Fodor's Expert Review The Breakers
The 70-room summer estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, president of the New York Central Railroad, was built in 1895. Architect Richard Morris Hunt modeled the four-story residence after 16th-century Italian Renaissance palaces. This mansion is not only big, but grand—be sure to look for the sculpted figures tucked above the pillars. The interior includes rare marble, alabaster, and gilded rooms with open-air terraces revealing magnificent ocean views. Noteworthy are a blue marble fireplace, rose alabaster pillars in the dining room, and a porch with a mosaic ceiling that took Italian artisans six months on their backs to install.