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The Breakers

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840-6906
Phone Number:
+1 401-847-1000
09:00 - 18:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 18:00

The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a...

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. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century. The Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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The Breakers

A beautiful, grand example of the opulent 'summer cottages' from a bygone era! Fascinating contrast seeing the grand reception areas and dining areas where the Vanderbilt's... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Southampton, United Kingdom
via mobile
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3,714 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,506: English reviews
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

A beautiful, grand example of the opulent 'summer cottages' from a bygone era! Fascinating contrast seeing the grand reception areas and dining areas where the Vanderbilt's would have entertained their guests to where the staff would have spent hours preparing extravagant feasts and where the maids would have gone from one area of the house to the bedrooms via secret... More 

Thank stephonthego
Wales, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

It is always amazing to see how the rich lived their lives. Summer homes for the New York elite of the 1890s, the home is a great display of innovative architecture and classic Italian design. Platinum on the walls... Check! The tour guide was very informative and upbeat, making the tour a unique ad fun experience. After the tour, feel... More 

Thank telulla311
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

I thought I was doing ok before I went to the Breakers- shocking how wasteful people were then but lovely to live it for an hour. We had a tour guide who was very informative and keen to answer any questions.

Thank JulieROrlando
Burlington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
155 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We visited when the Breakers was decorated for the holidays - really stunning! Even though it was crowded the audio tour is a nice pace. You have the option of listening to additional stories or moving through the mansion more quickly. It can be tough to get nice photos - wish they had an area set up specifically for that.... More 

Thank 13Narya
Arlington, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We've lived off and on in RI for 15 years but this was the first time we had the opportunity to tour the Breakers at Christmas time. Taking advantage of the residents weekend we were able to visit at no charge. The decorations are breathtaking! I wish we had dressed a little nicer (mostly the kids) because the photos in... More 

Thank Jennifer S
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

unbelievable museum was interesting for all ages, my young son kept taking pictures it was definitely memorable and extremely interesting

Thank Lauretta P
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Can't believe these tours still exist! The audio tour was very insightful and came free with the entrance fee. The house itself was magnificent and had all the furniture still intact. You can also easily take pictures inside and spend as long as you like.

Thank Audrey W
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If you have visited the Biltmore Mansion in Ashville, NC, you'll be right at home in this Vanderbilt summer 'cottage' home. Built for Cornelius Vanderbilt by Richard Hunt, the architecture is in an elegant and refined Italian Renaissance style. Some of the building was constructed in Europe and shipped to Newport for final installation. This is the grandest of the... More 

1 Thank WMH0905
North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
872 reviews
352 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 473 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a cottage - seriously, this is what the Vanderbilts described as their summer cottage. It is OTT in every sense but it is worth a good hour or so to walk around, listen to the comprehensive and interesting audio commentary and just gawp at the extravagance and expense of this house and its contents all thrown together for... More 

1 Thank Kirkcaldylad
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Well worth a visit, see how the other half lived! Spectacular views, beautiful house. Staff in period costume, very informative. Lovely grounds for a walk.

Thank Pazar

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