Wandering Gardens of the Rich and Famous in Newport, Rhode Island
You don't need to be a millionaire or a turn-of-the-century blue blood to enjoy all that Newport has to offer. From soft, sandy beaches to eco-friendly bicycle tours along rocky coves, there are plenty of non-dollar-dependent pleasures to be sampled here. Along Belleview Avenue you can stroll among the many gorgeously preserved mansions and gardens dating back to the 1880s, if only in the hopes that a bit of the gilded-age opulence will rub off on you. Built by some of America's wealthiest families (think Astors and Vanderbilts), these estates may have been called "summer cottages" by their original owners—with an ironic nod to the humble wooden structures that preceded them—but over-the-top mansions like Marble House, the Breakers, and Belcourt are clearly American castles.