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Breton Point State Park

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Breton Point State Park

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Breton Point State Park is a state park on the coastline of Newport, Rhode Island. It offers a wide variety of activities, and presents a spectacular view of the Atlantic, Beavertail Lighthouse of Jamestown, and a marvelous sunset. Rich in history, hikers can see the remains of what was once a prosperous estate just off the walking trails of the park. Breton point offers visitors woodsy trails to explore, restrooms, picnic tables, kite-flying, hiking, gentle rock-climbing, fishing, picture-taking, or just a place to sit and relax.

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Breton Point State Park, Newport



The land on which the state park resides once belonged to William Breton, an American Colonial Official who moved from England to Rhode Island in 1673. He was the governor and deputy governor of Newport from 1660 – 1668 and resided at his estate, Hammersmith farm, part of which is now Breton Point State Park. The land next passed to Theodore Davis, a lawyer and famous Egyptologist, who in 1889 constructed the “Reef”, a large, shingled mansion characterized by its tall chimneys, distinctive tower, and wide windows overlooking the sea. Davis also built the grand stables known as the Carriage House, the remains of which visitors may still see today, the Tower, with a four-faced clock and musical chimes visitors today can still climb to get a better view of the ocean beyond the Point, and the servants quarters called the Bungalow, today home to Park Administration and bathrooms of Breton Point. In 1941, the army took control of the land and it was used as the Costal Artillery Battery until 1946. In July of 1960, the main house was destroyed by a fire and finally torn down in 1963. In 1969, the State of Rhode Island took over the property and in 1976 it was finally opened to the public as a state park. Though the main house was destroyed and the beautiful farmlands and gardens of the old Hammersmith estate are now overgrown by trees and underbrush, the State park still offers a wide field for kites and picnics, woodsy trails for exploring and viewing the old Carriage House and Tower, and a long stretch of rocky shore for fishing, climbing, shell collecting, or just relaxing. [1]


The landscape of the state park is a varying one. Starting from the shore, the park offers a long, winding coastline of large, flat rocks on which to climb. When the tide retreats, water is trapped in inlets of the rock, making Breton Point a fabulous location for gathering starfish, crabs, snails, shells, and other tide pool sea life. Father back, a wide green field provides a place for visitors to picnic, throw a ball back and forth, fly a kite, or just lie back to watch the clouds. Surrounding this field is a small woodsy area hiding the Carriage house and Tower from direct sight of the road. Several trails wind their way through these woods, giving visitors a place to hike, explore, and discover nature.


The temperature of the state park varies greatly depending on where you stand. Close to the shore, the cool breeze off the water often makes the temperature appear much cooler than it is inland. Especially during spring and early fall, it might not be a bad idea to bring a sweatshirt to walk the shoreline. During the winter, a jacket is definetely advisable.

Get In

If you try to look up directions on MapQuest, you will get a complicated set of directions that will take you on a bunch of narrow backroads. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to stick to the main roads (America's Cup and Bellevue, if you're coming from the Newport Bridge). Plus, you'll get a great view of the shops downtown, and the mansions on Bellevue!

  • Breton Point is located halfway down Ocean Drive in Newport.
  • From the Newport Bridge, take the first exit to RI-238, towards scenic Newport. At the end of the exit ramp, take a right onto RI-238. At the second light, turn right onto America’s Cup Avenue. America’s Cup will turn into Memorial Boulevard. Follow this to the first traffic light, then take a right onto Bellevue Avenue. Follow Bellevue Avenue until forced to turn right onto Ocean Avenue. Follow Ocean Avenue to Breton Point State Park.
  • From Mount Hope Bridge, take RI-114 into Newport. Continue onto Broadway. Continue on Washington Square. Take a sharp left at Touro Street. Continue to Bellevue Avenue. Follow Bellevue Avenue until forced to turn right onto Ocean Avenue. Follow Ocean Avenue to Breton Point State Park.
  • From RI-24 in Tiverton, continue straight onto RI-114. Continue onto Broadway. Continue on Washington Square. Take a sharp left at Touro Street. Continue to Bellevue Avenue. Follow Bellevue Avenue until forced to turn right onto Ocean Avenue. Follow Ocean Avenue to Breton Point State Park.

Fees and Permits

Breton Point State Park is free for all to enjoy. There are no fees for the park, the shore, or the hiking trails, and the bathrooms are free for all to use.


From the shore:

  • Beavertail Lighthouse of Jamestown
  • Rhode Island Sound stretches out from Breton point, and there are often fishing boats and sailboats adrift in its waters.
  • The coast itself is a picturesque view, waves crashing onto a jagged shoreline while a lone fisherman casts his line.

From the park:

  • Green grass stretches in all directions, abruptly ending in a line of trees and dense brush that seems to go on forever.
  • An opening in the trees is not hard to discover, and a large, airy building, crumbling yet still majestic, presents itself. This is the remains of the old Carriage House, a ruin that will leave viewers wondering at its original splendor.
  • To the left and right an unpaved path stretches, and any in the mood for a long walk will find themselves on a journey through the woodsier part of Newport. Those on the right trail will shortly discover the Tower, a large stone structure stretching upwards higher than the Carriage house. Though at one point in time a stone staircase wound itself around the tower to the top, many of the lower stairs were broken off over time and a newer staircase was constructed beside the tower so that visitors might still have a chance to experience the spectacular view from the top. At the top, one can see far over the trees, out into the blue of the Atlantic.



  • Walk along the rocks
  • Hundreds of tide pools collect undersea life waiting to be discovered. They're a great place to find starfish, crabs, and snails.
  • Many find the fishing at Breton Point to be enjoyable
  • The rocks and the seawall offer beautiful spots for photography


  • Picnicing on blankets or at one of the many tables provided
  • Watching or flying kites
  • There's plenty of room for a game of ball or walking a dog.
  • During July, the Newport Kite Festival is held at Breton Point, drawing visitors from all over for kite-flying demonstrations, kite battles, kite sales, and lots of kite-flying [2].
  • The woods behind the park are good for walking, hiking, exploring, discovering nature, and viewing the historical old Carriage House and Tower hidden within the trees.


To any who have not experienced the wonderfully refreshing taste of the Rhode Island tradition known as Del’s Lemonade, the time has come. While enjoying a picnic lunch on a warm summer’s day at Breton Point State park, take a quick walk to the parking lot where the Del’s truck waits and buy a frozen lemonade. It is the perfect complement to any sunny summer day, especially when relaxing at the beach or watching the kites fly overhead at a state park.


Breton Point State Park is not a campgrounds, and as such, there are no camping facilities. However, Newport offers its visitors a wide variety of places to stay, including hotels, motels, family-owned bead-and-breakfasts, summer homes, and campgrounds, such as:

  • Fort Getty
  • Melville Pond
  • Middletown Campground
  • Meadowlark RV Park.