Celebrate Cliff Walk’s Re-Opening with Author Ed Morris

Super storm Sandy left a portion one of Newport’s biggest tourist attractions, the CDog Friendly Newport Lodgingliff Walk, impassable.

Considered to be one of the top visitor destinations in Newport, this 3.5 mile long National Trail is scheduled to officially re-open on June 13, 2014 after nearly 16 months and several million dollars of repairs.

Tour Cliff Walk with Ed Morris

In honor of the Cliff Walk’s re-opening, Cliffside Inn will be celebrating the long awaited event on June 13 with the noted author of “A Guide To Newport’s Cliff Walk,” Ed Morris, at the Inn located just above the walk; at Cliff and Seaview Avenue.

Participants will be invited to take a guided tour of the Cliff Walk led by Morris himself. Walkers will have the opportunity to learn the history and significance of this National Recreation Trail and the history of Newport’s Gilded Era from one of our local noted experts.

Winding along some of Newport’s famous gilded mansions — such as Rosecliff, The Breakers, and Marble House — this beautiful and historic walk offers some of the most breathtaking views in Rhode Island.

Once we have completed the walk, we will be hosting a reception at the Inn for participants along with a book signing with Ed Morris. Those who participate in the guided walk and book signing will also get a first hand look into future improvements proposed for Cliff Walk.

New and Future Improvements

Trail markers throughout Cliff Walk are a part of the many future improvements that have been discussed. The new trail markers would include a QR code that visitors can scan with their smartphones to read more about the historic attractions that they are viewing.

The city council has also approved the trail’s first permanent restroom facility, which will be placed near the Forty Steps staircase.

Join Us On June 13

Join us on June 13 to be a part of this long-awaitedc re-opening of one of Newport’s biggest attractions. Enjoy this opportunity to travel the walk with one of Cliff Walk’s most well known experts and learn the history of the Cliff Walk and Newport’s Gilded Era.

 

Popular Stops Along Newport’s Ocean Drive

Fall is the perfect time of year to tour Rhode Island by car, and there’s no better place to take a scenic drive than along Newport’s famous Ocean Drive.Sunset on Ocean Drive

The ten-mile drive is full of recreational treasures, including iconic mansions and estates, public parks, coastal walks and beautiful sunsets. Bring your camera or your canvas with you on Ocean Drive as you will want to capture the lovely coastal scenery to take home as one of the great memories of your Newport visit.

Here is a list of some of the most popular attractions you can visit and see:

  1. The Elms — Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Berwind, this National Historic Landmark is open to the public. Visitors can enjoy the remarkable architectural detail of the mansion, which resembles the mid 18th century French chateau d’Asnieres, located right outside of Paris.
  2. The Breakers — Going right along the drive onto Ochre Point Avenue, there are a number of historical estates that are now formally a part of Salve Regina University. At the end of this stretch you can see Newport’s grandest summer cottages, The Breakers. The Breakers is a grand symbol of the Vanderbilt family and their fortune, and visitors can now visit the mansion along with the stable and carriage house located only half a mile west of the home.
  3. The Marble House and Rosecliff — At the intersection of Ruggles and Bellevue Avenue you will drive right by “the temple to the arts,” the Vanderbilt’s Marble House and the garden retreat of Rosecliff. You may even recognize the Rosecliff from a few major motion pictures, such as “The Great Gatsby,” “True Lies” and “27 Dresses.”
  4. Brenton Point State Park – At the mid-point of Ocean Drive, at the tip of the island, is Brenton State Park, which is the perfect location for a fall-time picnic or to fly a kite while taking in the picture perfect views of the Atlantic and the iconic Castle Hill.
  5. Fort Adams — The historical Fort Adams is located towards the end of Ocean Drive where you will have the best view of Newport Harbor. You can walk around the perimeter of Fort Adams and take in over 180 years of American history.
  6. The Museum of Yachting — After visiting Fort Adams take a walk through the Museum of Yachting and discover the culture and heritage of one of Newport’s most popular attractions.

The ten-mile drive will land you back in downtown Newport where you can enjoy a delicious bite to eat or shop to your heart’s content. Then cap off your night by staying in one of the romantic and elegant rooms at Cliffside Inn.

Full of history and romance, our Victorian Inn is the perfect place to stay while visiting Ocean Drive. Book your stay at Cliffside today so you can experience fall while enjoying the best of Newport.

Cliffside Inn — The Original Home of St. George’s School

Swann Villa 1901

Swann Villa in 1901*

Newport features a rich array of history at every turn, including right here at the Cliffside Inn – the original home to St. George’s School, one of New England’s most renowned private preparatory schools.

Founded in 1896 by the Rev. John Byron Diman, Mr. Diman’s School for Boys, which would become known as St. George’s School, opened its doors to a dozen young men in the fall of 1897 in the residence then known as Swann Villa. Swann Villa, today the Cliffside Inn, was built in 1876 as the summer home of Maryland’s then governor, Thomas Swann.

In his memoires, Mr. Diman reflects on some of the good points of the location that we now call the Cliffside Inn:

“The eastern piazza was exceptionally pleasant, and in front of it there was a wide lawn sweeping down to the cliffs. The boys used to coast over this lawn in winter, and it is one of the things for which have had most reason to be thankful that none of them was precipitated into the sea.”

Swann Villa - St Georges students [1898]

Students of St. George’s School assembling in front of Swann Villa in 1898*

The early “Swann Villa period” from 1897 – 1901, established strong roots for St. George’s School leading to the construction of a new, permanent campus on  “The Hilltop” overlooking Second Beach and Sachuest Point, just across the bay from Swann Villa. Today, guests at the Cliffside Inn look across Easton’s Bay to The Hilltop and the beautiful classic Gothic chapel at the center of the St. George’s campus.

From Schoolhouse to Luxury Accommodations

Today, St. George’s School attracts young students from around the world and hosts many events throughout the year for returning alumni. Parents of students attending St. George’s and alumni visiting The Hilltop for reunions and other school events are frequent guests of the Cliffside Inn because of our historic connections with, and proximity to, the school.

St. George's Suite at Cliffside Inn

St. George’s Suite at Cliffside Inn

The Cliffside Inn offers 16 lovely rooms and suites for visitors, including the St. George’s Suite, which is tastefully decorated in the regal red and black school colors. The suite features a separate sitting room with a library and gas fireplace with a view across Easton’s Bay to St. George’s Chapel.

While you’re staying in Newport, we recommend that you take some time to visit the beautiful Hilltop campus of St. Georges, and as well as some of the other nearby attractions for our guests who are ”in the know” — Sachuest Point Nature Preserve, Purgatory Chasm, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Hanging RockSweet Berry Farms and Greenvale Vineyards.

The Cliffside Inn is proud to share its roots with the founding of St. George’s School. Whether you are a history buff, the proud parent of a St. George’s student, or a returning student coming to visit The Hilltop, we offer deluxe accommodations steeped in the history and beauty of this City by the Sea.

* A special thank you to Valerie Simpson, archivist at St. George’s School, for providing the images of Swann Villa and St. George’s students from 1898.

5 Tips for Touring the Newport Mansions

Are you planning a trip to Newport to visit the Newport mansions this summer? Here are four tips for touring the mansions that will help you appreciate them most. And, if you’re still looking for a place to stay during your visit, check out the #1 rated bed and breakfast in Newport on TripAdvisor, Cliffside Inn.

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Winter Activities in Newport, Rhode Island

Winter Activities in Newport, Rhode IslandEnjoy what people who are in the know call our “secret season” – winter in Newport, Rhode Island.

During the winter months, the City by the Sea takes on a serene and magical glow, and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor winter activities in Newport, Rhode Island to keep you busy, including some fantastic restaurants, unique shops to explore, cozy spots to enjoy a warm drink or glass of wine by the fire, and much more.

To top it off, the Cliffside Inn offers lower rates in the winter, so you can enjoy everything our historic luxury inn has to offer while saving some extra money to use around town.

What to do in the Newport area this winter:

These are just a few ideas for winter activities in Newport, Rhode Island. For even more ideas, check out our Newport Activities page. You’ll find lots of links to many of our favorite spots in the Newport area.