I have lived in New England for most of my life and can’t believe it has taken me this long to go to Block Island! Block Island is a small island off the coast of Rhode Island that can be accessed by boat or by ferries that leave out of Connecticut and Rhode Island. We took a morning ferry out of New London, CT. Tip #1: Buy your ferry tickets ahead of time and Tip #2: bring cash for parking. The ferry ride was about an hour and a half each way. We sat up on the top deck and enjoyed the smooth ride.
We planned to spend 8 hours on the island and went with friends who had visited before and knew the general lay of the land. Here’s how we broke down the day, what we ate (hint: all the seafood), where we shopped, and the sites we stopped to see!
First Stop: The National
According to everyone, The National is the place to be. It’s a hotel and restaurant and we ate lunch out on their big veranda. I got a super yummy clam dish off their appetizer menu with tomatoes, spinach, and sausage in a simple broth. The food was good, but the view was even better. It’s situated right on the main drag and looks out on the water where the ferries come in.
Second Stop: Mopeds
My husband and I bicycled around Martha’s Vineyard this summer for the first time. It was fun at first, but on the way back from Edgartown to Oaks Bluff we got lost, biked 5 miles out of the way, and dealt with increasing heat and humidity resulting in a less than enjoyable bike ride. So, when we decided to go to Block Island I was 100% Team Moped. I don’t trust myself to drive one on my own, so I was relieved to find out that each moped fits two people. My husband was more than happy to take the lead! We rented a moped for 3 hours, which was $75, and took off to tool around the island. Fortunately, our friends knew their way around, so we didn’t have to deal with maps.
Third Stop: North Lighthouse
We ended up at North Lighthouse Beach as our first moped stop. It’s not a swimming beach, but had a beautiful vista and a lighthouse at the end of it. It’s a great spot for pictures and to appreciate the view. On the road back from North Lighthouse there is a public beach for swimming with their own parking lot. We didn’t bring swimsuits, but we might the next time we come!
Fourth Stop: Payne’s
We hopped back on the moped and took off for Payne’s, an outdoor bar in New Harbor with killer Blood Mary’s. It’s right by a marina and it was fun to watch everyone pulling up in their boats to stop for a quick drink. The bar is dog-friendly, in fact Block Island itself seems very dog friendly, so keep that in mind if you like to travel with your pooch.
Fifth Stop: Mohegan Bluffs
This was the most beautiful spot we visited on the island. The bluff is 200 feet tall with a stunning beach at the bottom of a 141 step staircase. We walked down all the steps and just took in the view. The beach at the bottom has plenty of room for picnicking and swimming. This is a definite must see if you visit!
Sixth Stop: Mohegan Cafe and Brewery
We returned the mopeds and headed to dinner at Mohegan Cafe and Brewery. We got a booth by the window in the bar and posted up for a while with drinks, appetizers, and then dinner. The guys loved the beer selection for any of you craft beer fans and I enjoyed the buttered lobster roll.
Last Stop: Shopping and Ice Cream
After dinner we walked around Old Harbor and got fudge, some Block Island souvenirs, and of course ice cream. It was the perfect way to wrap up the day.
This day trip was much needed! When I was a kid this is what I imagined it was like to be an adult. Days just filled with pure fun, good food, and even better company. Eight hours was the perfect amount of time to spend on the island. We got everything in with plenty of time to stop and enjoy food and scenery along the way. The ferry ride back was beautiful. I loved being on the top deck cruising through the water at night. We hope to make Block Island an annual summer trip!