See the best of Newport, Rhode Island before the summer crowds arrive in the company of a scholar of American decorative arts. On this five-day tour, enjoy special access to cultural sites that reflect the city's origins as a mercantile hub and refuge for Baptists, Quakers, Jews, and other religious minorities. Behold the Touro Synagogue, the oldest in the country, and admire the prized claw-and-ball feet and carved shells on iconic furniture in Newport's colonial houses. With curators and local experts, wander through the mansions epitomizing the height of the Gilded Age. Learn about architecture and decorative arts from the 17th to the 20th century; dine at private homes and clubs; and visit with local craftspeople, including an opportunity to see a famous yacht under restoration. Accommodations are at the Vanderbilt Hotel, a vintage Newport mansion meticulously restored to its former glory. A transfer to New York City is included.