Block Island: Five for Families
July 11, 2014


Recently, I included Block Island in an article for USA Today about New England’s five most romantic beaches. Here’s a little secret: Block Island has tons of beaches, as well as other great outdoor spots and activities, which are also perfect for families! Here are my family’s five favorites on this Rhode Island gem.

Cycle Around the Island
Bring your own bikes over on the ferry with you or rent them at one of several places on island. The entire perimeter of the 3-by-7 mile island is simple to get around and you can stop at any of the 17 miles of public beaches to take a dip if you get hot.

Hike to Vail Beach
Just getting to Vail Beach is an adventure. It’s accessed by a steep single-file-only trail on the southern side of the island. You’ll want decent shoes---no flip flops! At the bottom, you’re greeted by a rocky beach, which will delight rock lovers. You can hike around the point to find sandy spots to sunbathe and build sand castles.

Swim at West Beach
Certainly, Kid Beach and Fred Benson Town Beach, located close to the ferry, are both popular with families and tourists: they are near bathrooms, changing areas and the like, but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little more solitude. West Beach feels like a discovery, with fewer crowds and calm surf.

Visit the Sacred Labyrinth
No one can fail to be enchanted at this unexpected find on the northern section of the island. This labyrinth, built of stone, is a winding path which leads to a center point and then back out. A charming sculpture installation is also located there and benches invite you to sit and enjoy the views of the North Light and Sachem Pond.

Take a Nature Walk with the Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy named Block Island one of the original “Last Great Places” in the Western Hemisphere. The nonprofit organization offers a summer series of fun and exploration held on weekdays through August 22. You may be able to go marsh-mucking in a salt marsh scavenger hunt or even help out at a beach meet-up and clean-up.

For more information about visiting Block Island, visit the island’s tourism website here.


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