There are some charming little islands dotted along the East Coast, with the likes of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard being just a couple of fine examples. Block Island is another beautiful place to visit. This little island, not far off the coast of Rhode Island and only 14 miles away from Montauk Point on Long Island, was named after a Dutch captain named Adriaen Block.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

Block Island is home to a little over a thousand people, but it attracts huge numbers of visitors each year, especially during the summer months for its Fourth of July Parade and celebrations. There are some very interesting landmarks and locations to vist around Block Island too, including the Mohegan Bluffs, the Southest Lighthouse, the walking trails around Rodman's Hollow, and the Block Island Historical Society Museum.

The island also boasts around 17 miles of soft, sandy beaches, with the likes of Crescent Beach being among the most scenic and popular. In short, Block Island is a lovely place to visit, and you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to plan a day trip to Block Island. Here's how to enjoy the perfect Block Island day trip.

Getting to Block Island

If you're planning a trip to Block Island, there are two main ways to get there: ferry and plane. Many people tend to think that Block Island is too far away for a day trip, but millions of people live two hours or less away from the ferry ports or airports serving the island. Those living in Rhode Island naturally have very easy access to Block Island, but even if you live a little further afield like in Boston or New York City, you can still effectively plan out a day trip to Block Island.

Getting to Block Island by Ferry

There are many different ferry services connecting Block Island with various mainland ports. Here are some of the most popular options:

- A ferry runs from Point Judith in Rhode Island across to Old Harbor on Block Island. This is actually the only ferry able to transport cars over to the island, so if you'd like to take your vehicle with you, this is the ferry to choose. The journey lasts for around an hour and it's wise to reserve your tickets in advance, especially if traveling with a vehicle.

- A high-speed ferry also runs from Point Judith to Old Harbor, but this is only available in the tourist season (from May through to October). The journey takes just thirty minutes. You can also take a high speed ferry from Fall River in Massachusetts or from Newport in Rhode Island.

- Those traveling out of Connecticut can take a Block Island Express ferry to Old Harbor from New London. This port is right by an Amtrak station, so it's quite convenient for people who live inland but want to plan a day trip to Block Island. This ferry includes a layover at Orient Point on Long Island, so it can take over two hours to actually get to Block Island.

- Anyone traveling from New York City or Long Island can take a ferry from Orient Point across to Block Island. The journey takes around two hours in total.

Getting to Block Island by Plane

Direct flights run from Westerly, Rhode Island over to Block Island. The flight time is a little over ten minutes, so it's one of the fastest flights you could ever take, and it's very easy to get to Westerly from many locations around New England via Amtrak or buses. You could also choose to reserve a spot on a private or charter plane to Block Island.

Important Information and Things to Do at Block Island

- Getting Around Block Island - Block Island is quite a small place and it's easy to make your way around on foot. If you do want to get around a little more quickly, you cna choose to rent a bicycle or moped. Those traveling on the Rhode Island ferry service could also bring their cars over and drive.

- Best Time to Visit Block Island - Block Island is a lovely location at any time of year, and the best time for you to visit Block Island will depend on your own preferences and desires. Many people love to visit the island for the Fourth of July celebrations, which are truly some of the best in the country, but if you prefer to avoid the crowds and noise, visiting Block Island in early fall (September or October) is a good idea.

- Things to Do on Block Island - There's plenty to see and do at Block Island. Most trips will begin at the Old Harbor, so it's a good idea to spend a little time here. The Old Harbor historic district is replete with stunning buildings, as well as a visitor center and some great beaches too. Those heading to Block Island purely for beaches should head to Crescent Beach first of all. It has plenty of room and very soft sands. Renting a bike and cycling around the island's paths and roads is another nice way to have some fun with family and friends. You won't find too many stores on Block Island, but there are some good seafood restaurants and ice cream places too.