Usually in mid-July, we hop on a ferry and head over to Block Island for a week. If there is a shred of untouched paradise left in the U.S., Block Island is it! We have vacationed here every year for the last 15; our children know the tiny island like the back of their hands. This week, you are coming with us as I show you this jewel in the Northern Atlantic off of the end of Long Island.
When you arrive by ferry from Long Island, you enter the island through the Great Salt Pond, a harbor within the island. This is a boat stop on the Atlantic coast where mariners can hook up for the night (or longer). It's a labyrinth of boats! In the middle of all the docks is a great bar called "Trader Vic's" where they proudly make the craziest drinks around the island! My children enjoy squid fishing off the docks at night with flashlights. It's fun to watch the squid squirt ink all over the bucket before releasing them back into the pond!
The green roofed home on the hill is the Sullivan House. It sits between the Great Salt Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. It's a beautiful bed and breakfast.
This is a view of the harbor off Water Street. Water Street is the major shopping area on Block Island. My children like to snorkle and skim board here. The largest hotel on Water Street is the National Hotel. On the fancy side, it offers rooms with a great view. On the large back porch is a small refreshment stand where they make Froozies--fruit shakes with any combination you can think of! We always hit the Froozie shop at least a few times during our stay!
One of the days we are there, we'll investigate Rodman's Hollow. According to the website:
Rodman's Hollow, criss-crossed with walking trails, is a large depression on the southern end of Block Island. When you're tired of the hustle and bustle of Old Harbor, it's a great place to get away from it all.
The Hollow was formed at the end of the last period of glaciation in New England, around 22,000 years ago, when glacial meltwater eroded the southern end of the island (which itself had been formed by successive glacial deposits) and flowed over seventy miles to the sea. With much of the world's water locked up in ice, sea levels were correspondingly lower, and Block Island was much larger. There are three large kettleholes within the Hollow, created when huge ice chunks that were mixed in with the glacial deposits melted."
One year, we got lost in here! It's big and you're sublevel. We just could not get out and we got such a case of the giggles we had a hard time walking!
My children love to collect Block Island rocks which we call Oreo rocks. They are black and white striped, something I've only seen on the island. In our livingroom, there's a special place for all Block Island collectibles!
Block Island is actually part of Rhode Island. Natives call it Block Ireland because of its hilly and craggy terrain. The island is named after Adrian Block, the Dutch explorer. The Nature Conservancy has named Block Island as one of 12 sites on its list of “The Last Great places in the Western Hemisphere”. Its beauty is unsurpassed!
There's even a zoo in the middle of the island run by a local family. Last year the owner had a kangaroo, the first time we had ever seen one! Below is one of two camels he keeps on the island!
This is the view from one of the best kept secrets on Block Island--The Oar restaurant. Overlooking the Great Salt Pond, it offers lite fare, the best of which is the blackened mahi mahi sandwich (have I been there too many times?). Sitting over this majestic view, eating great food...ah, this is what a staycation is all about!
Hope you enjoyed our tour so far...oh, want to go to Trader Vic's for a local beer? Sure, let's go!