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Rhode Island's Hidden Gem: Block Island

October 2, 2018

 

Located just 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island sits Block Island, a six-mile long piece of land that offers visitors a seaside haven full of breathtaking vistas, history, and a welcomed change of pace. 

 

How to get there:

 

You can catch a ferry to Block Island from two locations in Rhode Island — Newport and Point Judith. Passenger tickets from Newport start at $50 RT and are $25.95 RT from Point Judith. If you plan on taking a car you can only depart from Point Judith and must make reservations for your vehicle ahead of time. Ferry tickets for a standard size vehicle are around $80 RT.  

For panoramic views the entire ferry ride sit on the top deck.

 The view from the ferry as we arrived at Block Island. The white building is the National Hotel.

 

Getting around the island:

 

Transportation options are limited once you're on the island. There are only two options unless you take your car on the ferry — bikes or taxis — taxi rides aren't cheap on Block Island. There are several bike rental places around the center of town that all seemed to have extremely fair prices. Five hours on the bikes only cost $20, while it cost over $40 to go less than 15 miles in a cab after we returned our bikes. 

 

Moment of truth: I won't lie to you, it's much easier to look back upon the bike ride around the island nostalgically, but there were a few times I wanted to die trying to get up some of the island's hills. With that being said — if you are in good shape renting a bicycle is a fantastic option, if you don't want to make that sort of physical commitment (I don't blame you), take your car to the island. Taxis are too outrageously priced.

 

Block Island:

 

Once we arrived we excitedly exited the ferry and headed straight to Persephone's Kitchen after reading countless reviews raving about their breakfast. There were lines out the door and the sweet smell of pastries and freshly made coffee wafting outside — all promising signs of delicious food in my book — and the food did not disappoint. I would eat there for every meal if I could. 

The island's main street is always buzzing with activity and visitors, but doesn't feel overcrowded. 

 

Sights to see:

 

What the island lacks in size it delivers in scenery. From the historic buildings and scenic bluffs to the sandy shorelines, there's no shortage of postcard-worthy sights.

 

The Southeast Lighthouse was built in 1875 to help protect mariners and vessels from running aground on one of the island's dangerous shoals. The lighthouse is a strikingly beautiful sight to see with its unique architecture and muddy red bricks against a clear blue sky. While you're there soak in the sweeping views of the coastline and the Atlantic extending toward the horizon.  During the summer the lighthouse is open for Tower Tours, which give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the lighthouse and the chance to hear interesting stories of its past that include tales of pirates and shipwrecks. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

Block Island's Southeast Lighthouse. 

 

To see the island's most dramatic landscape visit the Mohegan Bluffs located just a short distance from the Southeast Lighthouse. Here, you'll see rocky 200-ft. bluffs plummet into a long, thin stretch of sand before colliding with the Atlantic's deep blues. If you've got the time head down to the beach and explore. There's all sorts of shells and sea life that have washed ashore. 

 

Tip: To get down to the beach you'll have to make it down a steep set of stairs. There are 141 stairs in all and while getting down isn't terrible, coming back up is pretty rough. A lot of people struggled to make it back to the top of the bluffs. I do not recommend going down unless you are sure you can make it back up without any help. 

 A look down from the top of the stairs. You can't even see where they end up it's so steep.

The Southeast Lighthouse from the bluffs.

 

Located all the way across the island is the North Lighthouse  — possibly the most secluded spot on Block Island — and one of the most serene. The picturesque lighthouse was built in 1829 and the surrounding area was nothing short of magical with only the sounds of the seagulls chirping, along with the waves crashing into shore, and smell of saltwater in the air. It's the ideal location to catch a sunset. 

North Lighthouse. To get this view you'll have to walk about a mile along the beach. 

 

For a strange, local treasure stop by the island's Sacred Labyrinth on your way back into town from the North Lighthouse. The hidden labyrinth is a well-worn circular path that leads to a lone bench. It was designed to help people unplug and meditate while walking in the peace and quiet without any distractions.  Here's how to find the Block Island Sacred Labyrinth. 

 Nearby under a crabapple tree sits a colorful mailbox where you can join thousands of others in anonymously writing down your hopes, dreams, and fears in one of the mailbox's many notebooks. 

While there are plenty of destinations to visit on the island, allow yourself some time to explore. I was in photography heaven with so many adorable coastal homes and the most vibrant hydrangeas I've ever seen around every corner. 

 

To purchase Block Island prints or canvases check out my New England print collection.

 

Still need a little more convincing before you book that ticket to Rhode Island? This should do the trick! 

 

Looking for some tips and tricks to make your next trip as smooth as possible? We've got you covered! 

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