Block Island, Rhode Island
While many vacationers spend their summers navigating the crowds in well-known hotspots, Royal Holiday members have easy access to one of the Northeast’s best-kept secrets: Block Island, Rhode Island. A 12-mile boat ride from the mainland, Block Island is a tiny isle with just 17 miles of coastline and a population barely over 1,000 people. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. With its beaches, historic downtown, and unique shopping district, Block Island is perfect for the Royal Holiday member looking to experience an off-the-beaten-track getaway.
Block Island is accessible to Royal Holiday members through its affiliation with the Island Manor Resort, a destination that’s well suited for families, couples, and single travelers alike. Full kitchens and DIRECTV make each unit inviting, and the outdoor playground and community areas create a friendly environment for travelers with kids. While Island Manor Resort offers class and comfort in spades, Block Island contains plenty of attractions to draw you outside. As an introduction, many visitors turn to the unique narrated taxi tours to learn more about the island, as the local drivers enjoy showing guests famous landmarks and historical sites.
Pristine beaches encircle the island, all of them publicly accessible and free. Block Island is an ideal summer vacation spot for Royal Holiday members looking to enjoy water sports, with sailing and parasailing, fishing, snorkeling, and ocean kayaking easily accessible. Child-friendly beaches with calm, cool waters abound, as do restaurants and resorts where travelers can relax in the sun with an icy drink. Perhaps the most impressive beach sits below Mohegan Bluffs, 150-foot high cliffs offering fabulous views of the ocean.
A long staircase takes visitors down to a gorgeous beach and clay mud baths. Of course, given the size of the island, any beach is easy to get to, and renting a bicycle or moped for quick transport is easy and fun.
Royal Holiday members interested in absorbing some of the local culture, however, will do well to focus on the Old Harbor district, located near the ferry landing where guests arrive. Many people come to Block Island to browse its unique shops, many of which feature curios and objets d’art found nowhere else. A bi-weekly farmers market offers fresh and delicious produce, while quirky galleries, stores, and trading companies deal in everything from local pottery to world gifts. For Royal Holiday members looking to entertain children on the island, Abrams Animal Farm features a petting zoo with horses, llamas, camels, and even exotic mammals like zedonks. On the north side of the island, the aptly named North Lighthouse can be reached via a beachfront walkway and offers visitors gorgeous views of the surrounding area. Block Island’s most famous landmark, however, is the Southeast Lighthouse, located atop the Mohegan Bluffs. It now stands roughly 300 feet from where it was originally built, because of concerns about the cliff’s stability.