Known for its stunning beaches, dramatic bluffs, and perfectly preserved nature, Block Island, a charming little island in Rhode Island, was named “one of the last great places on earth” by The Nature Conservancy. It's truly the perfect destination for a low-key family vacation.
I have been traveling to Block Island every summer for the last 15 years. My husband and I were married at the Spring House, and since having children, it's become our favorite destination for a family vacation! While the car is a little more packed each time we go, it’s been such a special place to bring our kids since they were born. It’s a tradition I look forward to every year. Here’s my guide to all things Block Island. - Corie, Danrie's VP of Marketing
Block Island is only accessible by ferry, boat, or airplane, which means getting to Block Island is a big part of the adventure! You can reach Block Island by ferry from Point Judith, Rhode Island, New London, Connecticut or Montauk, NY. There is also an 8 minute flight from Westerly, RI.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Block Island is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and all of the local businesses are open.
The sunset as seen from Block Island Beach House
WHERE TO STAY
Block Island Beach House is one of the only hotels on Block Island with direct beach access, this hotel is also close to the ferry, perfect for navigating with the littles. Their partner hotel, The Gables, gives guests access to one of the only pools on the island.
BEST BEACH FOR KIDS
Fred Benson Town Beach (aka “Town Beach”) hits all the marks for a family looking for the perfect beach day. With amenities like restrooms, showers, changing rooms, a concession stand, beach equipment rentals, and lifeguards, there isn’t much more you could ask for. Town Beach also has low surf and beautiful sand which makes it easier for the kids to enjoy.
BEST ICE CREAM
The Ice Cream Place is Block Island’s original ice cream parlor serving up unique flavors and homemade baked goods for over 40 years. Sit outside on the patio and enjoy the best ice cream on Block Island.
BEST TOY SHOP
Minnow 02807 is located on Chapel Street right in the center of town. The store is full of beach toys, arts and crafts, puzzles, Block Island apparel, books and more. It’s the perfect stop on a rainy day!
My daughter, Morgan, in the The Daniella Surf Dress
BEST NON-BEACH ACTIVITY
The 1661 Exotic Farm is home to many types of animals such as sheep, camels, kangaroos, ringtail lemurs, alpacas, and so many more. Visitors are welcome to roam the property and get up close and personal with the wide variety of animals. The farm is not to be missed.
BEST EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY
The Block Island Maritime Institute aka BIMI offers children’s programming and maritime activities. With an outdoor aquarium and touch tanks, kids can explore fish and other sea creatures from the Great Salt Pond and the waters surrounding Block Island.
BEST LUNCH WITH KIDS
The Oar is a family-friendly restaurant with expansive views of the Great Salt Pond and serves lunch and dinner daily. You’ll find lobster rolls, a full sushi bar, burgers, clam chowder and so much more. There’s plenty of outside seeding on the back deck and lawn, plus lawn games like corn hole.
Located right in town, Persephone’s Kitchen is Block Island’s beloved coffee shop & eatery. Serving organic coffee, teas, homemade muffins, egg sandwiches and more. Persephone’s is also known for their smoothie bowls! Pro tip: Order ahead.
You can’t leave Block Island without catching an unbelievable Santorini-like sunset (minus the crowds) from Dories Cove.
An island tradition since 1963, Payne’s Donuts are served warm and are made fresh throughout the day.
BEST DATE NIGHT
Stop by the Spring House Hotel for a cocktail on the veranda or grab a spot on the front lawn filled with adirondack chairs. For the main event, enjoy dinner at Winfield’s. Winfield’s offers a sophisticated and flavorful menu influenced by French, Italian, new American and Asian cuisines, featuring fresh and local vegetables. Pro tip: Order the Lobster Mac and Cheese!