If you seek a relaxing island getaway with sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, and ample fishing opportunities, you can’t go wrong with a family trip to Block Island, a historic New England community that draws visitors with its nostalgic maritime feel. Find the perfect Block Island vacation rental with views of the shoreline, and set off to enjoy hikes along the bluffs, a visit to a cute animal farm, and other kid-friendly activities during your stay. Here are 10 fun Block Island activities that are sure to be a hit with the kids.
1. Ride the Block Island Ferry
When it comes to Block Island vacations, people of all ages may agree that getting there is one of the best parts of the trip. Whether you choose a traditional ferry or a shorter ride on a high-speed ferry, kids love walking out onto the deck and spotting seagulls while sipping on a soda from the bar area.
2. Visit the Southeast Lighthouse
Whether you choose to drive or bike from your Block Island vacation rental, this charming lighthouse is well worth a visit. Make your way up the staircase to see the views from this old-fashioned lighthouse before taking a tour through the lighthouse museum at the bottom. Older kids are sure to appreciate learning about the lighthouse’s rich history, and the whole family can enjoy a picnic on the scenic grounds after visiting. Keep an eye out for food trucks with fresh seafood that often park by the popular tourist attractions.
3. Hike the Mohegan Bluffs
Looming 150 feet over the sandy beach below, the Mohegan Bluffs is a perfect place to hike if you’re traveling with older kids. Walk along the top for panoramic views of the shoreline, or take a tall staircase to the beach at the bottom where you can play in the surf or comb for seashells. The colorful cliffs are a great place for photo ops, but keep in mind there is no lifeguard at the remote beach area.
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4. Play in the Sand at Mansion Beach
Ballard’s Beach may be the most popular beach area on Block Island, but if you want to beat the crowds while still enjoying some family fun, head over to quieter Mansion Beach. Bring some sand toys from your vacation rental for the younger kids, and kick back on some recliners and beach umbrellas that you can rent right at the beach. Kids of all ages may also enjoy finding crabs and sea anemones in the tide pools. The beach is easily accessible by bike from a dirt road, but many vacation homes are perched right above this pristine stretch of sand.
5. Search for Horseshoe Crabs
Kids of all ages can spend hours searching the beach areas for the intriguing horseshoe crabs that populate the area. The prehistoric-looking creatures can often be found molting, mating, or simply resting in the tide. If you’re traveling in June, consider joining one of the Block Island Nature Conservancy’s family-friendly horseshoe crab programs.
6. See the animals at the 1661 Farm and Gardens
Head over to this free petting farm located on the grounds of the 1661 Inn where younger children have a blast watching geese and chickens roam or petting the resident donkeys and llamas. The farm is also home to more exotic animals such as yak, kangaroos, a zedonk, and a few big emus. Be sure to buy a bag of feed so your kids can feed the giant, flightless emus for a unique Block Island memory.
7. Collect Shells at Crescent Beach
A popular sandy stretch, Crescent Beach is a favorite of families of all ages thanks to its amenities including restrooms, snack bars, and easily accessible parking lots if you’re arriving by car. Kids may enjoy combing the beach for seashells when they’re not building castles in the soft sand or splashing in the wake. Despite its convenient location near the marinas, Crescent Beach never gets too crowded.
8. Walk the Clayhead Nature Trail
Want to spot geese, ducks, and other local wildlife? Take a stroll down this easy trail leading to the shoreline through patches of woods and marsh. Tell your little ones to keep an eye out for seals, and check out the tide pools once you get to the beach. You might even take a dip in the calm waters before hiking back while enjoying stunning views of the island’s shoreline cliffs.
9. Fish or Paddle on the Great Salt Pond
Older kids and teens may enjoy the experience of casting a line or clamming in this local fishing hot spot. Rent a boat to take out on the pond, and rent some poles and tackle from one of the bait shops. You can also rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, paddle boats, and other equipment to take your family out on the calm waters.
10. See the Sunset From the North Lighthouse
Take a family bike ride or hike along the soft sand of the beach to this remote lighthouse to enjoy breathtaking sunset views while the kids look for seagull nests in the tall beach grass surrounding the building. Pay a few bucks to enter the museum to see several rooms featuring local plants and wildlife as well as intriguing lighthouse keeper exhibits.
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