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Block Island is about an hour ferry ride from New London/Connecticut, Point Judith/RI or Montauk, NY. The island is only about 3 miles wide by 7 miles long. It is southwest of Martha's Vineyard and lays claim to being the smallest town(New Shoreham) from the smallest state (RI) that is the farthest off the coast of the US on the east coast than any other town or island. The main attraction is likely the Mohegan Cliffs which rise approximately 180 feet on the southside of the island. There is a long wooden staircase with approximately 150 steps that lead down to the beach below the cliffs. At the bottom of the steps, there is a short climb down a rocky incline to get to the actual beach, so proper footwear is recommended.
There is a lighthouse at the southeastern side of the island (accessible by car, bike or foot). There is another lighthouse at the northern end of the island.(This lighthouse has limited parking and access to the lighthouse is about a mile walk along the beach from the small parking area.) Settler's Rock (where the first settler's landed) is situated at this northern parking area. There is a farm with several exotic animals near the Atlantic Inn that the children will enjoy. There are many hiking trails including Rodman's Hollow. Kayaking, boating, parasailing, and bumper boats are also available. Most lodging includes B&B's, historic hotels from the late 1800's, and some cottages for rent. Most of these lodgings don't have air-conditioning. Some rooms with windows on different sides were cool at night, but those that don't get cross-ventilation could get quite hot. Most people get around the island by walking, hiking, biking or moped. Most of the shops are within the first two blocks across from the ferry in the Old Harbor. To get to other points north, south, or west, involves at least a thirty minute walk(usually 3 to 4 miles in any direction)--so wear comfortable shoes and bring water to drink. Taxi's & rental vehicles are available, but are more expensive than you would pay for something similar on the mainland. The ocean water is very clear but cold--even in August. The nicest beaches are Ballard's Beach which has a convenient bar & restaurant to the beach, and Crescent Beach which had shower facilities(small fee), dressing rooms, restrooms and some food available. Besides the Old Harbor on the east side of the island, the New Harbor on the northwestern side of the island has a marina, a few restaurants, a skate-park and kiddie park nearby. There is also a small airport located near the center of the island.