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“Frustrating”

Newport Historical Society Walking Tours
Ranked #26 of 52 Tours in Newport
Attraction details
new york
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Frustrating”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

Took the colonial tour. I wanted to walk down the old streets and get a feel for the old town and learn about Newport. Was not to happen. There may be different guides,ours was a very nice older lady. She started by having us stand in a strip mall next to the museum while she lectured us about Quake merchants and general revolutionary war history for 20 minutes. I can look all that up on Wikipedia! What I wanted was Newport. I was busting to look at some of those historic buildings and learn about them. I could see some really neat buildings off in the distance but I was still trapped in this strip mall discussing Quaker merchants. The other older ladies in our group ( I was the only guy) seemed interested enough and asked questions about abolition and the slave trade and women's rights. If my review seems to be dragging on imagine how this 25 minutes was for me. 25 minutes down out of a 75 minute tour.
Finally we get under way and I can barely hear our guide. 'That's the original jail house , that's the oldest tavern'. I barely hear her and she goes right past. Next we get to a Quaker meeting house where we go inside and sit down. Although its a cool big barn, its completely empty. To my dismay we then get another 20 minute lecture on Quakers and how they felt about slavery and how they treated women. I was ready to kill myself at this point. Again all the older women seemed interested enough and asked questions. So now there is only like 25 minutes left and I feel like I haven't seen anything!!
Finally we head towards some old looking streets (yippee!!!) and I'm really getting excited because they are so narrow and the buildings are historic and look very old and ... well we breeze right through without much talking until we come to a house and hear a story about its owner. Which was fine. Then a synagog which George Washington visited. Okay,hey at least we are looking at historic buildings and no mention of Quakers. We stare at the synagog for 15 minutes. Our guide was apparently interested in religion.
The tour goes just a little bit further, down a really cool tiny street past some ancient houses with plaques on them and I can start to imagine, this is really cool... oh ..but wait.. now its over.. we have no more time.... thanks and bye bye.

I now know more about the supposed opinions of Quakers and Protestants and Jewish merchants than I care to. I got barely a 15 minute glimpse at the coolest 18th century neighborhoods and amazing houses in my 75 minute tour. Frustrating.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank hudsonvalleyboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
World_Travel_Guru, Manager at Newport Historical Society Walking Tours, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the Discover Colonial Newport tour and for sharing your comments on the experience. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy all aspects of the tour. We feel it is important to share the stories of key aspects of Newport's colonial life, such as its religious diversity, and connecting it to our wonderful colonial buildings, as we try to emphasize in our literature.

Please feel free to contact us at info@newporthistorical.org if you would like share your concerns and suggestions in greater detail. We welcome you to take a historic site tour, where you would visit the interior of a property and explore it in greater detail. We also recommend our mobile app for further information on Newport’s many historic neighborhoods and buildings. You can visit the app at: http://newporthistoryapp.com/.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
329 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Newport Walking Tours are a must! ... You'll love it ....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

I can't say enough good things about Newport Historical Society and the lovely people who arranged our tours from the Museum Gift Shop....The Museum upstairs was a nice touch though a bit limited. We loved the our initial tour (Discover Colonial Newport Inside & Out Walking Tour) so much that we booked the following three tours all in the same day ...

Colony House Tour
Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House
The Great Friends Meeting House

The docents were a mixture of NHS staff as well as interns form the local universities. We really enjoyed our walking tours with Genna, Lauren and Matthew as they were true professionals and really understood Newport and its history. We can wait to return to Newport maybe in the Fall to avail ourselves of the other tours we could not fit in while we were here. THESE WALKING TOURS AND NHS are a MUST SEE WHEN in NEWPORT! Don't miss these or you will be sorry ...

Also the Museum Gift shop has a wonderful selection of books and periodicals on Newport and Rhode Island that will add to your experience. So be sure to pick up a few of the local Guides to Newport

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank eminker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
310 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
“Enjoyable on a rainy day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

I took the Colonial Newport walking tour on 7th June. Because of the persistent drizzle, there were only 3 people on the tour. The docent, Martha, was excellent and provided several anecdotes as we traipsed through the rain visiting Newport's impressive historical center. One of the other tourists was obviously well acquainted with Newport history and kept cutting in with his own remarks. I found this rather off-putting, but, to her credit, Martha handled it well.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jaytara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Very worthwhile tours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2013

We did the Golden to Gilded tour on Saturday morning. Great overview of the social transition from the colonial times to the Gilded Age.
On Sunday, we took the Discover Colonial Newport tour. It ended up being almost 2 hours as the guide answered questions and toke lots of time to share stories. We got to tour the Great Friends Meeting House as well. Learning about the religious diversity of Newport's early days was fascinating. There is also a synagogue that you can tour, although we didn't have time.
The Colonial history tour was my favourite. You really get a good sense of the story behind Newport.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
388 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
“Fun time on the Holiday Lantern Tour”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012

We had a really fun time on the Holiday Lantern Tour. It focused on the history of Newport in terms of holiday traditions - a great way to enjoy the city at this time of year. The guide was pleasant, knowledgeable, and well-spoken. I would definitely try another one of their tours in the future.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank TravelCuties
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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