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“Over the top” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
Ranked #2 of 18 things to do in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Blithewold, named in Yankee Magazine's 2010 Best 5 Public Gardens in New England is located on Narragansett Bay, 25 minutes east of Providence and 60 minutes south of Boston. Blithewold, a 33-acre summer estate with grand views of Narragansett Bay, is nationally significant in American history as one of the most fully developed and authentic examples of the Country Place era. The property features a 45-room mansion filled with family heirlooms framed by a series of lovely gardens that range in character from mysterious to exotic and from poetic to practical. An exceptional collection of rare and unusual plants, specimen trees, an accessible greenhouse, and whimsical stonework project a character that is romantic, fresh and inspiring - and unique to Blithewold. Come...and be inspired.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
37 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Over the top”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

I am a Rhode Island resident and have visited many Newport mansions and private homes during Christmas in Newport but was not prepared for the joy of visiting Blithewold. The home is on a human scale with a light and airy feeling, picturesque views of the bay and magnificent grounds. Although the family was obviously financially secure the furnishing are not ostentatious. All are practical, some charming, some elegant but all in good taste. This was obviously a home of a close, warm and caring family, well educated and dignified (read the biographies of the children in the bedrooms and study the family photographs). The grounds (33 acres) are incomparable to any you will see in Newport or anywhere else in Rhode Island. Rose and flower gardens flank the main house. As you walk the extensive grounds you will traverse several distinct environments including a water garden, a bamboo forest, a meadow and a woods. Spectacular specimen trees abound: an enormous copper beach beside a weeping European beach, dawn redwoods, giant sequoia, Japanese cedar, weeping hemlock....... Sorry folks but there are 50 unique varieties. The grounds are really an arboretum. All the trees, shrubs and flowers are labeled. You can wonder both the home and gardens at your leisure or will find a number of friendly staff to assist you. On select days you are able to have a guided tour of the grounds by the trained staff (check their web site for special events). Visit once and you will feel compelled to return as the gardens and woods reveal their seasonal nature.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Stephen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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236 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Weston, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A mansion for the rest of us”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014

My wife and I recently visited Newport RI. In the past we have been to several of the mansions in town. This year we chose this mini-mansion in Bristol RI. I enjoyed it more than any of the mansions we have seen in Newport. It is much smaller than most Newport mansions, but the ability to tour on your own and wander the gardens (which are great) is fantastic. The best part is they open up the mansion patios for picnics. These two patios have great views, protected from the elements and have comfortable tables and chairs for you to relax and enjoy your meal.
The feel is very casual and relaxed, even the gardeners were interesting to talk with and we learned a few things about the plantings too. It didn't hurt that the entrance fee was half what a Newport mansion would cost.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Neilev2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
437 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

This is truly an amazing place. The beauty and up keep that goes on here is none stop. This place is also on the water and should be added to your places to see list when in Bristol

Visited July 2013
Thank Faloughi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
307 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“A Must See Location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2014

My wife and I spend a Sunday in April 2014 here and enjoyed the grounds and mansion. It is situated near the water and the view from the mansion is spectacular. We plan to return a few more times this summer and fall. We are looking forward to a visit to see the mansion decorated for the Holiday season in December.

Visited April 2014
Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
White Plains, New York
Level Contributor
131 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“My daughter took one look, and decided on the spot this is where she wants to get married”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

Have been to many fine gardens in New England, New York, Delaware and Europe and found Blithewold to be at the least the equal of any. The mansion was not overly stuffy, the docents were very nice and the grounds were out of this world. They have quite a few variety of gardens and all of them were beautiful and well-maintained. A worthwhile stop.

Visited May 2014
Thank nyredhawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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