Friday, July 13, 2012

Day Trippers to Block Island, Rhode Island

A few weeks ago while discussing fun summer things to do, my friend Carol mentioned that she had never been to Block Island. Yup! You guessed it, we decided to take a one-day trip to, Block Island, Rhode Island!  Only three of us were available to go, so Carol, Gayle, and myself decided to schedule a day and make like Thelma and Louise (uh, er the Golden Girls) and have a personal day of fun, fun, fun!
Block Island is located about 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island and is accessible through several ferry services We considered Block Island Express out of New London, CT and the Block Island Ferry/Interstate Navigation Company out of Point Judith in Narragansett, RI.   We decided to go out of Point Judith, even though it would mean a longer car ride by about a half hour, because we thought it would be great to do a little sight seeing (AKA shopping!) in Point Judith, and because the passenger cost would be considerably less.  ($45.00 same day round trip vs $20.25).  The sail time from Point Judith to Block Island is 55 minutes and the sail time from New London is approximately 75 minutes, so... for a difference of 15 minutes... it was worth the $25.00 per person savings!  (I should mention that Point Judith also offers a hi-speed ferry that costs $35.85 pp and crosses in 30 minutes.)

We set out at 6:30am [ouch] in order to catch the 9:30 ferry, allowing 2 hours for the drive as well as additional time to stop for something to eat, and  getting lost hitting traffic. We arrived with time to spare, parked in the first available lot ($10.00 per day)  about a block from the ferry.  (There is also another lot across from the ferry, only a tiny bit closer to where we parked, also $10.00.)  There didn't appear to be any "sit down" restaurants open for breakfast, but we did find a Bess Eaton snack bar that offered coffee, donuts, muffins, and breakfast sandwiches.

We found a few little places to do some shopping but decided against making any purchases before leaving for Block Island so we wouldn't have to carry our purchases around all day!  (But I already saw something that I knew I would later return to buy! SOFTOUCH RESORT WEAR) We also found a fairly decent public restroom across from Bess Eaton and there are also restrooms in the ferry ticket office.

We purchased our tickets and boarded the Anna C for our day of adventure!

We sat ourselves on the upper deck (this ferry had 3 decks) and were able to enjoy the wonderful ocean breeze as we crossed to Block Island.  In case you are wondering there are restrooms (small) and a snack bar on board. 

Here are some pictures of the the bluffs and our view as we docked.

The pictures don't do it justice!  It was a such a beautiful day!

After arriving and getting our bearings we decided to walk around and shop a lot little before lunch.
Here are some pictures of our favorite "finds" in some of the quaint little stores and boutiques on our way to lunch Water Street.

Anyone who knows me will appreciate the facebook comment above.
Dear Santa...I know I've been crabby. BUT I WANT THIS.

We finally landed at our lunch destination, the Tap and Grill at the historic National Hotel.   

We started with some cocktails (hey, it was 12noon or thereabouts!). I ordered the Lemon Freeze made with Absolut Lemon Citron and lemon juice, Gayle ordered a Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri and Carol ordered a glass of White Zinfindel.

For lunch we each ordered the Bistro Salad: mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, topped with dried cranberries, chunks of granny smith apples, candied walnuts,  and goat cheese.  Carol and I topped ours with grilled chicken and Gayle topped hers with grilled shrimp. Here's a picture of my delicious salad!

The food and drink were both excellent!  Lunch for three was $93.00 + tip.  A little on the high side for lunch, but worth it for the good company, wonderful view, and amazing atmosphere.

Please forgive the "washed out picture" but the bright sun against the shaded porch darkened the image that our waiter Alex took of us and I needed to brighten the picture intensity.  Here's a picture of the gorgeous view from our table!  See what I mean?  Gorgeous view!

After lunch we did a little more shopping.  Here's some more of our favorite items!

...and some of the gorgeous flowers we saw: well as some of the beautiful New England architecture.

Santa...can I have this too?  It's my dream cottage!

We then wandered over to Ballard's Inn to rest our (Carol and my) weary feet, grab some more food before we left on the 3:00 ferry, and have a cold drink.  

We were able to find a beach side table.   Here's a picture of the unbelievable view!

I ordered a Tropical Fusion (dark rum and pineapple juice), Gayle ordered a Frozen Blueberry Mudslide, and Carol had an Iced Tea.  For snacks we ordered ordered some appetizer fried whole belly clams and chicken tenders to share.  No pictures, unfortunately, and although the chicken tenders were very good, the clams seemed to be a bit overdone, and there were more fry crumblies than actual whole clams. Total for our snack stop was $49.95 + tip.  Our waitress Saranova was extremely pleasant and helpful (recommended the tropical fusion - thank you!) and from Transylvania.  It seemed that many of the sales assistants in the boutiques and service staff in the restaurants we frequented were international students working abroad here at Block Island, RI, USA! In any case, she was fantastic, the drinks were great...the food, not so much.

As we left Ballard's we saw one of the captains of Rooster Sportfishing Charters filleting today's catch.  
We then wandered over to wait for the 3:00pm ferry to return home.

Block Island is a wonderful place to go...but next time I think we'll go for an "overnight" trip.  This would give us the opportunity to rent some bicycles or mopeds to allow to see more of the island, spend some time sitting on the beach, and perhaps get some boating or fishing in.  There's really not a lot to do besides shop, eat, beach, and drink.  And that sounds just perfect to me!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did return to the store on Point Judith where I spotted something that I wanted...but didn't want to carry around all day!  I returned to Softouch Resort Wear at Fisherman's Wharf on Point Judith and bought this cute sundress / beach cover up.  (sorry no website!) 

LOVE  IT!  Valerie the owner and the rest of the girls at Softouch were wonderful and what a fun bunch they are!  Helpful, knowledgeable about the area, and warm and welcoming.  Definitely stop in and say hello to them all.  Val and the girls can be found at 294 Great Island Road, just a few doors down from the Point Judith Ferry!

For more pictures visit the Home Place facebook page (or use the link below) 

If you get the chance - visit Block Island (or Point Judith!) 
and tell them Home Place sent you!

Block Island, Rhode Island

Have you been to Block Island or Point Judith?  Do you have any favorite New England getaway places?  


  1. Wow! Awesome pics. I haven't been to Block Island since I was a child. Looks like a return trip should be considered... and soon! Thanks for the tour...

    1. Thanks Cindy! We had a great day...but it sure tired us out! Definitely go! You'll get lots of inspiration for some new cards. I see starfish, shells, seaglass, and sand in your creative future!

  2. A Block Island day trip is one my favorites, and I live on Block Island! My day off is always spent having a nice lunch at of fresh seafood, a hike and a swim and a visit to a few of my favorite shops. (East of the River Nile, Lazy Fish, Glass Onion and Block Island Trading Company.)

    When you decide to take your overnight trip, please use my insider's guide. I keep up a website that is all about Block Island and love to share my knowledge with visitors!

    1. Thanks so much Kelly! We'll definitely take you up on that! We're planning on returning for at least one night and a couple of days!


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