Block Island Ferry - Seasonal
I took the ferry from Fort Adams State Park to Block Island in July, leaving at 9.15am and returning to Fort Adams at 6.45pm. Because I went in July the ferry was crowded and anticipating this, I arrived, with my bike, at 8.45 at which point they were starting to board. There were enough seats on the top outer deck for everyone, esp. when after leaving Newport it turned cold and foggy. Most people retreated to the snack bar inside! The ride took 2 hours and wasn't rocky at all. I normally get a bit sea sick and felt o.k. Arriving into Block Island harbour you have the option of renting a bike or a moped and walking it. I took my bike which saved me time and money and let me ride off to other less crowded parts of the island whilst those on the ferry waited to rent theirs. Personally, if you can't bring over a bike, then I would rent one because if you're stuck with just your feet, you're limited to certian parts of the island. The shops and restaurants all seemed to be along Water Street, the 1st street you come across after walking out of the ferry dock. If shopping and eating are your main interests, then you'll probably be happy just to walk around here but BE WARNED. It's crowded! If you want to visit one of the beaches, see the lighthouse or just take a look at more rural and far less commercial parts of B.I., then you'll need 2 wheels. And I recommended getting off the beaten track as you really don't get to see the best parts of the island staying in that one area. I loved Crescent Beach and cycling around quiter parts of the island. Disliked the urbanites roaring around on their mopeds. When I visited in July it was VERY CROWDED. If you can, visit September (ferry runs JULY 1ST- SEPTEMBER 6TH). Or avoid weekends. Also, 2 sales assistants in 2 different stores were quite unhelpful and seemingly had no personal service skills. O.k, it's peak season and the store is busy, but that's not my fault. COST: $13.80 per adult return, plus around $5 for a bike, which is definitely a saving on renting a bike the other end.
Newport China Trade Company
One last picture of a fine building, this time in Franklin Street.
This is an Antiques shop, one of many to be found in Newport, and situated at 8 Franklin Street. RI 02840
Brick Alley Pub
Family-friendly, but also a great date restaurant. Huge salad bar, amazing margaritas, massive menu! There are a million restaurants in Newport, but this is the one I always return to. NACHOS! The nachos here are consistently voted the best in Rhode Island.
Drinks are good...food, so, so
We were walking along Thames Street doing a little shopping when I suddenly became a bit hungry and decided to try this place out.
The restaurant/bar is quite nice with a few booths large enough to sit a party of 6, a nice size bar, scattered tables and an upstairs dinning section. As we entered we were immediately seated in a booth and handed menus. The menu has the typical Irish fare and a few other interesting items as well as a nice selection of beers including my Leffe Blonde (I decided to have a soda with my lunch though).
We looked over the menu and I decided to have the Bourdock's Fish and Chips and Ferni had the chicken strips with Busker Fries (he later changed it as the fries weren't good at all).
The waitress brought our drinks, took our order and disappeared. The restaurant was crowded but manageble, but we couldn't understand the long wait for our food. When our order arrived we noticed the Busker fries looked a bit burnt! Yuk, I don't like burnt fries and Ferni doesn't either. I was a bit displeased but figured the fish should be good, but that too was not so good. It had way too much batter masking the fish. I decided to remove most of the batter and see if the fish was good, which to my surprise what quite good. I didn't touch my fries and when the waitress came by to ask how was everything, Ferni mentioned the fries, whcih she promptly removed and said she would bring another plate. She later brought him a plate of regular shoe string fries which were so much better.
The service was okay, nothing extraordinary and the food was the same, okay....I'd give this place another shot when it comes to the food and probably order something along the lines of a burger, which everyone esle seemed to be enjoying.
** Ferni and I decided to come back later on that evening as I had noticed they carried my Leffe Blonde, my favorite beer. As the bar was quite crowded we sat a yet another booth. To my disappointment, they were out of Leffe Blonde** I ordered the Bourdock Fish & Chips which was a bit of a disappointment. The fish had too much batter, but the fish itself was quite tasty, I dissected the batter off the fish which made a big difference. Ferni had the chicken strips which he said were just okay...the Busker fries weren't what we would call good, so we changed them for shoe string fries.
The food was okay, nothing great, so if I do come again for a meal, I will probably try their burger.
One place I liked about Newport is Bowen's Wharf. Like many wharfs arounf the world, this typical wharf has everything tourists like: small shops, nice views and great restaurants (you can even buy lobsters directly off the wharf).
Everything is a little more expensive due to the huge amount of tourists that arrive there, but it's worth the trip. Quite enjoyable.