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10 Must-See Places to Visit on Block Island

Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 1/21/21 6:00 PM
Block Island, situated 13 miles off of the southern coast of Rhode Island, is a popular summer spot for New England locals looking for fun weekend getaway. It offers the coastal charm and stunning scenery of better know destinations like Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, but without the overwhelming crowds (or quite as sky-high prices).


Clocking in at roughly 10 square miles, Block Island may be tiny, but it offers plenty to do between its shores. With 250-foot bluffs, two lighthouses, and an incredible countryside, there is something for everyone to see. Check out our top 10 places to visit when boating to The Block:

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Mohegan Bluffs Block Island

1. Mohegan Bluffs

Mohegan Trail, Block Island, RI

This long stretch of clay cliffs known as The Mohegan Bluffs rise up about two-hundred-feet into the air. Not only are the bluffs themselves a sight to behold, but, from the top, they offer an eagle-eye view of the coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. Some people even say that the Bluffs are the most beautiful part of the whole island. There are multiple spots to view the Bluffs from when walking the trail, however, our favorite viewpoint is from the long-winding 147 step staircase. With that in mind, be sure to pack light and bring your sneakers if you plan on walking down the staircase to the rocky beach beneath. It is definitely worth the view!


2. Beaches on Block Island

  • Mansion Beach - Mansion Road, Block Island, RI

    • Named for the old Searles Mansion which once stood on the site, Mansion Beach is now a popular spot for those looking for a restful day by the water. Mansion Beach is less accessible than other beaches on Block Island, but if you're looking for thinner crowds or a spot to surf, it's worth the trek.

  • Fred Benson Town Beach - Corn Neck Road, Block Island, RI

    • If you're looking for a fun, safe place for the kids to swim, try Fred Benson Town Beach. It's the only beach on the island that offers on-duty lifeguards, and a pavilion with changing rooms, showers, and concessions. Those added conveniences mean that the beach can get crowded, so go early to secure your spot.

  • Ballard's Inn - 42 Water Street, Block Island, RI (pictured above)

    • Ballard’s can be seen to the left-hand side of the Island if you arriving by The Block Island Ferry. Known as a premier beach party destination, Ballard’s offers live music, beach volleyball, cornhole, Tiki bars, oceanfront dining, and a full service beach every day. It is a prime location and great spot to check out for those truly looking to embrace the island life. If you are looking for something more secluded and family-friendly, we would recommend the top two beaches.  


3. North Light House 

Corn Neck Road, Block Island, RI

The historic North Light House is located at the Northern tip of Block Island, known as Sandy Point. North Light was built in 1867. Today, the lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the ground floor serves as a museum. Sandy Point is also a popular spot for walks, since the area is the site of a wildlife refuge you will be sure to see some harbor seals down by the water. Head over for sunset to take a photo or two! 


4. Water Street Shopping

Water Street, Block Island, RI

Planning to do some shopping or looking for a spot to roam before dinner? Head to Water Street, which has the island's largest concentration of boutiques and shops. You'll find art galleries, local souvenir shops, clothing stores, book shops, specialty food stores, and more.


5. Rodmans Hollow

Cooneymus Road, Block Island, RI

Varied terrain and beautiful scenery make this 230-acre nature preserve--formed by glacial meltwater some 22,000 years ago--a popular spot with hikers, bikers, geologists, birdwatchers and more. Its proximity to the shore means you can start your day meandering through its many trails, and finish if off relaxing on the beach. It is also a great place to hunt for glass floats. There are 550 handcrafted numbered orbs (glass floats) which have been hidden around the island as part of an interactive art experience known as the Glass Float Project. 


6. Block Island Farmer's Market

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, rain or shine, the island hosts a farmer's market featuring freshly made baked goods, and locally-made jams, veggies, salsas, pickles, honey, pasta, and much more. The market also offers arts and crafts like quilts, painted buoys, photography, and sculpture from local artisans. There is also live music and kids crafts! 

Wednesdays 9 - 11:30 AM, June 10 through Labor Day at the Spring House Hotel

Saturdays 9 - 11:30 AM, June 10 through Columbus Day at Legion Park 


7. South East Lighthouse

122 Mohegan Trail, Block Island, RI

The South East Light is unlike any New England lighthouse you've seen. Built is the late 1800s, the lighthouse was designed in Gothic Revival style, and features a red brick facade, and a keeper's cottage with a dramatically gabled roof. In the summer, the lighthouse museum and gift shop are open to the public.  


8. Swimming in Fresh Pond or Great Salt Pond

We love when our boaters chime in to share their experiences. Thanks to Jason Hollis commenting on our original Facebook post, the 8th thing to do on Block Island is to paddle around or take a dip! 

The Great Salt Pond is another popular pond among boat owners. The pond features rocky beaches, protected waters and of course scenic views. Pond and Beyond Kayak offers a two-and-a-half hour eco-tour of the Great Salt Pond where you can relax, spy on wildlife or check out the oyster farms along the way.


9. Abrams' Animal Farm

5 Spring Street, Block Island, RI 

Meet a collection of exotic animals maintained by Justin Abrams, owner of the 1661 Inn & Hotel. This is also why the farm is known as the 1661 Farm & Gardens. The farm is home to llamas, emus, sheep, donkeys, goats, swans, ducks, dogs, and camels. It is free for visitors to view the animals all year long. 

Post by Becky at Dockwa

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