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Close To Home, A World Away
"Block Island, with its [1,007] year-round
residents, is a laid-back community whose
beauty is reminiscent of the coast of
Scotland. About 12 miles off Rhode Island's
southern coast, the island has 17 miles of
beaches open to everyone. Despite the influx
of summer visitors and thanks to the efforts
of local conservationists, Block Island's
beauty remains intact. More than 46% of
the land is preserved, and the island's 365
freshwater ponds support thousands of bird
species that migrate seasonally along the
Atlantic Flyway."
The Facts
1661 The year Block Island was
1672 The year the Town of New
Shoreham was incorporated.
Area 7 miles long and 3 miles
wide, Block Island is shaped like
a pork chop, and covers 6,000
Location 12 miles off the
southern coast of Rhode Island.
Population 1007 year round; as
many as 20,000 in summer.
Ponds Legend has it there are
365 freshwater ponds, one for
every day of the year.
Stone walls 300 to 400 miles of
man made stone walls.
Nature Trails 28 miles of trails.
Open Space More than
46 percent of the island is
preserved open space.
17 miles worth, all free,
all gorgeous.
Education One K-12 school with
120 students.
Getting Around
On Foot
The sneaker express is
an easy way to enjoy the shops,
restaurants and hotels in Old
Harbor. It's a 15-minute walk
from the ferry to the main beach.
On Bikes
Bicycles are an
affordable and enjoyable way to
explore the island. Rental stands
offer bikes to fit the needs of the
entire family or bring your own
over on the ferry.
On Mopeds Mopeds can be
rented around the island, and
can accommodate one or two
passengers. Mopeds may be
driven on all paved island roads,
but are not allowed on dirt roads.
By Taxi Taxi service is available
island-wide. A taxi stand is
located by the ferry docks in Old
Harbor, and taxis regularly wait
for customers at New Harbor
and the airport. Most offer island
tours as well.
By Car Depending on your
itinerary, you may or may not
require a vehicle while here.
In the busy summer months,
keeping the number of cars
on-island to a minimum is
encouraged. However, the spring
and fall provide comparatively
empty roads.
More info at:
Or at the Visitors Center in the
ferry parking lot; call (800) 383-
BIRI (2474) or (401) 466-BIRI
B.I. Basics
Photo by Peter Mannka
Close To Home, A World Away