Ten thousand years ago, glaciers on the East Coast formed a landmass south of Rhode Island. Narragansett Indians called it “Manisses Island,” or “Island of the Little God.”  Now named one of 12 “Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere’ by The Nature Conservancy, Block Island is entirely unique in its geography and balance of native species.

With only 900 year-round inhabitants, Block Island is a haven of conservation. A third of the island is protected land, safeguarding the island’s rare and delicate ecosystem, including the 150 foot Mohegan Bluffs, which tower over the island’s most beautiful beach. Meanwhile, the Block Island Historical Society preserves the island’s history through architectural renovations on lighthouses that were erected during the Revolutionary War.

Block Island contains 365 freshwater bonds and 17 miles of free and public beaches. Hike or bike the Greenway trails, which stretch for more than 30 miles over hills and meadows. Observe the eclectic wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife that inhabit Block Island, such as camels, llamas, sheep, and emus. Other outdoor recreational options include horseback riding, snorkeling, fishing, parasailing, kayaking, and sailing.

Despite the wealth of natural beauty at your fingertips, don’t forget to hit the town for additional man-made marvels. Window shop or find the perfect gift at one of the fifty stores and specialty shops, and admire the works of local artists featured in a multitude of art galleries. Play tennis or basketball, go charter fishing, or relax on any of Block Island’s pristine beaches.