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What To Do To The Block Island Day Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Muire Ulloa



If you’re looking for a picturesque and serene destination for a day trip, look no further than Block Island. Located off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island offers a charming escape from the bustle of everyday life. With its stunning scenery, diverse wildlife, and rich history, it’s no wonder that this island is a popular getaway for both locals and tourists alike.


Getting to Block Island is a breeze, thanks to the regular ferry services that operate from various ports in Rhode Island. Whether you choose to embark on a leisurely cruise or take a high-speed ferry, the journey itself is an introduction to the beauty that awaits.


Once you arrive on the island, you’ll find yourself surrounded by idyllic landscapes, including sandy beaches, rolling hills, and beautiful coastal cliffs. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a relaxing day by the sea, Block Island has something for everyone.


During your visit, be sure to explore the Southeast Lighthouse, a historic landmark perched on the edge of Mohegan Bluffs. The lighthouse offers panoramic views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean, and you can even take a guided tour to learn more about its fascinating history.


For those seeking sun and sand, Block Island boasts pristine beaches, such as Crescent Beach and Mansion Beach. Spend your day lounging on the soft sand, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, or taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline.


If you’re more inclined towards outdoor activities, you’ll find an abundance of hiking and biking trails that traverse the island’s picturesque landscapes. Explore the verdant meadows, enchanting forests, and breathtaking vistas as you embark on an adventure amidst nature.


Getting to Block Island

Getting to Block Island is a straightforward and enjoyable experience. The most popular way to reach the island is by ferry, with several ferry services operating from different ports in Rhode Island. You can choose from traditional ferries that offer a leisurely cruise or high-speed ferries for a quicker journey.


The Block Island Ferry is the main transportation provider, offering year-round service from Point Judith in Narragansett, Rhode Island. The ferry ride takes approximately one hour, and you’ll be treated to scenic views of the ocean along the way.


If you prefer to start your journey from Newport, Rhode Island, you can hop on the high-speed ferry operated by the Block Island Express. This ferry takes around 60 minutes to reach the island, allowing you to arrive in no time.


For those coming from Connecticut, the Cross Sound Ferry operates from New London to Block Island. The ferry ride takes approximately two hours, but the stunning coastal views make the journey worthwhile.


During the summer months, you may also find additional ferry services available from other nearby locations, such as Fall River, Massachusetts.


It’s important to plan your trip in advance and make reservations for the ferry, especially during the peak summer season. Reserving your tickets online or by phone will ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey to Block Island.


If you prefer to travel by air, you can opt for a scenic flight from several airports in Rhode Island, Connecticut, or nearby Massachusetts. Block Island State Airport offers regular flights and charter services, making it a convenient option for those seeking a quicker way to reach the island.


Once you arrive on Block Island, there are various transportation options available to explore the island. You can choose to rent a bike, moped, or car to get around the island at your own pace. Additionally, there are taxis and a bus service that can take you to different destinations.


Whichever mode of transportation you choose, the journey to Block Island is an integral part of the experience, offering stunning views and a sense of anticipation as you approach this charming island paradise.


Exploring Block Island

Once you step foot on Block Island, you’ll be greeted by a plethora of activities and attractions to explore. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, this island has something for everyone.


One of the must-visit spots on Block Island is the Southeast Lighthouse. Perched on the edge of Mohegan Bluffs, this historic landmark offers breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean. Take a guided tour and learn about the fascinating history of this iconic lighthouse, or simply enjoy the stunning vistas from its surrounding grounds.


If you’re craving some sun and sand, Block Island boasts beautiful beaches that are perfect for a day of relaxation. Crescent Beach, situated on the eastern side of the island, is a popular destination known for its soft sands and gentle waves. Grab a beach chair, soak up the sun, and take a dip in the refreshing waters. For a quieter and more secluded experience, head to Mansion Beach, located on the northern end of the island.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Block Island offers an array of hiking and biking trails that showcase its natural beauty. Set off on the Greenway Trails, which span over 28 miles and take you through stunning landscapes, including meadows, forests, and coastal areas. The trails are well-marked and suitable for all skill levels, providing an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and discover hidden gems along the way.


Water activities abound on Block Island, whether you’re into kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing. Rent a kayak and explore the island’s coastline, discovering hidden coves and spotting marine life. Stand-up paddleboarding is also a popular choice, providing a unique perspective of the island and a chance to exercise while enjoying the tranquility of the sea.


When it’s time to relax and refuel, Block Island offers a variety of dining options. From casual beachside cafes to upscale restaurants with ocean views, you’ll find a range of culinary delights to satisfy your cravings. Indulge in fresh seafood, sample farm-to-table cuisine, or enjoy a leisurely picnic with local delicacies.


Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the island’s charming town, New Shoreham, where you’ll find unique shops, art galleries, and boutiques. Stroll along Water Street and browse for souvenirs, handmade crafts, and local artwork. Embrace the island’s laid-back vibe as you uncover hidden treasures and support local businesses.


Block Island is also rich in history and culture. Visit the Block Island Historical Society Museum to learn about the island’s fascinating past and discover artifacts that tell the story of its inhabitants. Explore the Mohegan Bluffs, a towering clay cliff formation that offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the island’s geological history.


Finally, nature enthusiasts will delight in the diverse wildlife on Block Island. The island serves as a haven for various species of birds, making it a paradise for bird watchers. Keep an eye out for rare seabirds and migratory species as you explore the island’s beaches and meadows.


With its stunning scenery, outdoor activities, historical charm, and diverse wildlife, Block Island is a true gem waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or a peaceful retreat, this island paradise is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.


Visit the Southeast Lighthouse

Located on the southeastern edge of Block Island, the Southeast Lighthouse is a historic landmark that should not be missed during your visit. This iconic structure offers not only a glimpse into the island’s maritime history but also stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


The Southeast Lighthouse was first constructed in 1875 to guide ships through the treacherous waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Standing tall at 200 feet above sea level, this towering structure played a crucial role in ensuring the safety of sailors navigating the region.


Today, the lighthouse stands as a testament to Block Island’s rich maritime heritage and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about its history through guided tours. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through the lighthouse, providing insights into its construction, operation, and the challenges faced by its keepers.


As you ascend the steps of the lighthouse, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking views that await you at the top. From the observation deck, you can gaze out over the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, taking in the beauty of Block Island’s rugged coastline and the picturesque Mohegan Bluffs.


Aside from the lighthouse itself, the surrounding grounds are also worth exploring. The lush greenery and well-maintained gardens create a serene atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with a view. You may even stumble upon some local wildlife, including various species of birds and butterflies that call the area home.


If you’re visiting during the summer months, make sure to check the schedule for special events held at the Southeast Lighthouse. From sunset concerts to outdoor art exhibitions, these events add an extra layer of charm to your visit and provide unique photo opportunities.


For those looking for a more immersive experience, consider staying overnight in the neighboring Keeper’s Cottage. This restored historic building offers a cozy and unique lodging option, allowing you to soak up the ambiance of the lighthouse well beyond the typical day trip.


Be sure to check the opening hours and availability of guided tours before your visit, as they may vary throughout the year. Keep in mind that there may also be a small admission fee to enter the lighthouse and access the observation deck.


Visiting the Southeast Lighthouse on Block Island provides a fascinating glimpse into the island’s maritime history and offers unparalleled views of the surrounding natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique experience, this iconic structure is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Relax on Block Island’s Beaches

When it comes to relaxation and scenic beauty, Block Island’s beaches are second to none. With their pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, these stunning coastal retreats provide the perfect setting for a day of sun, sand, and serenity.


Crescent Beach is one of the island’s most popular beaches, located on the eastern side of Block Island. This crescent-shaped beach offers a picturesque backdrop of dunes and rolling hills, creating a tranquil atmosphere for beachgoers. The soft, golden sands invite you to lay out a towel, soak up the sun, and bask in the cool ocean breeze.


Swim in the sparkling waters or take a leisurely walk along the shoreline, feeling the gentle waves lapping at your feet. Crescent Beach also provides excellent conditions for boogie boarding and body surfing, making it a favorite spot for those seeking a bit of adventure in the water.


If you prefer a quieter and more secluded beach experience, make your way to Mansion Beach. Located on the northern part of the island, this hidden gem offers a sense of tranquility and privacy. Accessible via a scenic walk through a wooded path, Mansion Beach rewards visitors with a serene environment and breathtaking vistas.


With its soft sands and shimmering blue waters, Mansion Beach is an ideal spot for beachcombing, leisurely picnics, or simply unwinding and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. Surrounded by lush vegetation and framed by towering bluffs, this beach offers a sense of seclusion that is perfect for those seeking a peaceful escape.


Block Island also boasts other beautiful beaches, such as Ballard’s Beach and Scotch Beach, each with its own unique charm and atmosphere. Spend the day lounging, reading a book, or building sandcastles with loved ones. The beaches on Block Island cater to all, whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with the whole family.


Don’t forget to pack your beach essentials, including sunscreen, beach towels, and hats, to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Remember to practice good beach etiquette by keeping the area clean and respecting the natural environment.


Before visiting the beaches, check the local weather forecast, as conditions can change quickly. If you’re unsure about swimming or water activities, look out for any posted signs or ask the lifeguards on duty for guidance.


Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun and work on your tan, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or simply enjoy the peaceful sounds of the waves, Block Island’s beaches offer the perfect escape for relaxation and rejuvenation.


Hiking and Biking Trails

For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, Block Island offers a plethora of hiking and biking trails that showcase the island’s natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a leisurely bike rider, these trails provide a fantastic way to explore the island’s diverse landscapes and immerse yourself in its tranquil surroundings.


One of the most popular trails on Block Island is the Greenway Trails, a network of trails that spans over 28 miles and takes you through various scenic locations. These well-marked trails provide opportunities for hikers and bikers of all skill levels, allowing you to choose your own adventure.


Embark on the Clay Head Preserve trail, known for its stunning panoramic views of the island’s coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. As you make your way through the preserve, you’ll encounter diverse flora and fauna, including wildflowers, migratory birds, and even the occasional deer.


If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, head to Rodman Hollow. This nature preserve offers a rugged and rocky trail that winds through thick vegetation and leads you to beautiful secluded beaches. Keep an eye out for the geological features and unique plant species along the way.


Biking enthusiasts will also find joy in exploring Block Island’s trails. Rent a bike and pedal your way through the scenic countryside, passing rolling hills, meadows, and picturesque farms. The island’s low traffic and peaceful atmosphere make it an ideal destination for biking adventures.


One popular biking route is the Mohegan Bluffs Loop. This loop takes you along the island’s southern coast, allowing you to admire the breathtaking views from atop the iconic bluffs. The loop then continues inland, passing by farmlands and quaint New England cottages.


For a more leisurely biking experience, cruise along Corn Neck Road, which runs parallel to the shoreline. This scenic route offers glimpses of sandy beaches, salt marshes, and stunning coastal landscapes. Take your time and soak in the beauty of Block Island as you pedal along.


Before embarking on any hiking or biking adventure, it’s important to be prepared. Wear proper footwear, bring plenty of water, and pack some snacks to fuel your journey. Sunscreen and insect repellent are also essential, especially during the warmer months.


Remember to respect the natural environment by staying on designated trails and leaving no trace behind. Keep an eye out for any wildlife and be cautious of any potential hazards, such as uneven terrain or potentially slippery surfaces.


Whether you choose to hike or bike, Block Island’s trails offer a delightful escape into nature. Explore the island’s diverse landscapes, breathe in the fresh coastal air, and revel in the serenity that surrounds you.


Water Activities

With its pristine coastline and crystal-clear waters, Block Island is a haven for water enthusiasts. Whether you’re into kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, or simply taking a refreshing swim, the island offers a wide range of water activities to suit every interest and skill level.


One of the most popular water activities on Block Island is kayaking. Rent a kayak and embark on an adventure along the island’s picturesque coastline. Paddle through calm waters, exploring secluded coves and hidden beaches. Keep an eye out for marine life such as seals, ospreys, and even dolphins, which can often be spotted off the shores of Block Island.


If you prefer a more relaxed water activity, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Glide across the gentle waves, enjoying the serenity of the sea and the breathtaking views. Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to improve your balance and core strength while immersing yourself in the tranquility of Block Island’s coastal beauty.


For those seeking a bit of adventure, fishing is a popular activity on the island. From the shores, you can cast your line and try your luck at reeling in various fish species, including striped bass, bluefish, and flounder. Alternatively, charter a fishing boat and venture out into deeper waters for a chance to catch larger game fish.


If you’re passionate about scuba diving or snorkeling, Block Island’s underwater world will not disappoint. The island is surrounded by clear Atlantic waters teeming with marine life and beautiful underwater ecosystems. Dive beneath the surface and witness colorful fish, vibrant corals, and even the remnants of shipwrecks that dot the ocean floor.


For those who prefer a more leisurely water activity, swimming and sunbathing on Block Island’s beaches is a must. Crescent Beach and Mansion Beach, known for their soft sands and calm waters, provide the perfect oasis for a refreshing swim or a day of relaxation under the sun. Remember to follow beach safety guidelines and pay attention to any posted signs or lifeguard instructions.


If you’re up for a unique and thrilling experience, consider taking a surfing lesson on Block Island. The island’s surf breaks cater to both beginners and experienced surfers, offering the opportunity to catch a wave and feel the exhilaration of riding the surf. Experienced local instructors can guide you through the basics and help you catch your first wave.


Before engaging in any water activity, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Check weather conditions, wear appropriate safety gear, and be mindful of your own capabilities. If you’re new to a particular activity, consider taking a lesson or going with an experienced guide who can ensure your safety and provide valuable insights.


Block Island’s stunning coastal landscape and pristine waters make it an ideal playground for water lovers. From kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to fishing and snorkeling, the island offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure on the water.


Shopping and Dining

Block Island offers a delightful shopping and dining scene, where you can indulge in the island’s local flavors and find unique souvenirs to commemorate your visit. From charming boutiques and art galleries to delectable restaurants and quaint cafes, the island has something to satisfy every palate and shopper’s desire.


Start your shopping adventure by exploring the town of New Shoreham, the main hub of activity on Block Island. Along Water Street, you’ll find an array of boutique shops and specialty stores offering a wide range of products. Browse through the shelves and discover handmade jewelry, local artwork, clothing, home decor, and other one-of-a-kind treasures.


If you’re a lover of art, make sure to visit the island’s art galleries. These spaces showcase the works of talented local artists and provide a glimpse into the island’s vibrant art scene. From paintings and sculptures to photography and crafts, you’ll find diverse and captivating creations that capture the essence of Block Island’s captivating beauty.


After a day of shopping, treat your taste buds to the island’s culinary delights. Block Island boasts a variety of dining options, ranging from casual beachside shacks serving up fresh seafood to upscale restaurants offering farm-to-table cuisine with ocean views.


Indulge in the island’s seafood specialties, which include locally caught fish, lobster, and shellfish. Whether you prefer a classic New England lobster roll, a plate of succulent grilled fish, or a steaming bowl of clam chowder, the island’s restaurants have you covered.


For a more relaxed and casual dining experience, head to one of the laid-back cafes or charming bistros scattered across the island. Savor a flavorful cup of local coffee, enjoy freshly baked pastries, or dig into a hearty sandwich made with locally sourced ingredients.


Don’t forget to sample the island’s famous ice cream while strolling through the town. Replenish your energy with a scoop of homemade goodness in a variety of flavors, from classic chocolate and vanilla to innovative combinations that capture the essence of Block Island’s unique charm.


But the culinary adventure doesn’t end with seafood and ice cream. Block Island also boasts a burgeoning craft beer scene, with breweries offering a wide selection of locally brewed beers. Pop into one of the island’s breweries, enjoy a tasting flight, and savor the flavors of handcrafted brews made with care and passion.


As you explore Block Island’s shops and dine at its restaurants, remember to support local businesses and artisans. Many of the shops and dining establishments are family-owned, and their dedication to their craft is evident in the quality and uniqueness of their offerings.


Whether you’re looking for a gift to take back home or simply eager to explore the island’s culinary landscape, Block Island’s shopping and dining scene offers a delightful experience that combines local flavors, artistic creations, and the island’s unique ambiance.


Sightseeing and Historical Sites

Block Island is not only known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities but also for its rich history and fascinating landmarks. Explore the island’s historic sites and immerse yourself in its captivating stories and cultural heritage.


One iconic landmark that should not be missed is the Mohegan Bluffs. These towering clay cliffs offer a breathtaking sight as they rise over 150 feet above the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. As you stand at the top, take in the panoramic views and appreciate the geological history of the island.


For history buffs, a visit to the Block Island Historical Society Museum is a must. Located in the heart of New Shoreham, this museum offers a glimpse into the island’s past through its extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and photographs. Learn about the island’s Native American history, early settlers, maritime heritage, and the fascinating stories of its residents.


While exploring the town, you’ll come across several historic buildings that have stood the test of time. The Old Harbor Historic District is home to beautifully restored 19th-century buildings that line Water Street. Take a leisurely stroll and admire the architecture, which reflects the island’s rich maritime history.


Make your way to the Great Salt Pond and visit the Southeast Lighthouse. Built in 1875, this iconic landmark served as a guiding light for sailors navigating the treacherous waters surrounding Block Island. Take a guided tour to learn about its construction, marvel at its architectural details, and enjoy panoramic views from its observation deck.


Another historical site of interest is the Settler’s Rock. Located near the ferry landing in Old Harbor, this rock marks the landing spot of the island’s original settlers in 1661. While the rock itself may seem unassuming, it holds immense historical significance as it commemorates the island’s early beginnings.


For a taste of life in the past, visit the Nathan Mott Park, a restored historic village showcasing the island’s rural heritage. Take a step back in time as you explore the village’s collection of antique buildings, including a barn, schoolhouse, and windmill. The park offers a glimpse into the island’s agricultural past and the challenges faced by early settlers.


Block Island is also known for its numerous picturesque churches, some of which date back to the 18th century. Explore the island’s religious heritage and admire the unique architectural styles of these charming places of worship. Many of these churches still hold regular services and are part of the island’s vibrant community.


As you wander around Block Island, keep an eye out for historical markers that provide insight into the island’s past. These markers can be found at various locations and offer interesting anecdotes and historical context that enhance your exploration of the island.


Immerse yourself in the history and heritage of Block Island as you visit its historical sites and landmarks. From lighthouses and museums to historic buildings and markers, the island’s rich cultural tapestry is waiting to be discovered.


Wildlife Watching Opportunities

Block Island is not only a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts but also a haven for wildlife. The island’s diverse ecosystems provide a habitat for a wide array of species, making it a prime destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.


One of the main attractions for wildlife watching on Block Island is the avian population. The island is a popular stopover for migratory birds, offering a fantastic opportunity to spot various species during their seasonal journeys. Keep an eye out for piping plovers, ospreys, herons, and other coastal and seabirds as you explore the island’s beaches, marshes, and nature preserves.


Head to Sachem Pond, the largest pond on Block Island, and you may be lucky enough to see egrets and swans gracefully gliding across the tranquil waters. The pond is also home to a variety of fish and amphibians, creating a vibrant ecosystem teeming with life.


Block Island’s coastal cliffs and rocky shores provide the perfect habitat for seals. During certain times of the year, particularly in the colder months, you can spot these charming marine mammals along the island’s rocky outcrops. Watch as they bask in the sun or swim gracefully through the waves, providing an unforgettable wildlife encounter.


One of the best ways to explore the island’s wildlife is by taking a guided nature tour. Knowledgeable guides will lead you to prime wildlife viewing spots, providing valuable insights into the behaviors and habitats of the island’s resident and migratory species. They will share their passion for the natural world and help you spot and identify the diverse wildlife that calls Block Island home.


While exploring the island’s hiking and biking trails, keep your eyes peeled for the smaller creatures that inhabit the island. From colorful butterflies fluttering through fields and forests to frogs and turtles basking in the sun, Block Island offers a fascinating array of wildlife to discover.


Remember to observe wildlife from a respectful distance and never disturb or approach animals in their natural habitats. Keep in mind that the island’s wildlife is protected, and it is important to follow any guidelines or restrictions in place to ensure the conservation of these precious species.


For bird enthusiasts, participating in one of the island’s bird-watching events or joining a guided birding tour can provide a truly immersive wildlife experience. These organized activities allow you to learn from experienced birders, share knowledge, and spot a wide variety of birds in different habitats on the island.


Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of the natural world, Block Island’s wildlife watching opportunities are abundant. Explore the island’s landscapes with a sense of awe and wonder as you encounter fascinating animals in their natural habitats.


Wrap-Up and Planning Your Next Trip

As your day trip to Block Island comes to an end, you may find yourself already dreaming of your next visit to this enchanting island. With its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and abundant outdoor activities, Block Island offers endless possibilities for exploration and relaxation.


Before leaving, take a moment to reflect on the memories you’ve made during your visit. Remember the stunning views from the Mohegan Bluffs, the soothing sound of the waves at Crescent Beach, the taste of fresh seafood at a local restaurant, and the feeling of adventure as you hiked or biked through the island’s scenic trails.


If you haven’t had the chance to explore all of the island’s attractions, don’t worry. Block Island has something for everyone, and your next trip can uncover even more of its hidden gems. Consider extending your stay or planning a longer vacation to fully immerse yourself in the island’s beauty and charm.


When planning your next trip to Block Island, keep in mind the activities and sites you didn’t have a chance to experience during your day trip. Perhaps you want to delve deeper into the island’s history by visiting more museums and historical sites. Alternatively, you may want to spend more time on the island’s pristine beaches or go on a wildlife watching tour to further explore its natural wonders.


Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or a family looking for an unforgettable vacation, Block Island offers a unique and fulfilling experience. From adventure seekers to relaxation enthusiasts, the island’s diverse attractions and activities cater to a wide range of interests and preferences.


As you plan your next trip, check the island’s calendar of events, as Block Island hosts various festivals, live music performances, and other local happenings throughout the year. Attending one of these events can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit and provide a deeper connection to the island’s vibrant community.


Remember to book accommodations in advance, especially during the summer months when the island attracts a larger number of visitors. Choose from cozy bed and breakfasts, charming inns, or beachfront resorts, depending on your preferences and budget.


Whether you’re returning to Block Island or exploring it for the first time, be sure to plan your activities, pack accordingly, and prepare for the adventure and relaxation that await you. Whether it’s hiking, biking, beachcombing, or simply unwinding amidst the island’s natural beauty, Block Island will leave you with cherished memories and a longing to return.


So, until your next visit, bid farewell to Block Island, but carry its beauty and tranquility in your heart, knowing that when you return, new adventures and experiences await you on this captivating island.