Saturday, August 06, 2005

Block Island, RI

Well, I start this blog ... and have no trips planned this weekend. It just didn't work out for us with personal and work schedules. So, I'll start out by talking about a trip we've taken and plan to do again this summer (as we do every year).

One more caveat - the trips I'll discuss are day trips from West Hartford, CT. Therefore, places like Bar Harbor, ME - somewhere we really want to go - simply aren't doable in a day. As we make it to places further away in New England, I'll write about them, but I wanted to make sure our "starting point" was clear. If yours is Bar Harbor, the place I'll discuss today will by no means be a day trip. On with the fun ...

Block Island, RI

Description: Block Island (BI) is a small island seven miles long and three miles long 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island.

Getting There: Ferry to the island - multiple options exist

We take the ferry from Point Judith, RI. It takes approximately an hour to get to BI from there. Once we took a ferry from New London, CT, and it took two hours. E was restless and would have preferred to drive longer and take the shorter ferry from Point Judith. (Guess he prefers driving to hanging out on a ferry ...)

However, in researching transportation options for a trip this summer, it appears there are new ferry options. The old Point Judith hour-long ferry is still in place. There is also a high-speed ferry from Galilee to BI which takes only half an hour. And ... there's a new high-speed ferry from New London to BI which takes an hour. I'll see if I can convince E to try departing from there again.

What to Do: Biking, walking, shopping

The first year we went to BI we took our bikes. Bad move ... for me at least. BI is very hilly. Let's just say I didn't make it that far. Because E and I were still in our early stages of dating, he was more than understanding (thank goodness!) Subsequent trips have not involved biking for us, but if you're up for it, BI is a great island to bike.

Another year we rented mopeds for a few hours to explore the island. We went out to Block Island North Light. From the parking lot, it's a good hike on the beach to get there, but it's worth it. You can hike past the lighthouse to a little strip of land where the beaches from two directions come together and the ocean splashes in from both sides. E called it "the end of the earth". It certainly felt that way. Sadly, I can't find any pictures of that or the lighthouse to share although I remember taking them.

Our preferred method of getting around BI is walking. We're not opposed to walking for hours while exploring, and BI is a good place to do just that. We walked to BI Southeast Light - it's a bit further out, so taking a taxi is another way to get there. The story of the light is interesting. It was moved several years ago due to the eroding cliffs. Volunteers raised the money for the massive effort, and it now sits where it does today safely away from the erosion. The beach nearby at Payne Overlook is accessed via numerous stairs (going down is always easier than going up!) but is beautiful and often busy.

On one of our walks we found an animal farm between Spring and High streets. We were enthralled by the llamas for some reason. That picture I do have, so it's included below.

Finally, BI has some nice shopping in the Old Harbor area where most of the ferries arrive.

Where to Eat:
Another caveat - we don't eat seafood very much. I eat seafood probably twice a year, and E usually just tries whatever I'm having. We'll never pick a seafood restaurant as a place to eat. If anything, we'll be at a nice restaurant, and I'll see their fish special and decide to give it a try. So, I'll do my best to mention a seafood restaurant I've heard is good, but I'll rarely, if ever, be able to provide a personal review.

There are several restaurants in BI. Below are a couple we've tried. I always check out the Chowhound New England message board for restaurant recommendations - the link is included in the "Links" section.
  • The Oar - West Side Road - If I remember correctly, we ate at the bar and had hamburgers here. The place gets its name from the numerous brightly painted oars which hang from the ceiling. There is outside seating, too, overlooking the salt pond.
  • Mohegan Cafe - Water Street - This is on the main street in BI close to the ferry dock. We've had a couple of OK meals here - good, not great.
  • Dead Eye Dick's - Payne's Dock - We haven't eaten here, but I've read good reviews. The Block Island Guide site indicates it is "famous for its seafood dishes, most notably its swordfish". We may have to get adventurous and give it a try.

Our Photos:

Llama at the BI animal farm



At 7/13/2009 4:57 AM, Blogger victor said...

It is good hobby please keep it up good luck.......

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