14 Best Block Island Beaches to Visit ASAP (Updated 2023)

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If you’re thinking of taking a vacation to Rhode Island, make it a point to take a trip to Block Island. Block Island is a small island located south of mainland Rhode Island.

For such a small island, there are plenty of beautiful beaches to visit, whether you’re looking for swimming, surfing, or scenery. There’s even a party beach where you’ll find live music and one of the best restaurants on the island! Read on to learn more about the best Block Island beaches you can visit on your next visit.

Best Block Island Beaches

A popular Block Island beach with surf crashing on the shore under a sunrise
A Block Island sunrise

Mansion Beach 

Mansion Beach is one of the best Block Island beaches, and certainly one of the most scenic! It’s a gorgeous area that marks the north end of Crescent Beach (which you’ll read more about in a bit). Here, you’ll see the big, beautiful waves of the Atlantic crash along its sandy shores. Since its waves tend to be bigger than other beaches’ waves on the island, you can participate in activities like body surfing. 

Are you curious as to why this lovely spot is called Mansion Beach? Turns out, a large and elegant house used to stand on the beach, but it burned down in the 1960s. The foundation still remains, though, and the parking area is actually built around it. Head to Mansion Road and see this beautiful spot for yourself! 

Mohegan Bluffs 

Looking for dramatic cliff views? Many people think Mohegan Bluffs is the most beautiful spot on Block Island. There’s a gorgeous beach that’s located at the base of the cliffs, so make sure you bring your flip flops to change into. These 200-foot cliffs offer incredible views of the Atlantic, but it does take a bit of a climb to see. It’s well worth it, though. 

Once you get to the bottom of the bluffs, you’ll get to walk along a lovely strip of beach. Don’t forget to bring your camera when you head to this spot. You’ll want to capture these views as soon as you get there! 

A wave curling toward the shore with large rocky cliffs on the shore

Crescent Beach 

You’ll find one of the best Block Island beaches, Crescent Beach, along the east side of the island. It actually connects four other beaches on this list: Surf Beach, Baby Beach, Scotch Beach, and Mansion Beach. You’ll have plenty of space to walk along the sand, swim in the ocean, and make plenty of memories you’ll remember for years to come. 

You’ll also find the Frederick J. Benson Pavillion on Crescent Beach, which has a concession stand and allows visitors to rent things like chairs and boogie boards. Convenience and beauty—what else could you want from Crescent Beach?

Dorry’s Beach

Dorry’s Beach is on the western side of the island, far away from town, but it’s one of the most special Block Island beaches. It’s a black sand beach with calm waters, but due to its location, it’s typically pretty uncrowded.

This is another popular snorkeling beach on Block Island, and you can’t beat those sunset views from this side of the island, either!

Fred Benson Town Beach

If you’re looking for more of a family-friendly beach everyone can enjoy, Fred Benson Town Beach is the place to go. You’ll find it south of Crescent Beach. This popular beach has beautiful sand your kids can play in, along with low surf, which means it’s easier for kids to play in the ocean. There’s also a lifeguard on duty during the summer months on the beach. 

Fred Benson Town Beach also has a pavilion where you can find snacks, along with a changing room and showers. Your loved ones will love soaking up the sun in one of the best Block Island spots.

A coastal highway in between a body of water and the ocean
Block Island’s beautiful beaches

Baby Beach 

This beach is considered by many to be a hidden gem on Block Island. Baby Beach is located where Beach Avenue and Corn Neck Road meet. It’s a less populated beach on the island that has less severe waves and fewer rocks along its coast, meaning it’s easier for parents to walk with their kids along the beach. 

Baby Beach also has shallower water compared to the rest of the beaches on the island, so it’s easier for kids to swim in. The water also tends to be calmer, too, making it a little easier for parents to swim with little ones!

West Beach

Looking for a calm and quiet Block Island beach for a peaceful beach walk? West Beach fits the bill very well, being a beach that isn’t visited as often by anyone other than locals in the know. This isn’t a swimming beach, but it’s one of the best Block Island beaches for sea glass hunting and Glass Floats!

If you walk North far enough, you’ll reach the North Lighthouse, one of the loveliest lighthouses in RI. This is a very picturesque coastal area of the island.

Black Rock Beach

If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the beach for you. Black Rock Beach is named after a treacherous rock that lies under the waves that’s quite the danger to boats. The beach also has a rockier coast, but a stronger surf, so those looking for a day of surfing and adventure can find what they’re looking for here. 

A sandy path between two wooden fences

Surf Beach 

You can find one of the best Block Island beaches on the south end of Crescent Beach along Dodge Street. While it may be named Surf Beach (after a nearby hotel), it’s actually a great spot to snorkel on Block Island. You can hunt seashells and see crabs, starfish, and other notable sea life. Snorkeling gear is available for rent at the hotel.

It is also shallower water for quite a ways out, so it’s fun for kids to swim at this Block Island beach. All of this, plus the fact that it’s close to town, makes it the ideal back for any family getaway. Pack a lunch, grab the beach towels, and enjoy!

Vaill Beach 

If you’re looking to explore a unique beach, Vaill Beach is the place for you. It’s known for having fantastic views of the sunset. Don’t go for a dip if you’re going to this beach, though. There are a lot of rocks in the area and the surf is rough, so it’s best to only take a stroll.

You can find the way to the beach along Mohegan Trail, near the famous Painted Rock landmark on the island. Make sure you watch your step and enjoy the beautiful view! 

Edge of the water at a sandy beach with large rocks on the left
Another of the prettiest Block Island beaches

Charleston Beach

If you’re looking for a beach with beautiful views where you can sit and watch boats glide through the harbor, check this one out! Charleston Beach is very pretty and waters are fairly calm, but this isn’t as much of a swimming beach as it is a fishing beach. It’s also just a nice place to sit back and unwind as you watch the boats pass by.

Ballard’s Beach 

Make sure you add this spot to your list of the top Block Island beaches! In addition to being a great overall deep water swimming beach, there’s a hotel and oceanfront restaurant located on Ballard’s Beach.

If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, you can grab one at the tiki bar and enjoy the ocean views. Live music happens regularly, so this is sometimes a bit of a party beach. What’s not to love? Head down Water Street to see this perfect summer getaway for yourself! 

A rocky beach curves along the coast, leading to a lighthouse in the distance.
North Light, Block Island

Cow Cove/North Light

We are including the North Light area as a scenic coastal spot that’s perfect for long walks and admiring both the water views and the historic North Light. Be aware that this is not a swimming beach as there are very dangerous rip currents here, so this is just eye candy, but it is such a lovely coastal spot we had to include it!

Scotch Beach 

If you’re a young adult looking to take a nice vacation, one of the best beaches on Block Island to visit is Scotch Beach. Scotch Beach has great stretches of white sand you can walk across to reach the gorgeous waves of the Atlantic. Bring a volleyball, too, because the beach also has volleyball nets for visitors to use. 

You’ll find the beach along Corn Neck Road. Don’t be surprised if you see boaters there, too! 

Block Island is home to one of the most charming beach towns in Rhode Island, and some of the most gorgeous beaches in the state. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite beach on this list!

Psst! Looking for where to stay during your Block Island beach vacation?

The Atlantic Inn is the perfect blend of classic New England beach vacation and modern boutique hotel! The blend of gourmet dining, ocean views, and luxury linens can send any Block Island vacation over the top, and it’s located within walking distance of a few of the beaches on this list.

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