Every year my sisters and I pick a beautiful location for our girls getaway and this year our destination was Newport, Rhode Island.Â We stayed at a quaint B&B called the Spring Street Inn (ranked #1 on TripAdvisor) which was ideally located in the heart of Newport’s walk-able downtown.Â Pat, the B&B’s innkeeper, gave us a great overview of Newport, including cultural highlights, some historical side notes and great places for cocktails and dinner.Â We didn’t have to worry about breakfast –Â every morningÂ Pat served us a wonderful gourmet breakfast. Â
Newport is where the ultra rich spent their summers at the turn of the 19th century.Â Home of the America’s Cup yacht race for many decades, Newport is probably best known for its “summer cottages”.Â These Gilded Age mansions were built for the Vanderbilts and Astors during an age when wealth was flaunted with lavish parties and hundreds of guests on sprawling lawns that stretched to the coastline.
The Newport Preservation Society now owns several of the largest mansions and allows the public to tour these summer cottages where the ultra rich once lived.Â Â During our stayÂ weÂ sawÂ the Breakers, The Elms, Rosecliff, Marble House, Kingscote, Isaac Bell and the Topiary garden.Â Â The interiorsÂ of the mansions were amazing.Â Â
Tip: we all bought a Preservation membership which included entrance to any property and allowed us to go to the front of the line at any mansion.Â It also includes a free Behind the Scenes Elms tour which describes how the servants lived (recommended).
We timed our trip for the end of June to coincide with Newport’s annual Flower Show.Â The judged floral arrangementsÂ were on display on the first floor of Rosecliff andÂ we could hearÂ seminars on topics like rose selection, orchids, and floral arrangements for lavish parties.Â Here areÂ a few of theÂ arrangements from the show.