A visit to Newport is never complete without a visit to the Newport Mansions. Even if you’ve visited them before, there’s always something new to experience and learn, and The Preservation Society of Newport County invites you to join us for fascinating tours, exciting special events, and an opportunity to make lifelong memories in some of the most beautiful and romantic surroundings in the world.
Four remarkable audio tours bring you a new and unique perspective on the lives of the people who lived and worked in the grand mansions of the Gilded Age in Newport. Explore The Breakers (1895), with 70 rooms and decorated in elaborate marbles and mosaics; Marble House (1892), which cost $11 million to build and furnish and features a gilded ballroom; and The Elms (1901), a thoroughly modern house for its time that appeared to run “as if by magic.” Based on personal diaries, letters, records and oral histories, the audio tours of these houses offer the personal stories of the men and women who lived in each house and the household staff who cared for them.
At The Breakers, listen to first-person accounts of life in the house from members of the family, servants and their children. The tour also takes visitors through several servant spaces. A second audio tour, specifically created for children, brings the house, its furnishings and even its sculpture to life with fanciful characters, allowing youngsters (and their parents) to see the house through a new set of eyes.
You’ll hear Alva Vanderbilt talk about the architectural masterpiece she helped to design at Marble House, which she described as “…like a fourth child to me.” Learn how she used it to cement her place in society, to arrange her daughter’s marriage to British aristocracy, and later as a rallying point for women’s right to vote.
At The Elms, you’ll hear fascinating first-person accounts of life in a house modeled after an 18th century chateau, built for entertaining and as a showcase for art.
During the holidays, you’ll be enchanted by Christmas at the Newport Mansions, when The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House sparkle with holiday decor, spectacularly decorated trees and mantlepieces, and at The Breakers, a special display of gingerbread mansions created by local bakers.