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Cliff Walk: Newport, Rhode Island

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

The Cliff Walk along the eastern shore of Newport, RI is world famous as a public access walk that combines the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport's gilded age. Wildflowers, wildlife and ocean front views all add up to a delightful walk.

I took a cab to the end of the walk and went backwards. The 3.5 mile walk takes you on a path behind all of Newport's mansions that border the sea. It was fantastic. The walk was created 100 years ago by maids and kitchen help. They used this walk to go back and forth to work and also took breaks out there. I ended at The Chanler's restaurant for a drink and to use the ladies. I love their sink!!

Chanler's Restaurant

Chanler's Restaurant is a marvel. The Chanler at Cliff Walk is one of the most historic mansions in Newport, Rhode Island and one of the top landmarks in Rhode Island. The story of The Chanler begins in 1870, when New York Congressman, John Winthrop Chanler started construction on the "cottage" that would one day become The Chanler at Cliff Walk. Completed in 1873 for the steep sum of $300,000, the mansion was built as a summertime retreat for Chanler and his wife Margaret Astor Ward, great granddaughter of the distinguished businessman and millionaire John Jacob Astor. It was a great ending to my walk. I asked to use their rest room and they said yes and they called me a cab to get back to the marina. Perfect!

In the spring of 2015, sixteen QR code trail markers were installed at significant locations along the walk that provide information on the gilded age mansions as well as geographic and geological features.

About 2/3 of the walk are pretty easy. The rest you have to just take your time and be careful. Wear good walking shoes that you don't mind getting wet just in case.

The signs are intended to provide interpretive information on the walk while limiting sign pollution. Each point of interest features a QR code and an URL that can be scanned or entered on a smart phone. A free app is also available to download on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets.


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