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Block Island is small and easy to get around. Since the island is less than seven square miles in its entirety, visitors won't need cars no matter where they stay. It’s easy to get around on foot or by bike (and the rental bikes are quite good - no clunkers), and taxis are plentiful. The lifestyle and ambiance of the island is cheerful and relaxed; the beaches and scenery are hard to beat. One of the best times to visit Block Island is from Labor Day to Columbus Day: the crowds are gone and the Atlantic Ocean is still warm enough to swim, shops and restaurants are still open and accommodations are less expensive.
The hub of activity is Old Harbor, where the majority of the island's shopping, dining and nightlife is found. The ferries from Point Judith, New London and Newport arrive and depart from this harbor. Here you will find dozens of shops, restaurants, ice cream shops and take outs all tucked into quaint Victorian buildings. It is only a five minute walk from one end of the main street to the other. On the back street you will find several moped and bike rental businesses as well as some more shops, a bakery, candy shops and art galleries. The Post Office building houses art galleries, a book store and a spa. Hotels, Inns and B&B's are also located all along the main street and outward from Old Harbor.
New Harbor, the larger harbor and the one most boaters stay in, is located only a little more than a mile away. New Harbor has three marinas, a few restaurants and Inns and lots of great water activities. New Harbor is a great place to kayak, paddle-board, sail, swim, go crabbing or clamming. The restaurants here have beautiful views of the harbor, and like most places on the island are fairly casual.
The island has two lighthouses. The Southeast Light is located atop the Mohegan Bluffs (2 miles south of Old Harbor). This red brick Victorian beauty was built in 1873 and Ulysses S. Grant attended the official opening ceremony. In 1993 the lighthouse was moved back from the bluffs; a true engineering feat. There is a small exhibit inside the lighthouse which is free and it is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tours of the light are available for a fee.
The North Light is located at the North Point of the island (about 5 miles from Old Harbor). This is the fourth lighthouse in this location and was built in 1867. The first lighthouse was built in 1829; it, and the two after, were all washed away in storms. The North Light is about a 400 yard walk from the parking area. Once there you can visit the Maritime Center inside.
When at the North Point, you can enjoy the pretty views over Sachem Pond, Cow Cove and Settlers Rock. A short walk away is the Labyrinth.
The beaches just north of Old Harbor are clean and sandy. Crescent beach is a 3 1/2 mile stretch of sandy beach. At the midpoint is the town beach house with bathrooms, showers, rentals and a snack bar. Explore rocky beaches around the remainder of the island and hunt for sea-glass, driftwood and shells.
Over 45% of the island is preserved and a network of hiking trails, called Greenway Trails, criss cross the island. There are 364 picturesque ponds and views everywhere. If hiking and biking is not to your liking you can take a taxi tour around the island. All of the taxis do them and the price is regulated by the town.
There are dozens of hotels, inns and B&B's scattered between Old Harbor and New Harbor. For information on lodging contact the Chamber of Commerce at www.blockislandchamber.com or by calling (800) 383-BIRI. Find advice about accommodations on Trip Adviser.
Note: The original information for this thread came from the following forum threat: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...