Every city is known for something, whether it be a signature landmark, activity or reputation. For example, Nashville has the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Old Opry, and the Titans; Atlanta is home of the Braves (MLB), the Coke Museum, and “The Underground”; and Seattle is best known for the Space Needle, the home of Starbucks, and tons of rain.
Newport’s personal claim to fame are the “cottages” and the Cliff Walk.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the rich and famous families of the U.S. (i.e. the Vanderbilts, the Astors, and the Wideners) all had summer cottages in Newport along the coast. Despite the modest name, these “cottages” were in actuality large-scale mansions, practically oozing wealth and opulence for all to see.
Newport’s Cliff Walk is a path – sometimes paved, sometimes dirt, sometimes just large rocks – stretching from Bailey’s Beach to First Beach. Along one side of the 3.5 mile one-way walk is miles rocky shoreline, and along the other, the famous Newport cottages. Tourists traverse the Cliff Walk for the stunning views and the photo ops of the cottages, which are normally obscured from view on the road by fences and foliage. Locals, however, also take advantage of the Cliff Walk and all it offers. I spoke with one of B-‘s Navy buddies who lives near First Beach; T- told me he often runs down the Cliff Walk, as the flat portion provides the perfect car-free stretch of terrain along with unique views and that perfect ocean breeze.
H-, B- and I parked near the Breakers, and walked down the road to the trailhead in order to start on the First Beach end and headed towards the larger cottages. H-‘s reasoning was that section of the Walk is the most difficult (read: large disconnected rocks instead of pavement); therefore, we would be energized in the most difficult section of the walk. *Side Note: when I say “difficult section of the walk”, keep in mind, I’m not in any kind of shape, and I had no trouble navigating the Cliff Walk. However, if you’re in a wheelchair, crutches, or with small children, you’ll probably need to stick to the paved portion of the Walk nearer to Bailey’s Beach.
Although the temperature was in the 80’s, the breeze from the ocean felt amazing and I didn’t feel sticky or sweaty at all. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of the Cliff Walk 🙂 Everywhere you look, there’s another potential Kodak moment to capture, and even if you don’t have a camera, the Walk itself is so relaxing. Mid-morning was gorgeous, but I would also love to see photos sometime of the Cliff Walk at sunrise and/or sunset.