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Discovering Block Island: Winter on the Block

by kelly / January, 18 2017 01:30

Winter on Block Island - frozen salt water covered rocks beneath Mohegan Bluffs

Block island is known for its awesome summer season but there’s also beauty, tranquility and some fun to be had in the winter. There’s so much to do and see in the winter plus you can get a spectacular beach sunrise or sunset all to yourself.

Block Island to Yourself

Block Island goes from a high of 20,000 people in summer to about 1,000 residents in the winter. That means you don’t have to vie for housing, navigate clogged roads or walkways, or compete for space on any of the 17 miles of beaches.

The wind is strong during the winter but there will be days when it is warm enough (with average temperatures ranging from 27-45°F) to walk on the empty beach. Plus the winter sky on the island produces some of the most amazing sunsets, which you can see all by yourself or with a loved one.

Other wintertime bonuses – housing becomes much more affordable during this time and it’s easier to rent a car (cars are already getting booked out now for the summer!).

It’s just peace and quiet, the perfect time to finish that book or project you were working on.

Winter Activities

You can also still get active in the winter on Block Island. Grab your sunscreen (yes the sun still shines in the winter) and try one of these fun activities:

  • Ice Skating – it can get cold enough on the island for the water to freeze over. With 365 fresh water ponds that’s a lot of ice skating you can do. Just double check that the water is really frozen before heading out with your skates.
  • Ice Fishing – a sport enjoyed by locals. If you head to the north point you might see some ice boats racing across Sachem Pond. Weather permitting of course.
  • Skiing / Sledding – when it snows the front yard of the Spring House Hotel is a good spot for sledding. You may also see a cross-country skier or two in town after a good snow. In fact, two weekends ago Block Island was blanketed by 15 inches.
  • Biking – cooler weather is a perfect time to try out the Block Island Bicycle Tour and roads will be much easier to get around with less traffic.
  • Beachcombing – with no crowds it’s easy to walk the beaches looking for shells, driftwood, weathered stones and more.

What’s Open?

Many hotels and restaurants close operations during the winter. But you can still book or stop by some of these awesome places (just make sure you call ahead as some are open during only select months in the winter)…

General Tips for Winter on the Island

While in the summer there are a number of options getting to and from the island, in the winter you’ll have fewer options. New England airlines from Westerly and the Block Island ferry from Point Judith still run all yearlong but on a more limited schedule in the winter. Check our or article “Discovering Block Island: How to Get There - Planes, Trains, (Ferries) & Automobiles” for specifics on both options.

Some other quick tips. The Block Island Grocery offers delicious homemade soups and ready-to-go lunches and dinner everyday but note the grocery closes earlier in the winter months - at 6:00 PM to be exact. Also closing early is the gas station. So make sure you don’t get stuck without food or gas at night!

Discovering Block Island

I hope you can make it out to the island at least once during the winter. It definitely should be on the bucket list as it’s something to experience – an island all to you.

If not the winter, make sure to take a summer trip. We have you covered then too with all the fun to be had on Block Island in our Discovering Block Island series.

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