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These fabled mansions, the extravagant "summer cottages" of America's Gilded Age portray the opulence of a bygone era. Six of these palatial estates are owned, maintained and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Privately owned mansions include: The Astors' Beechwood, where costumed actors recreate the fabulous 1890's lifestyle; Hammersmith Farm, the "Kennedy Summer White House", the Belcourt Castle, summer residence of Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont.
Benefit Street's Mile of History
The most impressive concentration of original Colonial homes in America. Beautifully restored houses, chrurches and museums overlook the city's historic waterfront. Walking or escorted bus tours conducted by the Providence Preservation Society.
Slater Mill Historic Site
Old Slater Mill (1793), "Birthplace of the American Industry", was the fist factory in America to successfully produce cotton yarn with waterpowered machines. The mill now houses operating machinery used to illustrate the process of converting raw cotton to finished cloth. Th e historical treasure also includes the Sylvanus Brown House (1758) and the Wilkinson Mill (1810). A reconstructed 16,000 lb. Water wheel is still in operation.
(1763, NHS, NHL) 85 Touro Street. The oldest synagogue building in the United States. The congregation was founded in 1658 by descendants of Sephardim from Spain and Portugal seeking a haven from religious persecution. Designed by noted colonial architect Peter Harrison. Considered one of the finest examples of 18 century architecture in America. Friday evening services 6 p.m. in winter,; 7 p.m. in summer. Saturday services, 9 a.m. OPEN July 4 - Labor day, Sunday - Friday, 10-5 p.m.; Labor Day - Columbus Day, Sunday, 11-3 p.m., Monday - Friday, 1 - 3 p.m.; Columbus Day - Memorial Day, Sunday 1-3 p.m., Monday - Friday 2 p.m.; Memorial Day - July 4, Sunday, 11-3 p.m.. Tours are every 1/2 hour; Last tour 1/2 hour before closing.
Gilbert's Stuart Birthplace
(1751, NHL #) 815 Gilbert Stuart Road, Stuart born here in 1755, was foremost portraitist in America and best known for the portrait of George Washington. Operating 18th century snuff mill, the first in America, with water wheel. Colonial furniture and tools. Herring Run during April and May. Restored Grist Mill built in 1662. April 1 - October 31, daily except Tuesday and Wednesday, 11-4 p.m. 294-3001
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Nestled within 430 acres of the beautifully landscaped grounds of Roger Williams park is the award-winning Roger Williams Park Zoo with over 156 different species and over 900 animals. The zoo houses polar bears and penguins, a "Plains of Africa" area with elephants, giraffes, cheetah and zebra, a Tropical rainforest, a Madagascar exhibit of endangered lemurs, and an Australasia area with an open-air aviary and clouded leopard exhibit. Marco Polo Trail features animal habitats including the Dromedary camel, the elusive Snow Leopard, and the Moon Bear. Park also features, Museum of natural History, a Planetarium and a Carousel Village.
International Tennis hall of Fame
For tennis lovers, the oldest grass courts in America, and the only ones open for public play, can be found at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, located in the historic Newport Casino. The Hall of Fame brings world-class tennis competition to Newport each year. In addition, the Tennis hall of Fame Museum features displays, artifacts and exhibits covering over a century of tennis history.
Virtually unspoiled by progress, this Victoria "treasure island" is located ten miles sought of Rhode Island's southern coast. Accessible by ferry or air, the island features quaint architecture, spectacular vistas and delicious native seafood. Charming inns, beaches and biking offer something for everyone. The Mohegan Bluffs rise abruptly to a height of 200 feet above the sea and stretch for nearly three miles along the island's southern coast.
More than 400 miles of shoreline features over 100 salt and fresh water beaches in the resort communities of Newport, Narragansett, Watch Hill and Block Island. Facilities for swimming, picnicking, camping, horseback riding, surfing, skin diving, boating and water skiing are complemented by a large selection of public and private accommodations and dining facilities.