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Explore the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island, through one of its iconic cities: Newport. Newport combines American history and beautiful coastal scenery. For a day, discover its Gilded Ages mansions and Tennis Hall of Fame museum, stretch by the Cliff Walk, and get a glimpse into cultural and religious historic places.
A pinch of History
- In 1524, Italian explorer Giovanni Da Verrazzano named it Rhode Island due to its resemblance to the Isle of Rhodes (Aegean Sea).
- Expelled from Boston, religious freedom-seekers founded Newport in 1639.
- The smallest state in the US, its official name is the longest: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
- From 17th to 19th century, it was a prominent international port in the Triangle Trade (Trade rum for salves in Africa then sugar from the Caribbean to America).
- Newport hosted the America Cup, America oldest sporting trophy, for more than 50 years.
Experience the Gilded Age: step into the summer cottages.
Prominent families from Gilded Age established their summer residencies overlooking the Ocean and on Bellevue Avenue. These grand mansions are a testimony of prosperity and opulence from the Industrial Revolution. Visit one (or more) of these magnificent palaces like the Breakers, Rosecliff, Marble House, the Elms and much more.
Match point: discover the largest tennis museum in America.
With more than 25,000 artifacts, the National Tennis Hall of Fame is the largest museum dedicated to tennis in the US. Discover tennis evolution since the 12th century, its impact on our culture and society. The visit is interactive, instructive, and you can grab your racquet to play on the courts (both Lawn and Royal Tennis). Moreover, the museum is located in the Newport Casino, National Historic Landmark since 1987.
Cliff Walk, the city by the sea.
Walk between the rocky coastline and the backyard of massive houses and cottages with the Cliff Walk. This 3.5 miles path is pleasant, peaceful, quiet and easy. Take an Ocean fresh air breath while enjoying this beautiful scenery. The plus: less crowded by tourists than other attractions in Newport.
Explore the city, some historical places.
Soak up the city’s history discovering the restored 1870 Rose Island Lighthouse, and Fort Hamilton, the 1799 army post. Downtown, stroll by some of the oldest of America like Redwood Library, and the Touro Synagogue.
Experience also the religious places with Trinity Church (1726) and St Mary Church. The latest hosted famous weddings like Colonel Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (Emperor of France’s nephew) and Caroline LeRoy Edgar in 1871, and more recently (1953), Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Did you know? The pineapple, the symbol of Newport’s hospitality. According to the legend, seafaring captains left pineapples on the front step to indicate their safe return and welcome guests. Indeed many tropical treats were onboard of these ships sailing from West Indies. Nowadays, you can observe the pineapple symbol in many retail shops.