Ten Mile Drive Newport: Ocean & Mansion Views
Ten Mile Drive is a historical journey through 10 miles of extravagant mansions and gorgeous waterfront scenery in Newport, Rhode Island. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this ride. After taking a walk along Newport’s beautiful CliffWalk, my expectations for the drive were much higher. Unfortunately, there weren’t many ocean views (just the last few miles) and most of the mansions were covered by trees, high fences, and gates, which didn’t make for spectacular views. Nevertheless, it’s a relaxing drive that does not take up too much time, so if you have extra room on your itinerary, you might as well add in the drive.
Highlights along Ten Mile Drive
The drive starts at The Elms Mansion on Bellevue Avenue. For the first few miles, you pass several of the Newport Mansions including The Breakers, Ochre Court, Vineland, Beechwood, Marble House, Rosecliff, Rough Point, and more. Many of the old mansions, including Ochre Court and Vineland are now used as part of Salve Regina University. On a side note, The Newport Mansions are amazing and definitely worthy of a visit on their own.
The Breakers Mansion
Hammersmith Farm (Jackie Kennedy’s Summer Home)
After turning onto Ocean Drive, you will pass more mansions, many heavily covered by dense foliage. Finally, near the end of the drive, you will pass some nice, but not spectacular ocean scenery. I was disappointed that most of this drive was looking at houses, rather than the ocean. The PCH drive in California is much nicer! Nevertheless, this is a great free activity to add to your Newport itinerary.
Ocean views along the drive
The end of the drive takes you into downtown Newport. There are nice views of the harbor near the end of the drive. Downtown Newport is a gorgeous place with wonderful waterfront views, a great harbor cruise, numerous waterfront restaurants, lots of great shops, and of course, impressive historical architecture in every direction. It’s one of my favorite coastal cities in the country. Check out my 3 day guide to exploring Newport.
A Great Free Attraction
This drive only takes about 20 minutes, and is worth doing if you need to fill up some time. It doesn’t cost anything and you will get to see a little bit of history and take a few nice pictures by the ocean. However, don’t expect any jaw dropping views. If you are looking for amazing scenery, take a leisurely 3.5 mile stroll along CliffWalk, which features the most amazing coastal and mansion scenery in the area.
Afterwards, you can enjoy a waterfront lunch or dinner on historic Thames Street, the oldest continuously used street in the state of Rhode Island. This bustling street, located parallel to the water, is loaded with local restaurants and shops.
Recommended Attractions & Restaurants in Newport
Mama Luisa’s Ristorante Italiano
I highly recommend Mama Luisa’s Italian Restaurant, which is a delicious authentic Italian restaurant oozing with historic charm. The dining room features home style Italian décor in an elegant setting. I loved the cozy, romantic atmosphere. I highly recommend the Butternut Squash Ravioli.
Jane Pickens Theater
I recommend seeing a move at Jane Pickens Theater, an attractive theater housed in an old church in downtown Newport. This charming theater has a very historic vibe with the old-fashioned curtains, balcony, décor, and auditorium look. This theater shows mostly non-mainstream independent art-house films. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing setting with a glass of wine or luxury snack during the movie. We saw “Before Midnight,” which I highly recommend along with the other 2 films in the trilogy, “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset.” Around Christmas, they screen White Christmas, one of my favorite holiday films.
Ten Mile Drive – Starts at 367 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840 at the Elms Mansion. Follow the directions on this website.
Mama Luisa’s Restaurant – 673 Thames St Newport, RI 02840
Jane Pickens Theater – 49 Touro St, Newport, RI 02840