Hotel at a Glance: James B. Finch Inn B&B
Elegant furnishings and art from the 19th century decorate the common areas and rooms of the James B. Finch Inn B&B, set in Newport’s Old Quarter. Enjoy a continental breakfast in the indoor or outdoor dining area, relax in the jetted Jacuzzi tub in your room, or pick up some souvenirs at nearby Bannister’s Wharf or Lower Thames Street.
- Relax in rooms appointed with steam showers, jacuzzi tubs, and big, California-king beds.
- Grab dinner at The Canfield House for some bouillabaisse and filet mignon, or head to one of the many other restaurants located steps from the hotel.
- The Cottages: Ritzy summer homes were built along Bellevue Avenue during the Gilded Age; check out the Vanderbilt mansion, a 70-room, Italian Renaissance-style palazzo.
- Nightlife: Enjoy a fruity rum drink at The Red Parrot, or head to Newport Blues Cafe for some live music—both establishments are just a short walk away.
Newport, Rhode Island: Harbor Town with World-Famous Mansions
Newport sits on Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Island, just 30 miles south of Providence and 70 miles south of Boston. With its picturesque cliffs running along the rocky coast, Newport understandably attracted America’s upper class at the turn of the 20th century. The prestigious Astor and Vanderbilt families joined other captains of industry in building their summer “cottages” here—sprawling estates that epitomized the Gilded Age’s glitz and glamour. You can sign up for mansion tours at the historic The Elms, Marble House, and The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance–style palazzo commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893 and inspired by the palaces of Genoa and Turin.
Year-round, the Cliff Walk is one of the most popular activities in town. From sunrise to sunset you’ll find visitors strolling the 3.5-mile path, ensconced between the beautiful Newport shoreline and the spectacular mansions. If the conditions are ripe, you might see surfers catching waves on the ocean breakers.
The ocean is easily accessible from Newport’s western, eastern, and southern coastlines. It’s often referred to as “the Sailing Capital of the World,” and in the summertime, fishing boats fill its harbors and beachgoers flock to its shores. Easton’s Beach (or 1st Beach if you’re a local), the largest public beach, sits cater-cornered to the Cliff Walk’s stunning homes. Back on land, the city hosts a variety of festivals, including the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Kite Festival, held in the ocean-facing Brenton Point State Park.