Paradise Found: Block Island, Rhode Island

Long-distance doppelganger: Ireland
Drive from Boston: 1.5 hours to the Point Judith ferry, followed by a half-hour ferry ride

Hop off the ferry and you’ll find yourself right in the middle Block Island’s buzzy downtown. But venture farther inland and you‘ll glimpse rolling hills, stone walls, and weathered, shingled cottages that are reminiscent of the Emerald Isle. Thanks to conservation efforts and strict zoning laws, no chains or franchises are allowed on the 10-square-mile island, leaving room only for Victorian-style inns, indie restaurants, and wide open spaces with sweeping panoramas of the horizon.

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Photograph courtesy of Rose Farm Inn

Where to Stay

The Spring House hotel, the oldest hotel on the island, has made up beds for Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain. Woo your new bride (or groom) with the deluxe room’s ocean views. Set on 20 acres of farmland, the Rose Farm Inn (pictured) is a peaceful respite, with honeymooner-friendly first-floor rooms in the Captain’s Rose House that offer front and back decks and whirlpool tubs. If it’s a downtown retreat you’re after, rent a quiet cottage at the Blue Dory Inn—the Dollhouse and the Tea House are ideal for lovebirds—and take in the scene from your porch.

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Photograph by Nat Rea for The Nature Conservancy, Rhode Island

What to Do

Hit the island’s popular sites—such as Rodman’s Hollow (pictured), a nature preserve off Coooneymus Road, and Mohegan Bluffs, where the clay cliffs spill diagonally into the ocean—in a ride from Island Moped and Bike Rentals. Then get your daily dose of vitamin D at Mansion Beach or the more secluded Dory’s Cove.

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Photograph courtesy of Danielle M. Dziok

Where to Eat

Grab a drink on the lawn of the Spring House hotel (pictured), then tuck into selections from the raw bar at the hotel’s Veranda Café. Unwind after a day of exploring the island at Eli’s, where the Asian-inspired fare draws a crowd most nights. Top off the evening with an ice-cold Guinness at McGovern’s Yellow Kittens.

Romantic Diversion

A sunset cruise on Ruling Passion—wine and cheese included—will set the mood.

Save the Date

Snag a button for the annual Taste of Block Island event (5/30–6/1; 9/26–9/28) for discounts at restaurants and stores, and on activities like kayaking and horseback riding.

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