Of all the extravagant mansions built in Newport in the late 19th century, the Breakers is considered the most impressive. Once you enter the massive gates on the Breakers mansion tour you’ll see exactly why! The Breakers mansion in Rhode Island was not just the treasured Vanderbilt “summer cottage,” but also showcased their power and influence at this time in America. Join us as we take you through the Breakers to show why it’s the best mansion tour in Newport RI.
Rhode Island Travel Inspiration
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- Sachuest Point: Ocean Stroll in the National Wildlife Refuge
The Breakers Mansion Newport Rhode Island Info
Location: 44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI, 02840
Hours: 10am-5pm Everyday
Cost: $26 Adults – $8 Youth (6-17)
Time Needed: 1 Hour
As you can imagine, visiting the Breakers Mansion is one of the most popular things to do in Newport. We recommend getting there right when they open to avoid the crowds. This is especially important in the summertime!
You should also know that the Breakers Mansion tour is self-guided. Bring headphones and download the Newport Mansions app before arriving. While in the area you can walk the beautiful Newport Cliff Walk after touring the mansion.
Who Were the Vanderbilts?
The Vanderbilts were one of the world’s wealthiest families when they built the Breakers mansion. Cornelius Vanderbilt made his fortune in railroads and steamships, and the business was only grown larger by his sons.
The Vanderbilt family played an integral part in industrializing the United States. In what is now known as the “Gilded Age,” The Breakers Mansion in Rhode Island was a prime example of the Vanderbilt’s vast wealth and power.
Be sure to check out the Marble House after your visit to the Breakers. This was the summer cottage for Alva and William Vanderbilt and another part of Newport’s rich history.
History of the Breakers Mansion Rhode Island
The original Breakers Mansion was built in 1878 by tobacco giant Pierre Lorillard IV. Unfortunately, shortly after Cornelius Vanderbilt II purchased it the property burnt down in 1892. Yet, it wouldn’t be long before the Vanderbilts built a grander mansion on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Newport.
Completed in 1895, The Breakers Vanderbilt mansion was immediately a showstopper in Newport. Designed by famous architect Richard Morris Hunt, The Breakers is a 70 room Italian Renaissance-style mansion.
The palaces of Turin and Genoa provided Hunt with inspiration. The Vanderbilts owned the mansion until 1972 when it was sold to the Preservation Society of Newport County.
The Preservation Society of Newport County preserves and maintains these historic houses and properties and operates them for tours. For more information please check out their official website.
The Breakers Newport Mansion Tour
Our tour of the Breakers in Rhode Island started on a sunny April morning. We arrived straight off of the Newport Cliff Walk and it was just a short stroll from the ocean. We couldn’t believe our eyes from the moment we walked into the Great Hall!
The level of detail in the colors and design of the architecture was simply astonishing. Not to mention, it’s practically a museum with all the famous art that adorns its walls.
Once you take some time to marvel at the Great Hall, head into the dining room. From there you’ll explore the Billards Room, Morning Room, Music Room, and the Library.
The Breakers Mansion tour then winds its way up the beautiful staircase to the Vanderbilt bedrooms. After taking in the decor of the bedrooms and the epic views of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s one last stop to make.
The Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry will be the end of your tour in the basement. We weren’t able to see the staff quarters, but there were over 30 staff members working at the Breakers Rhode Island at its peak.
Our Favorite Rooms in the Breakers Mansion
The Great Hall: The first thing you’ll see inside The Breakers that will take your breath away. The Great Hall was inspired by Italy’s open-air courtyards, and is the perfect beginning to the best mansion tour in Newport RI.
The Dining Room: It will be hard to focus on one thing in the dining room as every detail of gold and crystal will captivate you. The goddess Aurora is painted on the ceiling, and the incredible chandeliers hang down over the long table.
Billards Room: The billiards room was a huge source of entertainment for guests at the Breakers in Rhode Island. Take in the marble mosaics, and also note the Vanderbilt symbol of the four acorns on the floor.
Music Room: The Vanderbilt’s were entranced by music, and even played instruments themselves! The music room was where they would play together and hold lavish parties for the Newport elite.
The Library: The walls of the library are made of Circassian walnut and feature intricate designs. The stone fireplace is 500 years old and came from a French Chateaux.
Gertrude Vanderbilt’s Room: While Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt’s rooms are beautiful, we were particularly interested in their daughter Gertrude’s room. As an avid sculpture, examples of her work are displayed throughout the room. She would even go onto start the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City!
Butlers Pantry: The kitchen is impressive, but the Butler’s Pantry was truly amazing to see. The butler controlled a large staff, and this two-story room was their headquarters.
Do you have any other recommendations for the best mansion tour in Newport RI? How about any questions on The Breakers Mansion Tour? Leave us a comment below!
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Brigitte & Jake
Where To Stay In Newport Rhode Island
Ultra Luxury – The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection – This former Vanderbilt 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 near The Breakers Newport you can explore the latest prices here!
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