Floating 9 miles (14 km) off mainland Rhode Island, Block Island captivates visitors in with its timeless landscape. Take the ferry over the Block Island Sound to enjoy miles of trails perfect for hiking and cycling, some of the best sand beaches in New England and seafood as fresh as it comes. But where to stay on Block Island for the best experience?
New Shoreham is the one and only town on Block Island. A lively hub, its downtown area is the best place to stay on Block Island for access to eateries, watering holes and shops. Or, if you prefer seclusion, consider Block Island hotels outside this compact hot spot.
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Where to stay overview
Step into the town of New Shoreham
Most Block Island ferries, including the year-round service from Point Judith, RI, dock at the Old Harbor on the island’s eastern side. Step ashore to face the downtown area of New Shoreham, brimming with activity in summer.
All the timeless facades around you add to the excitement. The downtown area’s Old Harbor Historic District contains 42 historic buildings, most from the 1800s and many of which now function as restaurants and shops.
There’s also an appreciated range of elegant hotels providing great convenience, minutes from the ferry terminal upon arrival and within steps of eateries when hunger calls in the evening — this is a winning combo.
The iconic National Hotel and beachfront Block Island Beach House both offer these features (superb ferry proximity & location at the heart of town) plus breathtaking ocean views.
You may feel that you never want to leave this place. But no matter how cute Block Island’s downtown area is, you just need to head out on an out-of-town adventure.
Mohegan Bluffs, the towering clay cliffs on the island’s southern shore, should be on top of your Block Island itinerary. Gawk at the amazing views from the elevated vista; then descend the 141-step staircase to lounge on the lovely beach below.
How to get to Mohegan Bluffs from your Block Island hotel? It’s under 2 miles (3.2 km) from New Shoreham’s downtown area to the iconic Mohegan Bluffs staircase, meaning that walking, biking and driving all are viable means of transportation.
While you’re at Mohegan Bluffs, also tick off the nearby red-brick South East Lighthouse — photo opportunities are everywhere.
In conclusion, the downtown area of New Shoreham is a beautiful option for where to stay on Block Island. Here, within steps of the ferry terminal, you find all you need for a good time, including several top Block Island hotels.
Recommended Block Island hotels
While most Block Island hotels sit in or adjacent to the downtown area, there’re also some charming lodging options outside this main hub of activity. Still, Block Island’s compact size, 6 miles (9.7 km) long and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide, makes getting around uncomplicated.
0.2 miles from ferry // Arriving on the ferry, you can’t miss the sight of the bone-white, flag-waving National Hotel, which offers 46 rooms at the heart of town. The on-site Tap & Grille restaurant, providing magical Old Harbor views, adds a cheery vibe and the best of people-watching opportunities.
Block Island Beach House
0.2 miles from ferry // Central and oceanfront, the Block Island Beach House may present the very most attractive location in town. For the full experience, book a room with the undulating Atlantic Ocean outside your window.
Rose Farm Inn
0.6 miles from ferry // Set on 20 acres of farmland yet with the downtown area within easy reach, the Rose Farm Inn is just what it sounds like: A heavenly place to stay on Block Island. The romance factor is high here, and the spacious, flower-filled property makes it possible to roam around at your very own pace.
Old Town Inn
1.2 miles from ferry // Inland on Block Island, Old Town Inn has a clear mission: To let you unplug from the real world. It fulfills its mission with the help of comfy coastal-themed rooms and lush grounds perfect for spreading out with friends and family.
The Sullivan House
1.3 miles from ferry // Perched between Great Salt Pond and Crescent Beach, The Sullivan House commands breathtaking Rhode Island views. Choose from rooms in the original 1904 building, complete with a wrap-around porch, and more recently added luxury suites.
Where to stay on Block Island FAQ
Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay on Block Island, Rhode Island.
The downtown of New Shoreham offers unbeatable convenience. Walk to the National Hotel or Block Island Beach House from the ferry landing in under 5 minutes; then enjoy having your entire Block Island vacation within steps. Or, to beat the crowds, consider other areas of the island. The unplugging Old Town Inn lets you bed down a 20-minute walk from the downtown area, embracing Block Island’s countryside.
Most places to stay on Block Island come with that homey bed and breakfast vibe. A shining example is the Rose Farm Inn, providing heartwarming lodging not far from New Shoreham’s active downtown area.
Block Island Beach House is one of few beachfront hotels on Block Island. In addition to being beachfront, Block Island Beach House offers unbeatable access to the distractions of downtown New Shoreham.
There’s one town on Block Island: New Shoreham. New Shoreham is so called coextensive with Block Island, meaning they comprise the exact same 10-square mile area. However, the downtown area of New Shoreham, called just “the town”, is located on Block Island’s eastern side.
The Block Island Ferry runs year round from Point Judith, RI, crossing the Block Island Sound in 1 hour. During the summer season, the operation gears up to also include a high-speed ferry from Point Judith, taking 30 minutes, and a high-speed ferry from Newport, taking 1 hour.
Many visitors day trip to Block Island, ticking off the main sights without spending the night there. That’s doable considering the island is only 6 miles (9.7 km) long and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide. But for the best experience, including some well-needed time to recharge, spend two nights or more on Block Island.
Block Island’s bubbling downtown district, 17 miles (27 km) of untouched coastline or the rising Mohegan Bluffs — each one of these draws alone makes visiting Block Island worth it. Beware: You’ll likely want to come back to this Rhode Island jewel soon again.