As a local New Englander, we are always looking for new places to visit, especially ones that are dog and kid friendly. I’d been to Block Island in my 20’s, but due to lots of parties on Ballards Beach and the general fun nightlife, I never thought of it as a place to take kids – until now! I was on Google, searching for dog friendly beaches, and Block Island popped right up! All of the state beaches in New England are NOT dog friendly during the main parts of the day during the summer season. I struggled to find any true dog friendly beaches in Maine, Massachusetts or NH…BUT…then I started reading about Block Island! With the exception of the one state beach, they are ALL DOG FRIENDLY!!! All day, any hour. By rule, you do have to keep your dog leashed, but that wasn’t an issue for us. So, we started planning our trip. I couldn’t find any blog posts about Block Island with dogs & kids, so I thought I’d write one. I hope this is helpful for you!
We took the fast ferry out of Port Judith at 9:05am. This is a 30 minute trip. Cars are not allowed on the fast ferry, but you can arrange to bring a car on the slow ferry. We purchased tickets online ahead of time, which I highly recommend as the ferry can fill up quickly. Dogs are allowed on the ferry, but only on the outer decks (again, totally fine with us!). Here’s Macaroni relaxing on the ferry ride.
When we arrived, we took a right out of the ferry station, and walked a quick 0.1 mile, 3 minute walk to the Block Island Beach House hotel (formerly the Surf hotel). We took the wooden stairs down to the beach, where we found a gentleman renting beach umbrellas and chairs. The white umbrellas are for hotel guests, but non-guests can rent an umbrella and chairs for only $10 each from the gentleman located under the blue umbrella. They weren’t the best quality, but I didn’t mind because it meant we didn’t have to carry our own all the way to the beach!
Here’s a view of the beach with umbrellas…white are the hotel guests. Zoom in to see a rainbow umbrella, that’s the one we rented! Super close!
The beach itself was amazing! Sand was soft and the whole area is very clean. Everyone was incredibly friendly. I would not bring a dog-reactive dog to the beach though – because while the rule is that dogs need to stay on-leash, many people allow their dogs off-leash. I found the vast majority of those dogs were under voice-control of their owners, but if your dog doesn’t like other dogs, this is not the place for them. Macaroni loves other dogs, so we were fine…but wanted to put that out there and warn you ahead of time! Here’s Mac making a new friend!
We spent most of the day just playing and relaxing on the beach!
For lunch, we walked back up the stairs to the Block Island Beach House hotel and had lunch on their patio. They have showers to wash the sand off your feet and body, and adorable seating area overlooking the beach, and will bring a bowl of water out for your dog. Dogs are allowed anywhere outside at the hotel. They also have very nice bathrooms available outside near the patio (which doubled as great changing rooms!). The drinks and food were excellent! I had a cheeseburger, our son had a hot dog and Brent had a grilled chicken sandwich. We ordered the watermelon for an appetizer, and Macaroni enjoyed a slice!
For drinks, I had a Frose (so delicious), our son had a virgin/non alcoholic (obviously!) pina colada, and Brent had a corona. Everything was great! I could have stayed there all day relaxing, having delicious drinks and enjoying the view, but our son wanted to rent a boogie board and try that, but we ended up purchasing a small $20 one from the downtown surf shop instead…was about the same price and figured we could use it in the future. We walked around town, and then took the 3:30p ferry home. I highly recommend Block Island to anyone with kids, dogs or just anyone who wants to enjoy a wonderful New England getaway. You’re only 30 min from the mainland, but feel like you’re so much further away. We’ll be back soon to visit again. If you’ve been, share your comments & thoughts below!