Welcome to Block Island

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Be it by boat or plane, arriving on Block Island – and stepping onto firm ground 12 miles offshore – provides the kind of exhilaration a vacation should. Despite the luggage you are carrying, a weight is lifted; a smile appears; your breathing eases. On the go or destined to recline, you are taking part in Block Island custom. Like those who arrived aboard steamships 130 years ago, you have embarked upon an offshore holiday (perhaps you, too, will stay in one of the Victorian inns constructed for your 19th Century predecessors). The tradition of vacationing on Block Island may in fact be centuries old – historians say Native Americans paddled here in summer to enjoy the island’s bounty!

Block Island is ideally set up to accommodate visitors. Its beaches are public; parking meters are nowhere to be seen; you can bike just about anywhere; taxis are plentiful and fairly priced. The accommodations and offerings – restaurants, inns and shopping – are diverse and appealing. As for nightlife, entertainment and recreation, Block Island presents a summertime bonanza.

The to-do list is indeed long; but some of you are here to rest. If that’s the case with you, take a pass on the hiking, biking, fishing and beaching. Lounge with a book or daydream on your hotel’s veranda. Shopping, dining, dancing … it’s all here for the taking, when you’re rested and ready. Out of Town

If you are on the go, you will probably want to venture out of town. Here are a few quick suggestions:

Even if you plan on hiking, you will probably need transportation. Bikes are inexpensive to rent. Mopeds are available. Taxis are easy, inexpensive transport. Rental cars are offered, too (call to reserve in peak season).

Around Town

Beer, wine and mixed drinks are served at most island establishments. For retail purchase of beer, wine and spirits, head to Red Bird Liquor Store. Most of you will want to give the nighlife a whirl … Music is a big draw on Block Island. You’ll find live acts at the Albion Pub, Captain Nicks, Yellow Kittens, and Club Soda; for daytime gigs, step up to the broad porch of National Hotel.

A quick note about Block Island real estate: Rental homes are an island industry. Real estate agencies welcome drop-ins for perusal of their listings and booklets showing homes for rent or sale.

Enjoy the island! And please visit the advertisers in this guidebook when possible; each of these small businesses help cover the cost of this free resource.