Meet an experienced docent at Blithewold Mansion, one of Rhode Island’s remarkable summer estates, set on the Narragansett Bay between Newport and Providence. Learn how the rambling estate was designed, built and used by the Van Wickle-McKee family, starting with the mansion; the family’s exquisite period antiques offer a fascinating glimpse of daily life for the Gilded Age élite.
Continue through the Blithewold grounds, where grand trees and colorful gardens overflow with foliage and blooms. Walk the lanes of the old fashioned rose garden, duck beneath stone arches and trellises, then see the French-inspired ‘bosquet’ where spring brings a sea of bright daffodils and new leaves. Follow a shady trail into groves of soaring bamboo, and learn about the original design and function of the gardens.
Finish the tour of Blithewold’s gracious northwest porch, where you can enjoy a glass of iced tea during a question and answer session with the docent.