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.