Daffodil Days and Spring Things!

Daffodil Days and Spring Things!

Any day now the daffodils at the maze will be in full bloom for all to enjoy! The island will be bustling in a few months but April is definitely the Shoulder, or quiet, season on Block Island . You want to visit now to experience the flowers in all their glory. These beauties are often the first sign of spring on the island, and they are a sight for sore eyes after a long winter. The famous display typically makes its presence mid April and lasts for about a month, delighting all who visit.

But daffodils are just the beginning! There are plenty of bulbs and blossoms you’ll spot over the coming weeks on the island. They will be accompanied by several types of our feathered friends singing a tune and flying the skies. Block Island is a favorite for all the birdwatchers out there. It’s actually recognized as one of the most important migratory bird habitats on the east coast.

Another fun Spring stop is the 1661 Inn Farm and Gardens. It is home to camels, llamas, goats, swans, a yak, a zebu, lemurs and even red kangaroos! Yes, the animals are there year round, but they are so energetic in the spring. It’s not too hot, not too cold. They look forward to meeting new people and feeding with friends.

Now you may ask how will you get to these magnificent places… take a hike, or a bike! There are many Greenway trails crisscrossing the island, across the more than 47% preserved open space on the island that you can walk. Biking is also a great way to get around and get those cardio muscles working, you can rent or bring your own – don’t forget your helmet!

And while you are exploring, don’t forget to look for those famous glass floats.

For more information on hiking, biking, float hunting and more check out blockislandinfo.com

Getting to Block Island

Getting to the island is part of the fun! The sights you will take in before you arrive on Block Island are breathless, whether in the sky or in the water.

To catch a wave:

The Block Island Traditional Ferry provides year-round service from Point Judith, RI.  This is the only Ferry that can take vehicles to the island and reservations for vehicles are required.  Passenger reservations are recommended. 

The Hi-Speed Ferry is a state-of-the-art High Speed Catamaran, it sails mid-May through mid-October.   The ferry departs from the State Pier in Point Judith, R.I.  and docks in Old Harbor in under 30 minutes. 

The “Islander” is a high-speed ferry that runs seasonally. The ferry runs from Downtown Newport (Perrotti Park) and Old Harbor, Block Island, and takes one hour. 

Please visit www.blockislandferry.com for schedules and information or call (401) 783-4613.

The Block Island Express connects New London, CT and Old Harbor, Block Island in just over one hour on a high-speed catamaran.  The terminal in New London is located next to the train station and limited parking is available with a municipal garage across the street.  This ferry runs May through September only.  Reservations are recommended. Visit  www.goblockisland.com for schedules and more information.

The Viking Fast Ferry connects Montauk, NY to New Harbor, Block Island in about one hour via high speed ferry.  Ferry runs Memorial Day through Labor Day only.  For schedule information and directions visit www.vikingfleet.com.

Upon arriving at any mainland ferry dock you will see lots used for parking. Rates are reasonable and vary by season and lot.

If you’d like to captain your own boat, you can call ahead for docking reservations at marinas on Block Island:

New Harbor Boat Basin. (401) 480-1429. Champlin’s Marina. (401) 466-7777
Payne’s Dock. (401) 466-5572.
Old Harbor Town Dock. (401) 466-3235

If you plan on being your own captain and picking up a mooring or anchoring in the private boat section you’ll need to know where to go:

New Harbor on the West Side of the Island, in the beautiful Great Salt Pond. New Harbor has 3 large marinas, 90 town moorings and a 75 acre anchorage for vessels. The Harbormaster’s Office is located at the New Harbor Boat Basin during the summer season.  The Harbormaster can be contacted on VHF CH 12 once you arrive in New Harbor.  . Reservations are not taken as they are first come first serve.  It is a 3 minute taxi ride or 15 minute walk from New Harbor to town or to Crescent Beach.

Old Harbor on the East Side of the Island is a Harbor of Refuge protected by a breakwater.  There is limited space for anchoring, which  is restricted. Please call the Harbormaster with any questions.   Old Harbor is in the center of town and has a small 30 boat marina operated by the Town.  Dockage is first come first serve. The Commercial ferry landing is also located in Old Harbor.

For more information contact the Block Island Harbors Department at (401) 466-3204

To get some air:

New England Airlines has been providing daily scheduled air service to Block Island as a certificated Commuter Airline since 1970.   Air services, provided by New England Airlines, are offered daily (year round) from Westerly, RI.  Westerly, located just off Interstate 95 is an easy drive, or train ride from anywhere in New England. (AMTRAK serves Westerly with daily trains between Washington/New York and Boston).  Flight time between Westerly and Block Island is 12 minutes.  Parking at the Westerly airport is FREE!  New England Airlines also offers charter flights to airports throughout New England.
For more information and reservations please visit  www.blockislandsairline.com or call (800) 243-2460 or 401-596-2460.

Block Island Airport (BID)

Block Island state airport is a vacation destination for thousands of passengers each year arriving on New England airlines. The airport also serves the community’s critical needs by providing access for time-sensitive cargo and urgent medical transport. Bethany’s, the on-airport restaurant, is a popular destination for the new England GA community. The terminal has a welcoming atmosphere and is located within walking distance of downtown New Shoreham and Block Island’s free beaches.  Various local companies offer charter service to area airports, for information Contact the airport:  401-466-5511, https://www.pvdairport.com/corporate/general-aviation/block-island-bid

So whether you’ll be visiting by seas or skies, getting to the island is part of the adventure. It’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Happy 2022 Friends!

Block Island is a small island located 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island where you’ll mostly find 3 types of people. You have the locals, those full time-year round residents; then there are the vacationers, who simply can’t believe how far away from home they feel like they are right in Rhode Island’s backyard; and you have the regulars. After a few trips to the island, you’ll become a regular. These are visitors who travel to the island time and again and often daydream of being a local.

Whether you are a vacationer or a regular, Block Island is the perfect destination for your 2022 getaway. It is a well known but still hidden gem full of beaches, natural attractions, casual dining restaurants and bed and breakfast accommodations. The ambiance you’ll find when dining at the restaurants or staying at one of the inns will have you coming back for more. We can’t say it’ll become an annual tradition…more like a monthly dream. Whether you eat at the beach or at the bar, you’ll be breathing the salty air and viewing the beauty no matter where you turn.

Block Island has lots of activities to suit everyone’s needs. Many enjoy the walking trails found crisscrossing through the island. Some prefer biking the paved and dirt roads discovering the sights. You can experience nature and wildlife while getting a good workout on the island’s hills. Looking for a challenge? Try the 142 steps at Mohegan Bluffs!

Of course, a trip to the island is not complete until you’ve visited our beaches. From Surf to Mansion and beyond, you’ll put your toes in the white sand, soak in the sun, and breathe in the salty air (even in the off-season!).

From hikes and bike rides for those looking to stay fit on vacation, to beach days and refreshments for those looking for the meaning of relaxation, to boutique shopping for everyone looking to bring a piece of Block island home, there is something for everyone. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what Block Island offers here! Your getaway is what you make it. Your vacation time will be well spent when you choose Block Island.

2022 is your year. Where will you be?

http://www.blockislandinfo.com for more information and to get started planning your vacation.

Tis the Season!

The turkey has been bought. The trimmings have been planned. We are days away from the big event. If you don’t dry the bird, it promises to be a success! But what have you done to make sure the following weekend continues with the holiday spirit?

Have you given any thought to this year’s Holiday Stroll? This is an event not to be missed! The Block Island Holiday Stroll brings you the spirit of the holidays, something you can’t find online or in a big box store. Nothing says “I’ve given a lot of thought to your gift this year” like a unique present from one of the island’s boutique shops. Go ahead, get one for yourself too!

Pick up a friend or two, get on the ferry, head to the island, and be merry. And don’t forget to check out our famous Lobster Pot Tree! The sales and low key shopping event start on Friday November 26th and last all weekend. On Saturday, there will even be a Winter Market where many of your favorite Summer time vendors will be present to showcase their artwork and crafts.

So this year, instead of the traditional Black Friday shopping, we encourage you to make it a Block Friday. In fact, make it a weekend event. Check out these accommodations if a day of holiday fun isn’t enough: https://www.blockislandchamber.com/2021-block-island-annual-holiday-stroll

So what are you waiting for? Check out the ferry and plane schedules here and we’ll see you in a few days! As a bonus, the high speed ferry is running!



Save the Date for Block Island!

There is nothing more inspiring than Fall on Block Island.  It’s a time when locals and visitors walk along the island’s beautiful beaches without the crowds. It’s a time when everyone begins looking forward to the Fall seasonal festivities. It’s a time to get to the island.

SAVE these dates!

  • Get ready for some Halloween fun at the Yellow Kittens on October 30, 9pm- 1am.
    • “Nightclub of the Living Dead” featuring DJ Libre, Costume Contest with cash prizes and door proceeds benefiting the BIVFD
  • Poor People’s Pub Halloween Bash – Sunday, October 31st – 10pm – 1am.
    • “Kill the Kegs” 3$ draft beers and cash prizes for best costume.
  • Annual Block Island Holiday Stroll- Nov 26-28.
    • “Shop, Sip and Stroll” for 2021! Stores will be open, coffee will be on, lunch will be served, there are places open to stay and the famous Block Island Lobster Pot Tree will be lit! More info on participating stores and restaurants at http://www.blockislandchamber.com
  • New Year’s Eve on 12/31! New Year’s Eve is always a good time to be on Block Island! Restaurants are open and the Annual Lion’s Club Polar Plunge goes off at noon on the 1st. Stay tuned to http://www.blockislandinfo.com for information.

And don’t forget to take some time to connect with while you are on the island! The tranquility of the island is a perfect setting to curl up with a hot cocoa and a good book outdoors.  If you are looking for some activity on the island, take the bike tour or walk the grounds of the 2 Lighthouses on the island. The beauty and history you will experience is worth the trip. Who knows, you may also find some glass globes this year and say you conquered the “Float Project”. For more information visit https://www.blockislandinfo.com/

Fall for Fall on Block Island.

Photo: Ross Draper

Fall on the Island is considered by many to be Block Island’s best season.  It’s a time when everyone, locals and guests to our paradise alike, can walk along the island’s beautiful beaches without quite so many people. It’s a time to look forward to the seasonal festivities. You can find the farmers’ markets and the artisan’s markets, fall décor in the island’s boutique shops, a pumpkin coffee or cocktail on the area’s restaurant menus, and much more.

Block Island in the Fall is one of Rhode Island’s best-kept secrets. The water is still warm enough to swim, the businesses are open, the accommodations are at off-season rates and availability, the congestion in town is less and the sunsets are spectacular.

Block Island is the real-life New England island retreat authors love to write about. Complete with rolling hills, stone walls, tales of buried pirate treasure and vacation spots known for Kennedy sightings, Block Island is a vacation destination of choice.

At only 7 miles long and 3 miles wide, Block Island can be explored by foot, bicycle, moped, or taxi. There is magic in the exploration of the Island; finding a secret spot, a quiet bench, a secluded cove, the perfect sunset spot…..

A treasure to be seen for those willing to put in the effort is the Mohegan Bluffs. Let us talk you into trekking down the 142 steps to the rocky and secluded beach below. The 150-foot bluffs are a sight to be seen from the beach level below, never mind the view from the top.

There are plenty of Fall adventures to be had on the Island if you are so inclined. Kayak tours, Paddleboarding, marine life touch tanks at BIMI, fishing from shore or from a boat charter. You can also take a walk on the many trails the island has to offer, keeping your eyes peeled for a glass float. Maybe rent a bike and ride along the coast. All you really need is a sweatshirt and a camera to capture a good time.

Once you’ve explored the island’s natural majesties there are many wonderful and unique stores and restaurants that stay open through the fall. You’ll leave wanting to come back for more, and we will be here!

Visit www.blockislandinfo.com to find out more on what there is to do on island this Fall!

Time to Tour

**Guest post by Block Island Ghost Tours

Believers, skeptics, the easily spooked…you know them. Everyone has their own opinions on the supernatural, and everyone enjoys hearing stories and sharing their ghostly experiences. What better way to have fun and honor the rich history of Block Island than with a new experience? Block Island Ghost Tours.

When a group of friends with a love for chilling tales get together to form a business you know it’s going to be spooky!  Rick has been an island resident for 20 years soaking up it’s history, fact and folklore.  His brother, David, with his love of occult memorabilia is our resident skeptic . Holly is a firm believer in ghosts with an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the winter, they meticulously planned a route, researched Island history, and gathered ghost stories to create the Old Harbor Walking Tour.

It may be hard to believe that such a small island can have so many ghost stories!  From the bones which lie in the rich earth to the foundations of these old buildings, the spirits of our ancestors are waiting for their stories to be told.  Manisses, as the island was known by the first inhabitants, the Narragansett Native Americans, was a place for those who weren’t able to adapt to tribal life and so lived in exile.  With the arrival of European settlers came violence and bloodshed.  Since then, over a dozen shipwrecks, murders, pirate sightings and tragedies have become stories handed down through generations.  It is an honor for the Block Island Ghost Tours team to curate and share the darker side of Block Island’s history with all who love this extraordinary place.

Block Island Ghost Tours currently offers two different experiences. The Old Harbor Walking Tour runs daily at 5, 7, and 9pm. This 80-minute long walking tour is about a mile loop through Old Harbor with 6 stops to explore the history and ghost stories behind some of the Island’s oldest buildings. It is $35 for adults and $25 for children under 12. The Spirits with Spirits tour is a pub crawl that takes place once a week on Fridays at 7:30pm. This tour tells stories while sipping on your favorite cocktails at four of Block Island’s most haunted bars. All attendees must be 21 or older and it is $100 per person. All tours can be booked at blockislandghosttours.com, by phone, or in person at our desk in the Harborside Inn. The Block Island Ghost Tours team of ghost hosts and sales ghouls are eager to share these experiences with you all!

Block Island Ghost Tours are just one of the tours offered on the island. The Block Island Historical Society offers cemetery and history tours at various times throughout the summer. Their tour schedule can be found on their website at blockislandhistorical.org.

Taxi tours are available daily through most taxi companies. These $75, hour-long tours bring you all over the Island highlighting points of interest and each taxi driver adds their own flair and stories to each tour. Call a taxi or stop by the taxi stand by the ferry to take one of these tours.

The Tourism Council has mapped self-guided walking and bike tours. Maps and details can be found on blockislandinfo.com or picked up at the Visitor Center. 

Heliblock offers helicopter tours, for an aerial view of the Island and surrounding waters. They have 3 different tour options that start and end on Block Island offering areas of focus on the scenic beauty of Block Island, the wind farm, or all of it including a 2000 foot aerial view of Block Island and other islands in the area.

Pond and Beyond offers various kayaking tours from sunrise to sunset to full moon paddles. There are tours for all ages and experiences.  Take a leisurely trip though the Great Salt Pond or an educationally packed tour to learn all about the GSP’s ecosystem.

Whether you’re looking for adventure from above, in the comfort of an air conditioned cab, at your own pace, or a little something spooky, industry professionals and island enthusiasts are just waiting to share their love of one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Simply Summertime

The Summer of 2021 is proving to be the season to break last year’s routines! Traveling is on everyone’s to do list. With that in mind we have taken a few minutes to highlight some of the more popular attractions the island brings you in this year of redemption!

  1. Check out the Beauty at the Bluffs

The Mohegan Bluffs stands about 200 feet above sea level. At this height, the views are undoubtedly some of the best on the island (in New England?), but it doesn’t end there. After taking in the scenery from the top, you’ll want to pack a water and gather up all your energy to make the journey down the 141 stairs to the beautiful beach that awaits you below. It may be a bit of a workout but the reward is more spectacular views and an uncrowded spot to lay your towel down for the afternoon and soak up the sunshine.

Photo: @lynette.ik on IG

2. Take in the Scene

Once off the ferry in Old Harbor, you’ll be steps away from much that Block Island has to offer. Water Street, the main street, is many people’s first and last stop on a day trip to the island. It’s easy to stroll along the water and visit the shops, as they have all of what you need for a day of fun on the island.
We recommend stopping at one of the several restaurants open for the season and ask for their specialty drink. You’ll feel about as tropical as it gets in New England. If you decide to make a night of it; there are many hotels and B&Bs in this downtown area, all close to beach access. Word to the wise…book well in advance for an overnight.

Old Harbor Block Island

3. Find your perfect spot on Crescent Beach

Depending on what you are looking for in a Beach, Crescent beach encompasses it all. 4 miles of white sand that stretch the East side of the island. Surf beach has no waves and shallow water and is closest to town. Fred Benson Town Beach has facilities, concessions and lifeguards. If you are interested in more of a “scene” the volleyball nets and bigger waves at Scotch beach may be your cup of tea. The northern most end of Crescent beach is anchored by the more secluded Mansion Beach where you will find even bigger waves and excellent body surfing. The white sandy beach is inviting and will remind you of what a vacation destination is supposed to feel like. No matter if you are looking for a quiet spot all your own or you want to be in the center of the action, you can find your perfect spot on Crescent Beach.

Photo by M.Melford

4. Explore the Island via Bike

Whether you want to ride with the island breeze in your hair or break out in a sweat, exploring the island by bike is definitely something to try. You can visit the island’s famous lighthouses, explore the nature trails, beaches, and Great Salt Pond, and take frequent stops for a bite or a beverage along the way. There are multiple businesses right in the heart of downtown that offer bike rentals and maps or bring your own bike with you on the ferry.

The Block Island Tourism Council has a self-guided bike tour of the island, offering 12 stops with video information circumnavigating the island. You can find information on the tour here: https://www.blockislandinfo.com/maps/bike-tour-map

Photo T. Monje

5. Dine Around

There’s certainly no shortage of places to eat and drink on Block Island, find a spot and relax as you try one of the establishment’s unique dishes, many located in both Old Harbor and the New Harbor section of the island. You can find breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktails and stunning sunset views. Not sure which cocktail to try? Those who frequent Block Island know that mudslides are the unofficial cocktail of choice while on island time. 

6. Find a Glass Float

As of June 4, 2021, 550 Glass Floats (glass orbs about the size of an orange) have started being hidden on Block Island. Floats are dated, numbered and stamped with the shape of Block Island. The floats are clear glass except for 21 (because it is 2021), which are special colored orbs.   If you find a float we ask that you register it by clinking here: https://www.blockislandinfo.com/glass-float-project/register-floats.
Floats are hidden on the beaches and on the Greenway Trails. They will be found above the high tide mark but never in the dunes or up the side of the bluffs. They will be within a few feet of either side of any Greenway trail they are placed on.  Floats are never on Private Property. You’ll want some patience and remember; the float finds you!