The House on the Rocks

As part of a story I’m working on for the magazine, I spent a good chunk of last weekend out at Clingstone. The huge house — which got its name because it quite literally clings to an outcropping in Newport Harbor — is legendary. Boaters gawk, tourists marvel, and everybody wants an invite. My story won’t be out until next year, but here are a few things I learned during my stay:

  • The current owner bought the house for a mere $3,600 back in the early sixties.
  • Jackie Kennedy once visited the house.
  • The house has ten bedrooms and five bathrooms.
  • It’s a longstanding family tradition: any time a tourist boat meanders by, everyone drops trou. Yes, that includes the QE2.
  • Strangers have been known to just swing by. “Oh, I went to a party here back in the ‘80s” was one person’s reason for coming ashore.
  • The views from the roof deck are second to none, though please heed the house rules posted on a hand-written sign: “No entry after three drinks or 86 years of age.