Walking Newport’s Cliff Walk in the Off-Season

Monday morning, Lisa and I had the privilege of walking the Cliff Walk under sunny skies. Rhode Island’s most popular trail is perched on the rocky shores above the Atlantic, ocean on one side, the backyards of the massive Bellevue Avenue mansions on the other. In the summer months, this 3 ½-mile route is crowded with hundreds of folks yearning to see the sloping lawns and backside of those summer “cottages” the Vanderbilts, Whitneys, and Astors built at the turn of the century. This time of year, you’ll pass the occasional dog walker or jogger as you take in the expanse of the sea all by your lonesome. Park your car on Narragansett Avenue near the walk and proceed to the right. The sun was beating down on the clear and shimmering ocean waters. We soon spotted The Breakers, the Italian-style villa commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1895. Another highlight is the red and gold lacquered Chinese-style pagoda at the Marble House. We enjoyed learning about the history of each estate at sign posts scattered throughout the walk. Simply type the number into the website and you’ll get the scoop.