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Situated approximately 12 miles off the cost of Southern Rhode Island, Block Island is a fragment of glacial terminal moraine, and one of the islands in the Atlantic Ocean, defined by the United States Census Bureau as Census Tract 415 of Washington County, Rhode Island.
It is estimated that glaciers pushed their way down the East Coast around 10,000 years ago, when they left behind the 25.211 square km (9.734 square miles) of rock and soil, forming the ground of Block Island.
No other place on earth has the environmental peculiarity of this island, with a well-balanced fauna and flora species, a fragile ecosystem, and a population of 1,010 people as of the 2000 census.
The existence of this island was reported in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazano, the first European to note it, after finding Block Island’s stunning vistas and landscape that eventually would become in a one-town island, the actual town of New Shoreham.
Due to its location, weather in Block Island is heavily influence by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean, staying cooler than the mainland during the spring and summer months, thanks to the ocean staying cold during these seasons.
Average temperatures in July and August range in mid to upper 70º Fahrenheit, still hot but lower that the 80º Fahrenheit and up in New England and New York during the same period. During fall and winter, the ocean remains warmer than the mainland, allowing Block Island to stay warmer during these months.
The island’s highest temperature recorded ever has been 95° Fahrenheit, below the national inland record held by Chester, Massachusetts with 107° Fahrenheit, while the lower temperature recorded has been -7° Fahrenheit, against -35 °F in Chester again.
Block Island has 17 miles of sandy beach and more than 350 fresh water ponds resulting from natural springs, making this place the ideal setting for holidays any time of the year. Spending a lazy afternoon jumping in the surf or building a sandcastle are some relaxing activities waiting for you.
Being buried in sand and sunk into natural splendor is so easy with the Atlantic breeze and clean air surrounding you. In fact, the island’s northwest tip is an undeveloped natural area ideal for bird watching, since the region is considered a resting stopover for birds along the Atlantic flyway.
During the summer months, Block Island’s population usually triples over the normal summer vacation crowd seen through other tourist destinations, being easy to arrive by ferry, boat or plane. Many visitors, who own boats, such as Jason Hope and many other famous and wealthy people dock at the marinas in either the New Harbor or the Old Harbor areas.
The ferry connects Block Island with Point Judith all year-round, but summer opens the opportunity of additional ferry cruises from Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Newport, Montauk, and New London. There is also a Hi-Speed Ferry sailing from mid-May to mid-October, departing from State Pier in Galilee on a cruise of 30 minutes to reach New Harbor.
By plane, Block Island is just 12 minutes away from Westerley, via New England Airlines, either by means of Charter flights for business or regular flights for pleasure. Westerley is reachable by train from Boston, Washington, and New York. All these transportation facilities make it easier to understand the increase in population during vacations and gateways.
Curiously, it was not until 2000 when population surpassed 1,000 people for the very first time since the 1930s. Although, small in size and short in population, Block Island have several beaches and tourist locations, enough to make this island one of the most desirable vacation destinations at any time of the year.
In addition, 3,000 miles of stone walls and 32 miles of natural trails, attract many people who do not like beaches at all, but biking, hiking or riding in the middle of the exuberant landscape, although trail systems are for hikers only, so no bikes are allowed there.
Other attractions that catch the eye of the visitor include regular activities such as various concerts or the popular farmer’s market. Summer makes Block Island a 12,000 people place on average each year.
The smallest town in the smallest state, New Shoreham, is also known as “Manisses” because of the Narragansett Indians, but named Shoreham in Sussex County, England after colonization. However, more than other towns, the whole island is home to diverse array of habitats.
Block Island’s community is dedicated to preserving their cultural heritage and natural heritage. With beaches, maritime shrub, and open morainal grasslands, the island supports about 40 state and federal endangered or rare species,
Conserving Block Island’s open space and offer different entertaining alternatives to visitors for fun and relaxing are only the beginning of an exciting approach to this unique island, offering diverse services for those wanting to stay for a while or relocate.