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Block Island

Block Island | Hidden Jewel of New England’s Coastline

Block Island is just south of mainland Rhode Island. Its 1800s red-brick Southeast Lighthouse sits atop the dramatic clay cliffs of Mohegan Bluffs, with a rocky beach below. Sandy beaches include the famous Crescent Beach.

The island’s northern tip features North Lighthouse, built in 1867, and Sachem Pond, home to gulls and swallows. Migratory songbirds visit the National Wildlife Refuge. You will certainly want to make Block Island part of a Newport to Portland, Maine itinerary.

Block Island
Block Island

A Brief History

Block Island has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. Native Americans, including the Narragansett, Niantic, and Pequot, inhabited the island long before European settlers arrived. The island was named after the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, who charted the region in the early 17th century.

Later during the colonial era, Block Island became an essential part of the New England maritime trade, serving as a strategic location for shipbuilding, whaling, and fishing. Over time, it became a popular summer resort destination known for its tranquil atmosphere and unspoiled beauty.


Block Island summers are comfortable and humid; the winters are very cold, wet, windy, and partly cloudy year-round. Over the year, the temperature typically varies from 27°F to 78°F and is rarely below 14°F or above 84°F. Since evenings may be breezy, you may want to pack a light sweater.

Places to see

  • Take in the scenery around Mohegan Bluffs. Prepare to be awestruck by the Mohegan Bluffs, a magnificent stretch of cliffs that rise 150 feet above the crashing waves below.
  • Visit Southeast Lighthouse: Marvel at the Southeast Lighthouse, an iconic landmark perched on the island’s edge. Constructed in 1874, this towering structure boasts striking architecture and offers guided tours, allowing visitors to delve into its history and enjoy the breathtaking vistas from its vantage point.
  • Great Salt Pond: For water enthusiasts, the Great Salt Pond offers ample opportunities for boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. This vast natural harbor is a haven for wildlife, providing an ideal spot for birdwatching and fishing.
  • Beaches: Block Island is renowned for its pristine beaches, each with its unique charm. Whether you prefer the secluded beauty of Mansion Beach, the family-friendly Crescent Beach, or the surfing hotspot at Ballard’s Beach, you’ll find your slice of paradise on this island.

Things to do

  • Explore the charming village of Old Harbor, the island’s main hub. Stroll along the waterfront, browse boutique shops, and savor delicious seafood at the waterfront restaurants. Immerse yourself in the island’s laid-back atmosphere. Rent a bike at Beach Rose Bicycles, then travel back roads and visit historical landmarks.
  • Hike the Clay Head Nature Trail.
  • Relax with a day of pampering at Koru Eco Spa.
  • Treat yourself to a traditional lobster bake at Beachhead Restaurant.

Culinary Delights on Block Island

Indeed, no trip to Block Island would be complete without indulging in the island’s culinary offerings. Freshly caught seafood, local delicacies, and farm-to-table experiences await you. You’ll have various options, from casual seaside shacks to upscale dining establishments.

Block Island Marinas

Champlin’s Marina can comfortably accommodate 250′ boats, including deep draft ocean-going yachts up to 300 feet. Amenities such as a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, playground, private beach, grill, picnic area, rentals, laundry, taxi stand, and various stores make this marina a welcome stop.

Belle Vue Yachting Center, operated by Point Judith Marina, is in the protected waters of Point Judith Pond. This Marina offers floating docks, 30/50/100 amp electrical service, and deep water slips for up to 110′ vessels. Amenities include a swimming pool, private bathrooms and showers, laundry, picnic area, soda and juice vending, and fish cleaning station. The marina is also pet friendly.

New England Sailing Yacht-Charter EROS and Sailing Yacht KAI are excellent yachts for cruising New England.