Rhode Island is known as the “Ocean State” for a reason. Block Island is a foremost example of the sea-bound tourist attractions this state offers. If beaches, bikes and historic sights are on your agenda, then this is indeed the place to visit. Here are five things to do in Block Island that will ensure plenty of fun, education and relaxation.
1. Explore Block Island by Bike
Cars won’t get you anywhere. Since the island is so small, it is very easy to explore on two wheels or even on foot. The Old Harbor Bike Shop rents bikes and mopeds. The business offers touring or mountain bikes, kiddie seats, helmets for every rider and passenger as well as mopeds. Opt for a mountain bike; it works better on the 20 or so miles of gorgeous beach.
2. Go Horseback
Rustic Rides Farm is an equestrian center that offers pony rides for youngsters and guided horseback tours along the beaches. This is a great opportunity for a romantic ride — if you manage to find a sitter for the youngsters. Ask about riding classes for first-timers.
3. Get to the Beach
But not just any beach! Fred Benson Town Beach has an eastern exposure. The sandy beach is perfect for kids. Not surprisingly, this is a primary family hangout. It features toilets and showers, beach umbrella rentals, cabanas, boogie boards and snack sales. If you go during the school year, there won’t be as many teens hanging around, either. Other beaches have fewer services and cater primarily to single or older visitors and locals.
4. Visit a Narragansett Indian Burial Ground
Approximately 40 feet east of Center Road there is a Native American cemetery that is rumored to also hold the graves of African slaves. There are approximately 150 graves with inscriptions dating from 1809 to 1918. Leave your bike at the gate or wall and remember to be respectful; although a common tourist spot, it is a good idea to maintain at least some decorum.
5. Stroll through New Shoreham
The town self-identifies as being the “smallest town in the smallest state.” It features picturesque storefronts, eateries and two man-made harbors. There are a number of statues and buildings that remind of old times, such as light houses and also the Statue of Rebecca. Local bars, cafes and touristy smoothie shops invite travelers to come in. Then there is Aldo’s Bakery on Weldon Way, where a great breakfast and homemade gelato await anyone.
1. Old Harbor Bike Shop
Water Street at Old Harbor
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
2. Rustic Rides Farm
1173 West Side Road
3. Fred Benson Town Beach
7 Corn Neck Road
4. Indian Cemetery
Off Center Road
Open year round
5. New Shoreham
Block Island, RI
Open daily, year-round