background image
20 Close To Home, A World Away

The Goods
DO A LITTLE CREDIT CARD damage in some of the
island's fi ne clothing shops; pick out a memento or Block
Island-themed sweatshirt as a keepsake from your island
vacation at one of the charming gift shops; or browse for
fi ne art and pottery in the downtown's many galleries.
Only steps away from the ferry dock in Old Harbor is
the heart of Block Island's historic downtown. Most island
stores are Mom and Pop businesses and the range of items
offered is truly astounding. Homemade honey and candles
vie for space with designer handbags and fashionable
bathing suits and board shorts. Forget something? Not a
problem. There are a host of choices to hook you up with
everything from fi shing and surfi ng gear to sunscreen and
paperback books.
In addition to the shopping in town, there are farmers'
markets where island artists, chefs and farmers gather each
Wednesday and Saturday morning to sell their wares. It's
a great way to pick up locally grown produce, home-baked
goodies, locally made preserves, handcrafted jewelry, and
much more.
Block Island's natural beauty, its rolling hills, vivid skyline,
clifftop vistas, and fog-cloaked hollows have inspired scores
of poets, painters, potters, musicians, and photographers.
Its solitude and grandeur have also created a vibrant
community where artists can create in a place that, in
the off seasons, is removed from the hustle and bustle of
ordinary life and, in summer, is fi lled with visitors seeking
to view and buy their work. From the Highview Hotel's
frescoed scenes of simple island life, created by H.D.
Wetherbee in 1948 in exchange for whiskey and rent, to
Malcolm Greenaway's landscape photography, Block Island
art has become world-renowned.
Local artists and craftsmen show at the many galleries
that dot the downtown, during the Arts and Crafts Guild
shows hosted on the Historical Society lawn a few times
each season, and at the twice-weekly Farmers' Markets. Be
sure to pencil in the Holiday Shopping Stroll for late fall:
During the T hanksgiving weekend, island stores open their
doors and offer dynamite discounts just in time for the
Diamondblue Surf Shop at Bridgegate Square
Block Island Trading Company on Water Street
Glass Onion on Water Street
Wave on Water Street