10 Reasons to Visit Block Island, RI

Updated July 21, 2020.

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!

See the 5 Turbines?

9. Shop the Farmers’ Market

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:

Setting up for the market!
Farmer’s Market at the Spring House
Read on: What to Eat on Block Island

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!

Morning light
Fuchsia hydrangea
Peaceful hike to North Light
Keep reading: Solo Travel: Block Island

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 rebuilt 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.

Iconic Hotel
Seaside View from the Ferry
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Block Island

6. Experience Being 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.

Clear air, electric blue skies, and protected wildlife refuge land. And no filter. 

5. To Visit the Adorable 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. 

New England Airlines
Block Island State Airport
Essential Info: How to Get to Block Island

4. To 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!

IMG_7764 2
The next day it looks like a traffic cone!
One day it’s a rainbow…

3. For the Bike-ability

You can literally bike the entire island in a day. See my post on Biking Block Island 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!

Biking at the Painted Rock!
Get all the details here: Biking Block Island

2. To See 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!

Green Light!

1. For the 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!

Southeast Light House

Want more on Block Island? Check out my United States Page!

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5 responses to “10 Reasons to Visit Block Island, RI”

  1. […] Painted Rock, Mohegan Bluffs, and ice cream at The Ice Cream Place! Be sure to check out my post on Biking Block Island to maximize your […]

  2. […] were many temperance fountains in the United States before and during prohibition (including on Block Island, Rhode Island!), and the idea was that if people had access to clean water (which many cities did not have, and […]

  3. whereintheworldiswhitneyo Avatar

    Would you recommend the island in November? If so any activities to do then?

    1. quickwhittravel Avatar

      Their season is only in the summer! Many places will likely be closed in November, but e-mail their visitor’s bureau to be sure. Check out Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard for a New England island that will be more likely open in November! Another good island option would be Hawaii!

  4. […] Read on: 10 Reasons to Visit Block Island […]

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