A Day in Block
New Shoreham. Rhode Island. The Block. BI. No matter what you refer to it as, it's a fun place to be! And it feels like you are a whole world away. Some people go out for the day while others spend weeks upon weeks soaking up everything this little island has to offer. Heck- others are fortunate enough to live out there year round. However long you decide to hang out on Block, there's always good times to be had by all.
I suggest taking one day to clear your calendar before this summer comes to an end. All it takes is one day! Jonah and I typically like to go for at least a full day in Block every summer. It's become a bit of a tradition! But this year we did it a little different. We usually go out of New London on the express ferry, so we can get over there in a jiff. This year Jonah has his motorcycle license (I know, I was terrified too). We got up early as ever this day so we could take the bike up to the ferry slip in Point Judith where you can bring cars and motorcycles over. So here we were, 5:30 in the morning cruising up 95 to Massachusetts, no one else was on the road and it was actually wonderful! The warm summer wind blowing past us as we neared our destination to our one day vacation.
Once we arrived in Point Judith, we were the second in line with the other motorcyclists. We went with another couple and good friends of ours, although they came in their jeep! Another excellent vehicle to bring to the island. They just really suit the mood out there! Anyways, as we are sitting here with the bike, watching the wake advancing behind us and I began to think of all the things we were going to do. Now of course, when you go to Block there are some things I reccomend doing everytime. Depending on the people in your group, you may do a variety of different things based on the wants and needs of everyone you're traveling with. My perfect day on Block looks a little something like this...
You get off the ferry and you're walking to your left where the moped rentals are. You get a moped. (Unless you brought a vehicle already). You think in your head, "Kelsey why did you tell me to do this, it's like a hundred dollars a day..." I say, "IT'S WORTH IT". You see so much more of the island and get the most out of your day. You enjoy your time in Block and you thank me later. You hop on that little scooter and your ten year old self is happy. You feel like Lizzie McGuire on the back of the vespa with Paolo, cruising the streets of Italy. But you're only a few hours from home. Amazing.
You take a right up the main strip where you find this delicious, family-owned, bagel shop. Of course, there's a line but do you care? No. These are so worth it. You order a bagel and a coffee. You're going to need it, there's a long day ahead of you!
Breakfast and iced latte in hand, you go outside to have a seat in the early morning sun and enjoy your breakfast in Block. You see other people zipping around on their mopeds and everyone flooding in from the main land. You're all here to have a good time. The vibe is so great it's contagious. No one is at work. Life is good.
You are nice and full. Maybe you even stopped to have a mimosa to start the day off right. Hey, I won't judge. You hop on that little moped and you explore. Take every road you see, then go back and go down the other roads. You really can't get lost on an island like Block. If you do, I'm shocked. You go all the way to the Northern tip of the island. You're greated by a long, rocky, beach, punctuated with an old light house at the end. You park you Lizzie-Mcquire-Mobile. These little zen towers welcome you like pearly gates to this sacred ground. But you know there's more to be seen. As you cruise back down toward the rest of the island you pass some farms with cows and maybe even a horse or two. You enthusiastically yell "COW!" (Okay, probably just me, I just get really excited when I see some happily grazing bovine I guess). You find yourself at the bluffs. DO NOT SKIP OUT ON THE BLUFFS. This sight is incredible as you stand at the top of the steps and gaze out onto the open ocean and sandy beaches down below. All this riding around leads you to so many great places but it's time to get yourself a drink (or an ice cream cone) and walk around a little bit.
In town, there are so many neat little spots to check out. If you're like me, you go in and check them all out to see what little trinkets you can bring home to remind you of the summer fun all year long. You're going to need it when it's the middle of February and we are under three feet of snow. Between shops you get yourself some Del's frozen lemonade. Hydration is key to a good day on Block. Especially when happy hour rolls around.
Every year the stores are a little different and have something new to offer. I always gravitate towards my favorites but once in a while a new one will pop up. Pictured below is a little shop I had never seen before this trip. It was the cutest little dog store with an entire wall covered in pictures of people with their dogs. Detestably the greatest mural there ever was. So now of course I'm missing my pup and wishing I could have somehow brought him along with us. I push the guilt away with more ice cream.
What I typically do after window shopping is keep one thing in mind I want to buy. These things can get pretty expensive, so I allow myself one item to get at the end of the day. That way I have all day to think about how whether or not I really want said item, or I'm just getting it for the sake of taking something home with me. Anyways... What happens next is up to you. Maybe you guys are hungry and want to grab lunch! You find yourself hopping on the moped and heading up to the Oar, or maybe you reserve that for dinner time. Maybe you want to laze about on the beach at Ballard's and have the waitresses/waitors bring drinks right to you. Maybe you want to sit up on the porch at the National and watch the boats come in. The possibilities are endless. You pay your tab and find yourself heading over to the Poor People's Pub (one of Jonah's favorites). The Beachead is another great dinner or lunch spot. Regardless of whichever bar or restaurant you wind up at, you'll be pleased with the exceptional food and drink. If you haven't already you order a mudslide at the Oar. You watch the sun starting to sink into the sky. You return your moped and saunter toward the ferry, knowing your time is nearing an end. You board the ferry back and watch the happy buzz of mainstreet disappearing into the horizon.
You're left with an amazing sunset while you ride the waves. You think to yourself, "this was the perfect day". Your skin has a slight crisp to it from the kiss of the sun. Your hair is wild and wavy from the sea spray. You get sleepy from all the fun you packed into a single day. You look to the person (or group) you came with and think of the memories and the laughs that were shared. Today was a day in Block.
As summer comes to a close, make sure you take at least a day to explore this beautiful place. If you're finding your schedule getting crammed, I suggest the dinner cruise that the ferry has to offer! The last one is this Thursday, August 30th, departing at 3:10 and returning at 8:10 out of New London. The fare is half priced and you can even get a discount with some restaurants. Check it out here.
What are your favorite things to do in Block? How would you plan your perfect day on the "Bermuda of the North"? Let me know in the comments some of your can't-miss items! I love to hear them. Maybe you've never been before, in which case I promise you won't be let down.
Happy late summer, everyone! Get out and enjoy the fresh air, the blue skies, and the feeling of the grass under your feet.
All the best,