Newport Self-Guided Tour: Explore Historic Mansions
21 Ratings
Embark on a self-guided tour of historic Newport, exploring iconic mansions like the Bellevue House and the Breakers. Enjoy the flexibility to go at your own pace and immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of this coastal city.
Duration: 5 hours
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • Newport Visitors Information Center - Our journey begins in downtown Newport, just by the Newport Visitor Center. As we set off into the heart of Newport, we’ll dive into the past to learn about Newport’s hey-day: the Gilded Age. This era of nouveau-riche American elites like the Vanderbilts and Astors has been marked by gorgeous mansions. We’ll explore the architecture and architects behind these designs as drive.
What's Included
  • Hands-free GPS-guided stories
  • Comprehensive itinerary with travel tips and hidden spots
  • Works offline: GPS map and step-by-step directions
  • Private experience in your own or a rental car
  • Easy app access with provided link and password
  • Flexible and non-expiring: use it anytime and on multiple trips
  • Great value: one purchase covers the whole car
What's Not Included
  • Attraction passes, entry tickets, or reservations
Additional Information

Discover the historic, seaside city of Newport at a pace that suits you on this self-led tour filled with enticing sights. You’ll follow a meticulously planned itinerary with an accompanying live GPS map. The locations you’ll visit include famous mansions such as Bellevue House, the castle-styled Elms, and the well-known Vanderbilt residence, the Breakers. You’ll also enjoy natural landmarks like Easton’s Beach and Fort Adams State Park.

• An independent exploration of Newport’s major history-rich and scenic spots
• Suitable for groups: procure only one tour per vehicle, and everyone can participate
• Tour availability commences immediately after booking and doesn’t have an expiry date
• Visit each site at your own time, complemented with a wealth of engaging audio content

Upon reservation, check your email to download the Tour Guide App developed by Action, insert your unique pin, and commence your tour. The above steps will require adequate internet/wifi connectivity. Just abide by the audio directives and the established route.

  • How to access: Once you book a tour, you’ll get a confirmation email and an instructions email. Follow the instructions right away: • Download the app • Enter the password • Download the tour • MUST DO while in strong wifi/cellular
  • How to start the tour: Once onsite, open the Action’s Tour Guide App: • If there is just one tour, launch it. • If there are multiple tour versions, launch the one with your planned starting point and direction. • Go to the starting point. (Note: no one will meet you at the start. This tour is self-guided). • The audio will begin automatically at the starting point. If you face audio issues, visit the FAQ. • Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
  • Amazing savings: • Driving Tours: Save money by purchasing a single tour for the entire vehicle, avoiding individual fees per person like on a bus tour. Connect your phone to the car speakers to share the audio. Walking Tours: While each person typically needs their tour, couples or small groups can share one using split headphones.
  • Flexibility and Convenience: • Use the tour app anytime, on any day, and over multiple days. It’s perfect for tailoring your exploration and revisiting your favorite spots on future trips. • Start and pause the tour whenever you like, taking breaks and exploring side excursions at your own pace, free from the constraints of a group.
  • Comprehensive Tour Experience: •The app provides a full itinerary, travel tips, narrated audio stories, scripts, images, videos, and recommendations for additional activities. • Enjoy a private experience without the crowds, ideal for personalized stops and photo opportunities.
  • Ease of Use and Accessibility: • The app is hands-free and activates stories via GPS, offering support through call, chat, or email. • There is no need for a continuous cell or Wi-Fi connection as the GPS map works offline.
  • Memorable Keepsakes: • Utilize the app’s images to create a photo book or share on social media, ensuring you have high-quality, crowd-free memories from your trip.
  • Preparation: • After booking, download the app and the tour using a strong Wi-Fi connection. • Review the tour at home before your trip for a better experience.
  • Starting the Tour: • Open the app upon arrival at your destination. • Select the appropriate tour based on your starting point. • Head to the starting location; the audio will begin automatically. • Follow the suggested route and adhere to the speed limit for an optimal experience. • By following these instructions and taking advantage of the app’s features, users can enjoy a personalized, flexible, and in-depth exploration of their destination at their own pace and convenience.
23 America's Cup Ave
America's Cup Avenue
After booking the tour, search your email for the phrase "Set up your self-guided tour now." Follow these instructions NOW to finish setting up the tour while you have Wi-Fi/data. Do NOT wait until you are onsite.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(21 Ratings)
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Mar 27, 2024
Newport - Great self guided tour, love that we could go at our own pace! Tons of stops and easy to use once we got started.
Review provided by Viator
Feb 25, 2024
Great! Fun solo trip - Was a great solo trip. Definitely great for the off season as no trolley tours were available. Very informative. Note: did not play with my apple car play, maps not visible. Audio worked but had to look at my phone which was hard when driving.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Oct 22, 2023
Rhode Island is great for ocean viewing - I will start by saying we went to the area to spend time watching the ocean. We have seen the cottages (mansions) like Breakers before and they are really worth seeing if you haven’t. But there are a number of great places to view the ocean. The Cliff Walk is a good place to start for waves on rocks. Beach #1 and Beach #2 are also great sand beaches in the Newport immediate area, we watched many surfers at both. Beach #1 has a good size parking lot from which you can walk to the start of the Cliff Walk easily. We also ventured to Jamestown across the bridge from Newport, there are two state parks near there. Fort Wetherill State Park and Beavertail State Park that are good for Ocean views. Beavertail is particularly good for waves on rocks. We actually revisited that park 3 times during our stay. We stayed in the Newport RV park that is actually north of Newport in Portsmouth, it was a very nice campground with nice amenities and plenty of space around each site. Across the road from the park is a great diner, Jax Diner. Breakfast here is great, we did not try lunch (but I am sure it is great based on our breakfasts) and I think it is not open for dinner. We also made a trek down to Westerly along the coast and there were some very nice sand beaches down there. The Watch Hill area just south of Westerly was particularly picturesque around the light house. One final statement about Newport. There are many cruise lines that anchor in Newport harbor. This can cause overcrowding in downtown Newport. Many days we saw two cruise ships in the harbor. This is just a cautionary statement for those who like to avoid crowds. We were there during fall leaf peeping so that may be the source of so many of the cruises. Not sure.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Oct 20, 2023
Excellent product - Excellent product for this city, hood gps reception, clear instructions and narration. Would highly recommend
Review provided by Viator
Jun 29, 2023
Perfectly Made for Self Starters - Great app! The information was interesting, the accuracy to the different location were spot on, and the autoplaying was phenomenal. If you don’t like to be rushed by tours, just download this app and it does an awesome job in guiding you around town in the comfort of your own car’s speakers and/or your own headset.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jun 5, 2023
Worked as described. - Easy to download, GPS based, worked well with Google Maps, professionally recorded and informative. I used it on a sectional tour, even in reverse; it’s easy to use, and highly recommended practice a little before getting on the road.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jan 14, 2024
Needs work - We bought several viator tours in Hawaii which worked pretty well, so my fiancee suggested we try this one for Newport where we are now and have been many times. Every element from the purchase to the use of the audio tour in our car seemed deficient relative to those prior experiences. It uses a different app than I recall for one thing, which when first ran to get to the starting point opened a resident map utility on the phone. No problem there except after reaching the start point it took several minutes wondering why it didnt display where to go or turn that the actual relevant app remained hidden behind the navigation it opened. Then the app the tour actually uses does not display smoothly, rather the mapping is klunky and visually stutters. This is asde the less flexible feature of our prior experiences which allowed for starting anywhere. This one only had a specific start point. Parts of the tour also had highlights apparently too close together for the app to manage or not well coded to accommodate that situation such that the tour would be reciting it's audio for a site and would abruptly stop and commence the audio for a subsequent highlight. This happened repeatedly except for places where the highlights had greater geographical space between. The purchase and launch of this was also confusing - it was an audio tour, needed Just one for the car yet the point of purchases asks for a number of persons even though nothing about it was specific to how many people are in he vehicle, for example while it suggests stops at museums for example there are no admissions involved that world be per person ? Also, if you go off tour route and reverse yourself on any portion of the ride the app does not know that and will launch the audio highlights and the directional information will be confusingly reversed. Again a prior version we used on a previous trip seemed to have no such problem. You could start anywhere and the audio was apparently recorded to avoid such confusion.
Review provided by Viator
May 5, 2023
Okay not great - It was hard to follow as to which house was being spoken of. We were grateful that we took trolly first so we could figure it out!
Review provided by Viator
Oct 18, 2022
Not easy. - Not easy to operate. Too many pages to flip to find directions on how to operate. Very frustrating while visiting an unfamiliar city.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Feb 9, 2024
Rip off! - First, the app is very difficult to upload even though we did it when we had strong wifi long before we needed the tour. Also could not understand the person on the phone trying to help due to thick accent. Then it was very difficult to figure out exactly where the tour started due to much construction in Newport. America's Cup was not at the address it sent us to for the meeting place. Even once we began at stop 5 by the time we figured out where we were supposed to be, it was very difficult to know if we were still on the right route or not. The recording stops after each description until you get to the next stop. So if you mistakenly veered off the route, you wouldn't know it until the recording ever started again when you, by chance happened to be at another stop. It was stressful and had us driving in circles trying to figure out where we went wrong. This was a total waste of money since we only got to hear about maybe 4 stops. DO NOT BUY UNLESS YOU WANT A LESSON IN FUTILITY!
Review provided by Viator
Select Date and Tickets
up to 15 guests
May 2024