Mode of transportation
First, know that you’ll have to either take a ferry or take a commuter plane to the island. The standard ferry from Point Judith, RI takes about an hour. They also have ferries from Montauk, NY and New London, CT. They also recently introduced hi-speed ferries. If you plan to take a car into the island, reserve your space early. We’ve been known to reserve space 9 months before.
Note to all ferry riders: when the seagulls start flocking, make sure you have an overhang for shelter. These birds have excellent aim.
You really don’t need a car but we usually load all our goodies in it and hang our bikes off a rack to make getting the stuff to the hotel that much easier. Or you can just leave you car in the mainland and take one of the many taxis available on the island. At Point Judith, there is parking everywhere. The closest parking to the ferry is behind a tiny motel, The Lighthouse Inn. It has a giant Mr. Potato Head fisherman in the front.
The price for parking is $10/day or $15/day on holiday weekends.
On the island, taxis have a flat rate system. If you are staying in the town area, the average trip is $6.00 with luggage/bike.
Taxi drivers are extremely friendly. Most of the drivers I’ve spoken to don’t live on the island. In fact most people that work during the summer in the service industries have multiple jobs on the island just so they can spend their summer there.
You can hail a taxi anywhere. Most taxis are vans so they just stop and pick up people along the way. All are courteous and friendly. Ask them to take you to a great place for eats and each one will tell you a different place you never even thought of.
Once you’re on the island, the best mode of transportation in my opinion is the bike. You can rent bikes and mopeds and even convertible cars on the island but they are a bit pricey. (A moped rental averaged $55 for 2 hours this season.) Plus, mopeds are restricted to the paved roads.
I suggest bringing your own bike. One year, I rented a bike and the gears were horrible. Trying to make it up the hills was so painful, I wound up walking the bike up most hills. If you have your own bike, bring it. You’ll save money and you’ll have a better ride. Up until recently, I never locked my bike. I never had a problem until this past summer. I suggest you bring your lock with you.
But pantrygirl, I’m not very active. You are talking to the Queen of door to door service. When you wear 4 inch heels everyday to work you enjoy the comforts of cabs. The terrain is steep and hilly in some areas but if Pantrygirl can do it, you can do it. You don’t need to be Lance Armstrong to bike here. Just wear a lot of sunscreen. For the first two days, I was two toned. I looked like a cooked lobster, my front was pale and my back was bright red.