The Breakers, Newport
Categories: Gardens, Historic Sites, Museums, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots, Tours
The Breakers was once the lavish summer home of the powerful Vanderbilt family. Today, the well-maintained property is a National Historic Landmark. You can wander through the two main floors and the kitchen wing of this 70-room, Italian Renaissance-style building. Admire the opulent furnishings and grand architecture designed by Richard Morris Hunt, one of America's most influential architects. Pick up an audio guide for more information about the mansion and the life of America's mega rich at the turn of the 20th century. Be sure to stroll through the grounds and take in the ocean views. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to The Breakers by using our Newport vacation planner.
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Knowing I was coming to Newport for a quick visit, I began reading Fortune's Children to learn more about the Vanderbilts. Such an interesting family. This house is breathtaking. Everything from the w... read more »
Visited The Breakers as part of three mansion ticket on recommendation of ticket agent. If you only visit one mansion then visit this one. The architecture and decoration is awe inspiring and shows wh... read more »
This tour is great. You have an audio guide to take you through each room. They have 2 settings depending on what kind of information you want. You set the pace and stay where you want to stay. My onl... read more »
We visited The Breakers in June 2011. It stands on 13 acres, facing east and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A mansion which earlier stood on the site burned down in 1892. The present house has 70 rooms and 65,000 square feet of living space. At the time, its building cost was $12 million, which equals $316 million in the dollars of today. The architectural style of The Breakers is Italian renaissance. The interior features marble imported from Italy and Africa, together with rare woods and mosaics from all over the world. We approached the house through iron entrance gates with high stone pillars on either side. On entering the house, we found ourselves in the 50 foot high Great Hall from which the rest of the house may be accessed. Another feature of The Breakers is its well tended gardens. The Breakers is now owned by The Preservation Society of Newport County, although descendants of Cornelius II still spend their summers in private apartments on the upper floors of The Breakers. Sadly, Cornelius II was not blessed with a long life during which to enjoy The Breakers. He suffered a stroke and died at the age of 55 in 1899, only four years after he completed the house. One of his descendants is Anderson Cooper, the TV journalist.
If you like historic restored mansions - this is one of the best I've seen. It was as if the Great Gatsby came to life - a life of total decedance. They have done a great job of recreating the rooms as they were. Plus - you can walk around the ground outside too with beautiful views of the sea. However if you are carrying a dslr, they will make you sign a contract that it's not for commercial use. Else photos are allowed without flash
This is the single most important mansion you can't miss when you visit Newport. Give it at least an hour to an hour and a half to really enjoy the audio tour and learn about the guilded age of the United States. It's really great to also learn how the mansions became a burden to the owners just as how they came about. It's also wonderful to know that it was built in relatively much shorter time compared to our current construction timelines. It costs 20 bucks to visit this mansion only but it's a much better value to buy a ticket to the Breakers plus one or two other mansions.
My wife and I took the self guided tour on 7/19/2016. It was fairly crowded but not overly so around 1pm. We listened to every part of the tour (there are optional parts) and took us just under two hours. Excellent coverage on the estates history as well as the prospective of the Vanderbilt's who lived there as well as some the staff that worked there during its operation. At $21 a head for adults, it is not is not the cheapest thing to do in Rhode Island, but once you see the opulence of the building and the surrounding grounds, you will understand why the Preservation Society charges that fee. A very good to do for any history, especially American history, buff.
Everything was great . . . Great Property, Great History BUT the grounds / landscape was NOT GOOD (grass in the back of the mansion was DEAD & ONLY ONE side of the house looked good!)
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