16 Lavish Mansions in Rhode Island
The Mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, were built in the 1850s – 1900s by some of America’s most successful and influential people. Rich in culture and history, it is no wonder these majestic buildings have remained a popular destination for many years.
From the palatial Rosecliff to the grand breathtaking Marble House, each mansion is a testament to the wealth and influence of those who once called them home. Not only do they remain a reminder of times gone by, but they also allow us a glimpse into the lifestyles of those who lived there.
Today, these grand monuments are open to the public enabling visitors to explore their beauty and learn about their fascinating stories. They host various events, including parties, balls, and the magnificent Newport Flower Show. It is easy to see why this is one of America’s most sought-after destinations for tourists looking for a piece of history.
Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI; 401-847-1000
Chateau-Sur-Mer is more than just an 1852 stone mansion; it is a time capsule of High Victorian architecture and furnishings, offering a glimpse into the world of China Trade merchant William Wetmore. Here, one can take in the original Victorian park with its majestic trees, moon gate, and Colonial Revival garden pavilion – all crafted to foster a sense of serenity and beauty for Wetmore and his family. It’s no wonder that his son, George Peabody Wetmore, eventually became Governor of Rhode Island and U.S. Senator.
When you set foot on the grounds of this majestic estate, you cannot help but feel connected to history in a way that transcends time. You pause beside a centuries-old weeping beech tree; you feel the cool air around the Chinese moon gate; you hear the soothing rustles of magnolia leaves in the sun. Each moment brings you closer to understanding the Wetmores’ life and legacy – and your own place in the fabric of history.
44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840; (401) 847-1000
The Vanderbilt Mansion Museum is a living testament to the wealth and power of a once-great family. Located in the Breakers, it reflects the opulence and grandeur that was the hallmark of the Vanderbilt’s throughout their heyday in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Built by renowned Beaux-Arts architects and decorators, the Vanderbilt Mansions represent some of the finest examples of Gilded Age architecture and design that can be found in the United States today. Magnificent parlors, grand foyers, majestic ballrooms and other impressive features show off the family’s wealth and make these homes true works of art.
Preserved as National Historic Landmarks, these mansions remain standing as reminders of a time when money and status were the ultimate marks of success. It’s a reminder that despite all its trappings, success comes from within – something more precious than any amount of wealth. When you visit the Vanderbilt Mansions Museum, you’ll experience a unique glimpse into this very special history.
54 Washington St, Newport, RI 02840; (401) 847-7516
The Hunter House is a living reminder of what life was like for the wealthy inhabitants of Newport, Rhode Island in the mid-18th century. Spanning three stories and two floors, this Georgian mansion museum offers an incredible glimpse into the past, with period furnishings throughout that transport visitors right back to the colonial era.
Nicknamed “the grandest house in town”, the Hunter House is brimming with history and culture. From the grand parlor to the formal dining room, from the impressive library to the elegant drawing room, one can feel the presence of those who once lived and loved there. Each room has something special about it—an ornate mirror, a delicate piece of china, or a beautifully ornamental rug.
Visitors can take tours of the house seasonally to learn more about its significance, uncovering stories of old such as that of Malby Hunter, the original owner of the house whose family lived on the property from 1743 to 1917. There’s also plenty to explore outside at Hunter House, including a sweeping lawn and colorful herb garden. Truly a sight to behold all year round, this stunning home provides great insight into both Newport’s past and present.
207 Ruggles Ave, Newport, RI 02840
Seaview Terrace, also known as the Carey Mansion, is a privately-owned majestic home in Newport, Rhode Island, that holds a special place in history and in the hearts of many. Constructed in 1925, this incredible architectural feat was designed in the Châteauesque style based on the French chateaux of the 16th century, offering an insight into a way of life that has stood the test of time.
Those who have visited the Carey Mansion are immediately struck by its distinguished features, from the finely manicured gardens to the intricate exterior detailing. However, more than just a marvel to behold, Seview Terrace stands for something much more important: a reminder of how humanity can strive for beauty and elegance even in times of uncertainty. It serves as a tribute to those of the past and present who continue to find ways to bring joy and meaning to our lives.
Belcourt of Newport
657 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840
Belcourt is an architectural masterpiece set amidst the rolling hills of Newport, Rhode Island. Designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1891, the former summer cottage is a highlight of the iconic Bellevue Avenue. Originally planned to be used as a seasonal escape for Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, Belcourt was intended to offer luxurious respite for only six to eight weeks every year.
Yet despite its limited use, Belcourt still stands tall as an awe-inspiring testament to Hunt’s exceptional eye for detail and craftsmanship. Its weatherworn exterior is enhanced by ornate carvings, while its interior features intricate designs that reflect its gilded-age influences. Every visit to Belcourt promises to be an extraordinary experience – one that will stay with you long after you’ve departed.
1351 Cranston St, Cranston, RI 02920; (401) 944-9226
The Governor William Sprague Mansion is a beautiful and iconic piece of history with a fascinating backstory. Located on 1351 Cranston Street in Cranston, Rhode Island, the mansion was the birthplace of two governors – William Sprague III and his nephew William Sprague IV. This grand residence stands as a true testament to the legacy these men left behind and their lasting influence on the people of Rhode Island.
Beyond its historic importance, the Governor William Sprague Mansion offers an insight into the lives of these former governors. From roaming through its grand hallways to admiring its breathtaking architecture, exploring this mansion gives visitors an appreciation for the luxuries enjoyed by these influential leaders. Not only that, but it also serves as a reminder of the many contributions they made to bettering the state of Rhode Island.
The Governor William Sprague Mansion is an important monument that not only tells the stories of these two governors but also celebrates their impact. It provides visitors with an intimate look into the past and reveals how much their legacies have influenced the present day. By visiting this beautiful home, we gain a greater understanding of the people who shaped our country’s history.
680 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI, 02840; 401-847-8344
Step inside the magical world of Rough Point and explore the eclectic collection of splendid artifacts from the long and fascinating history of this grand estate. Its illustrious past is embodied in its stunning historic mansion, located on Bellevue Avenue, that has been delighting visitors from all around for over a century.
Take a journey back to the late 19th century when the Vanderbilt family built Rough Point with the intention of making it their spectacular vacation home. Uncover the stories of Mrs. Doris Duke, the heiress who inherited the estate upon her father’s death, and how she left her mark on the house with her unique flair for collecting remarkable artworks from the 18th century to the 20th century. From fine portraiture to Flemish tapestries, Chinese ceramic works to couture fashion, each piece reflects Doris’ passion for artistry and her impeccable taste in home decor.
Marvel at the panoramic view of the ocean that greets you as you enter the grounds, beautiful gardens surrounded by majestic trees, and a bustling wildlife community. Get to know the other residents that have lived within the walls of Rough Point, such as beloved cook Hulda Goudie and beloved pet camels Princess and Baby.
Gain meaningful insight into Doris Duke’s life and unlock many more enchanting stories during your visit to Rough Point Museum! Open seasonally from March to early January, for more information about operating hours please check out our website.
Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI, 02840; 401-847-1000
Rosecliff is a stunning reminder of the opulence and extravagance of Newport’s Gilded Age. Built in 1902, this grandiose mansion was commissioned by Theresa Fair Oelrichs, an heiress born of a silver-mining family from Nevada. Expertly designed by renowned architect Stanford White, its exterior has been modeled after the Grand Trianon—a lavish garden retreat used by French kings at Versailles during the 18th century—utilizing a magnificent blend of Baroque and Baroque Revival styles.
Today, Rosecliff remains open to the public as a historical house, and hosts many annual events throughout the year; most notably is the esteemed Newport Flower Show held in the spring. Above all, it has become an iconic setting for a wide array of movies over the years—from ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘True Lies’ to ‘Amistad’ and ‘27 Dresses.’ Those interested in visiting Rosecliff can check the mansion website for updated hours, which may vary seasonally.
Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI; 401-847-1000
In 1888, William K. Vanderbilt had a vision – to create something absolutely extraordinary with the immense wealth he had amassed over the years. He asked renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt to make this dream a reality, and together they crafted Marble House, an incredible marvel of architecture unlike anything else in the world.
Aside from its awe-inspiring design, Marble House was truly remarkable for its opulence — constructed at a cost of 11 million dollars, no expense was spared in its construction, from the 500,000 cubic feet of Italian, American, and African marbles used to the lavish decorations throughout. Even more impressive was the fact that Mr. Vanderbilt gifted the house to his wife Alva for her 39th birthday.
Today, visitors can still marvel at Marble House’s grandeur as they explore the grounds and its fascinating Chinese teahouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. But photos alone don’t do justice to its splendor—one must witness it first-hand to comprehend the sheer magnificence of Marble House. Check out their website to find public hours, which change seasonally.
Narragansett Ave, Newport, RI; 401-847-1000
The Italianate-style villa is nothing short of a masterpiece, a timeless example of the elegance and beauty of Victorian architecture. Designed by the illustrious George Champlin Mason in 1860, it served as a summer escape for the social elite Morris family from New York; among its members was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Walking through the halls of this grand home, one gets a sense of the sophistication and refinement of its owners. An exquisite collection of 19th-century landscape paintings from the Hudson River School of artists adorn the walls, providing a hint at the depth of aesthetic appreciation within the Morris family. Every nook and cranny of this vintage villa exudes charm and grace with every passing moment.
One can almost imagine what life inside this majestic home must have been like for the Morris family. Lavish dinner parties, conversation about the latest topics of the day, laughter echoing throughout the house – these are just some of the things that made the Morris villa come alive. Even after all these years, it still manages to captivate us with its beauty and grandeur.
Cliff Walk, Newport, RI; 401-847-6650
Ochre Court, a palatial former summer home built in 1892 and now the main administration building for Salve Regina University, stands proud and majestic among its surroundings. As guests enter its grand foyer, they step into a world of history and culture. From here, a tour of all three floors of Ochre Court is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. During the summer months, guided tours are offered that explore the rich and fascinating past of this grand building.
From the opulent grand staircase to the ornate marble fireplaces, every detail within Ochre Court has been carefully restored from its original condition. Each hall, room, and alcove offers an opportunity to discover something new about this beloved treasure. While standing in awe at its breathtaking architecture and craftsmanship, visitors can’t help but imagine what life was like during the time when people gathered together in this magnificent manor.
Ochre Court provides a glimpse into a bygone era and is truly an experience worth seeing. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, it will no doubt be a memorable experience you won’t soon forget.
The Breakers Stable and Carriage House
Bateman and Coggeshall Ave, Newport, RI; 401-847-1000
The Breakers Stable and Carriage House offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the rich history of the Vanderbilt family. Not only does the museum house a private collection of memorabilia from the family, but it also provides visitors with a close look at the road coaches used by the Vanderbilts throughout their lives.
Walking through the stable is like taking a journey through time. Every piece of memorabilia tells the story of a different era, helping to paint a vivid picture of the life of the Vanderbilt family. From carriages and sleighs to harnesses and leather work, visitors can get an up-close look at all aspects of the Vanderbilt’s daily lives.
The curiosity and fascination that fill this building are unrivaled. Whether you’re here to learn more about the Vanderbilts or simply to gain insight into American life during the late 19th century, The Breakers Stable and Carriage House is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI; 401-847-1000
Kingscote is a remarkable reminder of the past and its impact on the present. Designed in 1839 by George Noble Jones – a planter from Georgia – it stands today as a historic landmark, full of stories and memories that span five generations of the King family. Its dining room, an add-on built in 1881, is home to the earliest known installation of Tiffany glass and provides a glimpse into a time when grandeur, elegance, and luxury were highly sought after.
This house has seen its share of change over the years: before becoming a part of Newport, Kingscote was owned by a China Trade merchant named William Henry King, which led to its transformation into one of the first summer houses designed in the famed Gothic Revival style. We can only imagine what stories these walls have been witness to in the years since then, and how they will continue to shape our future.
367 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI, 02840; 401-847-1000
The Elms, a National Historic Landmark located in Newport, Rhode Island, is an incomparable example of French-style chateau architecture and design. Built in 1901 by renowned architect Horace Trumbauer for millionaire entrepreneur Edward Julius Berwind, this grand estate remains a source of inspiration for generations to come.
The home features every modern marvel of its time, making it one of the first houses in Newport to be completely electrified. Beyond its beautiful façade, it also boasts 10 acres of parkland, as well as intricate and incredibly detailed sunken gardens.
This exquisite piece of history stands as a testament to America’s Golden Age – when opulence and artistry intersected with technology and progress. It’s no wonder why The Elms has become such a beloved sight among tourists and locals alike. While hours may vary depending on the season, visitors are invited to explore and appreciate what makes this estate truly unique.
44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI, 02840; 401-847-1000
The Breakers, the grandest of all the Newport summer cottages and a National Historic Landmark, was commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad. The expansive 70-room Italian Renaissance-style house, designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1895, stands majestic atop a 13-acre estate overlooking a breathtaking vista of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean.
As you step across the threshold into the 45 ft high central Great Hall, it is easy to imagine the grandeur that this magnificent home must have exuded during its heyday. A stroll through the seemingly endless corridors and luxurious rooms paint a vivid picture of a family nestled in warmth and comfort against a backdrop of majestic views. As if in homage to its namesake, the steady rhythm of crashing waves upon the rocks below adds a soothing and resounding soundtrack to this awe-inspiring abode.
To experience the magnificence of this timeless masterpiece firsthand, consult their website for public hours which may change seasonally. Here you can revel in the historical splendor of The Breakers, and maybe even experience a moment within those walls that will linger in your memory forever.
Isaac Bell House
Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI; 401-847-1000
The Isaac Bell House is a National Historic Landmark, showcasing some of the best design influences from the American ‘shingle-style architectural period. Built in 1883 by McKim, Mead, and White, this beautiful home combines Old English and European design elements with colonial American and even some exotic details, exemplified by its unique Japanese-inspired open floor plan and bamboo porch columns.
This elegant estate stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of a bygone era but also serves as a reminder that beauty and architecture can transcend time itself. Taking a tour of Isaac Bell House is like taking a journey through history, and helps us appreciate how small details can create something truly special. Furthermore, the house reminds us of our power to preserve these pieces of the past and restore them to their former glory.
If you’re keen to experience architectural magnificence firsthand, be sure to visit the mansion website for public hours – which may change seasonally. Planning a trip to the Isaac Bell House is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Map of Rhode Island Mansions