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.”
Blog post by Holly Herdman of Block Island Marketplace.
2020 has been a year of firsts for many of us; Our day to day lives have changed, the usual and traditional summer plans were altered or canceled, and many of us were not able to experience and explore the Block Island we know and love. With the holidays on their way and the annual Holiday Stroll cancelled, online shopping has become more prevalent than ever.
Traditionally, Block Island has been a place to shop in person; A place to see your favorite shop owners, browse the shelves and clothing racks while chatting about your winter and what is new around the Island. This year, more Island artists and shop owners have joined the world of ecommerce to bring Block Island to you.
Now you have more of an opportunity to do your Christmas shopping safely from home and still get your favorite trinkets and artisan treasures to share with the ones you love!
“Who’s online”, you ask? Let’s break it down A-Z!
Block Island Marketplace is a new website to connect shoppers with local artists selling handcrafted items. All available products are one of a kind, constantly changing, and crafted with love of the island.
Adrift Eco Boutique has great clothing and accessories focused on being sustainably and ethically made. https://adriftbi.com/
BlockDuck has a collection of comfortable clothing and accessories in their original BlockDuck designs. https://www.blockduck.com/
Block Island Coffee sells various sustainably sourced and island roasted coffees and coffee beans. https://blockislandcoffee.com/
Block Island Fishworks added a shop to their website for Block Island face masks, hats, and t-shirts, including new 2020 designs. https://www.sandypointco.com/shop
Block Island Sport Shop has all of your outdoor apparel and product needs with a broad selection and the best brands. https://blockislandsport.com/
B.I. Tees, Solstice, and True North Outfitters has a combined website to feature all of B.I. Tees’ custom designed t-shirts, Solstice’s unique gifts, and even hand blow glass by Eben Horton, creator of the Glass Float Project. https://bitees.com/
Block Island Trading Company has the largest selection of Block Island paraphernalia available online or in store. https://blockislandtradingcompany.com/
Blvck Market is a unique boutique with original clothing and jewelry styles designed on Island and made with exotic materials from around the world. https://www.blvckmarket.com/
Diamond Blue Surf Shop allows you to shop top clothing and accessories brands while planning family activities for next summer’s vacation. https://diamondbluebi.com/
DOCK is a woodworking business started by an Island native who makes boards, furniture, and custom items. https://www.dock-bi.com/
East of the River Nile is completely online now with their entire collection of jewelry, handbags, books, clothing, and more from around the world. https://eastoftheriverniletradingcompany.com/
Island Bound Bookstore has a large collection of literature for all ages including best sellers, Block Island books and activities, e-books, and can even do special ordering. https://www.islandboundbookstore.com/
Island Mist Natural Products is an all-natural skin care line hand-crafted on Island using high quality Island resources. 100% plant based and free of chemicals, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. https://islandmistnaturalproducts.com/
Littlefield Bee Farm sells Block Island honey, cinnamon honey, honey mustard, and beeswax candles on their site. http://www.blockislandhoney.com/
Mar Mar Boutique sells handcrafted jewelry by over 30 local artists as well as the famous BLOCKSTAR products. https://www.marmarboutique.com/
Mary MacGill Studio has an eclectic selection of high-end jewelry, clothing, accessories, books, textiles, and more. https://www.marymacgill.com/
Marye-Kelley has numerous options for handmade and customizable gifts and household decor to make the perfect holiday presents. https://www.marye-kelley.com/
Minnow is a new store on the Island selling kids games, crafts, and activities. Their website is new, so check back for new products regularly. https://minnow02807.com/
Mutt Hut carries lots of great brand’s dog supplies and their online shop has Block Island exclusive pet items for your pups, grandpups, and fur friends. http://www.mutthutbi.com/
North Light Fibers sells handcrafted yarns made 100% on Block Island as well as beautiful designs created to reflect the Island. https://northlightfibers.com/
Photo Dog now sells their collection of handmade signs, picture frames, ornaments, and other home decor items online. https://www.thephotodogartgallery.com/
Pop On The Block has a selection of their gourmet popcorn and other treats available on their website. https://popontheblock.com/
Royal Jewelers offers Block Island designs and royal fine finds that you can buy right on their website to add to your Block Island jewelry collection. https://www.jennifersjewelry.org/
Salty Dog has their Fish The World clothing and sticker designs available online, as well as Yeti drinkware. https://fishtheworld.us/
Seas Mtns Co is a small creative photography studio based on Block Island that sells framed prints and cards. https://seasmtnsco.pic-time.com/art
Traveling Seamstress sells handmade and hand-dyed clothing accessories that have a constantly evolving offering of items. https://www.travelingseamstress.com/etsy-shop
Wild Flowers Boutique is a shop dedicated to extending island style far beyond the Island. Shop clothing, accessories, and decor to bring the Island home. https://www.wildflowersbi.com/
While many stores do not have an online checkout option, you can browse their websites and contact them to place an order. Some of those include:
D. Chatowsky Art Gallery https://www.dchatowskyartgallery.com/
Jessie Edwards Gallery https://jessieedwardsgallery.com/
Malcolm Greenaway Gallery http://www.malcolmgreenaway.com/
My Oyster https://myoysterbi.com/
Spring Street Gallery https://www.springstreetgallery.com/
If you don’t see your favorite store listed, find them on social media or contact them directly. You may still be able to order from them and have the items shipped to you!
Remember, shop small this holiday season. Shop local to support your community and those around you so they can be around to serve you again, in person, next Spring!
Enjoy Block Island from the Comfort of your Home
Unless you are reading this on your phone, put it away. Don’t check social media. Do not open up apps. Ignore the news alerts. Forget about that email. For this moment you are on vacation. Say it with me… I am on vacation. I am on Block Island time.
Grab your coffee, or other drink of choice, put on some light music, put on your slipper socks and robe, turn on the Christmas lights if you’ve already hung them and get ready to reminisce with some of the best memories you have.
If you are up to it, make one of your favorite Block Island meals. Do you love the Chicken Parm from Kimberly’s? How about the Salmon at The Barn at Spring House?
Do you have a beach scented candle? Light it. This will help with the ambiance.
Okay. The mood is now set. You are ready. Sit back, relax and enjoy the photos below. Remember Block Island and all the good times you had. Think about your next adventure to the island. Put a smile on your face.
If you would like to see more, request a copy of our 2020 magazine. This publication is full of brilliant photos. All you have to do is email email@example.com with “Magazine” in the subject line and your address in the body of the email.
And as always, visit our website for information and even more photography – http://www.blockislandinfo.com
**Click on each photo for photo credit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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