Block Island (AKA: New Shoreham) is the perfect summer getaway. It’s a secluded, scenic island with an abundant amount of protected areas, public beaches, restaurants, shops, and fun things to do. What more could you ask for, really? It’s a great place to buy a summer home and return to every year for decades to come. The real estate market here tends to be high, but that’s because there are limited options (people hang on to their houses here for generations). That said, the tax rate is very low as well, and there isn’t another place quite like it in Rhode Island. Scenic views, charming downtown area, and quick access back to Narragansett via the ferry.
According to Realtor.com, in January 2023, the median listing home price in Block Island, RI was $3.2M, trending up 103.2% year-over-year. The median listing home price per square foot was $1.1K. The median home sold price was $1.7M.
* Tax rate based per thousand - Sources: United States Census Bureau. 2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 17 March 2022. & Realtor.com
As soon as you arrive on the ferry to Block Island, you’re in the thick of Old Harbor. It’s lined with restaurants and shops of all kinds — bookstores, jewelry shops, artist studios, fudge shops, and more. Almost all of these independently owned and operated, and filled with cool trinkets and memorabilia to bring home. It’s also a very walkable area and easy to explore.
There are plenty of businesses on Block Island that offers tourists and vacationers a fun way to enjoy their stay. You can rent mopeds and explore the island, or go parasailing, kayaking, fishing, sailing, or horseback riding. There is never a shortage of possibilities while visiting during the peak season.
A great way to learn the history of the island, including a broad array of artifacts, photo archives, and a detailed timeline dating back hundreds of years.
The Storm Trysail Club annual race has been going on for 27 years to date. It’s a week-long competitive boat race with navigational courses and boat showcases.
Block Island is truly is a huge tourist destination for the 3rd and 4th of July. The island’s population often triples the normal summer vacation crowds. There is a parade, firework celebrations, and all day partying in the streets. Huge destination for boaters, and the ferry tickets get sold out quickly.
If there’s one thing you can count on when vacationing on Block Island, it’s trying the sheer variety of restaurants and bars packed into a few square miles. Between Old Harbor and New Harbor, you’ll find numerous seafood spots, sports bars, specialty food shops, and more.
Scenic views from the top on natural clay bluffs on the south side of Block Island. A short trip down 141 step boardwalk leads to a quiet and secluded beach. Great area for a small hike and look out over the ocean.
One of two lighthouses located on the island. Built in 1875, the lighthouse has a 52-foot brick and granite tower and has been named a National Historic Landmark. Its gift shop is open to the public during the summer.
A 25-acre parcel of land that was purchased by the Block Island Conservancy in 2002. The preserve has several trails that leads through fields down to Middle Pond. Ocean views are visible and the area is very popular with photographers and bird watchers.
Easy hiking trails through wooded and open areas, scenic view of Black Rock Beach and natural landscapes.
190 acres of protected lands on the northeastern end of the island. It’s an easy hike with great views. According to The Nature Conservancy, Clay Head is one of the best places to observe migratory songbirds in North America during the autumn season.
For year-round residents, there is one public school (Block Island School) that serves all K-12 grades. The school system currently serves a total of 160 students.
For more information on the Block Island School
The traditional ferry allows for car transportation onto Block Island, but many people get around on bikes, mopeds, and car rentals during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. If you plan on buying a home on Block Island and living there during the off-season, bringing your car would be a smart idea. It really depends if you plan on being a year-round resident, or staying there during the peak season only.
Ferry rides to and from Block Island to Narragansett seven days per week. There are two ferry boat options: traditional and high speed. The traditional ferry typically runs more often and takes just over an hour to reach the island. The high-speed ferry is a 35-minute ride.
For those who live closer to the Connecticut line or like speed, New England Airlines offers regularly scheduled 12-minute flight to and from Block Island.
Distance to T.F. Green Airport: 46.1 miles (accessible via ferry to Narragansett)
For more information on Block Island, community events, and ways to contact, please visit the official tourism website