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Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

Concord, CA
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79 posts
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Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

I'll be traveling to Newport with my wife and small child. Since I'll have my family along, I don't think I will be able to visit more than one (maybe 2) mansions as they would get toured out very quickly. But I think it would be neat to see the grounds of some of the others. Can you see/photograph the exterior of the mansions and/or grounds from the road or other areas, or can you only see the exteriors by buying a ticket and doing a tour?

Westerly, Rhode...
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1. Re: Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

You know, I never noticed if you could just walk on the grounds of any of the mansions I've been to. Your best bet is to contact the Preservation Society of Newport. They're the ones who run the programs. I pulled this info off their website:

For more information about The Preservation Society of Newport County, email:

info@newportmansions.org, or write to:

The Preservation Society of Newport County

424 Bellevue Avenue

Newport, RI 02840

To reach us by telephone, call (401) 847-1000.

Jamestown, Rhode...
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2. Re: Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

They are pretty strict, no grounds without a ticket for the mansion. However almost all are visible by the road, or Cliff Walk, you won't feel like you're missing out too much. Of course in the off season you could try it innocently enough.

Rhode Island
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3. Re: Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

You can drive along Bellevue Avenue or walk the cliff walk to see the exteriors. I remember hanging out on the grounds of one of the mansions and possibly visiting Ochre Court at Salve Regina University. That may not be allowed anymore though.

Newport, Rhode...
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4. Re: Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

All of the mansions that are open to the public are visible from the road, as well as the grounds for many of them - especially so off season when the trees are bare. You can see much of the grounds from the surrounding streets and the Cliff Walk; that particularly goes for the Breakers (you can see the grounds but cannot access), Ochre Court (which you can still walk around freely), Chateau Sur Mer and Belcourt Castle. You can also see a good bit of Rough Point from the Cliff Walk, but it's at the more dangerous part of the Cliff Walk and could be a hike to get to.

Rather than limit yourself to just the public mansions, a great way to spend an afternoon is to explore the entire mansion area on foot, along Bellevue Ave and especially the side streets in the Bellevue/Narragansett Ave/Ochre Point Ave/Ruggles Ave section. As a bonus, you'll see lots of private mansions that you either don't notice by car or can't see in the summer because of the trees. And it's a great, leisurely walk.

There is also a lot to see, including more private mansions, along Ocean Drive and its side streets. Too long to walk for most people, you can rent bikes or Segways to get a better view. (Not sure if these are available off season though.)

Just remember to bring water and that except for the port-a-johns at the 40 Steps (end of Narragansett Ave) and the visitor center at Brenton Point (on Ocean Drive) there are no public rest rooms.

5. Re: Viewing the exterior of the mansions without a tour?

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