The Breakers
The Breakers
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial pre-eminence in the Gilded Age. It was commissioned in 1893 by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system and grandson of "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who founded the family fortune. Richard Morris Hunt, one of the great architects of the Gilded Age, directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70-room palazzo inspired by the 16th-century palaces of Genoa and Turin. The house was completed in 1895 and the family spent summers there. The Breakers was purchased from the heirs of Countess Széchenyi, Vanderbilt's daughter, by The Preservation Society of Newport County in 1972. It is a National Historic Landmark and is toured by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Several scenes in HBO's "The Gilded Age" were filmed in The Breakers.
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  • Irene J
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awe-Inspiring Journey into the Gilded Age: The Breakers
    The Breakers is an architectural marvel, encapsulating the extraordinary opulence of the Gilded Age. Exploring this grand Vanderbilt mansion with its stunning interiors and meticulously maintained grounds is an awe-inspiring experience. The self-guided audio tour allows visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history at their own pace. For anyone interested in history, architecture, or simply grandeur, The Breakers is an absolute must-visit in Newport.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 29, 2023
  • AnneMarie B
    Suffield, Connecticut381 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beneath the Breakers Tour is Excellent!
    From the time the docent welcomed us in, this tour was top notch. His wealth of information and historical tidbits made the tour! The technology that supported (and still supports) such a huge home and the intricacies of managing heat, electricity, water - everything it takes to make a home comfortable - was remarkable for its time. They thought of everything, including a wine cellar. What an amazing look back!
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Lisa E
    Aurora, Colorado217 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow!
    Crazy! The conspicuous consumption was ridiculous in this place. The downloaded self guided tour was great and informative. It also offered additional stories if you wanted. Room after room of every single square inch decorated.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Barry M
    Cork, Ireland379 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow!
    Breath taking House which gives a superb sense of how the other half lived at that time. The lavish workmanship and no expense spared build is very obvious. Heating system throughout, together with intercom and hot/cold running water ( both fresh/sea water) were way before their time. Ostentatious is perhaps the best description I can think of.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 8, 2023
  • Robert L
    Milford, Connecticut19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible example of decadence in the Guilded Age!
    The sheer size and attention to detail speaks volumes about the craftsmanship and demands of a wealthy elite class never seen before of since! The exorbitant styling and magnificent structures are beyond imagination. If you haven't been here, you should make the trip!
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 15, 2023
  • Victoria B
    Auckland, New Zealand5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An excellent tour, thoroughly recommend.
    We had the audio tour which we downloaded to our phone. We thought it was excellent. It has breaks between rooms to allow you time to look around at your own pace and you can opt for further information about a room at any time. The house is amazing and the tour gives some good in sight into the family and what life was like at this time in a mansion like this.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 21, 2023
  • JMoore0714
    Indianapolis, Indiana62 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely spectacular!
    We toured this home along with the Elms and Marble House. Breakers was by far the most opulent. It’s not my taste in a hole to live in, but wow the people who built it and made the designs have to commended on their artistic talent. The staircase and that area are incredible! Anyone going to Newport has to see this place.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 21, 2023
  • Onemoagain
    Los Angeles, California31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Should Definitely See When in Newport
    I throughly enjoyed my visit to the Breakers. I probably should've downloaded the audio tour which you can do if you download an app. There's a QR code at the entrance you can scan to do so. I think I would've enjoyed it more had I done so but I did read the pamphlet that they provide in various languages just inside the entrance. It give you a glimpse of the life of the very wealthy during the gilded age and as a history buff, it was fun.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 25, 2023
  • Joan H
    Hopewell, Virginia17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    "A Dream World"
    We drove into Newport, Rhode Island and saw the sign, "Welcome to beautiful Rhode Island" and it truly was. Gorgeous sailboats were in the beautiful blue water, their white sails gleaming in the sunlight, and the sky a majestic cerulean blue. We soon took the wonderful trolley tour which featured a look inside the Breakers. Stepping inside the "Gilded Age" mansion was like stepping into the pages of "The Great Gatsby," with beauty so majestic it was almost indescribable. In those days of enormous wealth, money flowed like dewdrops, and The Breakers reflects the golden beauty of gorgeous paintings and furnishings. One chandelier in particular was incredibly huge and gorgeous, and the kitchen had plates and glassware to the very top of the ceiling. The Breakers is a glimpse into a world of glorious loveliness. It is a trip to a dream world, and one I would heartily recommend to anyone.
    Visited September 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Jonathan M
    Tuxedo Park, New York552 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive Slice of the Gilded Age
    There is a reason why the Vanderbilt’s cottage is at the top of the list of Newport’s sights. While other homes might be more personal and intimate, the Breakers was built to dazzle and boy does it! The Great Hall alone seems like it shouldn’t even fit in the house. Allow for a few hours so as to not be carried along by the crowd (which isn’t as bad as I imagined it might be) and you will get lost in the details and find ample opportunity to get pictures without other people in the foreground. I found the audio guide available via an app download a bit clunky while trying to take pictures at the same time but I found the printed guide to be quite comprehensive and I listened to the guide later. If you have questions the staff are very knowledgeable.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles6,214 reviews
Excellent
4,840
Very good
1,172
Average
155
Poor
32
Terrible
15

307leven
Stroudsburg, PA284 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Arrived on Tuesday the third week of September at the 10am opening and it was starting to get a crowd. We bought our tickets there with a duo ticket allowing a visit to another mansion later in the day. The cost of this was $38/person. To visit just the Breakers would cost $29/person, but only $10 for children ages 6-12. According to the brochure, if you visit 3 mansions, the cost is $46/person and $60/person if you visit 5 properties. There is free parking across the street, but the spaces filled up somewhat quickly. The interior view is stunning with attention to every detail of outstanding architectural design. The furniture is equally amazing in its style and character.

We used the app to guide us in our tour but they give you a paper description of the facilities as well. We spent about 1 1/2 hours on our tour which included taking photos and walking the grounds in the back overlooking cliff walk and the ocean view. This is well worth visiting for many visitors with varied interests and I highly recommend it.
Written October 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chazz453
Brooklyn, NY22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Family
The Breakers house was very interesting! My family enjoyed walking around the mansion and we got to learn all about the Vanderbilts and how they designed the home. It was very intresting of how they got the idea of the acorn design which represents their family emblem. An acorn will grow into an Oak which has strong roots. The tour provides you headphones for the selftour, so each rooms of the mansion is narrated.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brmusicman
Chicago, IL3,224 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Friends
We purchased our tickets online in advance and arrived shortly before the mansion opened, joining a short line of patrons waiting outside. I recommend purchasing your tickets in advance; the process was easy and it reduced the amount of time we spent waiting in-line.

The home and gardens are lovely and well worth your time when visiting Newport! It’s a self-guided tour; if you wish, you can download an app and listen to commentary in each room you visit. There’s also some signage and staff/volunteers throughout to help you and answer questions.

The interior of the home is gorgeous! It’s truly a gem of the Gilded Age, lovingly maintained. Rooms on the main floor are ornate and feature French and Italian interiors. On the second floor, the rooms have quieter decor but feature interesting artwork. As you tour, you learn more about the lives of the Vanderbilt family, for whom this served as a summer home. I do wish you got to see some of the servants’ quarters, but the tour does end in the kitchens, which were fascinating.

The outdoor areas are lovely; you could bring a picnic, and this would be excellent! We had room to roam on the large lawn, with its stunning view of the waves breaking against the coast. The gardens themselves were not very ornate, but the views were spectacular and it was nice to stroll and enjoy the summer weather.

Overall, a really lovely visit; put this on your ‘must do’ list when visiting Newport.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susie Snowflake
138 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Imagining oneself as regent of venerable opulence is part of the joy of this self guided tour. In my case, although the tour loaded onto my phone, it would not open -so I read my way through the rooms which was OK but not as informative as a good listening experience. As one who has toured Biltmore on numerous occasions I was not shocked by how much the wealthy could spend to create their vision. After all, at a time when federal income taxes were only an ominous portent on the horizon, there was money to spend and what better way than to adorn the ceilings with frescoes and stained glass. And who wouldn't want a dining table to seat 16? The Breakers, aptly named for a water view especially appreciated from the open air loggia at the rear of the building, must have been a joy when the "cottage" was inhabited during the warmer seasons. If I could have I would have toured twice to enjoy the flavors of a rich experience and to consider how fortunate we are that the wealthy were allowed to thrive during the Gilded Age. Without their ability to finance a creation like The Breakers we would not have a living monument to that unique time. Free parking was just across the street. Getting there early during high tourist season will practically guarantee a parking space. I paid $34. to see two mansions.
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dlink
Boston, MA116 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We had been to The Breakers years ago. A return visit was just as interesting. The audio tour is excellent. It really gives you a sense of the gilded age, that historical time, and the wealth created for a few families. It also gives you the opportunity to delve deeper into the history and family stories of the Vanderbilt's with expanded narrations. Our visit was in January. The cold weather and wind kept us indoors, so we did not have the opportunity to take advantage of the lawn and ocean views. Highly recommended.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TP443
Norwich, CT10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
We attended the Sparkling Lights at The Breakers on 12/26. The staff was very pleasant and helpful, greeting everyone. Unfortunately the parking was a nightmare. The lot was very dark, there were no signs or people to guide you down the narrow lanes while searching for a spot. At one point one of the lanes ended and all the cars had to accomplish 5 point turns to turn around all while other cars were still coming into the dead end searching for a spot. Upon entering the museum we were told the house closes at 6:30 although tickets clearly said 7pm. When we questioned this, the reply was “ that’s what we are being told to say”. When entering the mansion we were greeted by a huge crowd trying to snake their way through the rooms. The crowd was so large you couldn’t stop to take in the decorations. We left after 3 rooms. The outside display was very well done and the placement of refreshments and the fire pits was well selected. We enjoyed our time outside. However, we left very disappointed because we could not enjoy the inside due to the large crowd.
Written December 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John A
Providence, RI200 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Because of COVID things have changed. The tours are more or less self guided. There are audio devices available, but we were not offered them. We walked around with a guide, who was sort of knowledgeable, but did not have all the information I would expect. I was surprised to learn, tho, that Gloria Vanderbilt was born in this house, who is Anderson Cooper from CNN's mother.

The grounds are beautiful. The upkeep on the house is AMAZING! Hats off to the Newport Historical Society for maintaining these houses to the extent that they do.

It was a wonderful fall afternoon touring thru this house (which is technically a "summer home for the rich and famous."

When you pay for your ticket, you get an additional pass that allows you to get another ticket to see any other Newport mansion at 1/2 price. So if you're visiting, this is definitely a good value. Check it out. Its definitely a summer / fall jaunt!
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas L
Hartford, CT147 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I grew up in Newport and have toured the Breakers and the other Newport mansions many times over my 69 years. Sometime ago the tours were all lead by a live guide who spoke English. In recent years and including my recent visit to the Breakers, the tour has been encapsulated on an audio guide. The audio guide is included in the admission. The audio guide does allow one to listen in many languages. It also allows the listener to explore various rabbit holes that provide additional flavor of life in the gilded age. However, the information provided is scant when it comes to describing the furniture, the artwork and the people in the pictures. The previous live guides provided lots of background on what you were seeing and could answer questions. As I listened intently to the audio guide, I found it difficult to follow which room I was supposed to be in.
Despite my nostalgia for a better tour experience in the past, I always tell visitors to see the Breakers if they want to tour a mansion. The Breakers went seamlessly from being a Vanderbilt summer home, to a house rented to the Preservation Society for a nominal fee to a house owned by the Preservation Society. It is in excellent physical condition, the furniture is original and wall and furniture coverings have been carefully copied or restored. The grounds are well maintained and beautiful.
Written September 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather B
Norwich, CT559 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This place is decadent to the max. There are multiple floors with tons of rooms decorated in a pleasing manner. I really enjoyed seeing the innovative technologies they had for their time. The ceilings and floors, woodwork, and detail just blew me away. The furniture is all perfectly placed for each room. I would highly recommend this mansion to tourists.
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cryptic_Tourist
Saint Louis, MO757 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
I heard so many great things about The Breakers for YEARS so I knew I had to add it to my tour of New England. It was so gorgeous and cool. My entire group loved it. Even the ones that were like "'meh" about going. We did the self-guided tour and even though it was crowded, I felt like it was a really great experience.

Some helpful tips: parking is free to the right of the mansion. If you're going on a weekend, try to get there at open because it gets much more crowded. When you purchase a ticket, it is not for any specific time slot, you just go during open hours. There are bathrooms right when you enter to the left with a grab and go snack section.
Written October 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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