What to Expect at Newport's Best Museums

Once you've settled into your cozy Bed and Breakfast in Newport, things to do become a top priority. Luckily, Newport is filled with a variety of museums that will appeal to even the most discerning traveler. Expect high quality, sophistication and top-notch professionalism at Newport's best museums, including the BBonline recommended National Museum of American Illustration, and the Museum of Newport History. When you retire for the evening in your Newport Bed and Breakfast, you're sure to feel you've seen the best the city has to offer.

National Museum of American Illustration
Vernon Court
492 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI  02840
(401) 851-8949 x 18

The National Museum of American Illustration was founded in 1998, a full 100 years after the construction of Vernon Court, the mansion in which the collection is housed. Cleverly displayed amongst the finery of the mansion decor are the original works of America's best illustrators. Most well-known today is Normal Rockwell, with examples of his Saturday Evening Post covers, political works and famous Christmas portraits. Also on display are works by Howard Pyle, Revolutionary War painter and touted father of illustration. The master of fantasy and make-believe, Maxfield Parrish, is also on display, with fine examples of his idyllic illustrations reminiscent of the classical era. Many people have seen the reproductions of these and many other American illustrators featured in the museum, whether in books, magazines or single prints. But it is in the originals housed in the museum that you can truly appreciate the craftsmanship of these great works.

The museum operates regular hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the off-season, it's closed weekends and open Monday through Thursday by reservation only. On Fridays there is a guided tour at 2 p.m. every week. Adult tickets are $18 and students are $12. Small children are admitted entry if "well-behaved," with tickets for $8.

Museum of Newport History
127 Thames Street
Newport, RI  02840
(401) 841-8770

The Newport Historical Society operates several museums and historical houses within the city, with its headquarters at 82 Touro Street. Just a short jaunt from your favorite Newport Inn are:

  • The Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House, an architectural tribute to Newport's history of religious tolerance. (401) 846-0813
  • The Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, the oldest building in Newport. (410) 841-8770
  • The Museum of Newport History.

The latter is housed in the Brick Market building, built in 1762, and contains artifacts detailing Newport's rich history, including clothing, textiles, furniture, photographs, documents, paintings and scientific instruments. There is also a store located on premises where you can purchase prints of the artwork on display as well as books, maps, journals, ceramics and other souvenirs.

The museum does not charge an entrance fee, but suggests a donation of $4 per adult and $2 per child upon entry.