Tour of the Month

Beginning in April and running through November, on the third Saturday of the month at 11am, Newport History Tours presents a tour on a focused topic by a guest guide. Reservations required as space is limited. Tours cost $15 per person, $10 Newport Historical Society members and active duty military with ID. 401.841.8770

April 16, 2016 at 11am
A Breach of Unity: Religion and Revolution in Ezra Stiles’s Newport
Rhode Island’s “lively experiment” set out to prove religious liberty was the best way to maintain a secure and flourishing civil state. Yet a century after King Charles II approved this grand experiment, Rhode Island was embroiled in turmoil and revolution. This tour explores the role religious liberty played in Newport’s final years as a colonial city. Drawing on Ezra Stiles’ journals and other records, review familiar sites with new insight while highlighting some less familiar events to show how Newport’s “breach of unity” fell not only along socio-economic and political lines, but religious lines as well.

The Common Burying GroundApril 16, 2016 1pm
Common Burying Ground tour Free Tour!
Explore the Common Burying Ground. Learn about the stone carvers, their art and the diverse people buried there who helped shape Newport’s history. Presented for Historic Cemetery Restoration and Awareness Day in the State of Rhode Island. Reservations required.


May 21, 2016 at 11am
Colonial Jewish Newport
The Jews of colonial Newport significantly influenced the city’s growth, its trade and economy. Their presence and participation is an example of the religious diversity and acceptance that underscores the principle of tolerance. Hear the stories of several Jewish leaders, see where they lived and worked, and learn about their non-Jewish business colleagues and religious leaders who also played an important role in building a vibrant community before the American Revolution. This tour concludes outside Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States. Learn about its history and significance from the colonial period to present day.

Photo by Lew Keen

Photo by Lew Keen

June 18, 2016 at 11am
Photographing Newport’s Architecture
Newport’s Old Quarter contains over four centuries of architecture ranging from the 17th century though the 20th century. During this photo-focused walking tour, learn about select historic buildings, architectural details and Newport’s streetscapes while discussing site-specific photography techniques. Bring your camera, cell phone or tablet to capture the city’s outstanding architectural treasures and create interesting images on this two hour walk. Appropriate for photographers of all skill levels.

July 16, 2016 at 11am
French in Newport
Explore the heart of 18th century Newport and discuss the year-long period when roughly 12,000 French soldiers and sailors lived alongside Newport citizens during the American Revolution. Learn how the French contribution to the Revolutionary War was vital to the success of American Independence—and it began in Newport.

William Ellery Channing, from the NHS collection.

William Ellery Channing, from the NHS collection.

August 20, 2016 at 11am
William Ellery Channing’s Newport
William Ellery Channing, a key figure in the Unitarian Church and influential in the Transcendental and abolition movements, was born in Newport in 1780. Visit sites from his life, learn about his ideas, and explore his family’s connections with Newport history.

September 17, 2016 at 11am
Newport Tree Tour
A walking tour featuring Newport’s trees presented by Frank Amaral, Newport Restoration Foundation Grounds and Gardens supervisor, and offered in partnership with the Newport Tree Society.

IMG_3257-640x640 - Copy (2)October 15, 2016 at 11am
Photographing Stones and Souls in the Common Burying Ground
The stones and sites in cemeteries have captivated people for decades. Newport’s Common Burying Ground provides a wealth of images waiting to be photographed. The material, craftsmanship and aging of the stones resting in this unique setting provide an unlimited opportunities to capture remarkable images. Appropriate for photographers of all skill levels; the ground is uneven, proper footwear is recommended. Don’t forget your camera!

October 29, 2016 at 11am Special Halloween weekend tour
Common Burying Ground
Explore the Common Burying Ground. Learn about the stone carvers, their art and the diverse people buried there who helped shape Newport’s history.

November 19, 2016 at 11am
Bricks, Sticks & The Vernon House
Discover Newport’s exquisitely preserved architecture, from the colonial era to the Victorian splendor of lower Bellevue Avenue. This tour stops inside the Vernon House, one of the most lavish buildings in colonial Newport. Explore the architecture and craftsmanship of this Georgian home including its remarkable Chinoiserie parlor panels which are believed to be unique in colonial America.