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    Museums & Monuments

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Sketch of the Hotel Viking exterior.

Take a Stroll Through History

With such a long and colorful history, it’s only natural that our city is home to dozens of excellent Newport RI museums and historical places. We’ve cherry picked a few of our favourite Newport monuments and museums to get you started on your very own magical history tour.

National Museum of American Illustration

Located on historic Bellevue Avenue in Vernon Court, “one of the truly greatest estates in America”, the National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) is exclusively devoted to American illustration artwork. Stroll through the stunning estate and view a collection of over 2,000 original works by such renowned illustrators as Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, and N.C. Wyeth, among many others. Also owned by the museum is the adjacent Stoneacre grounds. Designed by legendary American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (designer of Central Park, the White House grounds, and other notable projects), Stoneacre’s three acres have been restored as an arboretum in Olmsted’s honor.

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Exterior of the National Museum of American Illustration
Fort Adams

Make history come alive for every member of your family. Just a short drive or a water taxi ride across Newport Harbor stands the largest coastal fortification in the United States. Visit this engineering and architectural masterpiece to see where the soldiers lived, enter the casemates, explore the tunnel system, and climb the bastions for breathtaking views. Consider renting the Fort with its six-acre parade field or North Lawn on the water for your special function. Watch for upcoming special events including military reenactments, music festivals, and classic vehicle shows. From 1824 to 1950, Fort Adams housed generations of our soldiers. Today, this Newport monument still stands ready for your enjoyment.

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Exterior of Fort Adams
International Tennis Hall of Fame

American tournament tennis began in 1881 in Newport, Rhode Island, when the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships were played. This tournament, which evolved into today’s U.S. Open, was played at the Newport Casino until 1915, when it moved to Forest Hills, New York. Today, the historic Casino houses one of the country’s finest sports museums: the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum. An uncommon example of sporting excellence, the entire history of the sport — dating from the 12th century through today — is chronicled within its 18 galleries. This Newport RI museum encompasses over 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and popular memorabilia of tennis champions past and present, as well as a permanent collection of over 15,000 objects.

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Statue in the courtyard at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
The exterior of the Touro Synagogue
Touro Synagogue

Touro Synagogue, which was dedicated in 1763, is America’s oldest synagogue. This architectural jewel was designed by Peter Harrison, the country’s most famous 18th century architect, and is considered his finest effort. Of particular note is the Colonial Jewish Burial Ground and George Washington’s original letter to the Hebrew Congregations of Newport, reassuring those who fled religious tyranny that their new nation would respect religious liberty. Designated a National Historic Site in 1946, the Synagogue remains an active Orthodox synagogue and continues to hold religious services and events throughout the year.

Exterior of Audrain Museum
Audrain Automobile Museum

If you love cars (and great architecture), then you definitely need to make your way to the Audrain Automobile Museum. Housed in the historic Audrain Building — “one of the four Gilded Age buildings that form an architecturally significant block on Bellevue Avenue” — the Museum contains over 350 cars and motorcycles dating from the pre-War era to the 21st century. Each year, there are new thematic exhibits, programs, and events, including the popular Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week, A Celebration of All Things History, Luxury & Sport, held in early October.