The Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk is the ultimate way to experience this special corner of New England. Take a trip back in time through the extravagant architecture of the 19th century, as you stroll 3.5 miles along the stunning Atlantic Coast. We’ll also provide info on cliff walk Newport RI parking, can’t miss mansions, and more of what you’ll see along this memorable ocean stroll!
New England Travel Inspiration
- 18 Fun Things to do in Newport Rhode Island
- Sachuest Point: Beautiful Ocean Stroll in the Wildlife Refuge
- Best Food in Rhode Island: 11 Famous Eats in the Ocean State
- 10 Best Things to do in Tiverton Rhode Island
- 7 Best Things to do in Jamestown Rhode Island on Your First Visit
Cliff Walk Newport RI General Info
Distance: 3.5 Miles one way from Easton’s to Bailey’s Beach. Unless you’re catching a ride you’ll have to walk the 3.5 miles back to where you started.
Pack: Water, Sunscreen, lunch, and snacks. Along the route, there are no stores or restaurants so make sure to bring everything you need.
Beat the Crowds: Plan to do the Cliff Walk in Newport RI early! We arrived just after 8am and felt like we had the trail to ourselves. However, later in the afternoon on our way back it was more crowded. Keep in mind that the trail gets especially busy on the weekends as well.
Start: Below we cover all the Newport Cliff Walk parking spots. Still, we recommend starting at Easton’s Beach for your first time on the trail.
Time: If you’re doing the entire walk it will take several hours to complete. It’s best to plan for a full morning, but know that you can walk as far or as long as you’d like.
Information: Along the trail, there are small wooden signs that you can scan. Just pull out the camera on your phone and hover over the barcode for an in-depth explanation of each landmark.
6 Tips for the Newport RI Cliff Walk
1. Newport Cliff Walk Parking
Don’t feel like doing the entire Newport mansion walk? Don’t worry! There’s plenty of Newport Cliff Walk parking along the route. This allows you to split it up into sections if you want to start from a certain point, or save some of the Newport Cliff walk mansions for later. Just remember that the parking can sometimes be hectic, especially in the summer months.
Memorial Blvd: This is the main street that runs along Easton’s Beach in Newport. You’ll find metered parking, or you can park in the main beach lot.
Narragansett Ave: Street parking at the famous forty steps.
Webster Street: Salve Regina University entrance.
Shepard Ave: Parking near the famous Breakers mansion.
Ruggles Ave: Located on the opposite side of the Breakers mansion, and from Shepard Ave near Ochre Point.
2. History of the Newport Cliff Walk Mansions
The Newport mansion walk is the best way to see history from the Gilded Age of New England. Here you can experience where some of America’s most wealthy families built their summer residencies in the 19th century. Yes, these insane works of architecture were just their vacation homes!
For many ultra rich families like the Vanderbilt’s, Rhode Island’s coast was the perfect getaway from the cities and a place to throw legendary parties. Over time, many fortunes were lost. However, these massive mansions remain well preserved for us all to enjoy on the Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk.
3. What Is the Cliff Walk in Newport RI?
So what exactly is the Newport mansion walk? If you want to see the entire trail start from Easton’s Beach and walk the 3.5 miles to Bailey’s Beach. Along the way, you can stop and take pictures and enjoy scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The first part of the Newport mansion walk is completely paved and easily walkable for all ages. Yet, after you pass the Marble House and head toward Rough Point the terrain gets a little rockier.
From here until Bailey’s beach you’ll be walking up onto rocks and even through tunnels! This is not too challenging, but just note this part is not wheelchair accessible. Like we said in the Newport Cliff Walk parking section, it’s also easy to split up the walk if you don’t want to do the entire thing. Some of the most beautiful Newport Cliff Walk mansions even offer tours of the inside!
4. Newport Cliff Walk Mansions Not to Miss
Vinland Estate: One of the first Newport mansions built with Beaux-Arts architecture. Now owned by Salve Regina University, and has a beautiful flower display in the springtime.
The Breakers: This 70-room Italian Renaissance-style masterpiece is the largest of all the Newport Cliff Walk mansions. Constructed by the Vanderbilt’s who made their fortune in steamships and railroads.
Anglesea: Amazing mansion located next door to the Breakers. A great example of the french influence in Newport, and gothic revival architecture.
Rosecliff: Built in 1899 by Nevada Silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs. Modeled after the famous Grand Trianon at the Palace of Versailles.
Beachwood: Made famous by “Mrs. Astor” who hosted many lavish dinner parties for elite New York socialites. Now owned by the billionaire founder of Oracle Larry Ellison.
Marble House: Another Vanderbilt mansion, and signified the switch to elegant stone from old wooden houses. This is one of the best tours you can take on the Newport mansion walk! Also, don’t miss out on the unique Chinese Tea House in the backyard.
5. Our Newport RI Cliff Walk
We honestly felt like we had the entire cliff walk to ourselves on a Tuesday morning in early April. As the most popular activity in the area, this walk gets so crowded in the summer it may be difficult to pass at some narrow parts. Still, if you plan for an early morning stroll on a weekday you should be fine.
At first, we planned to see just to a section of the trail. Yet, as we turned each corner we couldn’t bring ourselves to turn around! Each mansion we passed seemed to be bigger, and more stunning than the last. One thing you should know is that the majority of the mansions on the Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk are actually hidden.
It only makes sense that these multi-million dollar homes want their privacy from thousands of eager tourists. This shouldn’t discourage you though.
While many are beyond view or behind fences, there are still plenty that you CAN see. This is especially true if you take the entire Newport mansion walk.
6. Neighborhood Newport Mansion Walk
If you make it the entire length of the Newport Cliff Walk there’s still more to see! Instead of turning at Bailey’s Beach and strolling the ocean route back, consider cutting into the neighborhood. This way you can explore the Newport mansions from the other side as you walk past the massive gates and lavish entries.
From Bailey’s beach follow Bellevue Ave. Along this historic street you will find informational plaques, and one of the best things to do in Newport.
We highly recommend taking a tour of Marble House or the Breakers. This will give you a whole different perspective of the Newport Cliff Walk mansions as you see inside these incredible properties.
Follow Our Newport RI Cliff & Mansion Walk
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite parts of the Cliff Walk in Newport RI? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Newport Rhode Island
Ultra Luxury – The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection – This former Vinderbilt mansion has been restored into one of the most exclusive hotels in Newport! Enjoy the rooftop bar for drinks in the summer while being just steps from the waterfront.
Fun Vacation – Attwater Hotel – Beautiful boutique hotel close to all the great attractions of Newport. Bed and breakfast feel, with a unique touch of class and stylish decor.
Bed & Breakfast – Bellevue House – Opening in 1828, Bellevue is known as the first and oldest hotel in Newport. Comfy accommodations and convenient location to the center of town.
For more places to stay in Newport Rhode Island you can explore the latest prices here!
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