We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Block Island Is Nature At Its Best! Meant To Be Explored....”
Review of Block Island

Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Nags Head, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
2 helpful votes
“Block Island Is Nature At Its Best! Meant To Be Explored....”
Reviewed 4 November 2007

Going to Block Island is laid back; hence the accommodations there are all easy going and 'unfussy'. The only choices you have to visit BI using your timeshare week to trade in is on the fringes of the main season - May or October. You'll find no chain hotels like Marriott or Holiday Inn, no chain restaurants like Applebee's or McDonalds, no chain stores like Home Depot or CVS. No traffic lights. But that is why people like the few places on earth that are still like Block Island-nature's paradise with just a bit more than the bare necessities; for a trip to Block Island is not meant to be spent in your unit but outdoors walking, hiking, bike riding, kayaking, fishing, boating, bird watching, wildflower and insect/animal viewing (some of which exist no other place on earth than here), the 365 fresh water ponds, the 2 boat harbors, and observing how life is on an island 13 miles out to sea, serviced by ferry, and its residents somewhat insulated (and shielded) from life 'In America' as they like to call it. If you want golf courses and shopping malls, then you won't like a visit to Block Island. If you want fresh (and I mean FRESH) lobster you can meet the lobstermen at 4-5pm when they pull into the harbor and buy right from them. October/November timeframe has the seals sunbasking on the rocks - having migrated here from Canada for Bi's 'warm' water! And in April you can see the thousands (yes thousands) of daffodils and narcissis in bloom under the pine trees in 'the Maze' overlooking the Bluffs. 2 Lighthouses, each very different - and one was moved several hundred feet from the edge of the cliffs just before it was to fall into the sea due to erosion. If you want to hear 'quiet', the wind, marvel at the beauty of Mother Nature and refresh and rejuvenate yourself in this so busy-noisy-chaotic world then you must come to this 'last remaining piece of paradise.' For those that have been captivated by BI's magic, they are hooked and come back every year, year after year. All Block Island properties constantly have to battle the salt in the air, open high winds, and the elements - remember it is 13 miles out in the Atlantic. And when a knob is loose it is just not a trip to Ace Hardware or Home Depot, and in 10 minutes it is fixed. It is a whole day trip for a maintenance employee to go 'to the mainland' -so non-essential repairs tend to be performed in bulk to be cost effective. The off season is certainly not like the summer, but then again a timeshare exchange for the week will not cost you $5000-6000 like a house rental for a w-e-e-k in July or August will. As the saying goes: 'Come for a Week, Stay for a Lifetime' as the sense of peace and rejuvenation you didn't think you had anymore will return.

2 Thank jr4seasons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverhead, New York
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
348 helpful votes
“daytrip to the Block by plane”
Reviewed 10 August 2007

This was just a daytrip to meet up with family that spends a few weeks on Block Island. Since we live on Long Island, New York, it is just a short hop to Block Island - even in our Cessna 172!

The day was perfect, the flight uneventful and the landing as smooth as silk. My Dad was waiting for us when we landed and he drove us down into New Harbor, which is where he and all 4 of my brothers and their families stay. They all keep their boats in Connecticut and converge on Block for a few weeks at Payne's Dock. My family has done this ever since we were young children, so Payne's feels like "HOME" We had the obligatory doughnut (this is deep fried and coated in sugar - my brothers refer to them as lead bombs - but it doesn't stop us from eating them) and hung out at Paynes on the boat for a while gabbing. This place was FULL - I don't think you could get another boat in anywhere - it is the friendliest, most down to earth place left on the entire island!

We decided to walk into Old Harbor (or what we refer to as "town" ) by taking the long road to see the sights. Every year there seems to be more vehicles, but they give pedestrians a wide berth. We browsed the stores and ended up buying some skim boards at the Star Department Store. This has been my very favorite store on BI as long as I can remember. Frankly, it is the only store I can remember being there consistently.

We had lunch at what I thought was The Harborside Inn. At least, it used to be. Now it is called Harbor Grill. I was a little disappointed...after waiting a while for a table and looking forward to the "special" on the menu - a real New England Lobster Roll - I found out only after ordering that they didn't have any more! I has a chicken wrap which was fine.

After lunch we headed back to New Harbor and decided we'd all hit the beach. If you can imagine this - there were 16 of us - and 1 Isuzu trooper. My Dad organized "waves" of people that were driven to the beach. We were on the first wave! Scotch Beach was just as I remembered - except maybe a little more crowded. Soft sand, perfect sized waves to play in, a large rock here and there to break up the terrirtories on the beach. Lovely! The girls tried out their skim boards, with varying degrees of success!

Since we keep our plane at a little airstrip in Mattituck that does not have lights for the runway, we had to be home before dark. Dad was arranging for "waves" to head up to the airport to see us off. I told him it was unnecessary as we'd say good-bye from the air. A few people came up with us. We untied, took off, made a sharp left and hit the beach (well , not quite, but close enough - it was a grand good-bye...to all of you pilots out there, enough said).

Did I mention the weather was perfect? The short flight home was smooth and gorgeous as the sun hung low... a perfect ending to a nice day!

5 Thank RLTF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“olivier house”
Reviewed 16 July 2006

Block island RI 2006!! we rented the olivier house .Block island is a such a fantastic place to visit, if you like matha's vineyard, you'll love Block island. there is so much to do!! Great nightlife, but also very kid oriented. I do suggest that if you are thinking about renting a house on the island go through one of their real estate company's or inquire at the chamber of commerce about a place to stay, i strongly suggest that you do not consider renting the olivier house, the house is advertised as a 2 bedroom and a master suite, try more like a loft with afull size bed in the middle of it. Also you pay a cleaning fee so they can have someone clean it but when is all said and done they will refuse to give you your security deposit back. The owners are not professional Beware and get references. Other than that i look forward to returning next year, because once you go you will want to go back!!!

1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
downingtown, pa
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
151 helpful votes
“Good food, Nice Beaches and relaxing!”
Reviewed 1 August 2003

Just got back from Block Island and had a wonderful time. Although our house was in the middle of no where we still were able to get around quite well. there is very little traffic, parking is easy and the experience was great. do go to Beachhaed Tavern for dinner or lunch it is very good and very consistent. Aslo Dead Eyed Dicks in New Harbor was very good. The Atlantic Inn was tasty and Aldos had a very nice breakfast. Thats a wrap had good sandwiches for the beach. All in all it was great go to the Town Beach during the week beacuse it is awesome and do visit Mansion Beach if the crowds start to overwhelm.

Thank lesliea64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
30 helpful votes
“Great beaches, warm water, uncrowded”
Reviewed 22 January 2003

We visited Block Island (first time) in July 2002. We left the car at Point Judith and rented bikes on the island. Be sure to check the free tourist guides for the 15-20% off coupons for the bike rental places. Helmets and locks are included with rentals.

There are plenty of taxis on the island, and easy to get one when the ferry docks. The drivers were friendly enough, though surpisingly at no time did any of them make any offer to help load suitcases etc. into the back of their van. I suppose if you were elderly they would have helped.

We stayed at the Samuel Peckham Inn, located near New Harbor. This was a much quieter and nicer area then Old Town. It is farther from the beaches, though - a mile + walk or bike ride.

The Inn is somewhat run down, though adequate. There is a newer ell (better kept) which is being sold as condos, Perhaps it will all end up that way soon and that is the reason for the minimal repairs. Only some of the rooms have air conditioning, so if that is important to you be sure to ask. We saw that the end rooms which had additional windows were only equipped with fans. The staff was cordial enough though seemed somewhat disinterested. The ice machine is locked away in the basement and after about 8:00 P.M. none of the staff was to be found.

They have a very nice pool - one of the few hotels/inns on the island that has a pool. A useful amenity if you have kids. Also, a nice complimentary continental breakfast was available each day until 11:00 A.M.

Next door is the Champlin Resort. Newer, in good shape, also with a pool. It is more expensive, though, and not as quiet as it is next to the harbor. There are some small shops there and you can get food and ice cream.

The beaches off corn neck road are great. Nice sand and the water was actually warm. Unlike Maine you can go swimming without turning blue.
We went to Scotch Beach on the recommendation of friends and agree it is a great location. It is not too far from the beach house at Town Beach where the restrooms are, and less crowded. You can park on the road and take a short path to it through the dunes.

Riding bikes on the island is a much more enjoyable experience than in most beach communities. The traffic is light enough that it is fairly safe to ride.

We found the restaurants to be decent and usually reasonably priced. The Oar is good, and close to New Harbor. Snacks, though, like chips, crackers etc. are expensive in the stores, so you might want to bring some of you own along. One nice touch is that there are no fast food franchises there.

The island is small and other than going to the beaches and walking on some of the trails, and looking at some of the tourist gift shops, there is not a lot of things to do. This is fine if you want a quiet restful vacation, but if you have older children and it is a rainy day there are limited activities. Other than the small movie theater, activities for kids are limited.

Block Island is an especially great vacation place for couples. You will enjoy a quieter vacation in an uncrowded beach resort area.

10 Thank NickPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Block Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos