Block Island, nestled in the Atlantic 12 miles from coastal Rhode Island, offers the vacationer what does not seem possible anymore – simple relaxation in a startlingly beautiful place. The Island is famous for its miles of free public beaches, sparkling clear waters, dramatic bluffs, preserved open spaces, and fun-filled activities for visitors of all ages. Block Island has long been a haven for residents and visitors who have found here a quality of life that recalls the pleasures of a life that is simpler, slower, and somehow, more carefree. It’s no wonder that the Nature Conservancy has designated Block Island “One of the 12 last great places in the Western Hemisphere.”
The weather is still nice, some of the ferries and planes are still running, maybe you still have your boat in the water, and you’re thinking; “Let’s go to Block Island!”
But wait…what’s open after Columbus Day? Maybe you’ve never been to Block Island this late in the season before (we like to keep how awesome October and November are a secret) or maybe you’ve never been at all.
Block Island is quiet this time of year, less people, less traffic, less businesses open, but there’s more space on the walking trails, more space to walk the beaches and more birdsong to be heard.
There are ways to get here, ways to get around once here, places to stay, eat and shop, things to do and places to sit and enjoy the beauty of Block Island in the off-season.
We continue to follow all Covid-19 rules and regulations. Masks are required and limited people are allowed indoors at establishments at once. But Block Island has always been a “Take-it-Outside” type of place, so we have adapted pretty well to this new normal.
Here’s a little list, that is not totally inclusive, to give you an idea of what is open and what you can do.
Town Beach Pavilion bathrooms, lifeguards, concessions and rentals: Closed
Town Beach Pavilion showers: Closed
Greenway Trails: Open
Mohegan Bluffs Overlook and Stairs down to beach: Open
Southeast Lighthouse and North Lighthouse: Grounds open. Buildings closed.
1661 Inn Animal Farm: Open
Ball O’Brien Park (Tennis, basketball, skate, picnic pavilion): Open
Ball O’Brien Park (Swings, play structure): Closed
Library: Building closed. Grounds open for fast wifi. Online and outdoor programming available 401-466-3233
Post Office: Open
Block Island Grocery: Open
Block Island Depot: Open
Block Island Ferry (Point Judith): Running. Check schedule on website. http://www.blockislandferry.com
Block Island High Speed Ferry (Point Judith): Running. http://www.blockislandferry.com
Block Island/Newport Ferry (Fall River): Done for Season
Block Island Express Ferry (New London): Done for Season http://www.goblockisland.com
Block Island Montauk Ferry: Done for Season http://www.vikingfleet.com
New England Airlines (Westerly): Running. http://www.blockislandsairline.com
Moped/Bike/Car Rentals: Available but weather dependent. Call ahead.
Kayak/paddleboard/surf rentals:Some closed for season. Call ahead.
Harbors: Moorings/pumpout/dinghy dock/launch: Minimal services available. Call 401-466-3204
Town Old Harbor Dock/Marina: Call 401-466-3235
Restaurants and Cafe’s:
Restaurants and Cafes on Block Island that are open offer outdoor and indoor seating as well as take-out options. Capacity is limited so reservations are recommended. Please call business or visit their website for hours and menus.
This link will take you to an updated list of Chamber of Commerce Member’s hours and phone numbers post Columbus Day:
Many shops on Block Island are still open on weekends, some open 7 days. Masks are required and the number of people per store is limited. Most Block Island shops added an online store as well this year!
Hotels/Inns/B&B: Most still open through October, some year-round, call ahead or check websites.
Private Marinas: Call ahead
- New Harbor Boat Basin – 401-480-1429
- Payne’s Dock – 401-466-5572
- Champlin’s Marina – 401-466-7777
- McAloon’s Taxi Service 401-741-1410
- Clark’s Cab 401-466-5839
- Sueann – 401-742-0436
- Harbor Taxi 401-500-6726
Maps: Including the Old Harbor Walking Tour and The Island Mobile Bike Tour;
Glass Float Project:
If you are looking for more information you can always call the Visitor’s Center at 401-466-2474 or visit them in person in the ferry dock parking lot.
We have an informative magazine, with information (for 2020) and beautiful photography, and we would be happy to send you a copy. Just email your name and address to email@example.com.
Don’t forget to catch a sunset while you’re here.
You’ve packed away your swimsuit and stopped stock piling the sunscreen. Those white capris? Not until Memorial Day friends! It’s that time of year where all beach goers start crying on the inside. Summer is almost over. BUT all is not hopeless. Many will say that Block Island gets better in the Fall. Good things come to those that wait.
While the small island is packed to the max all summer, by late September our Summer friends have abandoned the beaches and restaurants so the regulars start to move back in. We are happy to soak up the chill vibe on some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. You won’t find many beach chairs or large groups of beach goers. And since all of our beaches are free and open to the public, you just need to find your favorite access point and you’ll be able to be one with your blue space again. The pureness you’ll walk away with is worth the trip alone. Block Island beaches are beautiful all times of the year, and in sweet September the water is still warm enough for swimming and there is a little more room on the sand.
Accommodations, from B&Bs to Hotels to house rentals tend to become more affordable in this so called ‘Shoulder Season’. Settle in at your first choice lodging and stroll to dinner without having to wait in line. Enjoy a spectacular fall sunset and a clear night sky.
Whether you take a short walk on the shoreline or bike the whole island, either choice is sure to be scenic. Stop and smell the flora, search for a glass float, watch the birds. Life is decidedly peaceful on the Island in the Fall. We invite you to be a part of it.
More information on visiting and what is open in the Fall can be found at http://www.blockislandinfo.com
The sun still shines bright. The nights are a little cooler. The crowds are gone. Fall is a peaceful time to vacation on Block Island. And, with so many overnight vacation accommodations to choose from, the deals are a plenty! Whether you visit for a week or just a long-weekend, you’ll find the serenity you’re looking for. A visit to Block Island will take you a world away so close to home.
You’ll be amazed at how peaceful a day on the beaches of Block Island can be when you can sit and listen to the waves without interruption. The sand between your toes. The sun on your face. The birds chirping in the distance. The waves rolling in just enough to reach your chair and say hello before retreating. A getaway that consists of waking up, beaching it, eating, repeating sounds perfect doesn’t it?
If you’re thinking of coming out for just a day trip there is at least one Block Island must see you’ll miss. The sunsets (and sunrises!) on Island are breathtaking. There is something tranquil about ending your day by the water watching the sun kiss the sky goodnight. The pinks and yellows are vibrant. The purples are deep. Your camera will thank you for allowing it to participate in the moment.
For all the bird lovers out there, find your flock this Fall on Block Island. Thousands of Warblers, rare Sparrows and vagrants will meet you here. The National Wildlife Refuge covers 127 acres at the North end of the island. Over 70 species of migratory song birds visit the island each Fall. The Piping Plover, a threatened species, has also been known to visit. Block Island is home to the largest Gull colony in Rhode Island. As one of the most important migratory habitats on the East Coast, Block Island is THE spot for your next bird watching adventure.
Visit Block Island this Fall and see for yourself why you’ll want to make this trip an annual tradition.
For information on getting here, getting around, what to do and where to stay, visit http://www.blockislandinfo.com
You step off the ferry and fall in love immediately. Old town charm meets the shoreline. The sun welcomes you with a kiss on your forehead and the salty air gives you a glow. The sand is permanently wedged between your toes. Your next thought is how you wish you had booked a place to stay.
Well, lucky for you, the town’s best places to stay don’t put all their inventory on hotel booking sites. There is a good chance you can book a getaway any time of year, and you can’t beat the price if you are traveling mid week or in the shoulder seasons. Whether you want to feel at home at a B&B or be pampered at a luxury hotel, Block Island has what you are looking for. Just give the property a call directly and they will see what they can do for you. For a full list of accommodations please visit http://www.blockislandinfo.com/where-to-stay.
Staying a night or two will allow you to do some shopping, allow your taste buds to come alive at the island’s restaurants, and experience all the outdoor activities and scenic views Block Island has to offer. The island is like no other. It has terrific beaches and great hiking trails. Something better experienced within a few days rather than to try and squeeze everything in with a day trip. Plus, staying over allows you the opportunity to discover some of the most incredible sunsets and sunrises in New England (or anywhere)! If you are looking for a place to relax and recharge, Block Island may be just the place for you and a few day getaway is worth your time.
Please keep in mind that things will look a little different this year. Masks are required in all public areas, like lobbies, and breakfast will be served with creativity as buffets are not allowed under current guidelines. Please also be mindful that the CDC and the State of Rhode Island are asking that you stay 6ft apart from people whenever possible. Accommodations on Block Island are adhering to all current guidelines and best practices to ensure the safely of all guests and staff.
Now go catch that Block Island sunset.
Yes. It’s true that this Summer is a bit different than previous years but it doesn’t mean you need to stay home, on the couch. Get to Block Island and enjoy all that nature has provided us. The Island offers many activities that can be enjoyed in its wide open spaces.
Let’s take fishing for example. Many anglers associate fishing with “freedom.” Spending a day at sea casting for the next big catch helps you forget about what needs to be done and helps you remember why you vacation. Sharing a fishing experience with family and friends will also help strengthen relationships. Make those memories! Go fishing. Better yet, go fishing on Block Island!
If you’re looking for a bit more adventure on the water, try kayaking or paddle boarding. These are great ways to enjoy the blue space. One of the best ways to experience Block Island is to paddle along its shore and in the protected ponds. When you are that close to the water looking in at the beauty and paddling at your own pace, you will undoubtedly capture the spirit of the Island. Not to mention, it’s also a great way to workout! Unsure about whether to kayak or paddle board? Try both!
Now, for you romantics out there, you’ll never chase a prettier sunset. The Block Island sparkle is well known. Bring your cameras as you will want to capture the gorgeous colors of the sky as it kisses the sea goodnight. And for you early birds, the sunrise is just as invigorating!
Let’s not forget all the walking trails available to you. Block Island is over 47% preserved open space and most of that preserved land has walking trail access. Mohegan Bluffs, Clayhead, Rodman’s Hollow, and the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve are just a few trails to experience. The beauty of the island is found at every turn. And while walking these paths, you’ll find yourself in the perfect locations to find some glass floats, Block Island’s most popular scavenger hunt!
So yes, this year’s trip to Block Island may look and feel a little different, but there is still the opportunity to experience all that it has to offer! Block Island, by nature, is the perfect place to stay socially distant. Bring a mask (you will be within 6 feet of others at some point on your visit) and get yourself here. Don’t delay!
Visit http://www.blockislandinfo.com for information and planning!
Below you will find some of our most frequently asked questions. We continue to get feedback so if you see something missing from this list…let us know what you want to know!
Question: Is Block Island Open?
Answer: Yes. Block Island, the Island, never closed! Many businesses are open and the majority will be open by the end of June.
Question: How do I know what’s open? Are the beaches open?
Answer: Yes, beaches are open. Follow this link to find a current list of what is open on Block Island – http://www.blockislandinfo.com/island-events/whats-open-on-block-island
Question: How do I get to Block Island?
Answer: By ferry from Point Judith, RI (www.blockislandferry.com), by ferry from New London, CT (www.goblockisland.com), by ferry from Montauk, NY (www.vikingfleet.com), by plane from Westerly, RI (www.blockislandsairline.com) or by private boat/plane.
Question: Are the ferries and planes crowded?
Answer: Yes, especially at peak times like weekends and holidays. However, the ferries have limited the passenger capacity to 30% – 60%, depending on the weather conditions. The safety of passengers and crew is the top priority; masks are required and social distancing procedures are in place. You will most likely be closer than 6 feet to others who aren’t in your party, which is why masks are required for the entire time you are on the ferry. Please be respectful of other passengers and crew. Planes also have capacity limits but you will definitely be within 6 feet of others. Masks are required for the entire flight.
Question: What about the main street on Block Island? Isn’t that crowded?
Answer: Yes. Water street and the “town” area sidewalks are crowded. Masks should be worn as you will be within 6 feet of people not in your party. Please be respectful of others.
Question: Do I need a mask on the beach?
Answer: You should have your mask handy if you plan on using the Beach Pavilion Facilities and/or the access paths and parking for the beach.
Question: Can I go to restaurants and go shopping?
Answer: Yes. restaurants are open for Indoor and Outdoor Dining, as well as curb-side pickup. Masks are required for dine-in and reservations are strongly recommended. Shops are open with limits of number of people allowed in the store and masks are required.
Question: Can I rent a moped/bike/car/kayak?
Answer: Yes. All rentals are available. Rental shops are following State of RI and CDC Covid-19 cleaning regulations. (Helmets requirements for bikes and mopeds are the same).
Question: Is Block Island Pet Friendly?
Answer: Yes. Pets are allowed on beaches and at most outdoor dining spots but they must be leashed. There are pet friendly accommodations on Block Island.
Question: Are there any events this year on Block Island?
Answer: Most town-sanctioned events have been cancelled due to gathering restrictions. However, the Glass Float Project and the Farmer’s Market are happening. The 4th of July Parade, fireworks and Steak-Fry are cancelled. There are no Blues on the Block concerts this year.
Question: Is there any nightlife available?
Answer: At this time there are no indoor live music events allowed. Traditional bars are not allowed at this time either. Some restaurants will have outdoor entertainment until 9pm. Some restaurants do stay open until 1am but must have table service, as walk up bar service is not permitted at this time.
We want you to enjoy your visit to Block Island and we look forward to seeing you. However, if you are uncomfortable around crowds or feel as though you can’t enjoy your time on Block Island if you have to wear a mask, we respectfully ask that you wait to visit our community. We are a small town with limited medical services and a large summer population and we wish to keep everyone safe and happy. Thank you.
As we welcome back everyone with open arms, for air hugs of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention there will be a few changes. Nothing says summer quite like the sunny days spent on the beaches of Block Island. You’ve packed your sunscreen, beach chair, beach read but have you packed your face masks? You’ll still be welcomed at your favorite sandbox but you’ll be asked to respect your neighbors’ personal space. There will be restrictions in place to keep everyone safe.
We all need a vacation and there is no time like the summer to enjoy one, so let’s remember that the safety guidelines you’ll encounter while on Block Island are there to keep everyone safe and stress free, that is what vacationing is about isn’t it? Let’s work together to ensure we all have a healthy, fun in the sun, summer.
A few things to consider BEFORE you hop on the ferry, plane or your boat:
Block Island has very limited grocery shopping and with the summer population starting to arrive wait times to get in and to shop may be long. Shop for your necessities before the ferry ride so you can enjoy your time outdoors!
You’ll need your own entertainment. Many summer events have been canceled so you’ll need to get creative on how to enjoy the moments spent between beaches, shopping and dining. Be sure to bring your favorite books and board games. If you’re an artist, photographer, musician, or other creative, consider this a good time to find some inspiration! Does your rental have a firepit? Then don’t forget about s’mores. Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate is fun no matter if you’re 2 or 92!
Expect delays and limited menus at restaurants. You will still get to enjoy your favorite meals but you may be asked to use the takeout option and enjoy them in open air instead. Be sure to call ahead or go online to find out whether your faves are taking takeout only orders, what are their hours of operation, how will payment be made, etc. There will be delays. This is the new normal for the time being but the local business owners are trying their best to make sure you have a good time. Please remember this and please be kind as we do our best to keep up with the regulations and keep you informed!
Show you care, wear a mask! Block Island is asking everyone to wear masks in all public and private spaces where you will be in contact with other humans. Some places may refuse entry without a mask. To avoid getting left out of your favorite spot make sure you pack a few! Don’t worry if you forget, there are plently of cool “Block Island’ masks to be purchased on island. Places of business are all equipped with sanitizer and your resort, inn, or homeowner will be taking the appropriate measures to clean and thoroughly disinfect your room but some extra PPE won’t hurt if you want to pack your own!
Bring your bike or a good pair of walking shoes! If the beaches are too full for your liking you’ll want a plan B. There are wonderful walking trails to explore, you might even find a glass float! Bikes can be rented on island as well and you can always take the Self-guided bike tour to see all the highlights of Block Island.
Do the research before you arrive. Safety protocols are now in place and will be constantly changing and evolving. Check in on our websites http://www.blockislandinfo.com to get updates, and be sure to do your homework on the status of your favorite restaurants, Inns, stores and public spaces. “Know before you go!”
At the end of the day, we all must remember to be kind to one another and patient. Let’s work together to ensure a fun, healthy summer for all as we move towards fewer restrictions.
For more information on what’s open on Block Island, check out our website at: http://www.blockislandinfo.com/island-events/whats-open-on-block-island
We want to take this opportunity to update you on travel to Block Island. This is a rapidly changing environment due to the global pandemic and the Town of New Shoreham is working with the State of Rhode Island to keep everyone safe.
Block Island’s lifeline services (ferry/plane) remain running, and are on limited schedules. Please refer to their websites for updated information on crossing to Block Island. http://www.blockislandferry.com and http://www.blockislandsairline.com
If you are crossing to Block Island via private boat please refer to the “Harbors” page on http://www.new-shoreham.com for updated restrictions due to Covid-19.
Currently Rhode Island has a 14 day quarantine restriction for all people entering Rhode Island from another state. If you come to Block Island while this restriction is still in place, you do not need to stay for 14 days, but you are required to quarantine for the entire time you are on island.
Restaurants and cafes are closed for on premise dining and there are limited curb-side pickup and delivery options at this time.
Some retail stores are open on a limited basis, with limited in-store browsing.
The library, school, town hall and all public restroom facilities, including the town beach pavilion, are closed.
Block Island would like to assure our future guests that we are operating under advice from the Block Island Medical Center, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the CDC. As restrictions and regulations begin to ease across the Country, Region and State, Block Island stands ready to adhere to all safety procedures and best practices.
When we are fully able to welcome guests, we will be ready. We look forward to that day.
For a comprehensive list of all Rhode Island and Block Island regulations and restrictions please visit the home page of the Town of New Shoreham at http://www.new-shoreham.com
We want to take this opportunity to update you on travel to Block Island; as we know many of you find yourselves suddenly at home and on “vacation.”
This is a rapidly changing environment, and the Town of New Shoreham is working with the State of Rhode Island to keep everyone safe.
Block Island’s lifeline services (ferry/plane) remain running, however, all restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. have been ordered to close (except to take-out services should they opt to) by the Rhode Island State Government. This State response is aimed at dealing with the here-and-now and is on a week by week basis.
Block Island has passed an Emergency Ordinance that closed all Town Offices and the library to the public until at least April 15th, 2020. Anyone who comes to Block Island Internationally is required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Anyone who comes to Block Island at all, in any capacity, is encouraged to adhere to Social Distancing recommendations.
If you are thinking about a visit to the Island in the next few weeks, we urge you to consider postponing for several reasons. It might be more enjoyable to wait until businesses are able to re-open to ensure that you have a positive experience. Also, we urge you to consider delaying your visit as to not unnecessarily tax our limited medical resources. We want to encourage everyone’s safety.
It is important for our local community to address this issue now so we can move forward later with all of the benefits you expect and have come to enjoy on Block Island. Rest assured, when the time comes, we will be ready, willing and able to eagerly welcome all of our guests back.
Just off the coast of Rhode Island lies your next getaway, Block Island. This island is a place where New England Charm meets the shoreline. Beach vibes and blue space are plentiful year round. In early Spring visitors can expect fewer crowds and endless beauty. A walk along Rodman’s Hollow or down the 141 steps at Mohegan Bluffs will take your breath away.
If biking is more your speed, the perfect route has been laid out for you on the bike tour – a 7.5 mile loop that includes 9 stops around the island. You’ll start revving up at the Tourist Center. Make your way up a small hill to visit our friends at the Abrams Animal Farm. You’ll fall in love with our 4 legged friends. These furry creatures will prove to be the motivation you need to keep going.
Next, take in the sights at the Spring House Hotel. The Atlantic Ocean never looked so breathtaking. You will then follow the coast and make your way to Southeast Light. One of two lighthouses on the island, the Southeast Light, sits atop Mohegan Bluffs and will provide you with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Block Island Windfarm, located only three miles offshore. Built in 1875, this brick and granite tower amazes the minds of architects and visitors alike.
Mohegan Bluffs stops everyone in his or her tracks. I have to agree with those who say this is the most spectacular view on the island. This is the spot I think about when I think of Block Island in the Spring. The greens are growing. The flowers are blooming. The rocky beach is calling. It’s a bit of a climb to get to the beach with a set of 141 steps leading down to the sand but the payoff is unbelievable, with clay cliffs that offer one of the most dramatic views of the Atlantic in all of Rhode Island, and a vista that can extend all the way to Montauk on the tip of Long Island.
Painted Rock is your next stop. This landmark is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a rock. It’s painted. It’s really a local thing. The rock has been painted hundreds, if not thousands, of times with messages ranging from wedding proposals to welcome messages. Put some paint in your backpack and have at it my friends. Paint whatever you like, just keep it clean. Kids do love to visit this landmark too.
Rodman’s Hollow is next on your tour and it’s a can’t miss. Take a break from the bike as you stretch with a relatively easy walk through mother nature’s playground. You’ll see grand bluffs and pristine beaches. You’ll also walk passed Black Rock Beach, proven to be a great place to find glass floats.
You can then take a ride to Fred Benson Town Beach. The stretch of white sand and low surf will serve to be soothing after a day of biking.
There is no better way to end your tour than at the Odd Fellows Hall, open for the season for a coffee and treat!
If you are feeling brave after the bike tour, or simply want to look forward to another adventure, the hike to the North Light on the sand is an adventure worth taking. The lighthouse itself is not yet open for the season but the views are spectacular and worth every step once you arrive. If you are lucky and patient, you may even see the beautiful wildlife on the way.
Whether you choose to walk, drive, or ride around the island, visiting these landmarks will have you experiencing Block Island and ALL it has to offer.
See more on the tour at: http://www.blockislandinfo.com/maps/bike-tour-map