by Michel Van Devender

After days of deliberation, we just cancelled our vacation to Mexico. The one where we’re supposed to leave in less than two weeks… insert long sigh. Now we’re scrambling to pull together a replacement trip. Long story short – with Mexico’s rising COVID numbers and low vaccination rates coupled with travel requirements and restrictions, we decided to bag international travel and stick with something domestic right now. Oh yeah, and we’re traveling with an unvaccinated kiddo who has asthma. Just doesn’t seem worth the worry and risk. I think vacation is supposed to be relaxing,

The past couple of days we’ve been plugging away researching beach destinations that check all of our boxes. In the eyes of my ten year old, I’m not sure anywhere else will compare to a stay at the Finest Playa Mujeres so his little box may be harder to check. Our U.S. search started more broad, including Hawaii, both east and west coasts as well as the Gulf of Mexico, before deciding to focus on east coast destinations. Not surprising, booking a family vacation a couple of weeks out limits your options, especially when you have certain accommodation criteria/standards (code for designer who requires stylish lodging). 

After coming up empty handed in the southern states, we shifted our focus to the northeast beaches. Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Nantucket have been on our vacation radar for years. While exploring the possibility of Montauk, I stumbled upon Block Island. We’ve never heard of this place. Just 14 miles east of Montauk this Rhode Island barrier island is brimming with a deep, rich history and an interesting, diverse landscape. Formed by deposits of the lower edges of two glaciers over 120,000 years ago, the small island was discovered by a Dutch explorer, Adrian Block, in 1614. I won’t bore you with all of the historical details, but let’s just say I did a little deep dive into Block Island. Down the rabbit hole I went!

At this point, I’m madly in love with this romantic, idyllic little island. Next, I google lodging, quickly spotting the images of the newly renovated, stylish Block Island Beach House. This hotel has quite the history of it’s own dating back to the late 1800s. Beginning as a private residence for the island doctor, the structure has a storied past, having experienced additions, renovations and iterations over the years. With it’s eclectic mix of furniture, wall papers, lighting, art and accessories, the boutique hotel is the epitome of bohemian surf shack style. It’s exactly our kind of of place to hang and lose track of time. And, who couldn’t use all the casual cool beachy vibes?

After playing around with our dates, available rooms and ferry reservations, I sadly couldn’t get the stars to align for a last minute trip to the Block Island Beach House. I even stood on my head and said a prayer. Room availability for a family is somewhat limited so it’s duly noted this is one of those places that requires some advanced planning, perhaps six months to a year out. The hotel also operates on an abbreviated season and ferry service follows suit. Regardless, Block Island is now on our list of places to visit. And when we do, we will definitely be staying in style right here! In the meantime, the search for our vacation destination continues. Please wish us luck… we’ll be heading somewhere in less than two weeks. Let’s go!



All images via Block Island Beach House, unless otherwise noted.

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