There’s a lot to do in Newport. From exploring the incredible restaurants to touring the historic mansions, you’ll never run out of interesting activities to take part in. One of the most popular activities in Newport is the lovely Cliff Walk. When you wander along this path, you’re invited to meander through the backyards of some of the city’s most charming mansions, admire the ocean seascapes, and take a lovely breath of fresh air. Here we’ll discuss what you need to know about the cliff walk, so that on your next day trip from Boston to Newport, you’ll experience the best of the best.
History of the Cliff Walk
In its most basic sense, the Newport Cliff Walk is a combination of paved, easy-to-navigate paths and unpaved, rocky areas. But it wasn’t always the 3.5-mile path that it is today. During the Gilded Age of America, the colonial city of Newport was a playground for wealthy families, as they built their massive “cottages” along the shore of the city. As time went on, Native Americans and European settlers walked along this path, and it wasn’t long before it came to life. This continuous use created the foundation for the path we know today.
In the 1970s, the Army Corp of Engineers came in to make the walkway safe for pedestrian use. The path suffered tremendous damage during two devastating hurricanes in years previous, and they left the walkway un-walkable. After the engineers worked their magic, the Cliff Walk was designated as New England’s first National Recreation Trail in 1975. It’s since become a whole walkway that’s beautiful to admire—the Newport Cliff Walk is often considered the most popular destination in Rhode Island.
How to Get There
The Cliff Walk begins at the western end of Easton’s Beach at Memorial Boulevard and continues until the east end of Bailey’s Beach. There are various entrance points along the path, so you can make the walk as short as you need. Entrance points are as follows:
- Narragansett Avenue
- Webster Street
- Sheppard Avenue
- Ruggles Avenue
- Marine Avenue
- Ledge Road
- Bellevue Avenue
Cliff Walk Highlights
- The Forty Steps: a stone staircase that leads down to the ocean
- The Public Mansions: there are dozens of private mansions along the Cliff Walk, but the public mansions are a huge draw. Rosecliff, Rough Point, and the Breakers are all top choices
- Salve Regina University: this university is one of the most scenically situated campuses in New England. The Ochre Court Mansion and Vineland Mansion are all included on the campus
If you want to take a quick trip to enjoy all the beauty found on this walk, turn to New England Trips. Our day trip to Newport gives you the chance to take in all of the dazzling sights of the area—don’t miss it!