Rosecliff is not as large as some of the other mansions but it is a jewel. The ballroom and the back "patio" have both been featured in movies. The ballroom is also available for rental for functions like proms and weddings. What a spectacular setting with the lawn sweeping down to the ocean.
Chepstow is one of the less visited mansions in Newport. It is not open like the others for drop ins. You have to call and make a reservation to get inside but it is worth it. The previous owner had an amazing collection of artwork and furniture and since you are usually in a very small tour group you can take your time to enjoy it.
Kingscote is a very different mansion from the usual ones. It is darker than most since it has a lot of rich, carved wood. But it also has beautiful glass panels by Louis Tiffany. Get off the beaten track and come see this different jewel in the Newport Preservation Society's collection.
Each of the mansions has a gift shop that specializes in their own mansion and has some things from other houses but this is all the collections in one place. It is located right amongst the hustle and bustle of people walking back and forth along the harbor, day and night.
The Elms is a beautiful mansion that the Newport Preservation Society gives guided tours of. You can get tickets ahead of time or at the house but you have to wait for the next tour to leave. The Preservation Society has package tours and memberships that are your best bet. At the Elms they also have a Carriage House with luncheon as well as very nicely maintained gardens. A special tour of the servants quarters is also available at certain times and this one is worth going back for. You don't see the back stairs and atttics in any of the other houses and it is not what you are expecting at all!
The Wellington is right on the harbor, down at the end of the crowded section of Thames Street but in easy reach of the mansions, shops and restaurants. The unit we saw was beautiful and we were right on the harbor. The pools are great (one outdoor and one indoor) and there are grills to use out on the decks where you can watch the lights come on in the boats and on the bridge to Jamestown.
Firehouse pizza is located in, you guessed it, an old firehouse. The really unique part are the tables... please write on them is the rule... once there is ebough graffitti, they add a coat of laquer so that it doesn't rub off. Entertain yourself as you wait for the self serve pizza and grinders that are outstanding. Definately a place to try even though it is quite far down Thames Street and therefore a little off the beaten path.
The Red Parrot is a lot of fun... sort of open air dining on the main street of Newport. The menu is varied and everything was fresh and beautifully presented. The service was a little slow but I really think it is because the food is cooked fresh when ordered. But, because of this, get there early or you will be waiting.
The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina is very nice. Right on America's Cup Blvd. in the thick of the action. The harbor is beautiful at any time of the day. The rooms are nice and the staff is very helpful.
Marnick's has been on the seawall in Stratford for ever. They serve doog, basic food for good prices. It is very casual and the service can be a little slow but the ice cream after is great and their is the view of Long Island Sound.