Newport's Famous Scenic Narrated Trolley Tour


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Duration2 hours
Guide LanguageEnglish
Good To KnowE-voucher
82 reviews


Enjoy a fully narrated trolley tour of the Ocean Drive Historic District during your visit to Newport. See the residences of prominent people and catch a glimpse of seventeenth-century buildings and mansions along Ten-Mile Ocean Drive and Bellevue Avenue. Learn about Newport's history and see the nation’s first public library, the oldest surviving synagogue, and John F. Kennedy’s unofficial Summer White House.


Narrated trolley tour of Newport’s Ocean Drive Historic District
See historic buildings and mansions belonging to prominent figures
A perfect introduction for first-time visitors with limited time
Choose from multiple times to easily fit this tour into your schedule


Enjoy this fully narrated bus tour with details on residences of prominent people such as the Watts Sherman House, Kingscote, McCauley Hall and Belcourt Castle. Learn about:
Architectural History 1640-1915: Richard Morris Hunt, Richard Munday, McKim, Mead & White
Colony House where the death of King George II was announced
Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House: oldest house in Newport
Touro Synagogue: oldest surviving synagogue in North America
Redwood Library: the first public library in America
The Tennis Hall of Fame
Newport Naval Academy
Hammersmith Farm built for John W. Auchincloss (1887): the unofficial Summer White House of John F. Kennedy
We’ll also catch a glimpse of Newport’s Famous Trees such as Beech Trees, – Copper Beech, Weeping Beech and Turkey Oak trees, and hear legendary stories like how Mr. Gordon Bennet, New York Herald publisher, and Augustus Candy made an interesting wager that got them kicked out of The Reading Room!
10 minutes stopover for pictures ..
Coming up on your left is none other than the famous Breakers. It was constructed in 1895 by Richard Morris Hunt for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who made his fortune in the railroad and steamship industries. It is the largest house in Newport. Cornelius’s brother built Biltmore, the largest home in America in Ashville, South Carolina. Vanderbilt’s summer home was used for entertaining his business clients, friends and the home of many summer parties. The Vanderbilts also owned one city block in New York on 5th Avenue, a four story building which was destroyed by redevelopment. Mr. Vanderbilt also built the Grand Central Station in New York City and ran his train line from New York to Chicago.
Coming up on your left, this lovely mansion in white is Rosecliff. Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs commissioned Rosecliff in 1899. During a summer in Newport, Theresa met Hermann Oelrichs playing tennis at the Newport Casino. They were married in 1890. A year later, they purchased the property known as Rosecliff from the estate of historian and diplomat George Bancroft.
She hired architect Stanford White, who modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles.
Right next to Astor’s Beechwood is The Marble House, built in 1892. The Marble House was designed by Richard Morris Hunt for William K. Vanderbilt. He then gave it to his wife Alva for her 39th birthday. This palace used 500,000 cubic ft. of stone. White Marble came from Hudson River quarry, New York. The Vanderbilts chose it because they loved the gold and large mica chips in the stone, which makes it glimmer under light.
Coming up on your left is Rough Point. It was owned by James Buchannan Duke and his second wife. They had one daughter named Doris Duke. The Dukes lived in New York City on Fifth Avenue. Mr. Duke died in 1925 when Doris was 12 years old. Mr. Duke was a benefactor of Duke University named for his father. He made his fortune in tobacco industry, Camel cigarettes. He left half of his fortune to the Duke endowment and the other half $ 100 million dollars to Doris. Doris at 12 years old summered in Newport with her mother and lived in New York City and attended school in her a chauffeured limo. The maids who took care of her maintained a picture album of her clothes so she could plan her wardrobe. She also had guards to protect her from being kidnapped (after the Limburg Baby) for ransom.
In 1966, Doris Duke and her interior designer Eduardo Tirello were leaving Rough Point in her car when Doris accidentally puts the car into gear running Eduardo into a tree, killing him.
As you probably know, Jacky Kennedy’s maiden name was Jacqueline Bouvier. Jacky started coming to Newport to spend time with her mother Janet Lee Bouvier and step father Hugh Dudley Auchincloss. Hugh Auchincloss was a native Newporter.
Jacqueline Bouvier spent most of her teenage life here, learning to horse ride while working on the farm. As you know, Jackie married John F. Kennedy in 1953. What you may not know is that they actually got married here in Newport at St. Mary’s Catholic Church downtown and had their wedding reception here at Hammersmith, Jackie’s childhood home. During JFK’s presidency, Hammersmith was the Summer White House.


Driver/guide, and free parking while you are on tour



Additional Information

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Service animals allowed
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Transportation options are wheelchair accessible
  • All areas and surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels

Guide Languages

  • English

Cancellation Policy

  • A full refund will apply if you cancel more than 24 hours before the activity start time.

  • No refund is possible if you cancel less than 24 hours before the activity start time.