Most people don’t like dealing with traffic unless it involves a flotilla of boats. Yes, during the summer months especially, you can delight in all the comings and goings on the water in and around Block Island whether you’re in a boat or on land. It’s a favorite stopping off point for people sailing from New York or Connecticut to Rhode Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. If you’re lucky enough to own your own boat in the Northeast, you’ve surely enjoyed some fun times on Block Island. If you don’t, try to get hooked up with a friend’s boat. Or a friend of a friend’s boat. Sailing in this part of the United States is super sweet.
Here you’ll find some of the nicest beaches in Rhode Island even though you might have to work a bit to access them. Some of the sandiest swathes are situated at the foot of tall bluffs. To many–perhaps the more athletic types–it’s worth it, since the long set of stairs (some 141 steps) at Mohegan Bluffs leads you two hundred feet down to one of the loveliest beaches in the world. (Just remember that it’s the climbing out part that can leave you weary after your time below. Doesn’t a long day on the beach leave you dog-tired in any event?)
It’s worth mucking about on nearby Vail Beach beneath the cliffs of clay. Get down and dirty and slather the mud all over your body. This mineral-rich clay detoxifies and restores your skin even better than a pricey mud wrap at a chichi spa. Go ahead and indulge, especially since it’s free and you can rinse it off within the salty jets of the ocean.
Crescent Beach encompasses many beaches, including Kid Beach, a favorite with the tots.
If you’re not sailing, fishing or lolling on the beach, you can enjoy a water fix of a different kind at Ocean Adventures, a company that offers SUP and surfing lessons and rentals as well as a variety of boat tours. Rent kayaks and other water toys at Champlin’s Watersports located at Champlin’s Marina in New Harbor.
Pedaling around can also be a rewarding way to explore Block Island. Whether or not the headwinds howl, you can always hop on a moped. You can rent both at Old Harbor located at the ferry dock. Island Moped and Bike Rentals behind Harborside Inn can also set you up with some nice wheels. Go ahead and make that special getaway even more memorable by renting a tandem.
Why not shop for some good beach paraphernalia? Building Blocks toy store sells kites, boogie boards and all kinds of beach toys ideal for kids of all sizes.
A large portion of Block Island remains forever wild and stunningly beautiful, so much so that The Nature Conservancy named Block Island one of its top twelve sites in the western hemisphere. Translation:bring hiking boots (or suitable footwear for long walks), binoculars, a guide to birding, snacks and water for your nature expeditions.
Does market going count as an outdoor activity? You betcha, especially at Block Island where selecting the most perfect produce or jar of local honey ranks as both a skill and an art. Go early to Legion Park in the center of town on Wednesday and Saturday mornings during the season. Pedal your goods home for added benefit.