Vogue – I’m not a stranger to Block Island. As a young girl, I made a much-anticipated day trip out to the island with my family every summer. But I always wanted to explore its beauty beyond our annual harborside lunch, to see what most people missed in a day. When New England-based Lark Hotels reopened the iconic Surf Hotel as the Block Island Beach House in July, I booked a roundtrip ferry ticket for one, jumping on the chance to explore the hotel and island I glimpsed every year as a child.

I snagged an enviable top deck seat for the ferry ride from Fall River, Massachusetts. On our way, we picked up more daytrippers in the tony town of Newport, Rhode Island before setting out to sea. Block Island is unique in that, on any given summer day, ferries arrive in its two harbors from four states: Rhode Island (Newport and Point Judith), New York (Montauk), Connecticut (New London) and Massachusetts (Fall River).

The island takes the shape of a 10-square-mile pork chop sitting south of the Rhode Island coast. Formally incorporated as New Shoreham, it’s the smallest town in the country’s smallest state—a microcosm of what to love about coastal New England. With over 300 miles of old stone walls, sloping beaches framed by blackberry brambles and a Del’s frozen lemonade (a Rhode Island delight) around every corner, it’s no wonder this place mesmerizes visitors…

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