Summer Escapes: Drift Away

RHODE ISLAND

Block Island

Perhaps the only downside to Block Island being named one of the “Last Great Places” by the Nature Conservancy is that now even more people are crowding its dazzling shores. But there are ways to avail yourself of all the beauty the island has to offer without upping your anxiety meds or having to endure
the rabble.

First, the early bird gets not only the worm, but also the primo seats on the high-speed ferry that leaves the mainland from Point Judith. Snagging the first boat headed for Old Harbor (it departs between 7:15 and 9 a.m. depending on the day and season) also means you get first dibs on available parking.

Once on the island, say sayonara to the harbor. You were smart and secured lodging away from the port, so you’ll deal with the crowds only when you want to — not because the ferry dropped them off outside your window. Guest homes on the edge of town, like the Sea Breeze Inn, offer gorgeous pond and ocean vistas.

The island’s 17 miles of beaches are, yes, breathtaking, but they fill up quickly. Bike or moped to the more-secluded spans of Sandy Point or North Lighthouse beach — the latter has a funky beach shack made from sea debris with a first-come-first-served hammock inside.

When your stomach starts growling, look for hearty American fare at the Oar Restaurant. The maritime-themed tavern boasts the best mudslides around, patio views of the central lagoon, and a laid-back atmosphere that’s sure to boost your serotonin levels — no prescription required.  >> Sea Breeze Inn (starts at $150 per night), 71 Spring St., New Shoreham, RI, 401-466-2275, seabreezeblockisland.com— Austyn Ellese Mayfield
CHEAT SHEET
Bike Taxi   If you get tired from biking, call Mig’s Rig Taxi. Its vans are equipped to cart you and your wheels around.
Water Works   Go exploring with Pond and Beyond guided kayak tours. $50 per person covers equipment for its Great Salt Pond excursion.

All photos by Jarrod McCabe

  • Tourist

    Awful, run-down, overpriced, understaffed.

  • Duncan

    Folk such as me, my family, and my friends, who are blessed to have raised their children in ‘sconset never go near the Summerhouse, which, while located near our charming village, is totally not of the village. A better idea is to drive your leased Escalade to the Hamptons and hope you get to slobber during a celeb-sighting (and you’ll be doing ‘sconset a favor). If you must visit us, please do so on a bike and have dinner at the Sconset Cafe.