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.”
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
A New England March is unpredictable. There’s a saying we New Englanders like to use to describe this month – “In like a lion and out like a lamb”. It has proven to be true many a year on Block Island. You’ll start the month in a winter coat but could very possibly end the month in a simple sweatshirt.
Spring is right around the corner. The Sun is a little warmer. The grass is a little greener. The ocean is a little friendlier. If you haven’t done so all ready, it’s time to start thinking about your getaway. A visit to Block Island in March is the perfect time to:
- Hunt for a Glass Float
Eben Horton came up with this genius idea of a way to continually promote Block Island and all of its beauty. Hundreds of expertly crafted glass spheres (floats) are scattered around the island each year for a very popular scavenger hunt. Explorers coming out in March may have a good chance of finding one since the weather is getting nicer but the crowds aren’t due for another couple of months. The first one you find is yours to keep but you are asked to leave any additional floats you find behind in an effort to keep the project going. We also ask those who find floats to register them at http://www.blockislandinfo.com. The 2020 floats drop the first weekend in June but 2019 floats are still going out until then!
- Take a Taxi Tour
There are a few taxi tours available to you in March. Clark’s Cab is just one waiting to take you on your very own adventure around Block Island. Give them a call and you’ll be conversing with a local who knows the island better than many. Experiencing Block Island with someone who can share his or her stories and love for the island is unforgettable. Your tour awaits!
Whether you enjoy a walk on the beach at sunset or an offshore adventure before the sunrise, your Block Island adventure awaits you. Whatever your interest, get out there and explore the island. Take in the sights. Enjoy the cuisine. Endulge in paradise. Experience Block Island and ALL it has to offer.
- It’s St. Paddy’s Day!
If corned beef, cabbage and green beer is your thing, you NEED to join Yellow Kittens at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on March 14th from noon to 4pm. Adults are $18 and children are $12. The Hennessy Sisters will be featured!
Everyone is Irish on the 17th! Stop in to McAloon’s for Irish inspired dishes and island favorites. Enjoy your pint of green at their lovely Mahogany bar. Whatever your choice, your taste buds will thank you.
A Wonderful Time to Visit.
It’s true that Block Island is known for its summertime fun. However, if you visit in February, you’ll get the perfect spot on the beach. Yes, the water will be cold but the breathtaking scenery will have you mulling over that unwritten book or song that keeps playing in your mind for hours. You’ll get the accommodations you are looking for. The room you want for the days you want. You’ll only share paradise with the locals and fellow travelers looking for serenity and a place to spark creativity.
There are plenty of places to experience in the off season. Let’s start with your taste pallets. Whether it be a breakfast, lunch or dinner, you have a choice of island dining. You can experience dining at a pub, diner, café, and other specialty locations without the wait. If you are not seated upon arrival, you will be shortly thereafter! Your Winter dining options are as follows:
Bethany’s Airport Diner: daily 6:30am- 2:00pm
1661 Inn: daily 8:00am -10:00am (Call ahead to confirm)
Odd Fellows Café: Monday-Thursday 6:30am-3:00pm, Friday-Sunday 6:30am-5:30pm
Block Island Grocery: Monday-Saturday 9:00am- 6:00pm, Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Bethany’s Airport Diner: daily 11:00am until 2:00pm
Block Island Grocery: Monday-Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm
Kimberly’s: Saturday and Sunday 11:30am – close (closing for the Winter as of February 16)
McAloon’s: Saturday 11:30 am – close and Sunday 11:30 am – 4pm
The Barn: Saturday lunch 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Odd Fellows Café: Monday-Thursday 6:30am-3:00pm, Friday-Sunday 6:30am-5:30pm
Old Island Pub: Daily 12:00pm-3:00pm
Kimberly’s: Thursday – Sunday 5:00 pm – 9:00pm (closing for the Winter as of February 15)
The Barn: Wednesday – Saturday 4:00pm – 9:00pm
McAloon’s: Monday – Saturday 5:00pm – close
Old Island Pub: daily 6:00pm-9:00pm
The next stop on your zen journey could be to one of Block Island’s exercise classes. If you have never tried yoga, now is the time. The anxiety levels associated with your day-to-day living will be diminished with one class. It’s important to exercise your mind and your body to stay healthy. Isn’t that what a getaway is all about? Stop in to Elevation Studio for exercise, yoga and camaraderie. All levels welcome at all classes!
Continuing with the desire to experience Block Island with a sense of tranquility, you are encouraged to treat yourself to a relaxing day at one of the island’s spas. Your hair, body, and soul are craving this attention. Do not ignore. This time of year they are by appointment only so be sure to call ahead at Koru Eco Spa or Clayhead Salon and Spa today. Koru is dedicated to providing you with a holistic spa experience to improve your mental and physical health in a non-toxic and 100% good for you environment.
You may choose to experience Block Island by shopping online. Bring a few souvenirs home to remember the most relaxing off season vacation you chose for yourself or simply buy the souvenirs online once you get home and you won’t have to worry about making room in your suitcase. Visit http://www.blockislandinfo.com/what-to-do/shopping.
To end the day, relax at one of Block Island’s year round accommodations. The Inn At Spring House has some of the best Atlantic Ocean views found on Block Island. It is also rich in history. The Spring House is where New England authenticity and charm meet the ocean’s breeze. The 1661 Inn is the definition of what a vacation should be. Each room is filled with antiques and features a combination of ocean views, decks and whirlpool tubs. The family run boutique inn will be one reason for you to keep coming back season after season, year after year.
Experience Block Island for ALL it has to offer.
The cold will warm your hands and heart when you find the beauty within it.
February on Block Island is cold. Really cold. However, it’s nothing a warm hat, gloves, and winter jacket won’t fix. The off season is a great time to visit. It’s the perfect time to find inspiration. I personally love to write, hence the blog. Others love to take photos, compose music, paint, draw, cook, etc. Whatever your creation, it’ll be better after spending some quiet time on Block Island.
Take a walk by the water. The sands of Crescent Beach stretch into a crescent moon. The sandy shoreline is blurred by the blue waters. The backside of the moon is outlined by the rocky walls, there to protect everyone when the waves decide to have some fun. In February, you’ll find the lone visitor walking their four legged fur baby or skipping stones. This spot is truly where the coastline meets New England charm.
Stop and spot the snowy owl. It is true that many wait for Summer months to visit the paradise known as Block Island but one thing you’ll fail to experience if you don’t visit in the winter is the serenity that comes with bird watching when no one else is around. Many have spotted the majestic snowy owl along the shores. It’s your turn to take a seat, look up at the sky or sometimes on the jetties and wait for your visitors. The many species of birds and wildlife found in this beautiful place is worth the wait.
Walk the deserted streets and take in the architecture. I’d say stop and smell the roses but they are not yet in bloom. However, take a walk around town and take in the artwork right in front of you. A visit to Block Island will bring you back in time. Rich in history, Block Island will take you to a place where charm is prevalent. All you have to do is look at the buildings. They have been preserved to resemble what once was.
Live like a local. There is much to experience on this small island. In the Summer you can experience much of the island as a tourist would, rent a moped, try parasailing, try several of the phenomenal restaurants, walk Water Street and visit all the shops. Many have said the island is worth a visit in February to experience life on this island as a local. Many shops and restaurants are closed this time of year so take the time to speak to the locals and find the places where they like to eat. Visit the beaches they like to experience. Walk the streets when they are not so crowded. Experience Block Island for ALL it has to offer.
February is a great time to visit alone to find your inspiration or with a loved one to celebrate your Valentine.