The Glorious Bucket List: The Beaches of Block Island

Bluffs Beach

 

Where: Block Island, a 7,000 acre, pork chop-shaped island off the coast of Rhode Island

Why: Often called “the Bermuda of the North”, much of the 17-miles of beach front on this island offers clean, powdery sand and clear, turquoise-blue water similar in feel to the beaches of the Caribbean.

How: Most visitors arrive to the island via ferry from New London, CT or Point Judith, RI, and New England Airlines offers daily shuttle flights, too. Rent a bike or a moped from Aldo’s on Weldons Way—the best way to navigate the island’s winding, country roads.

The main beach on the island is Crescent Beach, which stretches along the island’s east coast from the ferry landing at Old Harbor to Clay Head. It includes Town Beach, a best bet for families as this busy stretch includes a pavilion with food, restrooms, and changing rooms, as well as life guards during peak hours.

Fitness fans will appreciate the journey to Bluffs Beach at Mohegan Bluffs marked by the Block Island Southeast Lighthouse, accessible via a long, steep staircase. Our favorite time to visit is first thing in the morning when the beach is nearly empty, and visitors can wander along and take in the dozens of stacked rocks placed there by previous visitors, and maybe create one themselves.

Vacationers looking for a bit of privacy should bike down the dirt road to the Clay Head Preserve, where a short hike leads to Clayhead beach. On the way back to the trail head, visitors should take time to explore “the Maze”, a series of interconnected pathways offering spectacular viewpoints of the island.

Best of all, admission and parking at all beaches is free.

More: For maps, photos, and travel info on the island, check out the Block Island Tourism Council’s super-helpful website.

Town Beach

 

Bluffs Beach

 

A couple enjoys the quiet of the beach accessible via the Clay Head Preserve’s nature trail

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From Our Travels Around the World Wide Web

via Honestly…WTF

 

• Some gorgeous shots from around Maine from Honestly…WTF

• Three days in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country via Budget Travel

• 50 things to do in 50 states via Country Living 

• A look at Mississippi’s last fife and drum blues musicians from T Magazine

• Biking through Vermont with the New York Times

• The recipe for a scrumptious Lemon Icebox Pie from Bayou Bakery in Arlington, VA via Garden & Gun and a recipe for wild mushroom risotto from the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, OR via Wayfare

• Some glorious drives from the Iconic Road Trips series on Gadling 

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Glorious Tunes: Other Lives

We’re loving the modern folk sound of Oklahoma band Other Lives. Comprised of Jesse Tabish (vocals, piano, guitar and percussion), Jenny Hsu (cello and backing vocals), Jon Mooney (violin, horns, piano and percussion), Colby Owens (clarinet and percussion) and Josh Onstott (bass and percussion), the group’s songs have a dreamy, dramatic quality that reminds us of Fleet Foxes or Radiohead—in fact, Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace project released a remix of the title track of their second album, Tamer Animals. You can check out the video for the song above and, if you want to catch them live, the band will be touring the U.S. this fall, with their first gig set for September 29 in Tulsa, OK. Go here to see the complete list of cities and dates.

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Glorious Getaway: St. Regis Princeville

Whenever we’re asked to name the favorite places we’ve traveled to, Kauai inevitably makes its way to the top of the list as does the St. Regis Princeville, our favorite place we’ve stayed on the island. Nestled right on Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s North Shore, one of the best things about this property is the incredible view, which visitors have near-constant access to (even in the shower! Check out the photo below). It’s a great choice for people who like an active vacation—guests have access to two dive spots right off the resort’s beach and can also play a round at Princeville’s renowned Makai Golf Club. One local activity that’s a must-try: stand up paddling. Rent your board from the folks at Hawaiian Surfing Adventures, whose instructors also offer surfing lessons in the bay. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s worth splurging on the tasting menu at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Kauai Grill, featuring local fare like Bigeye tuna and soy-glazed short ribs. When you’re ready for some downtime hit the pool where you can wave down waiters carrying chilled pineapple skewers, or visit the poolside spa featuring treatments with local elements like lemongrass and palm oil.

 

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