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Block Island Tourism Council



Close To Home, A World Away

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Block Island Beckons! Block Island is special in so many ways. Whether you en-

and from Fall River, Massachusetts.

joy a laid-back beach day, a vigorous bike ride, an adventure

Once you’ve arrived on-island, you will not come across

in a kayak or a paddleboard lesson, our little

a traffic light or a big chain business, but you will be blown

island is a terrific place to explore. 

away by the natural landscape with stone wall-lined roll-

What many people don’t realize is just how easy it is to get here. Only 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast, we are a 15-min-

ing hills, breathtaking bluffs, and pristine beaches.  If it’s an event you’re planning,

ute plane ride from Westerly, Rhode

Block Island may be the perfect desti-

Island, and just 35 minutes by plane

nation. Many of the historic inns make

from Providence.

unforgettable venues for your wedding or

We’re a half hour on the high speed ferry from Point Judith, Rhode Island,

group getaway. For anyone who enjoys outdoor activities,

or just over an hour on the ferry from

music, art, dining and scenic beauty, Block

New London, Connecticut. A Montauk

Island beckons...

ferry brings visitors from Long Island, New York, to our unique island. And, just this past summer, the high speed ferry service from Newport, Rhode Island, added a leg to

Zena Clark President, Block Island Tourism Council Zena Clark with husband Jamie Johnston and their son Fisher on Crescent Beach.

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Ocean View Rooms Beachside Bar

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PO Box C, Dodge Street, Block Island, RI 02807


surf Close To Home, A World Away



Whether looking to rent, buy or sell, please contact us for all your real estate needs.



E 1964



61 dodge street 401-466-8777

Local Legacy...International Reach™ newport

2 Close To Home, A World Away




details@ w at c h h i l l

block island

“The best part about Block Island is that all 17 miles of sand are free — including parking.” –

Crescent Beach by Kari Curtis

Block Island: Close To Home, A World Away is produced jointly by the Block Island Tourism Council and the Block Island Times.

The Block Island Tourism Council Center Road, Box 356, Block Island, RI 02807 President Zena Clark Vice President Steve Filippi 2nd Vice President John Cullen Secretary Sven Risom Treasurer Julie Fuller Members Brad Marthens, Logan Mott Chase Executive Director Jessica K. Willi

Table Of Contents 1. Block Island Beckons!

20. The Goods

3. Table of Contents

22. Living History

5. You’re Closer Than You Think!

24. A Room with a View

7. B.I. Basics 9. Endless Beaches 12. A Natural Beauty

Ocean Avenue, Box 278, Block Island, RI 02807 Phone: (401) 466-2222 Fax: (401) 466-8804 Co-publishers Fraser and Betty Lang Editor Lisa Stiepock Writers Chris Barrett, Brent Lang, Judy Tierney Staff Photographer Kari Curtis Contributing Photographers B.K. Angeletti, Maaike Bernstrom, Hilary Block, Ryan Conaty, Isabella DeLeo Pam Gasner, Malcolm Greenaway, Annie Hall, Lara Kimmerer, Gillian Lang, Renée Meyer, Thea Monje, Tom Rosenzweig, Rose Schaller, Joanne Seddon, Celeste Sloman, Lesley Ulrich, Alyssa Wood Production Chris Izzo of CRI Design © 2015 Block Island Tourism Council & Block Island Times

Cover photo by Kari Curtis

16. Rest, Relaxation, Recreation 18. New England’s Boating and Fishing Paradise

26. Good Eats 29. Nightlife 31. Favorite Times and Happenings 33. Our Island Community 35. The Perfect Place for a Wedding 36. Group Tours

SPONSORS: The 1661 Inn and Hotel Manisses, Block Island Reservations, Deepwater Wind, Spring House Hotel, The Atlantic Inn, Ballard Hall Real Estate, Beach Real Estate, Block Island Conservancy, Block Island Express, Block Island Fishworks, Cape Air, Interstate Navigation, Lila Delman Real Estate, New England Airlines, Newport Convention and Visitors Bureau, Payne’s Harbor View Inn, Poor People’s Pub, Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sullivan Real Estate, The Surf Hotel Close To Home, A World Away


We’ve been stirring up history and culture for over 375 years.

Make our Visitor Information Center the first place you visit! Open 7 days a week. 23 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport, RI

Share a review on Seasonal Daily Departures to Downtown Newport | 800.326.6030


Find out here.

Block Island Conservancy has been protecting Block Island Open Space for over 40 years. Be a part of the movement, volunteer or donate. Come visit our Education Center on Weldon’s Way. • 401-466-3111 4 Close To Home, A World Away

You’re Closer Than You Think! More than 20 million people are within a four-hour drive of the ferries and airlines that bring visitors to Block Island, and more than 10 million can reach a ferry or airplane in less than two hours.

Boy on Dunes by Kari Curtis

By Ferry

Block Island Ferry/Interstate Navigation provides year-round service from Point Judith, Rhode Island (304 Great Island Road, Narragansett, R.I.) to Old Harbor, Block Island. This is the only ferry that can take vehicles to the island, and reservations for them are required (the sooner you can do this the better). Passengers do not need reservations for the roughly one-hour trip. You can find schedules and travel and reservation information for Interstate Navigation at (866) 783-7996 or Block Island High-Speed Ferry/ Interstate Navigation runs a high-speed catamaran from midMay through mid-October that gets you from Point Judith (304 Great Island Road, Narragansett, R.I.) to Old Harbor, Block Island, in 30 minutes. A second high-speed catamaran runs daily from Fall River, Massachusetts, to Newport, Rhode Island, and on to Block Island. For schedules and more information call (866) 783-7996 or visit

Block Island Express gets you to Old Harbor in just over one hour on a high-speed catamaran from a terminal in New London (2 Ferry St., New London, Conn.) that’s right next to the Amtrak train station. It runs May through September. Block Island Express also offers connections to Block Island from Orient Point, Long Island, via its Cross Sound Ferry service. The two services have matched-up schedules making it convenient and quick to take the fast ferry from Orient Point to New London and connect to the ferry to B.I., all in 2 hours and 45 minutes, including layover. Schedules and connection information for Block Island Express are at (860) 444-4624 or Montauk Ferry runs between the tip of Long Island, New York (462 West Lake Drive, Montauk, N.Y. ), and Block Island during the summer. The trip takes just under two hours. Schedules and information at (631) 668-5700 or vikingfleet. com.

By Private Boat

Dock your own boat at one of four full-service marinas or anchor in either Old Harbor or New Harbor. For more information on marinas, moorings, and anchorage, visit

By Commuter Plane

New England Airlines has provided daily scheduled air service to Block Island from Westerly, Rhode Island, since 1970. The airport (56 Airport Road, Westerly, R.I.) is just off Interstate 95 and is an easy drive or train ride from anywhere in the northeast. (Amtrak serves Westerly with daily trains between Washington/ New York and Boston.) Flight time is 12 minutes. Find sched-

ules and information at (800) 2432460 or Cape Air provides service to Block Island from T.F. Green in Providence (2000 Post Road, Warwick, R.I.). For schedules and information, call (800) CAPE-AIR (227-3247) or visit www.capeair. com.

By Private Plane

Block Island State Airport welcomes private planes on its one-lane runway. There is no control tower, but pilots should announce themselves on frequency 123.00. For more information check the Airport Facility Directory for the Northeast or call airport manager Landmark Aviation at (401) 466-5511.

Just off the coast of Rhode Island, this secret gem is a throwback to the mid-1800s: antique-filled Victorian inns, miles of pristine rolling hills, and towering cliffs with stunning views of the Atlantic. —

Close To Home, A World Away


On the island, take it slow.

To the island, make it fast.

Get to Block Island in just over an hour via the fastest ferry from the mainland. Service May – September | | 860.444.4624

6 Close To Home, A World Away

B.I. Basics The Facts

Playing Bocce Ball by Kari Curtis

1661 The year Block Island was founded. 1672 The year the Town of New Shoreham was incorporated. Area 7 miles long and 3 miles wide, Block Island is shaped like a pork chop, and covers 6,000 acres. Location 12 miles off the southern coast of Rhode Island. Population 930 year round; as many as 20,000 in summer. Ponds Legend has it there are 365 freshwater ponds, one for every day of the year. Stone walls 300 to 400 miles of

manmade stone walls. Nature Trails 28 miles of trails. Open Space More than 44 percent of the island is preserved open space. Beaches 17 miles worth, all free, all gorgeous. Education One K-12 school with 117 students.

Getting Around On Foot The sneaker express is an easy way to enjoy the shops, restaurants and hotels in Old Harbor. It’s a 15-minute walk from the ferry to the main beach. On Bikes Bicycles are an

affordable and enjoyable way to explore the island. Rental stands offer bikes to fit the needs of the entire family or bring your own over on the ferry. On Mopeds Mopeds can be rented around the island, and can accommodate one or two passengers. Mopeds may be driven on all paved island roads, but are not allowed on dirt roads. By Taxi Taxi service is available island-wide. A taxi stand is located by the ferry docks in Old Harbor, and taxis regularly wait for customers at New Harbor and the airport. Most offer island

tours as well. By Car Depending on your itinerary, you may or may not require a vehicle while here. In the busy summer months, keeping the number of cars on-island to a minimum is encouraged. However, the spring and fall provide comparatively empty roads.

More info at: Or at the Visitors Center in the ferry parking lot; call (800) 383BIRI (2474) or (401) 466-BIRI (2474).

“You won’t want to leave Block Island — one of the most beautiful islands in the world for walking, biking, or simply looking out to sea” — Yankee magazine

Close To Home, A World Away


You’ll always remember your summer on Block Island

Somewhere on Block Island there’s the perfect summer cottage for you. And we can help you find it. We have an extensive selection of rental homes and if you’re interested in taking advantage of the current buyers’ market we can help you with that too. From North Light to Black Rock nobody knows this island better. That’s why they call us the Island experts. Make this summer one to remember!

Cynthia Pappas, Broker Gail Heinz, Sandra Hopf, Shannon Morgan, Logan Mott, Rebecca Pappas

Sullivan Real Estate • The Island Experts since 1967 401 466-5521 •

The Atlantic Inn A Block Island tradition Featuring the

Restaurant 1879

Susan Sancomb

For an unforgettable evening with breathtaking views… Tapas, cocktails and sunsets… Or just relaxation at its Best…

8 Close To Home, A World Away

The Atlantic Inn 401-466-5883

Endless Beaches 17 miles of sandy fun and peaceful bits of paradise


Mansion Beach by Isabella DeLeo

Surf Beach by Kari Curtis

4 Town Beach Concessions by Kari Curtis

3 Scotch Beach by Kari Curtis

5 Baby Beach by Isabella DeLeo


10 The Bluffs at Black Rock by Kari Curtis

CloseToToHome, Home,A AWorld WorldAway Away 9 Close

9 Vaill Beach by Lesley Ulrich


11 Dinghy Beach by Kari Curtis

Mohegan Bluffs by Kari Curtis

1 Settlers’ Rock by Kari Curtis

Ballard’s Beach by Kari Curtis

Barbara Trujillo, Tenth Grader at the Block Island School

Barbara on a walk down Payne Road to visit the horses.

My family is from Peru. We came here when I was four and I’ve never left. I like that it’s such a close-knit community. Off-island everyone’s doing their own thing. Here you can be so close to people, your lives are intertwined, like 10 Close To Home, A World Away

a big family. The school is together kindergarten through high school, just over 100 kids, so you know literally everyone at the school. It makes it nice because you share the same experiences and then it’s fun, too, when new people come because they have new experiences from other schools to share.  I love the nature out here, how it’s so focused on preserving open space and wildlife. And you can pretty much walk anywhere. It’s a 7-by-3-mile island, so nothing is far away.  I love how alive it is in summer how we wait all winter for that moment summer comes.  I especially love going to the beach. On the mainland you might drive hours to get to a beach and here we’re five minutes away. Our beaches are so nice and clean. My friends and I love to go


My Block Island banana boating and parasailing, fishing and snorkeling. I also like walking the breakwall and jumping off the docks and pilings. Mostly I just love being in the water. If I could, I’d stay there all the time.  Walking the long trails is nice in the summer, too. I like Rodman’s Hollow and the Maze when the daffodils are blooming. And I love to go on the trails on horseback — it feels rustic, oldtimey, like you’re one with nature.  If I ever had to leave the island, though, what I would miss most is the closeness with the people. It’s like one big family, not always a happy family, but you’ve known them all your life and you’ve been through so much. Off-island everyone has their own little groups. Here it’s a close-knit community, where everyone helps each other out.




12 Clamming by Gillian Lang





Coast Guard Beach by Kari Curtis 15









13 Snowy Owl at West Beach by Malcolm Greenaway

Block Island Beaches 1. Cow Cove is near Settlers’ Rock. Although the shoreline is rocky, it offers some of the best coastal views and also sports the historic North Light. This is not a place for swimming because of a strong riptide. Be careful where you walk too: the beach is a nesting area for many rare birds. 2. Mansion Beach lies at the end of a dirt road with the same name. The island’s most stately mansion once sat here until fire destroyed the house and it was never rebuilt. However, the beach fits the name by being one of the island’s grandest. Mansion marks the north end of what’s known as Crescent Beach. 3. Scotch Beach is a quarter mile north of Fred Benson Town Beach. Scotch is a sandbox for kids and the place boaters end up when they cross Corn Neck Road from Dinghy Beach. A small parking lot sits between the road and the dunes. 4. Fred Benson Town Beach is home to Block Island’s fully equipped bathhouse. In addition to showers, lockers, food, and rental items, the beach is staffed with lifeguards in the summer months. 5. Baby Beach is a well-sheltered beachfront toward the south end of what’s known as Crescent Beach (Mansion marks the north end), where children can easily play in the shallow waters. 6. Surf Beach, named for The Surf Hotel above it, is an ideal place to snorkel





Charlestown Beach by Kari Curtis

and check out the abundant sea life, such as small crabs and starfish, and to hunt for shells and sand dollars. Surf Beach marks the south end of what’s known as Crescent Beach. 7. Ballard’s Beach is located on the south side of the Old Harbor breakwater adjacent to Ballard’s Inn and its restaurant that serves on the beach. Staffed with lifeguards throughout the summer months, it is also a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming, and volleyball. 8. Mohegan Bluffs beachfront is found at the bottom of a steep set of stairs, 141 steps to be exact. It’s pretty treacherous going at the base of the stairs, so take care. The payoff is a secluded and spectacularly beautiful, if rocky, place to swim and surf. 9. Vaill Beach is a large beach at the bottom of a hollow. The path to it is located at the bend in Snake Hole Road. The surf here is rough and rocks line the shallows, so swimmers should exercise caution. 10. Black Rock boasts expanses of sand and a series of coves at the base of a cliff. Swimming is difficult because of the large number of rocks, but it’s a perfect place for an oceanside hike. The area takes its name from a large, dark rock that rests offshore in about 15 feet of water and has spelled the end for many ships. Located a pace off the main road, it’s best to walk or bike to get there. 11. Dinghy Beach, also known as Mosquito Beach, is located just across the road from Scotch Beach, providing

a place for boaters in New Harbor to tie up their rafts and dinghies. There are majestic views of Great Salt Pond, making it a good backdrop for photos. 12. Andy’s Way is the island’s premiere clamming spot. Standing at the end of a dirt road that bears the same name, it’s a good place to take a stroll. Just north is Beane Point, U.S. Fish and Wildlife property that is home to many rare birds. 13. West Beach is narrow, but it’s lightly trafficked and has gentle surf and stupendous views of the North Light. 14. Coast Guard Beach is at the end of Champlin Road and derives its name from the decomissioned Coast Guard station there. Don’t swim here, but it’s a good place for clamming and fishing. 15. Charlestown Beach is popular with fishermen because it has a long jetty at its end. Typically uncrowded, it’s a nice spot to watch the boats come into New Harbor. 16. Grace’s, Dory’s, and Cooneymous coves are secluded beaches on the west side of the island. Perfect for hikers and those looking for an outof-the-way spot to catch a sunset.

16 Grace’s Beach by Kari Curtis

Close To Home, A World Away


A Natural Beauty Twenty-eight miles of walking trails, acres of open space, many of the most beautiful beaches on the eastern seaboard, spectacular havens for fish and wildlife — it’s no wonder Block Island was named one of the last great


places in the western hemisphere by The Nature Conservancy. More than

Clay Head (The Maze) by Kari Curtis

44 percent of the island is preserved, and walking is an excellent way to take in the rolling hills, lush farmland, and stunning vistas. Look for peregrine falcons and red-tailed hawks in the sky, ring-necked pheasants and American woodcocks among the abundant wildflowers, and seals perched on beach rocks. Block Island is renowned for its beauty and commitment to preservation. Once you visit, you’ll understand why. 2 Rodman’s Hollow by Kari Curtis

3 North Light by Kari Curtis

3 Bluffs Hiker by Kari Curtis

12 Close To Home, A World Away

5 Ocean View Foundation Program by Tom Rosenzweig

4 Abrams Farm by Celeste Sloman

Aerial Vew of Block Island by RenĂŠe Meyer

Close To To Home, Home, AA World World Away Away Close


3 Southeast Lighthouse by Kari Curtis

6 Durfee Conservancy Trail By Kari Curtis

Don’t Miss

1. Clay Head Nature Trail, also known as The Maze, offers walkers unparalleled views along the northeastern shore of the island. Off Corn Neck Road, its paths meander along the bluffs before ending at Settlers’ Rock. 2. Rodman’s Hollow is a wild and beautiful cleft in the rolling terrain left over from a melting glacier. Hawks and deer are among the wildlife that populates the hollow. Its trails lead to Black Rock. 3. Both lighthouses on the island are open to visitors. Southeast Lighthouse, east of Mohegan Bluffs, provides a magnificent coastal view. On clear days it’s even possible to glimpse Montauk, New York, some 20 miles away. At the end of Corn Neck Road, a walk down the beach from Settlers’ Rock brings you to the beautiful North Light. 4. Abrams Animal Farm offers a diverse collection of exotic and domestic animals maintained by Justin Abrams, whose family owns and operates The 1661 Inn and Hotel Manisses. Visitors to the farm can view and pet llamas, emus, sheep, donkeys, goats and more. There are even kangaroos, lemurs, and a zedonk (zebra/donkey).

14 Close To Home, A World Away

7 BIock Island Conservancy Education Center by Kari Curtis

8 Kayak Tour by Kari Curtis

5. Ocean View Pavilion is a comfortable sitting area near Old Harbor that offers stunning ocean vistas. Maintained by the Ocean View Foundation, the area marks the spot where the magnificent Ocean View Hotel once stood. The Foundation runs environmental education programs year round. 6. Walking Trails crisscross the entire island. The Greenway is a web of trails that connects miles of natural habitat and provides memorable hikes for visitors. Among many other worthwhile hikes is the one pictured here, which winds through the recently conserved Ray-Durfee land on the West Side. 7. A new Education Center on Weldon’s Way (pictured above), run by Block Island Conservancy, and an office on High Street housing The Nature Conservancy, provide a wealth of information about the island’s wildlife and plants, and the island’s ongoing efforts to preserve open spaces. Stop by to pick up trail maps or bird checklists and find out about nature walks and other free programs. 8. Explore the island Ponds and Inlets by renting a kayak or paddleboard (available at both harbors).

9 Bicycles at Old Harbor by Kari Curtis

9. There’s no better way to see B.I. than by bicycle. Just last summer the Block Island Tourism Council unveiled a 7.5-mile Video Bike Tour. The loop begins and ends at the Tourist Center off Water Street in Old Harbor. Just scan the QR codes on signs along the route to get the video tour. It includes nine stops along major sights at the southern end of the island, plus an option to add another 8.5 miles of island beauty. 10. BIMI (Block Island Maritime Institute) runs lots of sailing and marine exploration programs from its “offices” at Smuggler’s Cove (near Dead Eye Dick’s restaurant), which is where you’ll find their popular touch tank and squid dissection workshops. 11. Seals The island has two seal populations in winter, often visible from the lawn of Saint Andrew Parish Center and off Coast Guard Beach. Keep your distance; they are protected mammals! 12. The Glass Float Project has become one of the island’s most popular activities in recent years. Find these grapefruit-sized orbs along beaches and trails, then register your find at www. Visit the same site for more information.



BIMI Touch Tank by Kari Curtis


Seal Pup by Joanne Seddon

Glass Float by Kari Curtis

Tim Connor, Sixth Grader at the B.l. School

Tim on a favorite trail with Brodie.

Beach Path by Renée Meyer

Block Island is a really nice place to always be outside. Me and my mom like to go on a nature walk around our house. It goes from Sands Pond Road to Fresh Pond. We always find a bunch of different animals and insects and stuff and there’s a part of the trail that we call the Goblin’s Trail because it looks like a goblin lives there. It’s really dark, covered by trees and there’s a little den that could be where a deer sleeps, but we decided to call it a goblin den. We try to spook each other there. This is one of my favorite trails, too, because when my dog Brodie was born, I would take that trail to go visit him with his mom and the other puppies. We have a lot of freedom out here on Block Island. It’s so small that everyone knows where you are. You can be alone if you want to or you can just walk anywhere and find someone random to hang out with. Me and my friends like to make forts everywhere. We go into the

My Block Island

bushes and find old deer dens and then we go to the North Light and gather driftwood and put it on the sides. We always save a couple pieces for sword fights. We also like to explore this passageway behind my house. It has little deer trails that split off; we’ve only explored 13 so far. The coolest thing we found was a gigantic deer antler half as tall as I am. Brodie took off with it and we chased him and got it back, so it’s decorating one of our forts now. We also built one fort under a gigantic tree and we like to climb the tree and go off one branch onto a branch of another tree. On my birthday list is a hammock for that tree. Since we have a pond next to our house, Sands Pond, I like to go canoeing with my dad. We don’t fish because it’s too boring. We like to go through the weeds and collect the sticks that come up out of the water. We take them back to my dad’s workshop and he gets me a carving knife and I carve stuff out of them. Fish are easy, the most complicated one was a hawk’s head I think. One of my favorite things is when my dad and I get a beach permit to drive on the beach. We park the car at the entrance to Scotch Beach and we take a walk up the beach and throw a stick for Brodie. We usually do this at sunset. Of course I love going to the beach in the summer! My friends and I have a routine where we go into the water and then we go into the hot sand and lay in there for about ten minutes and then we run back into the cold water covered in hot sand and then we repeat it. Tubing is really fun, too. Like I said, it’s just a great place to be outside. Close To Home, A World Away


Rest, Relaxation, Recreation

WHETHER YOU SURF, SAIL, KAYAK, snorkel, or fish, Block Island offers plenty of ocean and pond adventure. The pounding surf and temperate waters are perfect for surfing, paddleboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding, parasailing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, and banana boating and there are a number of local businesses that rent equipment and offer lessons and summer camps. There’s offshore adventure in the form of sail and powerboat charters. Inland pursuits include biking, hiking, and all manner of exercise classes, such as yoga, Nia, aerobics and more — you can even take yoga classes on paddleboards at dawn. Or you can hit the spa. Or simply hit the hammock! For more information, visit the Block Island Tourism Council’s web site at

Kayakers by Kari Curtis

North End Cyclists by Kari Curtis

Boarder by Kari Curtis

16 Close To Home, A World Away

Adirondacks at the Narragansett Inn by Kari Curtis

Crafting at Block Island Club by Kari Curtis

Fishing the Breakwall by Kari Curtis

Lifeguard by Kari Curtis

Block Island Club by Kari Curtis

This tiny refuge off Rhode Island is remarkable for what it doesn’t have. No traffic jams (there are hardly any cars). No private beaches—just miles of unfettered coastline. And, as of yet, no movie moguls or vacationing presidents, unlike nearby Martha’s Vineyard. Block Island’s low-key visitors are more interested in scenery than in a trendy scene. And what scenery: undulating hills and breeze-rippled grasslands, stone walls reminiscent of Ireland, and trails lined with bayberry and beach roses. …The mainland may be only 12 miles away, but you’ll have forgotten it exists. —Travel + Leisure Sailfish in New Harbor by Kari Curtis

Bikes in Old Harbor by Kari Curtis

Surfing Lesson by Kari Curtis

The Surf Beach by Kari Curtis

Fred Benson Town Beach by Kari Curtis

Close To Home, A World Away


New England’s Boating and Fishing Paradise BOATERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD find harbor in more

Or take to the miles of sandy

than 50 acres of anchorage and

beaches and rocky shoreline for

more than 100 public moorings.

fly fishing and surfcasting. Shore

No boat? No problem. Rental boats

access is unrestricted around the

and a charter fishing fleet await to

entire island. Just don’t forget

take visitors out on the Great Salt

to stop by the island’s two tackle

Pond, the Block Island Sound, and,

shops for bait or suggestions

of course, the Atlantic Ocean for

about where the action is. And

striped bass, bluefish, tuna, bonito,

don’t forget about the clam flats,

mahi-mahi, shark, and more. The


island hosts premiere races and

18 Close To Home, A World Away

sailboat races.

For mooring, anchorage, licens-

fishing tournaments including the

ing and docking information, visit

Tri-State Canyon Shootout fish-

the Block Island Tourism Council’s

ing tourney and the Storm Trysail

web site at

Bait Shed by Kari Curtis

Block Island Club by Kari Curtis

Docks by Ballard’s by Kari Curtis

Great Salt Pond by Kari Curtis

The Winner by Kari Curtis

Old Harbor Dinghy Dock by Kari Curtis

Payne’s Dock by Kari Curtis

“Whatever you are searching for, Block Island seems to have it: art galleries, hiking, fishing, bars, food and shopping are all available within arm’s reach, and you’ll be no farther than a 20-minute bike ride from the southern and northernmost points of the Island.” — Sunset Paddle by Jeffrey Smith

Close To Home, A World Away


National Hotel Shops by Kari Curtis The Glass Onion by Kari Curtis

Block Island Sport Shop by Isabella DeLeo

Jessie Edwards Studio by Isabella DeLeo

Peppered Cat by Isabella DeLeo

The Goods DO A LITTLE CREDIT CARD damage in one of the

Block Island’s natural beauty, its rolling hills, vivid skyline,

island’s fine clothing shops; pick out a memento or Block

clifftop vistas, and fog-cloaked hollows have inspired scores

Island-themed sweatshirt as a keepsake from your island

of poets, painters, potters, musicians, and photographers.

vacation at one of the charming gift shops; or browse for

Its solitude and grandeur have also created a vibrant

fine art or pottery in the downtown’s many galleries.

community where artists can create in a place that, in

Only steps away from the ferry dock in Old Harbor is

the off seasons, is removed from the hustle and bustle of

the heart of Block Island’s historic downtown. Most island

ordinary life and, in summer, is filled with visitors seeking

stores are Mom and Pop businesses and the range of items

to view and buy their work. From the Highview Hotel’s

offered is truly astounding. Homemade honey and candles

frescoed scenes of simple island life, created by H.D.

vie for space with designer handbags and fashionable

Wetherbee in 1948 in exchange for whiskey and rent, to

bathing suits and board shorts. Forget something? Not a

Malcolm Greenaway’s landscape photography, Block Island

problem. There are a host of choices to hook you up with

art has become world-renowned.

everything from fishing and surfing gear to sunscreen and paperback books.

Local artists and craftsmen show at the many galleries that dot the downtown, during the Arts and Crafts Guild

In addition to the shopping in town, there are farmers’

shows hosted on the Historical Society lawn a few times

markets where island artists, chefs and farmers gather each

each season, and at the twice-weekly farmers’ markets. Be

Wednesday and Saturday morning to sell their wares. It’s

sure to pencil in the Christmas Stroll for late fall: During

a great way to pick up locally grown produce, home-baked

the Thanksgiving Day weekend, island stores open their

goodies, locally made preserves, handcrafted jewelry, and

doors and offer dynamite discounts just in time for the

much more.


20 Close To Home, A World Away

Blazing Star Stand at Market by Kari Curtis

Gasners at Arts and Crafts Guild by Kari Curtis

Star Department Store by Isabella DeLeo

Mary Anderson, Owner/Operator The Glass Onion

Mary (center) in front of the Glass Onion with friends and colleagues, Liza Serratore (left) and Claire Russo.

I stumbled upon Block Island on a sailing trip in the late eighties. I was contemplating where to head for grad school and got a little sidetracked by

the natural beauty of the sea and land here on the island. I just couldn’t help myself, I stayed and explored — and got lost finding myself. Over the past twenty years I’ve continued to be charmed by the place and the people. I feel lucky to call the island home with my husband and children. Our 11-year-old boys soak up the joys and challenges of island life, school, friends, summer recreation camps, time to roam, fish, and surf. Recreation and the outdoors are truly glorious, but most of my summer work is indoors at the Glass Onion, a little resort-wear boutique, a hub of humanity buzzing with a passionate following of shoppers. I enjoy finding unique feminine pieces inspired by travel and by Block Island. It’s such a pleasure to be with our remarkable staff and visitors that feel like family, to help dress customers for a beach day or an evening out. Finding solutions for folks on vacation

Scones at Farmers’ Market by Kari Curtis

My Block Island or a day trip brings us such fun and we eagerly try to answer visitors’ questions with suggestions about where to eat, walk, swim, rest, read, take in a movie, join a Conservancy group or Historical Society tour, or go on an Ocean View Foundation walk or program. Good friends, family and place inspire us to give back, and many islanders do just that by holding positions on local volunteer boards, with their various jobs, and just by offering a helping hand where needed. I’ve enjoyed helping as volunteer “lunch lady,” swim instructor, and as a board member of Scenic Block Island, the Historical Society, and the Planning Board. It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to work to protect this place, to return the passion it inspires. I am lucky to call this unique place home, to be here among good friends, and my dearest family. Close To Home, A World Away


Dunes in Winter at North Light by Malcolm Greenaway

Living History BLOCK ISLAND’S HISTORY is a rich one, encompassing

mentioning shipwrecks. While some have become the stuff

Native American tribes, Revolutionary War heroes, legend-

of legend, others remain accessible for sport divers. Among

ary shipwrecks, and its emergence in the late 1800s as one

the legendary is the Princess Augusta, which inspired John

of New England’s premiere summer attractions.

Greenleaf Whittier’s 1867 poem “The Palatine.”

Learn more about the island’s history by visiting the His-

Block Island’s rough seas and rocky coastlines would

torical Society Museum and gift shop downtown. A white

certainly have claimed more ships were it not for two light-

mansard-roofed building, the Historical houses an extensive

houses. The North and Southeast lighthouses have achieved

collection of furniture, textiles, quilts, oral histories, fish-

iconic status, revered for their historic significance and as

ing gear, tools, and Native American artifacts. Then head to

symbols of the community spirit that has allowed them to

Issac’s Corner, at the intersection of Center Road, Lakeside

be restored and preserved.

Drive, and Cooneymous roads. Named for the island’s last

The Southeast Lighthouse made national headlines in

full-blooded Native American, who died in 1886, it is near

the early nineties when, after years of erosion, it found itself

the Indian burial ground and the stone monument erected

just 50 feet from the cliff’s edge. Islanders banded together

just last year in honor of the Manissean Indians.

to save the beloved structure, raising nearly $2 million in

On that same corner, overlooking Fresh Pond, sits the gambrel-roofed cottage of composer and poet Arthur Penn,

federal and private grants and donations to move the National Historic Landmark 245 feet back from the bluff.

who lived there with his wife Nell in the 1920s. His song

You’ll want to see the North Light, too, by hiking past

“Smilin’ Through” is named for his Block Island home.

Settlers’ Rock. The lantern on that lighthouse was recently

No history of Block Island would be complete without 22 Close To Home, A World Away

restored and re-lit, and its small museum renovated.

Standing in Line to Rent Bathing Suits at State Beach courtesy of Martha Ball

Incorporation Marker in Town by Kari Curtis

Pam Gasner by Kari Curtis

Martha Ball, Chronicler of Local History

Martha Ball in her front yard, circa 1953.

Many small towns have a family like mine. My aunt said her grandfather was the richest man in town, her father among the poorest, at least in material goods. He and his wife lived in cramped quarters carved out of one of his father’s many commercial buildings but, with a growing family, decided to purchase an old farmhouse out of

town. He was never really a farmer but the place was available — the house where my father and his siblings were born, where my brother and I grew up, where I live today. It is an unusual corner of the world at the narrow northern tip of the island. The black of winter night can be broken when a working fishing boat offshore swings around and its lights shine on my wall with an intensity that awakens me. The sun rises out of the sea, moving from one window to another as the seasons progress. In summer my dog might be out barking at hay bales in the moonlight. Walking out into the field to see whatever is causing her such agitation I am surrounded by the gentle sound of the summer ocean, the far off clamor of crickets in the tall grass and the velvet brush of the night air; my annoyance segues to appreciation that I have been lured outside. It is a good memory to

Historical Society Lawn by Kari Curtis

Veterans Day by Kari Curtis

My Block Island conjure when the winter winds howl and snow, that if left alone would be here until spring, fills my road.     History is a great leveler. Among the first European settlers were indentured servants, Scots prisoners taken at the battle of Dunbar. They were, all of them, refugees of a sort, a group dedicated to freedoms, escaping the theocracy of the Bay Colony. We are still, as our 1672 Charter noted, “remote and living in the sea,” although the distance has been lessened greatly in my lifetime by the explosion of transportation and technology. We have an extraordinarily beautiful and inviting island, from its beaches and trails to its restaurant and clubs, from its shops and galleries to its nature programs and historical sites. We are not as far behind the great world as we were fifty years ago, but I am not convinced we will ever quite catch up, nor should that be our goal. Close To Home, A World Away


The Atlantic Inn by Kari Curtis

Old Town Inn by Kari Curtis

The Narragansett by Kari Curtis

The Surf by Kari Curtis

A Room with a View

Rent a cottage for a week or choose among dozens of hotels, inns, and B&Bs Block Island has the largest collection of Victorian era

and guest houses. You’ll find friendly and knowledgeable

hotels of any vacation destination on the Eastern seaboard.

proprietors who are eager to hand out advice about things

Among the architectural gems are the Atlantic Inn, the

to see and do.

Spring House, Hotel Manisses, the National Hotel, and once

For longer visits, Block Island has a slew of rental

again to everyone’s delight, the re-opened Surf Hotel. Many

properties and able real estate agents to help you find the

are historic landmarks that have been lovingly restored to

picturesque vacation home that’s just right for you and

their original grandeur and beauty.

yours. For specific accomodation information visit the Block

The island is also famous for its quaint bed and breakfasts 24 Close To Home, A World Away

Island Tourism Council’s web site at

Phelan House by Kari Curtis

Ballard’s Inn by Kari Curtis

The National and The Surf Hotel by Kari Curtis

The Gables by Kari Curtis

The Spring House by Kari Curtis

Christy Zendt, Co-Owner/Operator The Darius Inn

Christy (right) and Becca in front of the Darius Inn.

I stumbled upon the Island in August of 2009, en route to Nova Scotia but making it no further. Within a week I found work innkeeping, because I had previous experience and because it provided the biggest necessity for all who want to be here — housing.  Right away I knew that this place was home and this work was for me.  Having left behind both the joy of Art History and the logistics involved in working for a large art

seum, I found the details and daily functions of innkeeping beyond satisfying.  Designing, cooking, cleaning, gardening, painting, plumbing, and always hostessing…. never a dull moment and always a varied schedule. I lured my sister out when she was between jobs and within four years we were opening our own inn together.  We started work at the Darius immediately after purchasing the property in March of 2013.  Insisting on a degree of renovation that most did not see as feasible, we were fortunate to have an enthusiastic group of friends, family and contractors helping us round the clock to open by that 4th of July. Block Island is absolutely the only place on earth where the Darius could have happened.   Heading into our third season, this fact is constantly reiterated.  With a culmination of small town life (smallest town in the smallest state!), incredible natural beauty, innumerable recreation activities and drastic seasonal variation, Block Island has an aura that is difficult to articulate but quick to stick. It also has an ability to lure a stunning compilation of human beings with an awesome ability to work incredibly hard and still play harder.  We are constantly renovating and re-

My Block Island designing our accommodations and in the early spring and late fall, our days are filled with projects — painting, sewing, building, gardening and experimental cooking.  We are dedicated to art, design and all things crafting, so continuous improvements on the aesthetic of our space is a huge part of our business and working life at the Darius. Switching roles with our guests, we spend a bit of the winter traveling — culling inspiration and goods to use back home. Today the Darius consists of four suites and seven rooms, a big backyard and many porches. We cook a hot healthy breakfast for our guests every morning and in the late afternoon prepare a homemade happy hour cocktail and snack. We run the whole show with our best friend, Cassandra Duguay, who has been tirelessly working with us since before the Darius had a space or a name. Although our responsibilities to our guests are round the clock and we all have second jobs, our love for Block Island forces us to make time for a quick dip in the ocean, a run to second bluffs, or a sunset cruise to the point.  A huge part of our job is ensuring that our guests are enjoying the island as much as we do and in this our work and play are in sync. Close To Home, A World Away


Spring House by Kari Curtis

Bagel Shop by Kari Curtis

Ballard’s Lobster Roll

The Channel Marker by Kari Curtis

Pots and Kettles by Kari Curtis

Lobster Picnic by Kari Curtis

Mohegan Cafe by Kari Curtis


from the beach or ferry. Bite into one of our legendary fish

Block Island can satisfy your hunger at any of nearly 40

sandwiches, snack on clam cakes or mahi-mahi, feast on

restaurants and pubs.

buckets of shrimp and enjoy the spectacular ocean views.

Seafood lovers will delight in the dizzying number of ways

But Block Island offers more than just seafood. Hungry for

our local chefs prepare fresh catch. Many of the island’s

falafel, eggplant rollatini, sushi, pad thai, freshly-made ba-

most beloved seafood joints are less than a five-minute walk

gels, or a lemon-lime gelato? Block Island has you covered.

26 Close To Home, A World Away

Old Harbor View Takeout by Kari Curtis

Dead Eye Dicks by Kari Curtis

Southeast Light Delights by Lisa Stiepock

There are day visitors who take the ferry to Block Island for no other reason than to dine at one of the isle’s elegant restaurants. Perhaps this is because many of the island’s fine dining establishments boast views that are every bit as impressive as the food. — Papa’s Pizzeria by Kari Curtis

The Surf Hotel Porch by Kari Curtis

Rebecca’s by Kari Curtis

Ross & Brenna Audino, Owner/Operators Poor People’s Pub

Brenna and Ross with Luca and Bruno (the one on the leash).

We met on the island in 2007, we were both working at the Manisses. He was the chef and I was a waitress. Right away we dreamed about making a life on Block Island. Even when we moved to Boston for a year in 2010, we always had B.I. in our thoughts. This place has always felt like home to us. We moved back in 2011 and opened Poor People’s Pub. We wanted to bring great food at a great price to the island.  We’ve been excited to be able to bring our passion and love for food to both the local community and tourists alike.   One of our favorite aspects of owning a restaurant out here is the relationships we have created over the past four years. Our employees and regular customers are like a second family to us. They are the reason we

My Block Island love what we do. We are new parents, Luca was born in May, and so far raising a family on the island has been a wonderful experience. It truly takes a village to raise a child, especially while running a restaurant. There has been no shortage of people offering to help. It is a special kind of life we have on Block Island that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The winters are so peaceful. The summer season is short but hectic. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of it all, but there are the moments in between working double shifts that you are able to catch your breath, take a walk through Clay Head and jump in the ocean and you remember how lucky you are to call this little island home. Close To Home, A World Away


Beach Real Estate Sales Rentals Market Evaluations

Can you picture yourself here? For a week or a life time, we are here to serve all your Real Estate needs with friendly, competent service. Contact us now to see how we can help you!

“Let us show you the most beautiful properties on Block Island.”

Mary E. Stover and Nancy D. Pike, Brokers Sandra Hopf, Associate Broker

P.O. Box 1468, 84 Chapel Street, Block Island, RI 02807 401-466-2312


Coast To Coast In 12 Minutes

Daily Flights Free Parking at Westerly Airport

The Fastest Way to Block Island

Information & Reservations 800.243.2460 Block Island 401.466.5881 Westerly 401.596.2460

28 Close To Home, A World Away

Block Island’s Resident Airline Since 1970

Espresso Martini at Aldo’s

Mahogany Shoals at Payne’s Dock

Bonfire on Scotch Beach by B.K. Angeletti Photography

Yellow Kittens Tavern by Kari Curtis

Poor People’s Pub by Kari Curtis

Aldo’s Bartenders by Kari Curtis

Sunset Mudslides at The Oar

Nightlife AFTER A DAY OF SWIMMING, fishing, sailing or hiking, you need to relax — just not too much! A different island adventure awaits you after dark. Block Island bars and nightclubs are among the best in New England. You’ll find local brews, mudslides, and margarita madness to go Blues on the Block by Kari Curtis

with the live music that will keep you dancing well into the night. Close To Home, A World Away

29 to Providence, Rhode Island

Looking for a romantic getaway or a fun family adventure? Spend the weekend in Providence, RI, and enjoy the city’s acclaimed arts and culture, renowned restaurants, eclectic shopping and exciting attractions. Visit now to start planning your escape to the Creative Capital. Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau | 800.233.1636

Sail Away • • • •

On The Block Island Ferry Service from Pt. Judith, Newport, and Fall River

Year-round ferry service Most ferry trips daily All ferries dock in the center of town in Old Harbor Fastest ferry trip from the mainland



30 Close To Home, A World Away



Freight 866.783.7996



Pond Hockey by Annie Hall

Preschool at the Library by Kari Curtis

Halloween at Rosemary’s by Kari Curtis

Farmers’ Market by Kari Curtis

Patriots Rebecca by Kari Curtis

Grand Marshall by Malcolm Greenaway

Paynes Holiday by Kari Curtis

Blues on the Block by Kari Curtis

Favorite Times and Happenings Block Island’s best kept secret may be the pleasure of its

Polar Plunge 2015 by Kari Curtis

including the popular Blues on the Block concerts; and

shoulder seasons. Spring and fall are quieter and perhaps

fall classics like the the Soap Box Derby and the Arts and

even more gorgeous than summer! A Taste of Block Island

Crafts Guild /Farmers’ Market Fair, as well as new favorites,

weekends, May 29 to May 31 and September 25 to 27 in 2015,

such as the Glass Floats Treasure Hunts, in which visitors

give guests a chance to sample the island’s inns, restaurants,

and islanders alike comb beaches and trails for handblown

and activities at a deep discount. Sample island food during

fishing-float-style glass balls stamped with an island shape.

Restaurant Week June 14 to 19 this year. Popular annual celebrations include the Fourth of July, of

Winter happenings include the Christmas Shopping Stroll over Thanksgiving weekend, the Polar Plunge on

course, but also races such as the Shad Bloom in early May,

New Year’s Day, and the Groundhog Day census. Find a full

the August triathlon, and September’s 15K Run Around

listing of events in 2015 at or on the

the Block; art and music festivals throughout the summer

calendar at

Close To Home, A World Away


The Ideal Spot For The Times Of Your Life

J. Fuller

Overlooking New Harbor Suites with jacuzzis Private decks

Satellite TV Breathtaking views Antique furnishings

Large rooms with whirlpool tubs

Corner of Ocean and Beach Avenues 401.466.5758 •

Come Home To

Block Island

Real Estate Sales and Service Whether you are looking to purchase that special Island property or planning a relaxing vacation, Ballard Hall Real Estate is on-island year round to assist you. Browse our property listings and connect with one of our agents for buyer or seller representation. When it comes to a Block Island house rental choose from over 100 homes, cottages and condos ranging from one to seven bedrooms. Make your selection at our new website featuring interior photos, pricing and weekly availability. Call for reservations. Gail P. Ballard Hall, Principal Broker Corner of Ocean Ave. and Corn Neck Rd 401-466-8883

32 Close To Home, A World Away

Fourth of July by Kari Curtis

Library Ladies by Kari Curtis

Blues on the Block by Kari Curtis

At Polar Plunge by Kari Curtis Ben Wohlberg by Kari Curtis Pond Hockey Family by Annie Hall

Our Island Community When you step onto Block Island you’ll find a place that includes not just rare birds, fantastic beaches and miles of hiking trails, but a close, caring community.

American Legion Welcome by Kari Curtis

Soccer Champs by Thea Monje

find this interdependence creates a sense of community unrivaled anywhere else. You’ll find that this community — my neighbors — cares.

I grew up here and have witnessed many changes, but

They care deeply about each other, about the environment

one thing that has remained the same all these years is the

around them and about those coming to enjoy this island.

character of the people. When you visit you’ll meet some

Perhaps that’s why we’re so proud to show off this island

of our 930 year-round residents who run businesses, send

gem to the world.

their children to school, offer directions to the passing tourist and wear many, many hats.

I encourage you to come visit, meet my neighbors and share in this special place.

It’s not unusual to see your taxi cab driver as your waiter

Kim Gaffett

at dinner or the First Warden leading a nature walk. You’ll

Former First Warden/Still a Nature-walk leader

Close To Home, A World Away


Welcome to Block Island. We Saved You A Seat.

Spring and Fall Packages Available At Tourism Council

Est. 2000

401-466-5392 & 401-742-3992

Guides & Charter Boats Bait & Tackle Shop Fly Fishing Outfitter Surf Casting Tackle

Rentals: Kayaks, Snorkeling & fishing gear

34 Close To Home, A World Away

Lily and Zach Wedding by Hilary Block

Zahavah and Brian Wedding by Alyssa Wood

Emily and James Wedding by Rose Schaller

Julie and Mikey Wedding by Maaike Bernstrom

The Perfect Place for a Wedding

Felicia and John Wedding by Ryan Conaty

It’s no secret anymore how much fun it is to have your wedding on Block Island: Every year more and more couples choose the island for a close-to-home, but worlds-away destination celebration. Whether it’s just the two of you on a dock or at a lighthouse, or hundreds of friends and family members renting houses together for a week of parties, you’ll have a picture-perfect time.

Erin and Michael Wedding by Lara Kimmerer

Close To Home, A World Away


Class at Historical by Kari Curtis

Pond and Beyond/BIHS Kayak and History Tour

Group Tours

Nature Trails Tour

Whether you’re a community recreation department, a

trip ferry tickets, island tour, lunch, and of course free time

family wishing to reunite, a cyclist group, a charter school,

for ad hoc exploration.

or a company looking for a fun place to retreat, there’s a

“Group tours bring a whole different dynamic to Block

Block Island experience just right for you.

Island,” says Jessica Willi, executive director of the Tourism

Tours are especially good for gatherings of friends, family,

Council. “This market is wonderful for first-time visitors to

classmates or colleagues who’ve never been to the island

the island because they don’t have to worry about logistics.

before and want to maximize a day or a long weekend by

Everything is included in their day. And, as we know on

taking part in this rapidly growing island industry.

Block Island, one visit will turn into a lifetime of visits. If

“We’ve had classic car associations, military reunions, and

you come once, you will want to come back!”

lighthouse afficionados come out,” says Megan Moran, sales

For more information, go to or

manager for the Block Island Ferry. What appeals to folks is

the inclusive nature of a tour, she says. You get your round-

Enjoy the ride. Save a boatload of time by hopping on a fast flight from Providence to Block Island. Enjoy easy connections on our daily scheduled flights (resuming June 12th). And be there in minutes!

Arrive at happy. 800-CAPE-AIR 36 Close To Home, A World Away

Construction is well underway on the nation’s first offshore wind farm, with installation of the first offshore components scheduled to begin in the late summer of 2015. And by the end of 2016, the Block Island Wind Farm will begin delivering clean, renewable energy to a community that cares deeply about conserving the environment. It will be a first for America, and Block Island will lead the way. To learn more, visit Bryan Wilson, Manager, Block Island Wind Farm Post Office Building • Suite 204 • P.O. Box 116 • Block Island, RI 02807 Phone: 401.474.5782 • Fax: 401.466.5943 •

Block Island Reservations Block Island Reservations

Located in the lobby of the Harborside Inn, directly across from the Old Harbor Ferry Located in the lobby of the Harborside Inn, directly across from the Old Harbor Ferry

One stop shopping for lodging on Block Island! • (800) 825-6254 One stop shopping for lodging on Block Island!

(800) 825-6254

Enjoy unparalleled beauty and endless activities for your Island getaway.

Enjoy unparalleled beauty and endless activities for your Island getaway. Visit for all your accommodation needs including hotel rooms in historic Old Harbor, suites, cottages & apartments. We offer packages with 2 nights lodging, bikes or mopeds, dining & ferry starting at $359 for Visit for all your accommodation needs including hotel rooms in historic Old Harbor, suites, cottages & apartments. We two guests midweek. Browse our website for details and offer packages with 2deals! nights lodging, bikes or mopeds, dining & ferry starting at $369 other great for two guests midweek. Browse our website for details and other great deals!

Photography by K. Curtis


Block Island Tourism Magazine 2015