Twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island has been an island getaway for more than a century. With its rolling hills, miles of beaches and quaint Victorian buildings, this tiny island attracts avid fishers, beach loungers, seafood enthusiasts and New Yorkers who just feel like unwinding by the sea. Everything on Block Island is accessible by bike, and depending on the routes you ride, there’s always a spectacular view of the ocean. Most visitors to Block Island arrive via ferry, with the only year-round service operating from Point Judith, Rhode Island. Seasonal services in the summer, however, also travel to the island from New London, Connecticut, and Montauk on Long Island.
You can see the sandy shores miles before you hit the coast as the ferry glides towards Block Island. Right off the bat, travelers should that Block Island is a summer destination for at least as many reasons as there are water sports, plus lounging in a plastic recliner, plus tanning, plus fishing, etc. So yeah, there are beaches, 17 miles of them, which are suitable for every purpose. Swimming with the kids? State Beach and Ballards Beach have on-duty lifeguards. Crave more scenic thrills? The cliffs north of Mansion Beach provide an intimidating but exciting way to hunt for rocks and shells.
Striped Bass, fluke and flounder, tautog, mackerel, swordfish and tunas reeled in by net. All of this and more can be caught just off the coast of Block Island. From sport to leisure, almost every kind of fishing is available – most fisherman on Block Island observe a catch and return policy, but you can’t argue with a swordfish on a grill. Travel to Point Judith’s Harbor of Refuge on a calm day and the fish will be game or find the West Wall in the spring and catch the first of the migrating stripers.
Perched high above the Atlantic on the Mohegan Bluff, the Southeast Light lit the way for passing ships from 1874 all the way until 1994. Now it stands as a testament to the long-standing New England fishing tradition, and serves as a museum with displays of the original lens. It also offers tours of the light tower to visitors.
Tapas and cocktails on the veranda of a historic inn high atop a hill overlooking the harbor and the ocean? Yes please! With an award-winning wine list, locally sourced seafood and homegrown herbs and vegetables, this restaurant offers a truly New England experience with an elevated class.
Voted Block Island’s most romantic bed and breakfast since 1996 by the Boston Best Guide, the Blue Dory Inn is a cozy turn of the century Victorian Inn on Crescent Beach. The inn is walking distance from the Old Harbor and tons of restaurants, but it’s the beach mere steps from the inn that steals the show. As an added bonus, every afternoon the inn welcomes their visitors back with wine, hors d’oeuvres and cookies.