New England has spectacular accommodations with architecture from the Gilded Age. Vacationers enjoy such hotel alternatives as oceanfront inns, houses, and lodges open to vistas of the blue waters of Newport Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Guests are pampered with marble bathrooms, flat screen televisions, and antique décor. They set the stage for touring a plethora of attractions including mansions, lighthouses, and natural wonders.
The Preservation Society of Newport County has the responsibility to maintain the most palatial mansions in the country. They date back to the 1800s with original artwork and furnishings in place. Each one is located along the southern shoreline of Newport. Visitors are treated to guided tours or can meander at a leisurely pace seven days per week during the May to October season.
What started as a country estate has turned the city of Portsmouth into an attraction. The first topiary garden in the country sits on seven acres with a backdrop of the Narragansett Bay. Tourists are surrounded by 80 tree sculptures and gardens with flowerbeds, herb gardens, and fruit trees. The rose arbor along with 34 other species creates geometric pathways. Delightful animal figures such as a giraffe, ostrich, elephant, teddy bear, and other favorites are showcased.
A variety of historical lighthouses exists throughout the area. Castle Hill is the most famous with its granite structure highlighted by massive boulders. This landmark is not open to the public, although it still guides vessels. Jamestown is home to 64-foot Beavertail Lighthouse, which sits on the southern tip of Beavertail State Park. From this vantage point, the next two stops on the tour can be seen. A ferry ride is required to reach Rose Island Lighthouse, while Point Judith Lighthouse is a 25-mile drive to Narragansett.
Spring, summer, and fall are glorious seasons with diverse foliage dressing this destination. Even summers in Newport don''t get too hot, with temperatures averaging only in the upper-70s in the months of July and August. Temperatures are milder than most New England getaways due to the water’s proximity. Expect mild to cool evenings with ocean breezes. Sweaters should be considered after sunset.