The Gilded Age of Newport
Rhode Island's Exclusive Resort
4 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
Come enjoy a unique tour of seaside mansions from the Gilded Age. These National Historic Landmarks were designed to impress. Constructed by the Robber Barons of the era they are opulent, ornate and beyond the comprehension of most American’s today.
US Tours Flexible Pricing
- Customizable Comps
- Commissionable or Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tours Managers are available
Whatever you want, U S Tours will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Let us know your desires.
Day 1 – Newport, RI – Today, you arrive in Newport, RI for a three night stay. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Day 2 – 19th Century Newport Tour – The Marble House – Newport Cotillion – This morning, you enjoy a unique tour of Newport. You first meet Mrs. Caroline Astor, the Grande Dame of Newport and New York Society and the head of “The 400,” her elite social circle. Her ballroom could only accommodate 400 guests at one party; therefore, no one else was worth knowing in society.
Mrs. Astor will give the group a 19th Century Newport city tour. Although her “coach” is much more opulent than yours, you may have more horsepower. Cobblestone streets, centuries-old architecture, historic attractions and jaw-dropping vistas are just some of the highlights of this city tour. Learn about legendary landmarks but also get the scoop on hidden gems!
Next, you will visit Marble House, the “Summer Cottage” of Mrs. Alva Vanderbilt. It is a social and architectural landmark of Newport society. Mrs. Vanderbilt was one of the newest additions to Mrs. Astor’s “400” and her daughter, Consuelo, married the British Duke of Marlborough of Blenheim Palace, north of Downton Abbey. Later in life, Alva once supported Prohibition, but later pushed for its repeal. A socialite turned suffragette, Alva held rallies here to support women’s right to vote.
Then there will be time for lunch on own and shopping along Bellevue Avenue. Boutiques were established here in the late 1800s exclusively for the mansion owners. Stroll down the street and explore some of its luxurious shops including: Michael Hayes Clothing, Bellevue Wine & Spirits and William Varieka Fine Arts. Bellevue Avenue is also home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Redwood Library (oldest in the nation), Newport Art Museum, and the Newport Tower.
The afternoon will feature a recreation of a Newport Cotillion. This popular 18th-century French dance is considered to be a forebearer of the square dance. Today, your group will easily be able to participate in the basic steps that will be taught. Tea and cookies will be served in the tradition of a socialite’s afternoon.
Dinner is included tonight at Johnny’s Restaurant, a reincarnation of Newport’s legendary Atlantic Beach Club. Johnny’s features a diverse menu in an upscale casual setting overlooking Easton’s Beach. (B,D)
Day 3 – Ocean Drive Guided Tour – Distillery Tasting – Speakeasy Lunch – Rum Runner II – This morning you meet your local guide, who will be dressed as a speakeasy proprietress, and will reveal Newport’s little-known history during Prohibition. Together, you’ll drive down Thames Street – a former speakeasy haven – and your guide will point out Narragansett Bay, where the Coast Guard created a national shock wave by intercepting an infamous rum running boat, the Black Duck, and fatally firing on three rum runners. If weather permits, you will also take a short stroll along the Cliff Walk to Belmont Beach, the site of a botched smuggling scheme.
Enjoy a tour and tasting at the Newport Distilling Co. It became the first licensed distillery in Rhode Island in 2006. Resurrecting and imitating the rum-crafting methods of the 18th century, the company introduced Thomas Tew Rum, named after an infamous Rhode Island pirate. Enjoy a guided tour of the facility and then sample three stages of single barrel rum which shows the various flavor stages of barrel-aging— the secret ingredient to what makes Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum so special.
Then you will head to the “Speakeasy” at the Hotel Viking. Your guide, the speakeasy proprietress, will whisper the password for entry. Enjoy a traditional High Tea Lunch, but stay alert for a possible raid! Performers will present a fun, speakeasy-themed Murder Mystery that you will help solve. Along the way, you will meet some of the era’s famous bootleggers.
The afternoon features a cruise on the Rum Runner II. Enjoy a breathtaking motor boat tour of Newport Harbor and relive the speed and thrill of the chase of the smuggler boats from the days of Prohibition. Aboard the high speed motor boat Rum Runner II, you will cruise by Newport mansions and former speakeasies that were fueled by seaborne smugglers back in the 1920s and 30s.
Dinner is included this evening at a popular local restaurant located at Bowen’s Wharf. (B,D)
Day 4 – Depart for Home – After breakfast, depart for home. (B)