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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. 

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10. Top Dining Options on Block Island for Every Meal

Block Island might only be 10 square-miles, but it packs an abundance of great food places to grab a bite to eat anytime of the day. 


  • Rebecca’s Seafood - 435 Water Street, Block Island, RI 

    • Despite the name, Rebecca's Seafood is an amazing and quick breakfast spot. Rebecca's is a popular island tradition specializing in fresh seafood, wraps, and breakfast. Its location also makes it a great stop before heading to the beach or exploring the town. After opening its door during the summer of 1994 and hasn't looked back since and has a total of three locations on Block Island including Payne's Dock and the Town Beach Pavilion. 

  • Old Post Office Bagel Shop - 123 Ocean Ave, Block Island, RI  (pictured above) 

    • This tiny find on block island is filled with bagels with all different kind of toppings, baked goods, and breakfast sandwiches. Its a great spot for a coffee & a breakfast to bring to the beach with you. 


  • Three Sisters - 443 Old Town Road, Block Island, RI  (pictured above) 
    • A tiny cottage packed with big taste. Grab a tasty sandwich after cycling around town or before heading over to the beach! The wait might be a little long but, the sandwiches are some of the best.

  • Ballard’s - 42 Water Street, Block Island, RI 

    • Enjoy oceanfront dining at its best when dining at Ballard's. You can see the ocean from every single spot: inside the building, on the outdoor patio, or from your lounge chair on the beach. Ballard's offers just about everything. With lobster prepared 13 different ways, steak, burgers, sandwiches and sushi, there is an option for everyone. 

  • The Oar - 221 Jobs Hill Road, Block Island, RI (pictured above

    • The Oar is the perfect name for this casual dining spot where hundreds of personalized oars are plastered and hung on the entire interior of the restaurant. This is the spot where locals and in-the-know tourists kick back to enjoy great food, booze (their specialty drink is a frozen mudslide!) and the amazing water view. The best seats in the house are either on the deck looking out over Great Salt Pond or on the lawn where you are able to play cornhole while waiting for your food. 


  • Club Soda - 35 Connecticut Ave, Block Island, RI 

    • Looking for a casual setting for dinner? Than this is your spot. They serve some of the best pub food on the island and are open all year round. Something goes on here just about every night of the week from trivia to pool tournaments to karaoke! 

  • Dead Eye Dick’s - Payne's Dock, Block Island, RI (pictured above

    • A newly renovated restaurant with outside seating overlooking New Harbor. Enjoy seafood options, steaks and great sunsets from the outside deck seating. 


  • Southeast Light Delights - Southeast Light House- 122 Mohegan Trail, Block Island, RI

    • Looking for a quick snack while hiking on the Mohegan trail or just want a Del's Lemonade? Be sure to stop by this adorable food truck right outside the Southeast Light House. Their specialty is the lobster grilled cheese sandwich but the lobster roll is just as amazing. 

  • Payne’s Killer Donuts - 1 Ocean Ave, Block Island, RI (pictured above) 

    • Payne's Donuts is a Block Island staple. They are homemade donuts which come in three flavors: plain, sugar or cinnamon sugar. They are completely fresh and served warm. 


  • Aldo’s Bakery - 130 Weldon's Way, Block Island, RI 

    • With over 32 flavors of ice cream, 24 flavors of Gelato, smoothies made with fresh fruit, and wonderful home-made desserts this is a must hit spot for anyone with a sweet tooth! Better yet, each morning they deliver baked goods, hot coffee, fresh fruit, and warm breakfast sandwiches right to your boat. In the afternoon they deliver an assortment of snacks and light fare including oysters, fresh shrimp cocktail, homemade breads, desserts and more. The Aldo family also owns quite a few other restaurants on the Block and even a bike rental shop. Check out any of their locations for a great bite to eat (the pizza is amazing), a bakery treat, or even to rent a bike or moped for your other exploration around Block Island.  

  • Persephone’s Kitchen: Coffee Shop & Eatery - 235 Dodge Street, Block Island, RI (pictured above

    • Stop in for morning coffee and a sweet treat and you won't be disappointed. All food is completely fresh and made from scratch. They even offer a variety of vegan and gluten-free options so that everyone can find something they will enjoy. 


See what all the talk is about and plan your trip to Block Island today: 


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Have any advice to give our boaters while traveling to Block Island for a weekend getaway? Or, know of any other great local spots we might have missed? Chime in on our Facebook Group.

Post by Becky at Dockwa

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