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Newport is famous for its opulent mansions built between 1865-1914. Known as America’s Gilded Age, these extravagant homes and chateaus were the summer residences of the social and financial elite of the era. Ten estates are open for tours. Among them are The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance style palazzo built 1893 by the Vanderbilt family and The Elms, a dazzling home modeled after a mid-18th century French chateau. Stroll the Classical revival gardens which include marble and bronze sculptures, fountains and pavilions. Each of the lavish homes is unique, and exemplifies the finest in American architecture, decorative arts and landscape design spanning the Colonial era to the Gilded Age. For a touch of whimsy, don’t miss the Green Animal Topiary Garden. Overlooking the stunning Narragansett Bay, the small estate once belonging to Thomas E. Brayton features more than 80 topiary animals and geometric designs created by gardener Joseph Carreiro between 1905-1945 and continued later by his son-in-law George Menonca. A variety of packages and tours are offered. Open hours vary so please check the website before heading out. As this scenic drive is a loop, the homes can be explored either at the beginning or end.
The Preservation Society of Newport County
424 Bellevue Avenue
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