Every summer, we take a big family vacation to a beautiful, beachy place in New England. Sometimes we go to Martha’s Vineyard, other times Cape Cod, and, also, Block Island. Last week, I made my second trip to Block Island, and, really, just had the best time.
I have to say that when I first arrived at Block Island, I was in love. It is a very small island, but offers a lot. When you first get off the ferry, you are right in the heart of the commercial area. There are several hotels, bed and breakfasts, cute shops, restaurants, etc. You almost don’t know where to start! Then, as you move away from the commercial area, you really discover the beauty of the island.
Below I have listed out some great places to eat, drink, shop, and play.
Food and Drink
National Hotel – This is somewhat of a landmark on Block Island. It is a large and historic hotel that is right in the center or town, right where you get off the ferry at Old Harbor. I’ve never stayed here, but I have had several meals. It is a good place to eat, and the view on the porch is fantastic. There is, also, a lovely area in the back with garden seating and a fire pit.
Spring House Hotel – This is, also, a place to stay, but I have only been there for appetizers and cocktails on the porch and/or lawn. This is the best place on the island for afternoon cocktails. The view at the top of this hill can’t be beat, and the interior of this hotel is gorgeous! Block Island is a pretty casual place, but I would recommend dressing up a bit when you come here, because it is a finer establishment.
Dead Eye Dick’s– This is the place to go for seafood and a view! Located right on New Harbor, down the street from Payne’s Dock, this place is the perfect spot for lunch of dinner. It really is a great spot for a nicer, quieter meal right on the water.
The Oar – This is a fun place to go for casual cocktails and cornhole. You can sit inside or out, and outside you can either sit at a picnic table with a group, or there are several Adirondack chairs facing out, overlooking New Harbor. Most of the tables outside have wait service, but it is slow, and there is a limited menu – just an FYI. Also, this is a great place for families, as kids can run around and play in the large, fenced-in area.
The Beachead – This is a great place for anyone. The location is great, because it is right off the main downtown area, and across from the water. There is plenty of outdoor and indoor seating, including picnic tables in the back, which are great for families. The menu is expansive, too. There is a good variety of food and drink, and the staff is very friendly.
Three Sisters – I haven’t been here, but it is on the list to try for next time. This tiny restaurant is set-up mostly outside, and looks like it could be your own backyard. Every time we rode by, it was full, and it just looks like a cool place to sit and have a nice, casual meal.
Block Island is a small island, and there are three main beaches to visit. The best beach is the Fred Benson Town Beach. There is parking, a bathhouse with concessions, umbrellas to rent, and taxis pick up and drop off visitors frequently. But, really, the reason why the beach is the best is the sand and ocean. The beach itself is larger, especially for New England, and the water is excellent. It’s blue-green and warm, and there are waves, and low tide is nice for children.
Another beach you must visit is Mohegan Bluffs. This is one of my favorite places is in New England. It’s almost like walking down a cliff in a rainforest. The site is spectacular, but the beach is just okay, as there are numerous rocks on the beach and in the water, but, still, a must-see.
Finally, there is Ballard’s, which is like a resort on the beach. There is a full restaurant, outdoor bar, live band, volleyball, and cabanas to rent. This would be a good place to visit with friends, or if you were on a bachelor or bachelorette party. This is more of a party place, not the spot for a nice, relaxing beach day.
One of the most beautiful lighthouses is right near Mohegan Bluffs, and it’s called Southeast Lighthouse. This a popular stop to visit, because the view is spectacular, as it sits high on a cliff, and the lighthouse has an interesting history.
The second, North Lighthouse, is at the tip of the other side of the island, and it sits on the end of a beautiful beach. This is a great place to take pictures, and watch boats come in and out of the harbor.
There are numerous little shops in Old Harbor, and it doesn’t take much time to stop in each one, but my favorite stores include Bonnie and Clyde, Tipsy Mermaid, and True North Outfitters in the National Hotel.
I hope you enjoyed my review of Block Island, and please feel free to ask any questions!