Living in Rhode Island, we visit Block Island at least once a summer. Block Island is a convenient day trip from Rhode Island, Connecticut, or New York, and you can get a completely different state of mind and atmosphere in only about an hour. Block Island is also small enough to explore thoroughly in a short amount of time. Read on to plan your Block Island trip. Whether you are looking for a party with the girls or a day with kids, I know it will give you great ideas for things to do on Block Island.
What is Block Island?
How to Get to Block Island
How to get to Block Island from Rhode Island
Ferry from Narragansett
Getting to Block Island from Connecticut
You can get to Block Island from New London, Ct.
Ferry Service to Block Island from New York
Viking Ferry Service can take you from Montauk, NY, to Block Island.
Where Does the Ferry Bring You in Block Island?
Things to Do on Block Island
Located on Spring Street, just a couple blocks to the left off the ferry up the hill past the statue of Rebecca, is a unique farm. It is right behind the 1661 Inn, which has beautiful gardens. This is a private collection of animals the owner wants to share with the world. Caged animals, such as lemurs, are directly after the parking lot.
Since you can buy feed cups, the animals come over to you. A big gated field contains a zeedonk with one eye, yaks, and goats. There are many birds around, in cages and free. Up the hill and through the gates are free-range alpacas. They were available for petting but seemed a little wary of our littlest and craziest children and kept looking like they were about to spit on us.
Take a Tour at North Light Fibers
See how alpaca hair is made into yarn. North Light Fibers also use bamboo, soy silk, and many other fibers in their thread and are located within Manisses Farm.
Explore how to book a tour here, which happens on weekdays at 10 am
Explore Block Island Beaches
Mohegan Bluffs is one of the prettiest places on the east coast. There is a gorgeous, rocky beach at the bottom of the limestone cliffs, but to access it you need to go up and down a very steep and lengthy set of stairs.
There are not food or bathrooms at this secluded but popular beach. Visitors cover the beach with stone cairns, which make the beach even prettier. This beach’s water is much rougher, so it is more suited for older children or adults. There are no lifeguards on duty.
Block Island’s Lighthouses
Explore a lighthouse or two.
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse
The Southeast Lighthouse is located only about a block from the Mohegan Bluffs. I highly recommend taking the tour up the lighthouse, especially to see the incredible Fresnel Lens.
Block Island North Lighthouse
How to Get Around Block Island
Do I need a Car for my Trip to Block Island?
Although the roads are crazy for pedestrians or bike riders, cabs are ubiquitous, and only the traditional ferry from Narragansett allows cars. It is more efficient to rely on cabs.
Take a Cab Around the Island
The roads around Block Island are very narrow and winding, and tourists drive crazy. When I am here, I walk around town or take one of the cabs that are readily available near the ferry dock. We used Rondo’s Cabs last time we visited (401-466-5550).
Ride a Bike around Block Island
Right as you get off the ferry, there are many bike rentals. The ride to the Southeast Lighthouse and Mohegan Bluffs is about 2 miles from town but is steep and busy with traffic.
The ride to the North Light is flatter but longer, about 4 miles, and it is also hectic.
Martha’s Vineyard is flatter if you want to bike with younger kids.
Where to Eat on Block Island
Our tradition is to eat dinner at the National Hotel, which overlooks the beach and the ferry. The view is impressive. Dinner isn’t too expensive, considering the view, and everything to eat is excellent.
I love their award-winning clam chowder, which lives up to that claim. It is perfectly seasoned with dill, just like I like it. It may be the best chowder evah (spoken in a Boston accent). The salads come in half sizes and are also delicious. The crab legs were perfectly cooked and sweet, which is hard to find on the left coast.
Set on the Boat Basin on the Great Salt Pond, this place has the famous Block Island Mudslide, made with real ice cream. They also serve seafood and sushi. In summer, the lines are long, but the kids can run around if you score a table on the lawn. The menu is smaller but worth it.
Block Island Accommodations
You can search here for the perfect Block Island hotel from Hotels.com. Since I live so close, I have never stayed.
Read on about more adventures in my little state in A Local’s Guide to Rhode Island or 24 Hours in Newport, Rhode Island, or any of my other Rhode Island posts. For more New England island exploring, read 47 Fabulous Things to do in Martha’s Vineyard.