Block Island is a popular New England vacation spot situated 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island and 21 miles off the coast of New York. But while it may seem like only a stone's throw from Montauk, getting to this secluded oasis can be tricky for day trippers, vacationers, and residents of the region. Located 82 miles from Long Island, the summertime hotspot can be reached via a two-hour-and-45-minute seasonal express ferry. Otherwise, it'll take a series of transport options from cars to trains and charter planes to get to this remote holm.
|Ferry||2 hours, 45 minutes||from $26||Getting there cheaply and in a hurry|
|Train + Charter Flight||4 hours, 45 minutes||from $124||A ferry-free alternative|
|Train + Ferry||3 hours||from $55||Departing from Montauk|
|Car + Ferry||4 hours, 30 minutes||from $40||Having a vehicle on the island|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Long Island to Block Island?
The cheapest way to get to Block Island is also, conveniently, the fastest way: by a seasonal ferry. In the summer, the Block Island Express is constantly chauffeuring folks from New London, Rhode Island, to the beloved destination via high-speed catamaran. It offers connections to and from Long Island via its Cross Sound Ferry service, which departs from Orient Point May through October. The most basic adult one-way ticket costs $26 (the same price as if originating from New London).
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Long Island to Block Island?
According to BlockIsland.com, the entire ferry trip from Long Island to Block Island—including a quick layover in New London—takes just two hours and 45 minutes, which is much quicker (and simpler) than any other transportation option.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
There is no road that connects Block Island to Rhode Island or New York, but that doesn't mean you can't bring your car along with you. The Block Island Ferry, which operates out of Point Judith terminal in the Rhode Island fishing village of Galilee, is the only ferry that offers vehicle transport. Driving to Point Judith from Long Island takes about three and a half hours (the route runs along the Long Island Sound, through New Haven, New London, Westerly, and Narragansett) and taking the traditional (i.e. not high-speed) ferry to Block Island takes 55 minutes. Overall, you're looking at a four-and-a-half-hour trip. One-way tickets for the ferry cost about $40 if you're taking a standard-sized vehicle and should be booked well in advance because spots fill up early. This ferry runs year-round.
How Long Is the Flight?
Small as it is, Block Island does have an airport. Unfortunately, it's not serviced by the Long Island MacArthur Airport. Instead, those who are prone to seasickness or just prefer to fly will need to travel to the Westerly State Airport, a three-hour drive from Long Island, then hop aboard a New England Airlines charter plane to fly over the Block Island Sound. The flights run year-round (although times are limited in the off-season) and cost $64 for an adult one-way ticket. The flight takes only 12 minutes to get to Block Island State Airport.
If you don't have a car or prefer not to leave it in Westerly while you're away on Block Island, then you can take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station (an hour and a half, starting around $10), then take the Amtrak to Westerly (three hours, starting at $50). Altogether, with the flight included, this trip would take about four hours, 45 minutes and cost $124.
How Long Is the Train Ride?
You can't take the train all the way to Block Island, unfortunately, but you can take it to the closest mainland point and ferry from there. The LIRR connects the village of Patchogue to Long Island in an hour and 45 minutes (tickets start at $13). From the Montauk train station, the ferry terminals are two miles away. The best way to get there is by taxi. The Viking Superstar offers a one-hour-15-minute connection to Block Island for $40 per adult. Altogether, this trip takes about four and a half hours and costs $55 minimum.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Block Island?
The best time to visit Block Island is during summer, when the weather is ideal and the transportation options for getting to the island are aplenty. There will be more crowds, yes, but most of the ferry services—including the only one that departs from Long Island—only run between May and October. Traveling in the low season means chilly weather and working around restricted ferry and flight schedules.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
Being a small, regional airport, Block Island does not offer public transportation from its terminal. You can, however, rent a car or call a taxi from there.
What Is There to Do on Block Island?
Every summer, New Englanders flock to this off-shore paradise for its pristine beaches, scenic lighthouses, and untouched nature. Suckers for seascapes will swoon over the Mohegan Bluffs, 150-foot-tall cliffs topped by the Southeast Lighthouse. You can bring your surfboard along on the ferry and catch some waves at Mansion Beach, or find yourself having an ice cream at the more lively Fred Benson Town Beach. Besides water activities, you can go bike riding, hiking, horseback riding, birdwatching, shopping, and gallery hopping on Block Island.