From the pages of 2016’s first volume of RESIDE, discover Block Island: New England’s Quiet Resort.
The Block Island experience is about transition, from the high octane mainland life to the low key island life.
As the crow flies, the summer colony in the Atlantic Ocean is nearly equidistant from Long Island, NY and mainland Rhode Island, of which it is a part, and accessible by ferry, catamaran, boat charters and air service. It is quieter than other resort communities along the Eastern Seaboard. Block Island draws vacationers from Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and, increasingly, Washington, DC, looking to escape more crowded and commercial resort areas. People easily join in island life without feeling the need to over-schedule their days.
$1,900,000 USD | Block Island, Rhode Island | Sullivan Sotheby’s International Realty
Block Island is especially popular with families, many of whom follow a familiar pattern. They rent homes during the summer season and return year after year. When the time is right, they turn into buyers. “They get pulled in and really want to make this place a significant part of their lives and become part of the community,” says Cindy Pappas of Sullivan Sotheby’s International Realty on Block Island.
It is a destination that breeds devotion. Islanders are loyal. The children who grow up spending carefree summers swimming, clamming and crabbing at the shore want to give their own children those same experiences. The island is approximately 10 square miles. It has no traffic lights, no big-box stores, no chains of any kind and only one municipality, New Shoreham, with a singular distinction: it is the smallest town in the smallest state. “It’s a real New England village,” says Pappas. “Because it’s so intimate, we’re easier to get to know.”
$2,500,000 USD | Block Island, Rhode Island | Sullivan Sotheby’s International Realty
Despite its size, Block Island hasn’t escaped the attention of the Nature Conservancy, the nonprofit environmental organization which put it on its inaugural list of “Last Great Places” in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 44 percent of Block Island’s acreage has been set aside as protected land thanks to aggressive conservation efforts. The water quality, ocean quality and air quality are pristine. Most attractions are centered around the outdoors. Seventeen miles of white sand beaches include many that are delightfully isolated, even in the thick of the season. Rolling hills lure bikers and moped riders who navigate the near-rural terrain. And then there are the towering bluffs, more reminiscent of Ireland than New England.
Views from the top of Mohegan Bluffs extend all the way to Montauk on the tip of Long Island. Not surprisingly, homes with views are in high demand, which happens to be a Block Island specialty. The hilly topography unveils spectacular vistas at almost every turn. “One of our favorite things is finding that perfect sunset spot as day starts to transition to twilight,” says Pappas. “It’s a moment to take a deep breath and take it all in.”