Newport and the Newport Cliff Walk

Newport Travel Blog

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Cliff Walk, view on one of the majestic mansions

In May last year, while driving back from Boston to New York, I very briefly visited the State of Rhode Island, the smallest state of the USA. It would fit about 12 times in The Netherlands, and is slightly larger than Luxembourg.

Rhode Island, also know as The Ocean State, is a rather strange name; although the state encompasses many islands, the majority of the land is still connected to the mainland. Some say the name originates back to the explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who saw one of the islands of the area and found it looked like the Greek Isle of Rhodes. In other ancient documents the island is found to be called Rhod Island or Isle of Rodes. Another theory is that the name was given by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, who, inspired by the fall colors called one of the islands Roode Eylant, ancient Dutch for Rood Eiland (Red Island).

Cliff Walk. USA or England?

Rhode Island borders New York State, but only via the Sea, where the waters around the tip of New York's Fisher Island border the waters around Rhode Island's continental tip. By car one has to traverse the state of Connecticut, or Massachusetts, a drive of at least 3 hours.

Since the heat, see yesterday's log entry, was just sticking around I thought it would be pleasant to be inside my air co-ed car. Besides that the forecasted temperature in Rhode Island was about 10° C (16 F) lower than in hot New York City. My colleagues Gerry and Stuart had advised me to visit the picturesque and historic city of Newport rather than the capital Providence, which I had originally in mind.

Newport is a small city, the 14th of the state, located on Aquidneck Island.

The red line shows my GPS track along some of the mansions (www.gpsvisualizer.com)
It can be reached via the impressive 3428-meter-long (11,248 ft) Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, the 70 longest suspension bridge in the World. Newport used to be one of the state capitals, on a rotation basis, but had to surrender these rights to the city of Providence in 1900. Apart from a harbor it housed industry. But, in the 20th it drew many of the wealthy families, like the Morgans, Astors, and Vanderbilts. They built their summer "cottages", huge and luxury mansions, at the cliffs of the island, overlooking the bay and the sea. Of course there are also smaller houses, many of them with well maintained English gardens. This altogether gives Newport that typical New England look and feel. One would almost start driving on the left...

Apart from that, the nice historic colonial homes (the highest concentration in the US), plus some nice shops and restaurants, Newport offers a very famous attraction, the Newport Cliff Walk.

The Newport yacht harbor
The walk is a 5.6-kilometer-long (3.5-mile) foot patch that follows the coastline. Sometimes at sea level, sometimes approximately 15 meters above the water surface. It is a nicely winding route, with many surprising twists, beautiful sea views, and almost through the gardens of the many huge mansions. The walk is mostly paved, but at certain points one has to "climb" some rocks, walk over a beach, or move through two tunnels. The owners of the mansions tried to get rid of the path, but it is still here and gratefully hiked by many tourists.

I arrived rather late, and just at a moment some, clouds made their way into the sky. By the time I had hiked the walk the many mansions had closed. So, I will have to go back some day. I look forward to it!

More pictures below! And... NEW (!!!) also a video!

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Cliff Walk, view on one of the maj…
Cliff Walk, view on one of the ma…
Cliff Walk. USA or England?
Cliff Walk. USA or England?
The red line shows my GPS track al…
The red line shows my GPS track a…
The Newport yacht harbor
The Newport yacht harbor
The Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge
The Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge
One of the smaller houses in Newpo…
One of the smaller houses in Newp…
The English gardens
The English gardens
At the start of the Cliff Walk
At the start of the Cliff Walk
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Bellevue Avenue
Bellevue Avenue
Bellevue Avenue
Bellevue Avenue
Bellevue Avenue
Bellevue Avenue
The red line shows my GPS track fo…
The red line shows my GPS track f…
The red line shows my GPS track al…
The red line shows my GPS track a…
Sea hitting the cliffs of the New…
Newport
photo by: diisha392