Explore the extravagant Newport Mansions

One of the mansions you might see during the tour
One of the mansions you might see during the tour

The town of Newport, Rhode Island, is one of the more picturesque stops that you'll be able to visit on your Canada and New England cruise, and you shouldn't miss this opportunity to see some of the most famous landmarks in the country - the Newport Mansions.

Newport was home to many of America's wealthiest families, and they all tried to outdo each other by building the largest mansions possible. The tenants have long since moved away, but these historical landmarks are now open to the public.

Spending a day here isn't really enough time to see every mansion that Newport has to offer, as they have so many rooms that it's easy to spend several hours exploring a single house. Even better, each building has its own distinct style. Fans of architecture will be in heaven here, seeing what can be built with nearly unlimited resources.

The Breakers is generally considered to be the top mansion among the houses here, and it's no wonder that it was home to the famous Vanderbilt family. Modeled after an Italian Renaissance villa, each room is more jaw-droppingly beautiful than the last.

Another Vanderbilt establishment is Marble House, which looks to the French palace of Versailles for inspiration. It's amazing that these two mansions were owned by the same family, yet are so starkly different in design and temperament.

Beyond the mansions, there's much to see and do in the more modern town of Newport, as the town is home to quaint boutiques and shops located right by the harbor. Dine at one of the delicious local eateries, like the Red Parrot or Brick Alley Pub. Tennis fans shouldn't pass up the opportunity to visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which sometimes holds matches. Finally, don't leave without springing for a cup of Del's Frozen Lemonade - a delicious Rhode Island tradition that is the perfect complement to a summer day.