So Block Island

New Harbor

Where to eat, drink and relax along the Great Salt Pond

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This cluster of bars, restaurants and hotels lining the southern shore of the island’s pristine Great Salt Pond is a 20-minute walk (or five-minute cab ride) up Ocean Avenue from Old Harbor, where the ferry arrives. Three marinas organize the layout. First comes Payne’s Dock, where a cluster of attractions includes the Block Island Maritime Institute’s sea-life touch tanks, a sure winner with kids or anyone who wants to see how fast a scallop can move (you’ll jump!) when a crab gets too close. The tanks are on the edge of the pond, right behind a building that houses the irresistible Payne’s Donuts. Next comes Dead Eye Dick’s, an old island favorite that’s recently upped its game (think updated classics like Nicoise salad and truffled lobster fettuccini). The Narragansett Inn is a lovely Victorian that’s the only historic hotel still run by the family that built it, and features a gracious porch with outstanding views of the pond at sunset, plus cocktails and well-executed seafood standards. Ocean Avenue turns into wooden docks after that, where you can grab a good burger at The Burger Bar at Payne’s Dock or sip that island classic, a frozen Mudslide, while listening to local favorite Walter McDonough play Irish tunes at Mahogany Shoals, a small shack built over the water and surrounded by million-dollar yachts that provide opportunities for ogling.

Go up West Side Road and the Boat Basin marina beckons down a short road, including a small marine shop and great sushi and fried chicken at The Oar. The next right leads to the large Champlin’s Marina, with a suite of amenities including Oceanwest Theater, small boat rentals, a pool for guests complete with tiki bar and restaurant, and Trader Vic’s, another bar built out over the docks, with a breezy second-floor patio.


WHERE TO FIND

Block Island Maritime Institute
Ocean Ave. 401-466-7938
bimaritime.org

Boat Basin
Jobs Hill Rd. 401-466-2631
blockislandboatbasin.net

Champlin’s Marina
West Side Rd. 401-466-7777
champlinsresort.com

Dead Eye Dick’s
Ocean Ave. 401-466-2654
deadeyedicksbi.com

The Narragansett Inn
Ocean Ave. 401-466-2626
narragansettinn.net

The Oar
Jobs Hill Rd. 401-466-8820

Oceanwest Theater
West Side Rd. 401-466-2971

Payne’s Dock
Ocean Ave. 401-466-5572

Payne’s Donuts
Ocean Ave. 401-466-5758

Burger Bar at Payne’s Dock
Ocean Ave. 401-466-5572

Trader Vic’s
West Side Rd.