THE BEST WAY TO BLOCK ISLAND, R.I.
Take the ferry from Point Judith and Newport, R.I., New London, Conn., or Montauk, N.Y. Rates from $25-$48 round trip, depending on whether you take the traditional or high-speed ferry.
From Point Judith and Newport (seasonal), Block Island Ferry; (866) 783-7996, http://www.blockislandferry.com
From New London, Block Island Express; (860) 444-4624, http://www.goblockisland.com
From Montauk (seasonal), Viking Fleet; (631) 668-5700, http://www.vikingfleet.com
Daily plane service is available from Westerly, R.I., on New England Airlines, http://www.block-island.com/nea/.
WHERE TO STAY
Harborside Inn, 213 Water St.; (800) 825-6254, http://blockislandreservations.com. This 36-room Victorian hotel faces the Old Harbor and is steps from the ferry landing. The hotel underwent a renovation in 2009, and the rooms are spartan but clean. Doubles from $180. The property is one of 18 managed by Block Island Reservations.
New Shoreham House, check-in at Harborside Inn, 213 Water St.; (800) 825-6254, http://www.blockislandreservations.com. Also faces Old Harbor. Most rooms have an ocean view, and all but one have shared bathrooms. A room with two double beds was recently $257 a night.
Spring House Hotel, 52 Spring St.; (401) 466-5844, http://www.springhousehotel.com. A glorious old seaside hotel, perhaps the most beautiful on Block Island. A standard room with a private bath and ocean view is about $314.
WHERE TO EAT
The Beachhead Tavern, Corn Neck Road; (401) 466-2249, http://www.thebeachead.com. Entrees from $16. An ideal place for a cold beer after a day of bicycling. I also recommend the Block Island chowder, which has a clear broth. The terrace overlooks Crescent Beach.
The Oar, Jobs Hill Road;(401) 466-8820. Entrees from $14.95. Excellent food, despite service glitches, and an unforgettable view of the sunset over the Great Salt Pond.
Finn's Seafood Restaurant, 212 Water St.; (401) 466-2473. Entrees $15-$35. Terrific fried whole clam bellies. Good for families.
TO LEARN MORE
"On This Island, The Block Island Trail and Nature Guide," by Keith H. Lang and Scott B. Comings. An excellent guidebook to the island's trails and quiet places.
A Daytripper's Guide to Rhode Island: http://www.seagrant.gso.uri.edu/daytrip. A concise guide to beautiful things to see on Block Island.