Block Island, Rhode Island is an Island about 10 miles south of the coast of Rhode Island. There are only about a 1000 permanent residents on the island, but the summer months bring in many tourists to this beautiful paradise. The Nature Conservancy even added it to list of "The Last Great Places" which only includes twelve other places in the Western Hemisphere. The only town on the island is New Shoreham and can be used interchangeably with Block Island. Hikers, bikers, sailors, fisherman, and beach lovers all flock to Block Island in the summer and the population can sometimes triple during these months. Major Attractions Many tourists take the ferry across Block Island Sound to the Island to enjoy the natural scenery, beaches, bluffs, trails, and other attractions. Cars are discouraged and one must make reservations months in advance if they wish to take their car. Some of the most popular include: The Southeast Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1875 and is still an active U.S. Coast Guard aid, although it had to be moved in 1993 due to erosion. There is an open museum and tours offered in the summer. The North Lighthouse is on the northern tip of Block Island and warns boaters of a sandbar. The Block Island Historical Society Museum is in downtown New Shoreham and educates tourists about a rich history of the Island. Due to its location, it has been has been a part in many wars. Divers enjoy exploring the U-53 a U-boat wreck that lies 7 miles east of the island. Mohegan Bluffs has spectacular views of 200-foot cliffs, hiking trails, and awesome views of the Atlantic. There are many beaches to explore and among them include Mansion Beach, which is perfect for the family, and peaceful and beautiful. There is Ballard’s Beach, which is modern and sophisticated, and Crescent Beach, which has many biking trails. Surfer’s Beach, as the name suggests, has the best waves. There are trails after trails -- over 30 miles on this 9-mile square foot island. Clayhead Nature Trail and Greenway Walking Trails are among the most popular. Settler’s Rock, which is a monument with all the engraved names of the settlers from the 17th century, is another place to see a small piece of this island’s history. Shopping Block Island Trading Company sells quality souvenirs including jewelry, bags, scarves, and many other trendy items and gifts. Strings and Things has a lot of funky and fun gifts to choose from. Full Moon Tide has many "naughti-cal" items including swimwear, kitchen stuff, sea glass jewelry, hand blown glass, reggae shirts, and other fun items. Arts and Entertainment Jessie Edwards Studio is a must see and relatively affordable. The gallery specializes in contemporary American art including sculptures, paintings, and drawings. It features over 30 artists and is open May through December. Malcolm Greenaway Gallery showcases beautiful photos. He has been called Block Island’s master photographer and is a place one must stop in a view. Restaurants There are many restaurants to enjoy on the island with many of them geared toward seafood. Some mainlanders will take the ferry over just for a superb dinner. The National Tap and Grill at the National Hotel is known for its view from the table and its steaks. It features a wrap around deck with breathtaking views of ocean bluffs. Three Sisters is great for a breakfast or light lunchtime fare. With unique names such as "Twisted Sister" which is a yummy sandwich made with bacon, turkey, cheddar, and avocado, one cannot resist the temptation. Hotel Manisses Restaurant does not have a water view, but it is romantic place to go and offers fresh fish, chicken, pork and beef along with island-grown vegetables. The Spring House Hotel is an elegant Victorian setting in a formal dining room. The Hotel is the Island’s oldest lodging establishment. The Atlantic Inn Restaurant is a true gourmet experience that most choose to take in on the veranda overlooking the ocean. They use vegetables harvested from their own garden and have the best tapas and cocktails. Block Island is truly one of those last great places. Visiting is almost like leaving the real world, even for just a few hours, to enjoy a paradise of peaceful beaches, stunning bluffs, and endless trails, not to mention wonderful menu options.