Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Walking the Cliff Walk, Newport
Rhode Island’s most popular trail is perched on the rocky shores above the Atlantic, ocean on one side, the backyards of the massive Bellevue Avenue mansions on the other. In the summer months, this 3 ½-mile route is crowded with hundreds of folks yearning to see the sloping lawns and backside of those summer “cottages” the Vanderbilts, Whitneys, and Astors built at the turn of the century. Come spring, you’ll pass the occasional dog walker as you take in the expanse of the sea all by your lonesome. Park your car on Narragansett Avenue near the walk and proceed to the right. You’ll soon spot The Breakers, the Italian-style villa commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1895. Another highlight is the red and gold lacquered Chinese-style pagoda at the Marble House. If you were wise, you booked a room at The Chanler at Cliff Walk, the only property on the Cliff Walk. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2013, the 20-room inn is best known for its acclaimed restaurant, Spiced Pear, a favorite foodie outpost in town.