|The Lady of The Breakers|
Rhode Island is a do-able three hour drive from Portland (also only three hours from NYC) and the charming waterfront town of Newport is a great place to explore. The cooler temperatures chase away the sailing enthusiasts, making fall a perfect time to visit. Plus you might actually be able to find a parking spot along busy Thames Street.
Touring beautiful mansions along the Atlantic Ocean sounds like the perfect girls getaway, but I was surprised that my little C&Gs enjoyed touring the former "cottage" of railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt almost as much as I did. The Breakers is the most kid-friendly of the nine mansions open to the public, both because of its grand scale and its wonderful children's audio guide.
|The lawn at Rosecliff|
Check the website for the opening times of the various mansions, as some close for the season on October 14. The Breakers, The Elms and the Marble House remain open through January 1, and are decorated in true Gilded Age splendor for the holidays.
Tickets are available online, and you can print them out before you leave home. We went for The Breakers plus one ticket ($24.50/adult, $6.50/kids 6-17), allowing you to pick one other mansion to tour, but honestly nothing quite measured up after a few hours at The Breakers. I enquired about the special Bed & Breakfast package, but nothing was available. At least that's what the friendly security guard following me around said.