Everything You Need To Know Before You Visit Block Island

Everything you need to know before you visit block island

Block Island is a small Island, just 25 km2, south of Rhode Island. It is so small that there’s only one town on the whole of Block Island, New Shoreham; people often refer to this place by the town’s name.

Throughout New England, this Island is famous as one of the best weekend getaway spots. A quick ferry to the Island, and you can practically take multiple rounds of the whole area in just one day.

If you’re planning to visit Block Island but are not sure how to start, what to do, and when to go, then this blog will help you. I have been to this Island on several occasions, and each time, I loved being there more.

Here’s everything you need to know before you visit Block Island

What is the best time to visit Block Island?

First of all, Block Island is open throughout the year for visitors (tourists peaking between June and September), however, most tourists tend to travel during the summer, when the beaches are cosy, all the restaurants, bars and accommodations are open, and nothing is out of reach.

In the winter, though, this island transforms with 25-26 inches of average snowfall. The white blanket covering the sand, trees, and fauna makes you feel like you’re in a completely different world. This is also when many places shut down since the tourist footfall is very low and it gets very cold.

If you don’t like cold that much, summer is the right season. You can indulge in various water sports, enjoy delicious and freshly sourced seafood, and enjoy beach parties.

But winter has its appeal, too. The island is quiet, and the scenery is beautiful.

How to Get To Block Island?

There are a few good ways to reach Block Island. You have the option of taking a tiny plane from the Westerly State Airport (WST).

The plane ticket costs around $60-65 for one way trip. To reach this Airport, you have to take a cab from Providence to WST.

Everything You Need To Know Before You Visit Block Island

However, the popular choice among people who travel frequently to this Island is the Block Island Ferry from Point Judith on Rhode Island, which gets you there in less than an hour, depending on which ferry you take.

If you’re thinking of bringing your car on the ferry, it’s important to reserve a spot well in advance. Ferry bookings for the upcoming season open in early January, and the coveted weekend slots get booked fast. Remember, only the traditional ferry carries vehicles and the may cost you anywhere between $40-$50.

So, if you’re planning a day or weekend trip to Block Island, consider leaving your car behind. Walking, bike and moped riding, are the best ways to explore the Island. And if you wonder if a car is necessary for Block Island, the simple answer is – not at all! The Island is only 3×7 miles.

How to Prepare for the Trip on Block Island?

If this is your first time on Block Island, then you need to prepare for a few minor but persistent annoyances. Tracking is all cool and fun, but ticks aren’t. So if you plan on hiking, going through woods while getting brushed by bushes, you better level up your pants/trouser game. Long pants and knee-high socks are recommended.

You’ll also find mosquitoes buzzing if you’re near woods or vegetation. If you don’t like anything sucking your blood, giving you a bad itch, and probably a disease, keep a bug spray or some mosquito/bug repellent with you.

I made this mistake and, as a result, had to spend quite some time scratching mosquito bites and regretting not wearing full-length clothes or carrying bug spray. Don’t be me!

Carry Cash With You

Always carry cash with you because not all the bars, restaurants, cafes or other establishments take a credit card.

Prepare for the Rain

Block Island sees a fairly moderate amount of rain throughout the year, with March and November considered as the wettest. The island’s monthly average for rainfall varies between 2.4 inches – 3.9 inches. So always carry an umbrella or rain jacket or anything along the lines that keeps you from getting wet.

Src: Weatherspark

Block Island Weather

Block Island weather is not easily predictable. If you think you’re prepared just because you have a really accurate weather app, think again!

According to locals, weather apps don’t predict the right weather conditions. You can get rain on a clear day, have to wear a sweater and long pants during summer, and the list goes on.

Block Island Runs on Clean Energy

Block Island is also unique as it completely runs on clean energy. The island has offshore wind farms with 5 turbines that produce enough electricity for the whole island and still have spare to power a portion of Rhode Island. This offshore wind farm is the first offshore wind farm in the United States, generating up to 30MW.

If you fancy paying this wind farm a visit, you can take a boat or helicopter ride.

There Are 2 Lighthouses

There are two lighthouses on the Island, North and South, and both are worth the visit.

The North Lighthouse stands as one of the major attractions for a day trip to Block Island. Situated near the Clayhead Trail and a mere 10-minute drive from downtown, it features plenty of parking space.

To reach the northern lighthouse, you’ll have to take a half-mile walk along the beach, so make sure you arrive here on time to witness the lighthouse in its full glory.

The lighthouse stays closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and rainy days. It is only open between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM from Thursday to Monday.

Block Island North Light

Block Island’s other beacon, Southeast Lighthouse, sits on the opposite side of the island, near Mohegan Bluffs. It offers stunning oceanfront views and has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The lighthouse was constructed in 1873, but it was relocated in 1993 to prevent bluff erosion.

When you reach this lighthouse, you’ll find a Museum attached with a small gift shop. If you visit this spot during the summer, you might find a food truck serving delicious seafood. We couldn’t find one, though.

Block Island South Lighthouse

Rent Bikes or Mopeds For Best Experience

For a small Island, going slow is the best way to explore. No matter where you’re hailing from, you’ll find plenty of bikes and mopeds for rentals.

Bikes and Mopeds are more accessible to ride; you can cruise effortlessly even through a narrow passageway, and parking them doesn’t take up much space.

For Night Life

If you fancy great music, lip smacking cocktails, and a night of dancing then Block Island has plenty of great bars that you can explore. There’s Captain Nick’s Rock-n-Roll bar, Yellow Kittens Tavern, Poor People’s Club and more.

There’s a Beach For Everyone

No matter what kind of beach you like, quiet or crowded, if you love going to the beach, there’s one for you on Block Island. Block Island beaches include everything from secluded hidden gems like Dory Cave to lively beaches like Ballards with live performances and activities.

Painting The Painted Rocks

There are painted rocks on Block Island that you can also paint in many places. One of the rocks has over 1.8 million layers of paint, so if you want to contribute and add one more layer, you can do so.

One painted rock point can be located at the Mohegan Trail and Lakeside junction. People who visit and paint the rocks do so for their reasons, from baby showers to any achievement unlocked. Every time you visit these rocks, you’ll find a new layer.

In Emergencies

The Block Island Medical Center serves as a primary healthcare hub dedicated to urgent and routine medical requirements. It comprises a team of dedicated in-house professionals, collaborates with visiting medical specialists, and maintains a network of referrals on the mainland.

So, you will be taken care of if you are in a serious accident and get badly injured. You may have to be airlifted to the nearest mainland hospital, which is almost 20 minutes away for severe health cases.

The medical center stays open Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You can call 911 or (401)-466-2974 for after-hour needs.

Conclusion

Block Island is a really lovely place for a weekend getaway or one day trip. It is also ideal for a long journey if laidback, quiet and relaxing is what you’re looking for. It takes little time to visit almost all the significant attractions however, you can take your own sweet time and spend hours at each tourist spot.

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