If you can, visit the Newport Mansions on a weekday. Five of us arrived in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. The town was full of tourists so traffic was slow and the lines in the visitors' center were long. We were told to drive to the mansions and to park our car and walk to the other mansions. Do not do this. You will run out of time like we did. Drive to each mansion. There is a parking lot for each of them. We only saw two of the mansions on Sunday (The Breakers and the Elms). Three people from our group had to return home on Monday, so the remaining two of us used their remaining tour tickets and the rest of our tickets on Monday. Traffic was light and most of the tourists were gone. We saw The Marble House, Rosecliff, the Isaac Bell House, Chateau-Sur-Mer, and Chepstow. We didn't see Kingscote because it was closed for lunch for two hours, we didn't attempt to visit the Green Animal Topiary, and the Hunter mansion isn't included in the ticket booklet. You can buy tickets at the vistors' center when you enter Newport. Some of the mansions have tour guides and some are self-guided with audiotapes and headsets. The tickets cost about $31.00 each. Each ticket entitles you to tour any 5 mansions listed on the tickets. There are more than 5 mansions to see. I would suggest seeing The Breakers, The Marble House, Rosecliff, The Elms and Chateau Sur-Mer. The Isacc Bell House really isn't a mansion and it is unfurnished. Make sure you eat breakfast before attempting to tour the mansions and bring snacks. There are cookies and snacks sold outside the Breakers, and already prepared sandwiches and snacks at the Elms (but they close at 4:00 p.m.) but otherwise you might not be able to find food to purchase or it may not be easy to find when you are hungry. The views of the Atlantic Ocean are spectacular from The Breakers and The Marble House (both built and owned by the Vanderbilt brothers). The Rosecliff is rented out for weddings and has been used in many movies including for one of the wedding scenes in the movie "27 Dresses." If you have time, park at Memorial Boulevard and walk the Cliff Walk or park your car at Narragansett Ave. for a shorter walk. The paved trail is about 3.5 miles. I recommend visiting these two websites regarding the mansions and the Cliff Walk: www.newportmansions.org and www.cliffwalk.com.
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