The island’s nightlife tends to center around the anchorages of New Harbor. The most popular dance club is Captain Nick’s (Ocean Ave., 401/466-5670, www.captainnicks.com ), a rollicking “rock ’n’ roll bar” that imports live bands Tuesday through Sunday nights. In June, it hosts an annual music festival that brings in some 40 bands from out of town.
DJs and reggae bands perform at McGovern’s Yellow Kittens Tavern (Ocean Ave., 401/466-5855, www.yellowkittens.net ), a dance club and Mexican restaurant that specializes in frozen margaritas.
A more “alternative” crowd flocks to Club Soda (35 Connecticut Ave., 401/466-5397), a subterranean bar that features grungy rock bands, mudslides, and Philly cheesesteaks.
The most exciting time on the island is during Block Island Race Week (914/834-8857, www.blockislandraceweek.com ), held in June of odd-numbered years. Some 2,000 sailors and 200 boats from around the world vie for trophies during a week of regattas and onshore partying.
An off-season highlight of the island calendar is the Block Island Christmas Stroll (800/383-2474, www.blockislandinfo.com , late Nov.), a post-Thanksgiving celebration that lights up the streets of Old Harbor with music and merriment.