Family Vacations: Block Island

Block Island's secluded beaches offer privacy and scenery.

Block Island's 17 miles of beaches, windswept dunes, gently rolling hillsides dotted with wildflowers and blackberry vines, and hundreds of freshwater ponds have lured families for decades. It offers the experience of an old-fashioned family beach vacation.

Even getting to Block Island is fun. Hop aboard a ferry for the journey from Point Judith or the two-hour jaunt from Fort Adams. Onboard, children flock to the railings to watch the seagulls dip and soar. The ferries arrive at Old Harbor, a quaint town filled with seafood restaurants, old-fashioned candy stores and ice-cream shops, and all kinds of accommodations.


If your family likes busy beaches with concession stands, lifeguards, bathrooms, and plenty of crowds, stop at Town Beach on a sunny day. Crescent Beach is a bit quieter, stretching for more than two miles along the eastern shore. Mansion Beach is wonderful for exploring tide pools, where you'll find crabs, starfish, and sand dollars. Sachem Pond is a great stop for a freshwater swim, especially for toddlers. Many visitors enjoy biking, and rentals are plentiful. Kayaking, snorkeling, and horseback riding are popular, too.

For more information about Block Island, call: 800/383-BIRI

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Rhode Island State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Rhode Island, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.


Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.