Isn’t it fantastic that only a 50 minute drive to New London and a one hour ferry ride could transport you from the hectic UConn campus to the serenity of Block Island in the fall?
For many people, New Englanders especially, Block Island is a summer destination. A place for relaxing on the beach, partying with friends and licking dripping ice cream cones. I myself visit Block Island nearly every summer, biking until my legs ache and I make it to the glorious Mohegan Bluffs. But Block Island isn’t just for warm sunny days. In fact, I have come to appreciate the island more in the cooler Autumn months.
Let me paint you a picture: The streets are quiet and most shops are closed. In the ones that remain open, signs are displayed in the windows written in big letters “end of season sale.” The familiar shacks selling clam cakes and chowder are boarded up and ice cream shops have “gone fishing” signs. You might be wondering why one would choose to visit an island during the off-season, but here’s why: Nature stays open all year round.
After stepping off the ferry, it became blissfully apparent that this was not a popular idea. I hopped on my bike and took on the island. Without the loud mopeds or rental cars, the road was mine.
To start the day, I had one of the last plates of French toast served at the Block Island Beach House, cooked with care and served with a view. And with maple syrup, of course.
Although most restaurants close with the last summer sunset, some remain open. Block Island Grocery always stays open all year, serving deli sandwiches and soup. You can always find a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. To make the trip more cost-effective, I suggest packing a snack or lunch. You can have a private beach picnic and avoid the trouble finding a restaurant still open. Just don’t let the gulls steal your food – they are year-round residents.
The Bluffs are gorgeous in all seasons, but somehow marveling at the top and climbing down the rocky cliff was even more magical during the fall. On this occasion I was one of the few people skipping stones and running along the rocky coast. I let the cool water, still slightly warm from the summer sun, touch my ankles. If you are feeling really crazy, go for a dive into the empty waves.
The ferry ride back was quiet and the ocean sparkled in the late afternoon light. A day trip to Block Island is the perfect fall getaway for UConn students looking for both relaxation and adventure.
Kate Luongo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.