12 Best Things to Do in Block Island: Top Places to Visit

by Emil Backup
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Are you thinking about visiting Block Island soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Block Island. These picturesque sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for a memorable vacation experience.

Imagine a place where time seems to stand still, where the waves gently kiss the shoreline, and where nature’s beauty remains largely untouched by the modern world. Welcome to Block Island, New England’s hidden gem. Located just a short ferry ride away from the mainland of Rhode Island, this island is a haven for those seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure. Countless things to do in Block Island will leave you truly amazed by its untouched beauty.

With its sprawling sandy beaches, historic lighthouses standing tall against the backdrop of the Atlantic, and winding trails that beckon explorers, Block Island is a true New England treasure. Every corner of the island tells a story, from its rich maritime history to the legends that have been passed down through generations.

Foodies will revel in the island’s culinary delights, with local eateries serving up the freshest seafood and farm-to-table dishes that capture the essence of coastal living. And for the shopaholics, the quaint boutiques offer a range of unique finds, from handcrafted jewelry to artisanal goods.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, Block Island promises an experience that will linger in your memories long after you’ve left its shores. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Block Island.

Here's all the best attractions in Block Island that you should know about.
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Best Places to Visit in Block Island

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Block Island? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this idyllic vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Block Island places to visit.

Are you looking for serene beaches and historic landmarks? Or would you prefer a tour from majestic landscapes to quaint villages? Whatever you’re planning, these must sees in Block Island can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Block Island that you should know about.

1. Mohegan Bluffs

One of the coolest activities in Block Island is undoubtedly visiting the Mohegan Bluffs. These awe-inspiring clay cliffs offer a dramatic drop to the sea, revealing unparalleled views of the vast Atlantic Ocean.

As you make your way down the wooden staircase, a hidden gem awaits. It’s a secluded beach where the rhythmic dance of waves against the shore serenades visitors. The bluffs carry a tale from the past, named after the Mohegan tribe. Legend has it that they were forced off these cliffs in a fierce battle with the island’s native Manisseans.

Mohegan Bluffs provide a dramatic descent to the ocean, unveiling unmatched vistas of the expansive Atlantic Ocean.
Mohegan Bluffs provide a dramatic descent to the ocean, unveiling unmatched vistas of the expansive Atlantic Ocean.

While the lore adds depth to the place, it’s the sweeping vistas that truly captivate the heart. On days when the sky is clear, the distant silhouette of Montauk, New York, might grace your view. And for those who find joy in capturing moments, the bluffs are a photographer’s paradise. This offers countless angles of Block Island’s raw beauty.

Considering what to do in Block Island? This natural spectacle is a must-visit.

2. Mansion Beach

Mansion Beach is the place to be if you’re pondering where to go in Block Island for a classic beach day. With its soft, golden sands and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder this beach is a favorite among both locals and tourists.

The waves here are just right – not too aggressive. This makes it perfect for a refreshing swim or even a bit of body surfing. As you lay on the sand, the gentle sea breeze and the distant sound of waves create a serene atmosphere. It is perfect for relaxation or getting lost in a good book.

Mansion Beach is the ideal destination for those seeking a blend of history and relaxation among Block Island attractions.
Mansion Beach is the ideal destination for those seeking a blend of history and relaxation.

The beach gets its intriguing name from the Searles Mansion that once stood nearby. Though the mansion is no longer there, the beach retains its charm and allure. For those looking for Block Island attractions that offer both relaxation and a touch of history, Mansion Beach is the spot.

And if you’re a sunset chaser, you’re in for a treat. The horizon here paints a mesmerizing picture as the sun sets, making it one of the best places in Block Island to end your day.

3. North Lighthouse

The North Lighthouse stands as a beacon of history and maritime wonder on the northern tip of Block Island. As you approach, the first thing that strikes you is its imposing structure, standing tall against the backdrop of the vast Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of those unique places in Block Island where history meets natural beauty.

Built in 1867, this lighthouse has seen its fair share of storms and sunny days. It’s not just a guide for sailors but also a testament to the island’s rich maritime past. The surrounding area is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. With a variety of coastal birds making their home here, it’s a paradise for those with a keen eye and a love for nature.

Visiting the North Lighthouse is a must-do activity for those wondering what to do in Block Island.
Visiting the North Lighthouse is a must-do activity for those wondering what to do in Block Island.

A short walk around the lighthouse will lead you to some of the most breathtaking views on the island. The vast ocean stretches out, and on a clear day, you might even spot a ship or two on the horizon. For those pondering what to do in Block Island, a visit to the North Lighthouse is a must. It’s a blend of history, nature, and some of the most panoramic views you’ll ever witness.

4. Rodman’s Hollow

Rodman’s Hollow is a testament to the raw, untouched beauty of Block Island. This glacial depression, carved out thousands of years ago, now serves as a sanctuary for both wildlife and those seeking a moment of serenity. As you wander through its trails, you’ll quickly understand why it’s one of the best places in Block Island for nature lovers.

The hollow boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. From the rustling grasses to the chirping birds, every sound feels like nature’s own symphony. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, and the hustle and bustle of daily life fades away. For those who love photography, the landscapes here offer endless opportunities to capture the island’s essence.

Exploring Rodman's Hollow trails reveals why it's a prime destination for nature enthusiasts.
Exploring Rodman’s Hollow trails reveals why it’s a prime destination for nature enthusiasts.

Midway through your exploration, take a moment to sit and soak in the surroundings. The Block Island attractions aren’t just about the popular spots; it’s these hidden gems that truly define the island’s charm. As the sun sets, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, you’ll realize that Rodman’s Hollow isn’t just a location; it’s an experience.

5. Southeast Lighthouse

Perched on the scenic Mohegan Trail, the Southeast Lighthouse stands as a beacon of history and maritime heritage. This iconic structure, with its distinctive red brick facade, is more than just a lighthouse; it’s a symbol of Block Island’s rich past. If you’re wondering where to visit on Block Island, this lighthouse should undoubtedly be on your list.

The Southeast Lighthouse was built in 1874, and has guided countless sailors through the treacherous waters surrounding the island. Today, it offers visitors panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. Climb the spiral staircase to the top, and you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking vista that stretches as far as the eye can see.

When considering activities in Block Island, a visit to Southeast Lighthouse should unquestionably top your list.
When considering activities in Block Island, a visit to Southeast Lighthouse should unquestionably top your list.

Apart from its visual appeal, the lighthouse also houses a fascinating museum. Here, you can delve into tales of shipwrecks, brave lighthouse keepers, and the island’s maritime history. It’s a blend of education and adventure, making it one of the coolest activities in Block Island.

6. Block Island Bike Tours

One of the best places to go in Block Island is everywhere! And what better way to explore the island’s nooks and crannies than on two wheels? Block Island Bike Tours offers an immersive experience, allowing you to delve deep into the island’s beauty, history, and charm.

Starting from Old Harbor, these guided tours take you on a journey through winding trails, past scenic overlooks, and into the heart of the island’s vibrant culture. Along the way, you’ll hear tales of shipwrecks, local legends, and the island’s storied past. Every turn reveals a new sight, from panoramic ocean views to hidden meadows bursting with wildflowers.

Discover Block Island's beauty on two wheels with Block Island Bike Tours—an immersive adventure to explore every nook and cranny.
Discover Block Island’s beauty on two wheels with Block Island Bike Tours—an immersive adventure to explore every nook and cranny.

For those who prefer a self-guided adventure, renting a bike and charting your own course is equally rewarding. Pedal your way to some of the unique places in Block Island, stopping whenever a view or a quaint cafe catches your eye. The island’s relatively flat terrain makes it suitable for riders of all levels.

So, strap on your helmet, hop on a bike, and let the island’s magic guide your way. It’s an experience that combines adventure, history, and the sheer joy of riding through one of New England’s most beautiful destinations.

7. Block Island Boating Adventure

When pondering what to do in Block Island, the shimmering waters surrounding this gem beckon many to embark on a maritime adventure. The island’s pristine coastline and the vast Atlantic Ocean beyond offer a boating experience like no other. From the gentle sway of a sailboat to the thrill of a speedboat, the choices are as vast as the ocean itself.

For those with a penchant for fishing, the waters around Block Island are teeming with a variety of fish, making it a prime spot for anglers. Charter a fishing boat, and with the guidance of seasoned captains, you might just reel in the catch of a lifetime. If you’re more into sightseeing, then a tour around the island, spotting seals, dolphins, and even the occasional whale, could be your calling.

Regardless of your preference, Block Island's waters guarantee a memorable adventure.
Regardless of your preference, Block Island’s waters guarantee a memorable adventure.

Sunset cruises are a favorite among romantics. As the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, the cool destinations in Block Island become even more enchanting.

For those who prefer to captain their own ship, kayak and paddleboard rentals offer a more intimate way to explore the island’s hidden coves and serene beaches. No matter your choice, the waters of Block Island promise an unforgettable adventure.

8. Greenway Trails

For those who crave a touch of nature and a break from the beach, the Greenway Trails of Block Island offer a refreshing escape. These trails, a network of over 25 miles, crisscross the island, showcasing its diverse landscapes. From dense woods to open meadows, every turn reveals a new facet of Block Island’s natural beauty.

One of the coolest activities in Block Island is to hike these trails early in the morning. The soft chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, and the gentle rays of the sun filtering through the trees create a serene ambiance. Along the way, you might stumble upon hidden ponds or catch a glimpse of local wildlife in their natural habitat.

One of the most enjoyable activities on Block Island is to embark on an early morning hike along the Greenway Trails.
One of the most enjoyable activities on Block Island is to embark on an early morning hike along the Greenway Trails.

For those who are into photography, the trails offer countless opportunities to capture the island’s flora and fauna. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a deer or two grazing in the distance.

The Greenway Trails are not just about nature; they also hold historical significance with markers and signs detailing the island’s rich past. So, if you’re wondering where to visit Block Island for a mix of nature and history, the Greenway Trails are a must-explore.

9. Block Island Parasailing

Imagine soaring high above the shimmering waters, with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Block Island Parasailing offers this exhilarating experience, giving adventurers a bird’s-eye view of the island’s breathtaking coastline. It’s undeniably one of the coolest things to do in Block Island.

As you ascend, the panoramic vistas unfold before your eyes. The island’s beaches, cliffs, and landmarks become tiny specks, and the vastness of the ocean stretches endlessly. It’s a perspective of Block Island that few get to see, making it a unique thing to do in Block Island.

Block Island Parasailing offers an exciting experience with a bird's-eye view of Block Island's captivating coastline.
Block Island Parasailing offers an exciting experience with a bird’s-eye view of Block Island’s captivating coastline.

For those new to parasailing, worry not! The experienced crew ensures safety at all times, and the gentle take-offs and landings make the adventure smooth and enjoyable. Whether you choose to go solo or with a partner, the thrill remains unmatched.

After your flight, as you disembark with memories of the azure skies and the deep blue sea, you’ll realize that parasailing is not just an activity; it’s an emotion, a fleeting moment of pure joy and freedom. Don’t miss out on this sky-high adventure.

10. Block Island Historical Society

Stepping into the Block Island Historical Society is like opening a treasure chest filled with stories from the past. Located in a charming 19th-century building, this museum offers a deep dive into the island’s rich history, making it one of the must-see Block Island attractions for history buffs and curious travelers alike.

From Native American artifacts to maritime memorabilia, the exhibits paint a vivid picture of Block Island’s evolution over the centuries. As you wander through the rooms, you’ll encounter tales of shipwrecks, early settlers, and the island’s role in pivotal moments of American history. It’s a place where every artifact has a story to tell, and every corner whispers secrets of bygone days.

History buffs shouldn't miss Block Island Historical Society, a vital attraction offering a deep dive into the island's heritage.
History buffs shouldn’t miss Block Island Historical Society, a vital attraction offering a deep dive into the island’s heritage.

One of the highlights is the collection of old photographs, offering a nostalgic glimpse into Block Island’s yesteryears. Seeing the island’s landmarks and landscapes from a century ago is both fascinating and humbling.

For those wondering where to visit Block Island for a dose of culture and history, the Block Island Historical Society is a top pick. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through time, waiting to be explored.

11. Fresh Pond

Amidst the bustling activities and beachy vibes of Block Island, there’s a hidden gem that offers a tranquil escape: Fresh Pond. This freshwater pond, surrounded by lush greenery and diverse wildlife, is a haven for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat. It’s one of those unique places in Block Island where time seems to slow down, and the world’s worries fade away.

As you stroll around the pond’s perimeter, the gentle ripples of the water and the chirping of birds create a harmonious symphony. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic, reading a book, or simply soaking in the natural beauty. The pond’s clear waters also beckon for a refreshing swim on a warm day.

For an offbeat Block Island experience, visit Fresh Pond to explore unique activities.
For an offbeat Block Island experience, visit Fresh Pond to explore unique activities.

For the more adventurous souls, Fresh Pond offers opportunities for kayaking and fishing. As you paddle across the calm waters, you’ll feel a world away from the island’s more touristy spots. It’s a reminder that sometimes the best places in Block Island are the ones less traveled.

So, if you’re pondering what to do in Block Island that’s a bit off the beaten path, make your way to Fresh Pond. It promises a serene experience that’ll stay with you long after your island adventure ends.

12. Explore the Wonders of the Great Salt Pond

Tucked away on the western side of the island, the Great Salt Pond is a marvel that showcases Block Island’s diverse ecosystem. This tidal pond, spanning over 900 acres, is a testament to nature’s grandeur and the island’s rich maritime history. It’s one of those Block Island attractions that effortlessly combines scenic beauty with recreational fun.

As you approach the pond, the shimmering waters reflect the azure sky, creating a mesmerizing tableau. For boating enthusiasts, the pond offers a safe harbor and is a popular anchorage spot. The calm waters are also perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and even clamming during low tide. It’s truly one of the coolest activities in Block Island for water lovers.

The Great Salt Pond serves as a hub for activities and a testament to Block Island's natural allure.
The Great Salt Pond serves as a hub for activities and a testament to Block Island’s natural allure.

Around the pond, various trails beckon hikers and nature enthusiasts. These paths offer glimpses of local flora and fauna, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.For a serene sunset, the views from the Great Salt Pond are unparalleled.

In essence, the Great Salt Pond is a hub of activities, a sanctuary for wildlife, and a testament to Block Island’s natural beauty. Don’t miss out on this gem during your island escapade.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Best Things to Do in Block Island

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Block Island? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Block Island:

How do I get to Block Island?

The most popular way to reach Block Island is by ferry, with services operating from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. There’s also a small airport on the island for those who prefer to fly.

When is the best time to visit Block Island?

Summer, particularly from June to August, is the peak season. However, spring and fall also offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds.

Are there accommodations in Block Island?

Absolutely! Block Island boasts a range of accommodations, from quaint bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts.

In general, travelers can find the most fun, scenic, and unique things to do in Rhode Island. These sights, events, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

This destination offers diverse lodging options, from charming bed and breakfasts to opulent resorts.
Block Island offers diverse lodging options, from charming bed and breakfasts to opulent resorts.

Is it easy to get around Block Island?

Yes, the island is quite compact. Many visitors rent bicycles or mopeds, but there are also taxis and car rentals available.

Are there dining options on Block Island?

Definitely. The island offers a variety of dining options, from seafood shacks to upscale restaurants, ensuring something for every palate.

Is it worth going to Block Island?

Definitely! Block Island boasts a captivating blend of scenic landscapes and vibrant activities, making it an essential destination for those looking to experience coastal charm and adventure.

What is so special about Block Island?

Block Island stands out for its pristine beaches, unique geological formations, and rich history, offering visitors a serene escape with a touch of adventure. Its blend of natural beauty and local charm makes it a distinctive destination in New England.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Block Island

Block Island is a treasure trove of natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation. From its own stunning beaches and New England’s scenic trails to RI’s rich history and vibrant local culture, the island promises a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or an action-packed adventure, Block Island has something to offer for every traveler. So pack your bags, set your sails, and embark on a journey to this New England gem. The island’s charms await your discovery.

the top things to do in the Block Island for all types of travelers
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