Block Island is an 11-square-mile, pork-chop-shaped landmass off the coast of Rhode Island. It may not sound like much, but it’s the biggest summer destination in America’s smallest state. A few years back, The Nature Conservancy deemed the island “one of the last 12 great places in the Western Hemisphere.” And for good reason: Dramatic bluffs overlook miles of pristine beaches, rare birds migrate to hundreds of freshwater ponds, sweetpeas and wild roses envelop acres of stone walls. All this you can see on foot, by bicycle, or in a kayak.
Block Island doesn’t scream beauty; it whispers it.
Visitors arrive by plane or ferry. You can bring your bike on the ferry or rent one on the island, but know that it’s not worth the price to take your car. Block Island is small–the kind of place that beckons to take the pace down a notch–not a landscape to be viewed from a car window.
Sounds trite to say there’s something for everyone here, but it’s true. The island’s peace, handsome lighthouses, and breathtaking beauty make it a top destination for a romantic getaway. Hotel Manisses, with its Victorian ambience and sophisticated dining, is a perfect for lovers. Its sister property, The 1661 Inn, welcomes children of all ages and is a good choice for families. Beaches, body surfing, parasailing, biking, ice cream, and miles of nature trails make the island paradise for kids.
An old brochure in a room at the Hygeia House reads, “The protective power of sea air is very great…The air of the sea at a great distance from land is in a state of absolute purity.” It takes just one weekend and you’ll discover that Block Island’s air is a sure tonic for body and soul.
Yankee‘s picks for Block Island. Click on any destination below for a map and more information.