Block Island, RI has always seemed a fairy land to me: A mystical rock suspended just out of reach, moated by ocean waves. During the four college years I lived in Rhode Island, friends would periodically take weekend trips to the island, returning sun-smooched and salty, euphoric grins on their faces. I always yearned to go, but somehow just never organized myself to find the ferry.
When would I at last get to see this famed island? Why, during my Maternity Leave from teaching, of course! What better way check out Block Island than a 15-hour day trip with a three-month-old baby? (You’re going to have to trust me that an infant was along on this trip — it took all my energy to snap these photos of the island’s abundant natural beauty, so the little lady and I remained behind the camera. If you want to see her, here she is in a ridiculous purple star suit.)
To get to Block Island, one hops aboard either a private boat (alas, I did not have one lying around for nautical escapades), or a number of ferry options departing from Rhode Island, Connecticut, or Long Island, NY. We opted for the high speed Block Island Ferry from Point Judith, RI. Warning: “High Speed” is basically warp speed. Hold on like crazy if you choose to stand on the roof deck for the 30-minute ride! (The return trip we were much more comfortable in the windowed indoor seating area, thank you very much.)
The ferry docked, and we’d made it to Block Island at last! Our first stop was mere steps from the port: a luscious lobster roll lunch at the restaurant of the National Hotel (click for more info), home of the heavenly oceanfront balcony pictured above.
The restaurant at the National Hotel also has a tantalizing option: DOUBLE LOBSTER on your lobster roll. Now, given the choice between Single Lobster and Double Lobster in YOUR roll, what would you do??? Here is my answer, pictured below. I want a T-Shirt that says, “Double Lobsta 4EVA.”
Full of double lobster, we piled into a taxi and chugged off to take in the Southeast Lighthouse: a Block Island landmark so astounding both inside and out that I will have a whole new article dedicated only to that. (Subscribe to my monthly newsletter if you don’t want to miss it!) Until then, however, just gaze at the stately angles of the building, and how it harmonizes with the sea, sky, and lawn.
Next, we drove around the island for a rapid tour (a day trip can crunch time!), spotting idyllic swimming beaches, bike paths, cozy rental houses and hotels, and celebrity mansions that shall remain nameless. “Block Island is what Martha’s Vineyard was before it became overbuilt!” I overheard. “Beautifully wild.”
Speaking of wild, our final stop was a hike through the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve: 25 acres of wild beauty connecting to the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Hodge Property is so gorgeous that every other picture in this article is from there. I couldn’t stop cooing and photographing! Dizzy from the pretty, we headed back down to the ferry and began the journey home to Boston, wishing we could have stayed longer. Have you been to Block Island? If so, do share your experiences!
Where to stay on Block Island, and why:
Though a day trip to the island is possible, I HIGHLY recommend staying at least one night (if not way more) to avoid the longing we felt after such a quick visit. To help your accommodation search, here are easy links to the top hotels on Block Island, Block Island house rentals on VRBO, and vacation rentals on HomeAway. Happy travels!
We were guests of Visit Rhode Island, but all double lobster choices and opinions are my own. FYI, some links above are affiliates that provide a small commission to support this site at no cost to you. Merci!