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Block Island Is Lively, Not Lonely

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block island vacation

Solitude can be tough to find on the beautiful, busy beaches of Miami, Los Angeles or Cancun. But that’s not so at Block Island, 12 miles off the southern coast of Rhode Island. There are no lack of tourist-friendly amenities: grand Victorian seaside inns and cozy little bed-and-breakfasts; cute shops offering ocean-themed trinkets and treasures; bustling beaches just steps from the central Old Harbor commercial district.

Visiting Block Island

But Block Island RI has a prominent natural side, too. The Island has a wide-open feel, despite the throngs of visitors arriving every summer day. More than 40 percent of the island remains undeveloped, thanks in part to national and local conservation organizations that have helped preserve large tracts.

Visitors can rent cars on the island, although bicycles are a popular option. Mopeds are another choice, although they (but not cars) are banned from the many dirt roads, making a bike the best vehicle for a leisurely exploration of the island’s more natural side. Block Island (like Big and Little Darby creeks in central Ohio) was named a “Last Great Place” by the Island’s Nature Conservancy office.

Although the first white settlers landed in 1661, the island outpost was extremely sleepy for a couple of centuries, until a breakwater was built at Old Harbor in 1870, allowing boats to safely dock. The island’s other commercial center, New Harbor, was established in 1895 after a large channel was cut from the open ocean into Great Salt Pond, the large saltwater lake at the center of the island. Although the harbor entrances are on opposite sides of the island, New Harbor is only about a mile from Old Harbor as the crow flies or the hiker walks.

New Harbor is smaller than Old but has several popular attractions such as Payne’s Dock, a center of activity for both boaters and landlubbers. It’s a good spot to rent a kayak and explore the Great Salt Pond or the channels and quiet connecting bodies such as Harbor Pond and Trim’s Pond.

Although it’s simple to find solitude, the friendly denizens also make it easy to make new acquaintances.You can see huge yachts and spectacular summer homes, but Block Island also is comfortably scruffy around the edges, in contrast to local mainland resort towns such as Newport. In addition to the trails, the island is ringed by 17 miles of beach and dotted with dozens (local legend says hundreds) of small freshwater ponds.

Those who are willing to make a long trek, or have a wheeled vehicle, might also want to explore historic lighthouses at both the north and south ends of the island. Because, as nice as finding solitude can be, sometimes a traveler likes to hear the friendly voices of his fellow humans. Fortunately, a Block Island vacation is a great place for both.

Block Island Travel Guide

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Block Island Bed and Breakfast

Looking into visiting the East Coast for your next vacation? Look no further than Block Island, Rhode Island. We may be small, but there is certainly no shortage of activities to experience on the island! Looking for some tips? Keep reading our quick Block Island travel guide!

Your Block Island Travel Guide

About 12 miles off of Rhode Island’s southern coast, Block Island is the smallest state’s answer to nearby bigger and ritzier Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. With 17 miles of beaches that—unlike many of those on its Massachusetts sister islands—are open to everyone, it has been a vacation destination since the 19th century. Despite the number of summer visitors and thanks to the efforts of local conservationists, the island’s beauty remains intact (more than 43% of the land is preserved); its 365 freshwater ponds support thousands of species of birds that migrate seasonally along the Atlantic Flyway.

The original inhabitants of the island were Native Americans who called it Manisses, or “isle of the little god.” Following a 1614 visit by Dutch explorer Adrian Block, the island was given the name Adrian’s Eyelant, and later Block Island. In 1661 it was settled by farmers and fishermen from Massachusetts Bay Colony, who established its second official name, the Town of New Shoreham, when it became part of Rhode Island in 1672.

Block Island RI, with 950 year-round residents, is a laid-back community. You can dine at any of the island’s establishments in shorts and a T-shirt. The busiest season, when the population explodes to about 15,000, is between May and Columbus Day—at other times most restaurants, inns, stores, and visitor services close down. If you plan to stay overnight in summer, make reservations well in advance (try one of our many vacation rentals!); for weekends in July and August, March is not too early.

Block Island Tourism: Rodman’s Hollow

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block island tourism

There is a lot that can be accomplished or seen on Block Island RI when you visit or take a relaxing, fun-filled vacation. There are plenty of nature trails and beaches to explore. One of the most popular spots on the island is Rodman’s Hollow. It’s easy to access and provides a wonderful view.

Rodman’s Hollow Tops Block Island Tourism

While on the Greenway Trail on Block Island you’ll usually come to this little spot first. This spot is actually a nature preserve and is quite a popular spot. The main trail runs south and will eventually take you to the bluffs and provide an ocean view. While on your Rhode Island vacation this should definitely be a spot to check out and hike on. This piece of land on Block Island has been preserved for over 30 years now and was one of the first spots to start conservation on the island.

While in this area of land you will get to see the natural beauty of the island. There is a state endangered plant call the Bushy Rockrose and you can find the largest population of this plant on Block Island. If you visit in mid-May, you’ll get to see these beautiful flowers bloom. You’ll get to see the Northern Harrier in this area too. They feed and nest in this area of the island. Next time you plan your vacation, consider our Block Island rentals so that you can be close to nature!

Your Guide to Traveling on Block Island

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Block Island is a gem sometimes left out. However, this island can offer so much to you and your family during your stay. It’s not hard to get a place to stay, how to get to the island, and there’s plenty to do on the island. Planning your trip won’t be too hard and with this guide you’ll be able to plan the perfect vacation for you and your family!

 

Planning Your Perfect Block Island Trip

 

First, you need to book where you will be staying while on your vacation. We offer many lovely Block Island rentals that range in size and are sure to be enough for your family. One of our accommodations is the Leone house. It’s a bed and breakfast with plenty of room and extra amenities. Cleaning, linens, and garbage removal are provided with our accommodations so you have one less thing to worry about on your vacation. With a large deck on back, a large yard, and a private pond there’s a lot to view. The Bellevue house is one of our largest bed and breakfasts with plenty to offer you. The house is on the very top of High Street and is perfect for romantic getaways or family reunions. You can also take a short walk and access a beach. All of our homes are perfectly located on the Island, and each offers a one of a kind experience. The ocean views combined with the luxury of an island getaway come with each home. So, whether you’re traveling with the family or with your significant other, one of our homes will fit your style, preference, and your budget1

 

A short ferry ride is all it takes to get to Block Island RI. You can drive up into Rhode Island and park in a lot until you come back from your vacation. The ferry will take you over to Block Island and from there, everything is within walking distance. Your car can even come to Block Island with you on the ferry if you need it. It’s not hard to get to the island once you travel up to Rhode Island. While on Block Island your experiences can vary. There are beach walks, nature trails, boating, and you can even go parasailing! If you’re looking for something new and fun to do then this could be something good for you. The BEST part about renting with us? We have a ton of special packages jam packed with activities. That way, if you’re not sure what you want to do, we can plan it for you!

 

In the end, no matter what you decide to do on your Rhode Island vacation, you are sure to find something you like whether it’s just relaxing on the beach or going on new adventures.

Best Restaurants in Block Island

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best restaurants in block island

Block Island RI does not only offer beautiful lodging and accommodations, but also delicious restaurants. You will find all types of cuisine including French, Italian, Asian, and Mexican menus.

Restaurants in Block Island

Winfield’s
Winfield’s offers a sophisticated and flavorful menu influenced by French, Italian, American and Asian cuisines, featuring fresh, local vegetables and farm-raised beef and poultry. The menu is small and specialized, with meals to suit every taste, including seafood, beef, poultry and vegetarian items, perfectly prepared with tasteful creativity. The dining room is intimate and comfortably elegant. If you’re looking for something different, try the mushroom ravioli with pesto sauce. It will send your taste buds for a whirl.

Dead Eye Dick’s
Dead Eye Dick’s menu offers the freshest seafood, including their signature swordfish and lobster dishes. Their hot butter lobster roll will make you never want to leave. Enjoy homemade soups, an extensive raw bar, creative cocktails, wine and microbrews in their casual dining room or outside on the deck overlooking New Harbor.

Eli’s
Eli’s is a small, relaxed summertime retreat. If your looking for something other than typical “island food,” this is the place to go. Their Asian-inspired comfort food, ethereal bread pudding and watermelon-coconut soup are reasons enough to board the ferry.

Terrapin Taco
Coming to the island but craving Mexican food? Terrapin Taco is the place for you. Their menu offers fresh, affordable food and can accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diners. Order a massive burrito with their delicious sauces and prepare to fall in love.

Ice Cream Place
After trying any of these delicious restaurants, you may want to top off the night and stop by the Ice Cream Place for a brownie sundae. Not only is their ice cream home made, but so is their hot fudge and whip cream. Their flavors change from day to day, so be sure to visit more than once during your Block Island vacation!

Choose Block Island Accommodations for your Next Vacation

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Block Island Accommodations

Choosing the best place for your vacation is hard, especially when it comes to deciding where to stay. Block Island Accommodations is a magnificent collection of Bed & Breakfast, rental homes, and apartments on Block Island, RI, offering beautiful hilltop lodging and accommodations. You will find nothing short of gracious hospitality, superior service, and comfort in a meadow-like setting that recalls Block Island’s farming tradition. If you are searching for a Rhode Island vacation spot for a family reunion, getaway, wedding, or even your honeymoon, Block Island Accomodations has a house for you!

Block Island Accommodations

Block Island rentals, homes and apartments, are available for reservations May through October. Rooms and suites are up for nightly rentals. With that in mind, booking your rental for next summer should be the first thing you do! All of our rentals are on the same property and just a five minute walk from the beach and town. The cottages are located on a quiet hill where you will have a great view of the ocean and town. With just the sound of the ocean around you, what could be better? If you’re looking for a peaceful vacation then these lodges are the best fit for you!

Choosing a cottage to stay in for your Block Island vacation isn’t too tough with us! We offer five beautiful homes for you to choose from. The Sterling House and Cottage Sweet Cottage are two of the small single family homes. They’re perfect for a couple honeymooning! Both have a large yard and great view of the ocean. The Sterling House has a large apartment, which can be rented out nightly, which would be great for a family vacation. The Cape House is the largest of the single family homes. The kitchen in this house was remodeled in 2008 to modernize it. The Windrose House has a wrap around porch and is perfect for large families coming in whether for a wedding or reunion. The Bellevue House is perfect for any occasion! There’s wonderful hospitality and amazing service. It’s right on top of the hill, the best views of the island are from this house! Whether you’re vacationing for a wedding, family reunion, or a girls weekend out, any of our houses will do!