A Taste of Block Island

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Since the days of horse-drawn carriages, my husband’s family has vacationed on Block Island – a tiny pear-shaped island off the coast of New England. At first they came for the therapeutic benefits of fresh salty air; later it was for the primitive beauty of the island itself (44% of the land is preserved open space).

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We were engaged on Block Island – near the edge of some very steep bluffs, so saying “no” was not really an option. Now our kids look forward to their time on the island: long days at the beach, flying free with a flock of cousins. 

BI detail map

I call it a pear, but some people call it a pork chop. Either way, the island’s distinctive shape is everywhere. It’s like a secret symbol for Island initiates – only those who’ve been to Block Island will have any idea what the mysterious shape represents.

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Island logo goods at Saturday’s Farmers’ Market

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With 17 miles of beaches, there’s something for every person or mood. Kids love the section between Town Beach and Mansion Beach, for the ideal boogie boarding waves and proximity to the snack stand.

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Tasting the waves at Town Beach

For DIY natural clay spa treatments, climb down past Mohegan Bluffs. For extra Zen points, make a stacked rock tower.

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Heading to “Spa Beach”

Never too young for an all-natural clay body masque

Never too young for a natural clay body scrub

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Life is about balance.

To truly get away from it all, set out for the beaches on the remote west side of the island – by car, bike or horseback.

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Here are some sights from in and around the Old Harbor (aka Town):

A favorite spot for homemade ice cream

A new favorite spot for homemade ice cream.

No trip to Block Island is complete without multiple visits to Star Department Store

No trip to Block Island is complete without multiple visits to Star Department Store.

Love Lazy Fish (and those pillows in the window display!)

Love the store Lazy Fish (and those pillows in the window display!)

This year we visited the new-ish Northlight Fibers and met the resident alpacas.

This year we visited the new-ish North Light Fibers and met the resident alpacas.

I guess bangs are still in for fall.

I guess bangs are still in for fall.

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The Spring House Hotel, up on the hill overlooking the Old Harbor.

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Hydrangeas + Victorian architecture = Very Block Island

Hydrangeas + Victorian architecture = Very Block Island

The Manisses Hotel and Restaurant - home of a very delicious swordfish with lobster mashed potatoes.

The Manisses Hotel and Restaurant – home of a most delicious swordfish with lobster mashed potatoes dinner.

More island signts:

Relaxing at The Oar (New Harbor)

Relaxing at The Oar (New Harbor)

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This is why it’s called The Oar.

Sailboats at Andy's Way.

Sailboats beached at Andy’s Way.

The North LIght

The North Light

Cocktails and tapas at the Atlantic Inn . . .

Cocktails and tapas on the lawn at the Atlantic Inn . . .

with a special, pre-internet friend (her first visit to BI)

with a longtime friend on her first visit to BI!

Moments before: fruit & cheese plate, rosemary-parmesan pommes frites, and wild rice and parsnip fritters with gruyere fondue

Moments before, this was an array of fruit & cheeses, rosemary-parmesan pommes frites, and wild rice and parsnip fritters with gruyere fondue.

I never miss the Saturday Farmers' Market, even though it's more of a "people who have stuff to sell" market.

I never miss the Saturday Farmers’ Market, even though it’s more of a “people who have stuff to sell” market.

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The second week in August is almost always prime season for Block Island wild blackberries – which can be found all over the island. We discovered a particularly bountiful patch near our rental house one afternoon, and in no time had enough berries for a streusel-topped crisp. This is what I call living off the land!

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Wild blackberry crisp - just out of the oven.

Wild blackberry crisp – fresh from the oven.

Until next summer, Block Island!

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For more information on visiting Block Island, click here .

6 thoughts on “A Taste of Block Island

  1. Hey All, I remember staying at the National and Spring House in the 70’s.. Am I old??? Ha! Hope you are all having a great end to the summer. Time flies. Second summer here for me.

  2. What a beautiful post! It makes me want to visit BI at some point. I’ve never been there. Thank you for the pictures.

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