A Weekend on Block Island
I find the summer season to be fleeting every year. I know many people in the northeast share a similar sentiment as it seems to take longer and longer each year for the weather to warm up and before we know it, its Labor Day! While I try to make the most of the season, there are always a couple of local trips that I put on the back burner when I run out of time, determined to tackle them the following summer – Block Island is one of the trips which has been carried over for quite a few summers now. When my college roommate suggested we meet somewhere in-between New York and Boston in mid-September, Block Island seemed like the logical choice to hold onto the last weekend of summer.
The same glaciers which created Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Long Island created a slice of heaven for Rhode Island as well in Block Island, but the island is less well-known to visitors outside of the New England area which allows it to preserve some of the quieter pockets of the island. Block Island is very bike friendly and we found the best way to get around the 10 square miles of the island was to rent bikes and ride the entire island! Block Island was named “One of the 12 Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere” by the Nature Conservatory and it is evident at each turn on the island – from 17 miles of beaches, to 250-foot bluffs and over 360 freshwater ponds – there has been serious effort into keeping the beautiful landscapes and island’s natural beauty intact. Block Island, thanks for being a place to rejuvenate and relax for the weekend (and celebrate a whole decade of friendship with my college roomie!).
Here are some photos to close out the last weekend of our beautiful New England summer.
Where to Stay: In the summer months, almost every hotel in Block Island has a two night minimum. We were only coming in on Saturday morning and leaving on Sunday afternoon so did not want to commit to a two night hotel. We kept calling and calling hotels until the Wednesday before and the Surf Hotel had one room unclaimed for Saturday night which we were able to book. If your schedule is flexible, be willing to be a little persistent and you can potentially score a last minute room!
Where to Eat: When I travel in the summer months, my main focus becomes, “where can I get the best lobster roll?” Thanks to the Surf Hotel and Dead Eye Dick’s for providing me with two of the best lobster rolls I had all summer, in addition to both providing dynamite water views. For dinner, check out Eli’s. They don’t take reservations, but once you put your name in the the wait moves pretty quickly. The menu is full of fresh fish dishes (we had a hard time deciding what to get!), but were extremely pleased with our monkfish and tuna. For breakfast, head to Persephone’s Kitchen & Cafe for great coffee, breakfast sandwiches and gluten free baked goods. And lastly, you can’t leave without trying Block Island’s original ice cream parlor at The Ice Cream Place.
How to Get Around: Bikes are the best option if you want to fit in some exercise and have the ability to move around the island quickly. Bike rentals are ubiquitous on the island – make sure you grab a bike with a basket! Our favorite ride was down to the Mohegan Bluffs and around Lakeside Drive to the New Harbor. Each turn was prettier than the next and worlds quieter from the main Block Island ferry terminal where the majority of visitors descend. Admission to all the beaches are free so you can lock up your bike whenever you feel like taking a break.
How to Get There: Block Island is accessible by ferry from Point Judith (near Narragansett) year round for both passengers and car reservations. The hi-speed ferry is only a 30 minute ride and the traditional ferry will get you to the island in 55 minutes. Ferries also run from New London, CT, Fall River and Newport, RI.
Have you ever been to Block Island? How did you spend the last weekend of summer?