking of tickets, you can order online or on site at any participating house. Log onto the Preservation Society of Newport County web site for full details.
Enjoy the tours, it's a definite highlight of New England travel!