National Museum of American Illustration

#8 in Best Things To Do in Newport, RI
National Museum of American Illustration picture
Courtesy of the National Museum of American Illustration

Key Info

492 Bellevue Ave.

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Illustrated art is an image (usually painted) that is created specifically for magazine covers, posters and other advertisements. And the National Museum of American Illustration has one of the largest collections of illustrated works in the country, from the Civil War era through the 1950s. Norman Rockwell is perhaps the most recognizable artist here, but works by other artists such as Maxfield Parrish, J.C. Leyendecker and Howard Pyle (known as the "Father of American Illustration") round out this collection of great Americana.

There's more to admire here, as the museum is housed in the stately 19th-century Vernon Court mansion. According to several recent visitors, the property itself is magnificent, let alone it's iconic exhibits housed inside. Some have even said that wandering around this museum was the highlight of their stays in Newport.

You'll find the National Museum of American Illustration just three blocks west of The Breakers on Bellevue Avenue. Admission is about $18 for adults, and discounts are available for seniors, children and students. Children 4 and younger are not permitted in the museum. All tickets include a group tour of the property. Free parking is provided; travelers without a car can take Newport's No. 67 trolley to the corner of Bellevue and Ruggles avenues. Restrooms and a gift shop are also available on-site.

Between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, the museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except on Fridays when guided tours are only offered at 3 p.m.). During the offseason, the property is open on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional tours can be arranged in advance Monday through Friday. Check out the National Museum of American Illustration's website for more information about entrance fees, tour reservations and current exhibits.

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Time to Spend
#1 Cliff Walk

This scenic 3.5-mile walkway hugs the edge of Newport's shoreline and snakes by the backyards of many of the town's most glamorous mansions. Many visitors start at Easton's Beach or The Breakers mansion and head south to Bailey's Beach. Along the way, you'll catch a glimpse of other famous homes like the Marble House and Rough Point.

Though the views are gorgeous, the terrain can get treacherous on the trail's southern end. However, past visitors noted that if you can finish the trail, you'll be rewarded with some of the Newport's best views.

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