More than a super yacht charter boarding location to begin a great crewed mega yacht charter cruising to the islands of southern New England; Newport, Rhode Island, is well worth enjoying as part of your luxury yacht charter itinerary, or for several days before or after your yacht charter. Not only does Newport have one of the largest stands of Colonial buildings in the U.S., Newport was also home to the Gilded Age Summer Society, and has a history of many “Firsts”. So, besides boarding your luxury charter yacht in Newport, spend time in Newport as well, as you will not be disappointed.
Newport was founded in 1639 by Colonists in pursuit of religious freedom, and soon grew to be an important 18th century trading port, with Newporters growing rich on the Caribbean trade of sugar, molasses, and rum, and the manufacture of candles and oil made from spermaceti oil brought in by the whaling ships. At one point in the 1700’s, Newport was home to over 22 rum distilleries, and 17 manufacturers of refined whale oil and candles. A thriving town sprung up around the harbor, with mansions built by wealthy ship captains, and merchants on the harbor front, large warehouses on the quays, and back streets filled with working class cottages. Bustling Newport, as a wealthy trading city, was effectively blockaded during the Revolutionary War by the British, bringing much in Newport to a complete stop, and hence creating a village of Colonial buildings locked in time, as is still the fabric of Newport today.
With the location of Newport on an island, exposed to thermal cooling winds from all sides, Newport became a fashionable location for the wealthy to come to spend several cool months during the long hot summers. The wealthy first arrived to “summer” from the south, and then from New York City and other locations as well, as Newport grew in importance drawing in the fashionable society. The thermal winds also provided excellent sailing conditions, which also drew the wealthy to Newport for yachting. Large mansions sprang up on the top of the hill in Newport, with many built along the road on top of the highest ridge in Newport, called Bellevue Avenue. Homes were not only cooled by the winds when located on the top of the ridge, the inhabitants also had a terrific view of Newport Harbor to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Many famous wealthy families during the Gilded Age, that built mansions in Newport, called “Summer Cottages”, came to Newport for several months during each summer, for a very active social life. Those wealthy families including the Belmonts, Vanderbilts, Astors, and Wideners. With the advent of income tax and World War I, the Gilded Age came to an end in Newport, with many of the mansions abandoned or boarded up. Today many of the mansions have been restored to their former glory including interior furnishings, by the Newport Preservation Society.
City of “Firsts”
With such a varied and long history, it is no wonder that Newport boasts many claims for “Firsts”, which are now the “oldest” in the U.S., such as the first and oldest Jewish Synagogue, the oldest state house stills standing, and the oldest tavern continuously in use to today. The Artillery Company of Newport was formed by King George II in 1741 and is the oldest continuously operating Artillery Company in the U.S. In 1798, the Artillery Company ordered cannons from a foundry owned by Paul Revere, which are still being fired today, and are housed between firings at the Artillery Company Museum.
Spend time in Newport when on your crewed luxury yacht charter in southern New England, and tour Gilded Age “Summer Cottages”, owned and restored by the Newport Preservation Society, have dinner in front of the fireplace at the oldest tavern, the White Horse Tavern, visit the Touro Synagogue, and wander the little narrow streets of Colonial Newport clustered around the still bustling Newport Harbor. All of this and more awaits to be discovered in Newport Rhode Island when on a crewed luxury yacht charter.