How to Visit Block Island on a Budget

How to Visit Block Island on a Budget /

Visiting Block Island has been a summer favorite of ours for years now. Although, trying to cover the basics such as transportation, food and housing on Block Island can be ridiculously expensive and intimidating. The last thing you want to think about during a summer trip is your budget. While it’s seemingly impossible, we have listed our 10 sure-fire ways to visit Block Island on the cheap for you today.

Book the traditional (slow) ferry.

The cheapest way to Block Island is with the traditional ferry from Point Judith, RI. This ferry is typically on-time. Just keep in mind that the traditional ferry is essentially the slow ferry, which will take 55-75 minutes to get to the island. Meanwhile, the high-speed ferry only takes 30 minutes. If you’re nervous about getting seasick, the non-drowsy version of Dramamine has worked for me.

Leave your car behind.

Not only is the cost of bringing your car on the ferry astronomical, but you have to book far in advance. Luckily, Block Island is small enough where you don’t need to bring your car. In fact, parking on the island is scarce, so do yourself a favor and leave your car parked on the mainland.

Take a day trip.

Hotel prices on Block Island are through the roof, so why not take a day trip? While it’s impossible to see everything in one day, you’ll still come home satisfied having tasted what Block Island has to offer. Typically, the ferry departs for Block Island as early as 6:30am and the last ferry leaves Block Island around 7:30pm. Times vary throughout the season so be sure to check the ferry schedule online beforehand.

Bring your own bike.

Most of Block Island can be reached by bike. There are several bike stands available at every location since biking is so popular on the island. If you own a road bike, you can bring it onto the ferry for a small fee, which ends up being cheaper than renting a bike on the island! While theft has never been a problem for us, you should remember your bike lock, just in case.

OR Opt for a bike rental.

For those who don’t own bikes, there are plenty of bike rentals on the island. If you’re fit and capable enough to tackle the rolling hills of Block Island, then renting a bike for the day beats walking! There’s a handful of vendors to choose from and prices vary, so you should shop around. Also, Block Island offers taxi tours and mopeds, which are super convenient. Keep in mind, those options are priced much higher than bike rentals for obvious reasons.

Go sightseeing.

Block Island has beautiful sights to see and best of all, they’re free! Some of my favorites are the Southeast Lighthouse, Mohegan Bluffs, Rodman’s Hollow, and Abram’s Petting Zoo, all of which are close enough to visit by bike. Together, these free attractions make for an excellent day trip.

Sunbathe at the beach.

Block Island is best known for their 17 miles of pristine beach. Admission to the town beach and its facilities are free. The water is clear, the sand is soft and there’s no sign of pollution, seaweed, or pointy seashells to bother you if you have sensitive feet like me! Although, like most beaches, there will be a small fee if you want to rent umbrellas, chairs, cabanas or boogie boards.

Visit local art studios.

As you walk off the ferry you’ll be greeted by the many shops and galleries of Old Harbor. Block Island has more than enough stores for window shopping and a handful of local art studios to venture into for a day. While its tempting to buy all the trinkets and souvenirs, you should be satisfied after admiring some of the best coastal and nautical art in New England for free.

Pack your own lunch.

If your budget calls for $ but all the restaurants are $$$$, you should consider packing your own lunch. You gain certain freedoms that make it worth the effort. Rather than worrying about crowded restaurants, you can set out a picnic and enjoy lunch with a peaceful view. Block Island has natural beauty around every corner making it easy to find that perfect picnic spot. By avoiding the long wait for a table, you can focus on exploring different parts of the island.

Consider Airbnb or VRBO.

If you’re aching to stay overnight, it doesn’t hurt to check the rooms and house rentals on or for cheaper rates than the brand name hotels. Keep in mind, some accommodations require a minimum stay of 3 – 7 nights on Block Island.

We’re currently offering $40 off your first stay at airbnb if you sign up using our link!


Block Island has been our favorite summer spot for years, yet we make new discoveries every time we visit. We hope our tips encourage you to take your own affordable trip to Block Island this summer. Trust me, you’ll have to see the beauty of this island yourself!

More on Block Island

How to Visit Block Island on a Budget
A Day on Block Island: Mohegan Bluffs and Southeast Lighthouse
A Guide to Visiting Block Island’s North Lighthouse
Kayaking at the Great Salt Pond on Block Island
Where to Find the Prettiest Flowers on Block Island

Celebrating our Anniversary on Block Island

Follow along Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Youtube


    • August 22, 2017 / 11:39 am

      Not many people have! I love visiting Block Island and would always recommend it to everyone!

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:39 am

      Yes! Easily my favorite place ever 🙂

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Hopefully someday!

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Thanks Michael! Hopefully these tips can help with similar travels too.

  1. August 16, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    I absolutely love Rhode Island but haven’t made my way to Block Island yet! Definitely need to put it on the list for next summer. Thanks for these tips too! I’m sure there are some great Airbnbs over there. 🙂

    Looks by Lau

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Thanks Christina! You should definitely visit the next time you’re in Rhode Island!

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:41 am

      No problem, Valerie. It’s a New England classic!

  2. Adi
    August 16, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    Block island looks like fun! Great guide, it’ll be useful for many other expensive locations too!
    Adi xx

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Very true! You could use these tips for anywhere similar! Glad this helped you out, Adi.

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:44 am

      Thanks for your sweet message, Caitlin!

  3. August 17, 2017 / 6:25 am

    I have heard such amazing things about Block Island! Love these tips, girlie. You know that when planning a wedding that budget gets tight 😉


    • August 22, 2017 / 11:45 am

      Awesome! Glad you have heard of this beautiful little island. We’ve been trying to tighten our budget for the wedding, too!

  4. Amy
    August 17, 2017 / 8:52 am

    Good tips! I think most people are on budgets so finding fun ways to do things like this affordably is great!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Totally agree. It really makes a difference if you can save a buck here and there!

  5. August 17, 2017 / 10:04 am

    LOVE your pin at the top!! So beautiful 🙂

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Thanks Rachel! Block Island is really pretty so it’s easy to take nice photos.

  6. August 17, 2017 / 11:39 am

    Block Island looks gorgeous – great tips on how to visit on a budget!

    Miriam x

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Thank you, Miriam. I hope this post helps you!

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Please do, then tell me all about your trip!

  7. Gabrielle
    August 17, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    I keep feeling as though I’ve seen a film based on Block Island at some point?! Either way, beautiful travel tips! Packing your own lunch sounds like a nice little adventure in itself anyway, and lovely suggestion to visit local art studios.

    • August 22, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Gabrielle! I don’t know if Block Island has ever been featured in a movie, since the island is so small. But if it’s true, then I would love to see the film! Dan and I love packing our own lunches! Finding a place to eat/picnic adds to the adventure 🙂

  8. August 17, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    I remember really liking photos your posted of Block Island. If the only way there is by boat, I’ll never make it. I cannot do boats 🙁 Great tips for those who can though 🙂

    Kara Aragon

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:48 am

      Aww thanks Kara. There is still hope for you. You can take a small plane to Block Island. It’s only 10 mins! Although, it will probably cost more than a ferry, which is why I didn’t include it in this budget-friendly post.

  9. August 17, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    These are all really great tips! Smart idea for bringing your own lunch and renting a bike. I’m definitely adding this to the list of places I want to visit! x

    x Kara |

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:49 am

      Dan and I always pack our own lunches to save money. Hope you get out to Block Island someday!

  10. August 18, 2017 / 3:17 am

    Good tips ! I’ll keep them in minds if I have the opportunity to visit it 😀

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:51 am

      Maybe someday! Thanks for your comment, Carolina.

  11. August 18, 2017 / 11:12 am

    Loving these tips, I could apply them to anywhere so thanks for sharing!

    Anika xo |

    • August 22, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      Very true! Hope this helps you with your future travels!

  12. August 18, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I’ve never heard of Block Island, but the photos look beautiful! I’d definitely get a bike to explore the Island as well. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! xx

    • August 22, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Diana! Not many people have heard of Block Island, since it is so small and remote. You get to see a lot more of this island’s natural beauty from a bike than if you drove 😉

  13. August 18, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    Wow! Block Island is a jaw-dropping destination, Kim and Dan! I’d love to explore it on a bike. Is it possible to eat street food?

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:53 am

      Isn’t it gorgeous? There is a food truck with picnic tables in front of Southeast Lighthouse. However, most of the restaurants are downtown on Water Street, when you get right off the ferry.

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:54 am

      Thanks Nathalie!

  14. August 19, 2017 / 2:31 pm

    What a great informative post! I’ve never been to Block Island before, so this is great info to keep in mind if I ever do go! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend!



    • August 22, 2017 / 11:54 am

      Hope you make it out to the island someday. Otherwise, this post should be helpful for other similar travel destinations!

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:55 am

      Thank you, Jessica!

  15. August 20, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Sooo I’m gonna sound really stupid but what’s VRBO? Besides that these are really great tips, especially bringing/renting a bike. That would be a good way to look at sights and still get a bit of exercise in!

    cabin twenty-four

    • August 22, 2017 / 11:56 am

      No way, always feel free to ask questions! VRBO stands for Vacation Rental by Owner. It’s like Airbnb but rather than renting out a room, you are renting out an entire vacation house from someone else! And you would *definitely* get your exercise of the day while biking in Block Island, haha so many hills! There’s a beautiful view the entire way though, so it’s not bad 🙂

  16. Siffat
    August 20, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    These tips are great for a quick getaway to most places. I’ve never been to Brock Island, but will for sure keep these tips in mind if I do go.

    • August 22, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thanks Siffat! Hope these tips help with your future travels!

  17. August 20, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Packing your own lunch is a great idea and one I used to do a lot more. You have inspired me! Budgeting is a great idea for me now and I try to save a bit of cash in the lead up to my holiday! Love all the tips you have included in this post. I love reading other blogs for information on all sorts of different things!
    Set to Glow

    • August 22, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      Aw thank you so much for your message, Kiri! Hope you enjoy your holiday using these tips!

    • August 22, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      So true. Hope this helps with your future travels! Saving money allows you to see more places!

  18. August 22, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    My family and I were planning on going to Rhode Island. Definitely need to add Block Island on my list of places to see!

    Adventures With A

  19. August 22, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    I’ve never been, but looks like a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing these tips <3

    – Michelle –

    • August 24, 2017 / 3:04 pm

      Block Island is a beaut. Hope you make it out someday.

    • August 24, 2017 / 3:05 pm

      Definitely a must, if you visit Rhode Island!

  20. August 23, 2017 / 12:10 am

    block island looks like an amazing place to visit! and yes airbnb is always the best option. i like the idea of bringing your own bike (i usually rent in on an island). everything is attainable as long as you fit what you want to do to your budget!

  21. August 24, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I love a day trip that involves sight seeing. It’s so fun to walk around with friends/family and explore!
    – Noelle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *