Top Rhode Island Attractions
NEWPORT MANSIONS: These fabled mansions, the extravagant "summer
cottages" of America's Gilded Age portray the opulence of
a bygone era. Six of these palatial estates are owned, maintained
and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Privately
owned mansions include: The Astors' Beechwood, where costumed
actors recreate the fabulous 1890's lifestyle; Rough Point, former
home of tobacco heiress, Doris Duke; the American Illustration
Museum, and Belcourt Castle, summer residence of Oliver Hazard
BENEFIT STREET'S MILE OF HISTORY: The most impressive concentration of original
Colonial homes in America. Beautifully restored houses, churches
and museums overlook the city's historic waterfront. Walking
or escorted bus tours conducted by the Providence Preservation
SLATER MILL HISTORIC SITE: Old Slater Mill (1793), "Birthplace of
the American Industry", was the first factory in America
to successfully produce cotton yarn with water-powered machines.
The mill now houses operating machinery used to illustrate the
process of converting raw cotton to finished cloth. The historical
treasure also includes the Sylvanus Brown House (1758) and the
Wilkinson Mill (1810). A reconstructed 16,000 lb. water wheel
is still in operation.
INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME: For tennis lovers, the oldest grass courts
in America, and the only ones open for public play, can be found
at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, located in the historic
Newport Casino. The Hall of Fame brings world-class tennis competition
to Newport each year. In addition, the Tennis Hall of Fame Museum
features displays, artifacts and exhibits covering over a century
of tennis history.
NEWPORT WATERFRONT COLONIAL AREA: Beautifully restored buildings, shops and
homes of the Colonial Era overlooking the historic waterfront
of the "Sailing Capital of the World" and former home
to the America's Cup for over 50 years.
THE STATE CAPITOL: Beautiful, stately white Georgian marble structure
with one of only four self-supporting domes in the world. (St.
Peter's Basilica, the Taj Mahal and the Minnesota state capitol
are the other three). Designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1891,
it houses the original Rhode Island Charter and the historic
portrait of George Washington painted by Rhode Island native
and noted Colonial portraitist, Gilbert Stuart.
BLITHEWOLD MANSION, GARDENS &
ARBORETUM: Former summer residence
of Pennsylvania coal magnate, Augustus Van Wickle, this 45-room
turn-of-the-century mansion and 33-acres of beautifully landscaped
grounds and gardens overlook Narragansett Bay and historic Bristol
harbor. As one of the first and most innovative arboretums on
the continent, Blithewold features 50,000 flowering spring bulbs,
a Japanese water garden, an 83-ft. giant redwood (the largest
east of the Rockies), a bamboo stand, and hundreds of unusual
MUSEUM OF ART, RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL
OF DESIGN: One of America's
finest small museums; its collections include classical art from
Greece and Rome, 18th century European porcelains, Chinese and
Indian works, Egyptian objects, 19th-century French art, modern
Latin American works, and masterpieces from the Middle Ages to
the present. Pendleton House, the earliest example of an American
Wing in a United States museum, features the Pendleton Collection
of American furniture and decorative arts. The Daphne Farago
Wing is a center dedicated to the display and interpretation
of contemporary art.
ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ZOO: Nestled within 430-acres of the beautifully
landscaped grounds of Roger Williams Park is the award-winning
Roger Williams Park Zoo with over 156 different species and over
900 animals. The Zoo houses polar bears and penguins, a "Plains
of Africa" area with elephants, giraffes, cheetah and zebra,
a Tropical rainforest, a Madagascar exhibit of endangered lemurs,
and an Australasia area with an open-air aviary and clouded leopard
exhibit. Marco Polo Trail features animal habitats including
the Dromedary camel, the elusive Snow Leopard, and the Moon Bear.
Park also features, Museum of Natural History, a Planetarium
and a Carousel Village.
Set high on the ragged Newport coastline, the 3.5 mile Cliff
Walk provides some of the best views of the Gilded Age mansions
and their meticulously landscaped grounds. Designated a National
Recreation Trail in 1975.
Virtually unspoiled by progress, this Victorian "treasure
island" is located ten miles south of Rhode Island's southern
coast. Accessible by ferry or air, the island features quaint
architecture, spectacular vistas and delicious native seafood.
Charming inns, beaches and biking offer something for everyone.
The Mohegan Bluffs rise abruptly to a height of 200 feet above
the sea and stretch for nearly three miles along the island's
southern shore. More on Block Island...
More than 400 miles of shoreline features over 100 salt and fresh
water beaches in the resort communities of Newport, Narragansett,
Watch Hill and Block Island. Facilities for swimming, picnicking,
camping, horseback riding, surfing, skin diving, boating and
water skiing are complimented by a large selection of public
and private accommodations and dining facilities.
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