This Faraway Friday is all about quaint, cute, adorable, friendly, beautiful Block Island, Rhode Island! A lot of people I know had never heard of Block Island (and neither had I!), and they all asked me the same thing: Why did you decide to go to Block Island? Well, my friends and readers, here are my top 10 reasons you, too, should visit.
10. See the Wind Farm
You can see it from the southeast shore, or you can take a tour by boat or helicopter! This is the first wind farm in the United States, and these five turbines create enough energy to power the whole island. The rest goes to power part of the Rhode Island mainland!
9. Shop the Farmers’ Market
I love a great Farmers’ Market! There is one every Wednesday at the Spring House and every Saturday at Legion Park. They had baked goods, flowers, honey, performers, artwork, jewelry, and more! Here’s a peek at the Wednesday market:
8. Natural Beauty
I was struck by the natural beauty of Block Island. Perhaps that’s due to the short high season and the remoteness, but whatever the reason, even the couple of cloudy days I had there were made brighter by the vibrant flowers and beautiful water everywhere I looked. And the hydrangeas!
7. Experience Turn-of-the-Century Seaside Charm
Block Island was farmland and a commercial fishing base from the 17th century to the early 20th century. It became a little more tourism-friendly in the 1870s when they put in breakers to create a harbor (now known as “Old Harbor”) and started to build some hotels. The island is susceptible to hurricanes, and the Great Hurricane of 1938 really took down the fishing industry, moving it to Point Judith on mainland Rhode Island (where several ferries to Block Island now come from). But when they rebuild after a hurricane, the islanders are committed to keeping that Victorian, turn-of-the-century charm. Even new buildings have to be built to look old-fashioned to fit the look of the island.
6. It’s a World Away
Block Island has no stoplights, chain stores, chain hotels, or chain restaurants, and the wi-fi is super slow. It’s a nice break from the “real world” back on the mainland and the slower pace is inherently relaxing! Years ago, the industrial revolution brought with it smoke, soot, smog, and fumes from factories. Those who could afford it started taking trips to the countryside or seaside villages–such as Block Island–to get away from the city air and the general pollution of their everyday lives. And today, people still come to Block Island to get away from “real life.” Just a few minutes outside of downtown, you’ll find yourself isolated from the world… and loving it.
5. Visit the Airport
Even if you come to the island by ferry, you should really stop by the Block Island State Airport to see how flying used to be: no security, no lines, friendly people, tiny propeller planes–it’s cute! There’s a restaurant there as well, and you can go right outside to watch the planes land as you enjoy your lunch! It’s a little like walking into Wings.
4. Visit the Painted Rock
I made a friend on the ferry ride over to the island, and she told me all about this painted rock! Anyone can paint it, and you can get the spray paint you need in town. Both times I biked to it, it was painted differently, and when you visit, it’ll be different then, too! People have used the rock for baby announcements, graduation messages, and more. It’s worth seeing!
You can literally bike the entire island in a day. See yesterday’s blog post for my recommended route to see the top sites! It’s a little hilly, but definitely something you can do. You can rent bikes very easily, and the bike will get you to more places than mopeds, which are not allowed on some of the sandy main roads. Biking is the way to go–but be sure to always wear your helmet!
2. The Green Light
The Southeast Light House is home to the one and only green light house light in the world! They wanted to differentiate this light from the others that sailors could see in the area. No one knows why they chose green (which is now reserved only for airports), but it is definitely distinctive!
1. Southeast Light House
This is the most beautiful spot on Block Island. It’s the highest point, and it’s home to the only lighthouse of its kind. Be sure spend the $10 to take the tour all the way to the top. If a British gentleman named Rhet is your guide, you’re in for a real treat! He is passionate about the information, and he is a former fighter pilot. Take in the views from the top, especially if you get a beautiful day!