Block Island is known for it's beautiful views, pristine beaches and miles and miles of hiking trails.  Visitors spend hours kayaking, surfing, sunbathing, paddle-boarding, boogie boarding, flying kites, biking, sailing, clamming, walking, fishing, snorkeling, boating and jogging, so when it rains on Block Island, it can present a challenge. 

The switch from outdoor activities to indoor activities can be a tough change for many, especially when your plans, and your mindset, called for sun.  Block Island has many indoor activities available, and with a little patience and some creative thinking you will find a different sort of fun on the island.

First of all, a rainy day is a great day to sleep in.  When you finally do get going with your day, you may even find that the rain has passed.  If not, head out for brunch or an early lunch.  Keep in mind that all of the restaurants are going to be busy on a rainy day, so the best time to go will be either early (11 am-noon) or late (3-5).  The airport diner is a cute little airplane themed coffee shop located at the Block Island Airport.  The 1661 Inn is locally renown for their champagne brunch with all of the trimmings.  The Surf Hotel offers breakfast to the public (not just their guests), as does the National Hotel.  Ernie's is the most well known breakfast spot in town and is located by the statue of Rebecca, also nearby is Rebecca's, a tiny diner like place better known for it's take out.  If you are in New Harbor you can head up to the Narragansett Inn where you will be served in their charming vintage looking dining room.  For those who have a rental home to settle in to, you will want to pick up bagels from the bagel shop in Old Harbor or donuts from Payne's Doughnut Shop in New Harbor and take them back to your rental home.

The two local movie theaters offer matinees when the weather is poor.  Give them a call to see what they plan on showing and when.  You can also rent movies at the General Store on High Street.  The Island Free Library, part of the RI library network, has movies that can be checked out with your RI library card.  If you do not have one, or do not live in RI, you can buy a limited card; ask the librarians for details.  The library has games, puzzles and movies to check out.

The library can help you out with books, of course, but one should head over to Island Bound Books (in the Post office building) to check out her selection of summer reading material, local books, cook books and art supplies. Yes! art supplies!  She has lots of them, along with great craft kits for kids, games, puzzles and lots of terrific cards (a rainy day is always the perfect time to let your mom, grandmother, aunt, whoever, know you are thinking of them.).

Once you have started shopping....why stop?  From the bookshop you can head upstairs to the beautiful Jessie Edwards art gallery, then back down where you can, and should, zig zag your way down the main street of town and down Dodge Street.  There are even more shops behind the main street on Chapel Street and you don't want to miss those.  Block Island has everything from Sport Shops and Fine Jewelry shops to candy and ice cream shops.  There are toy shops and clothing, stunning handmade items and souvenirs, pottery, glassware, beautiful jewelry, stationery, more clothing, footware, hats, sunglasses, beach accessories and just about anything else you could want.

At the four corners you will find the Block Island Historical Society, make sure you get in there during your trip!  Block Island has such a great history, starting with the indians, then the white settlers, the farming economy which changed over to fishing and farming with the addition of harbors, the tourism boom of the late 1800's followed by the depression and then the boom of the 1980s.  The historical society charges a very small entrance fee and most of the exhibits are self toured; you will love it. 

If it's not raining too hard, and you have kids with you, you should head over to the Abrams Animal Farm near the Manisses Hotel.  This is a great little farm with exotic animals.  If it is raining too hard, save this for a sunnier day, but don't miss the shop just next to it; North Light Fibers. 

Again, if it is not raining too hard, or if you are particularly hardy, you could head out to the trails to look for the hidden glass floats (look up the Block Island Glass Float Project for more information).  These glass balls are about the size of a large orange.  They are handblown by a glass artist in Wakefield, RI, and all summer long, and into the fall, they are hidden on the trails and beaches all over the island for people to find!  It is the greatest project, and the greatest part of all, is that you will have a fun time and see great things, even if you don't find a glass ball!  If you do find one, be sure to register it on the Block Island Tourism Council website.

Now, a spa is always a good way to spend a couple of hours, but as there are only two on the island, you should book the spa as soon as you see the hint of bad weather in the forcast.  Book early=be happy.

If you just want to get out and see some of the island, consider taking a taxi tour of the island.  All of the taxis do tours and the price is a standard rate, set by the town.  You can find a taxi by calling the Chamber of Commerce office at (401) 466-2982.  Your taxi driver will be able to tell you all about the island, its history and they can answer all of your questions. 

When you have finished doing your puzzle, reading your book, searching for orbs, watching your movie, shopping, touring and feeding the animals, it just may be time to eat again!

If you are up for fine dining, plan ahead and make a reservation.  If the restaurant you want to go to does not take reservations, plan to go a little earlier so you can get on their wait list.