Block Island. In the summer, the island is full of bathing suit-clad tourists on bicycles. The beaches are free, enticing entire families to ferry across for a little sun and fun. But come here off-season, and you’ll have the place to yourself.
The island boasts two historic lighthouses, 17 miles of pristine beaches, and the Mohegan Bluffs. These clay cliffs are located on the southeast corner of the island, rising 185 feet above Corn Cove Beach.
This image was made at sunrise in early November. The beach at Corn Cove is covered with rocks of all shades and sizes — I chose to include a white granite rock in the frame as a counterpoint to the colorful sky in the east.
Block Island lies 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island — it’s easily accessible via the year-round Block Island Ferry leaving from Point Judith. You’ll need to ferry your car over to the island since rental agencies shut down after tourist season.
Mohegan Bluffs is a both a sunrise and sunset destination, but only at times when the bluffs receive direct sunlight at the edges of day. I prefer to visit in October or November, when the morning sun is visible from the southeast.
You can reach the bluffs from Spring Street, just past Southeast Lighthouse. Soon after the lighthouse, you’ll come to a dirt parking lot on your left. From here, walk the trail that leads to the very long staircase down to Corn Cove Beach. I can assure you that the hike back up is a very good workout!
The best photography on the island requires an overnight stay. I know of only one place to lodge during off-season months: The 1661 Inn. It’s a charming place with ocean view and pleasant off-season rates.