Fort Adams
Newport, Rhode Island
Visited 5.01.13
Visit the Fort Adams page here!
I totally lucked out on my visit to Fort Adams. I arrived there a week or two before their open season had started (it's listed as mid-May through October), and was expecting to only be able to tromp around the outside of the fort. By happy happenstance it turned out that they were indeed running tours, and I had arrived just 20 minutes before the next one commenced!

Newport is a fascinating place. As a Colonial city, its streets are predictably narrow and squirrely, and it's packed with ostentatious mansions.
These mansions mostly date from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when local businessmen, wealthy southern planters and fantastically rich families such as the Vanderbilts and Astors all conspired to build many huge, curiously-unattractive-to-the-modern-eye homes at Newport.

Narragansett Bay, into which Fort Adams menacingly and majestically juts, is gorgeous. There are amazing things to see in every direction from Fort Adams.
The only way to get into the fort is with a paid, guided tour, which costs $12 (there is apparently also a "self-guided tour" for $6, but it is only available on "summer weekends," and one is not granted access to the tunnels, which are the coolest part of the fort). Or one can attend the Newport Jazz Festival, which is held annually at the fort, or a Fortress of Nightmares event around Halloween...but whenever one visits, one can be certain that there will be plenty of folks around to shoo one away from the many exposed, dilapidated casemate-room remainders that take up most of the interior of Fort Adams.

Being attached to a group somewhat cramped my style, but I did learn a lot from the guide, whose name was Mike, and I was able to ditch the group at a strategic moment.
Fort Adams is presented at its website as the "Largest, most sophisticated, and most complex Fortress in North America." The superlatives "most sophisticated" and "most complex" can probably be granted, but that of "largest" is demonstrably inaccurate*. The elephant in the room at Fort Adams is Fort Monroe, which is nearly two million square feet larger than Fort Adams. Despite this shocking inaccuracy, Fort Adams' website is possibly the best for an individual fort that I've seen.

My only real complaint about my visit to Fort Adams was the lack of accessibility.
This is understandable to a degree, in that for many years the fort was left open to whomever cared to enter, and it was stripped bare of just about anything that wasn't securely fastened...and many things that were.

But the concept of circumnavigation is very important to me when visiting a starfort, and walking all the way around Fort Adams isn't possible, due to impenetrable brush and modern construction to the fort's immediate south.
But this isn't really much of a complaint, because I had an absolute blast at Fort Adams. Everybody there was perky and helpful, the gift shop was nice, and just the fact that I could unexpectedly enter the fort made me quite pleased indeed! And oooh, those tunnels.

Each of the pictures on this page are but thumbnails which, upon a click, will take you to its larger version plus more about my visit to Fort Adams.
*Please visit this page for an explanation of the mighty asterisk.