The Block Island ferry runs year round, with daily ferry service from Pt. Judith, RI & in summer from Newport, RI; plus a high speed ferry From Pt. Judith, RI during season. There are also high speed ferries running out of New London, CT and Montauk, NY during Summer.
If the seas are high and the ferries are canceled, or if you want to make it to Block Island in under fifteen minutes you can easily fly from Westerly, RI on New England Airlines. Give 'em a call at 1-800-243-2460.
If you are sailing or motoring over to Block Island on your own vessel, you can dock at one of three marinas or anchor in the Great Salt Pond located in New Harbor, or the state dock located in Old Harbor where the Block Island Ferry docks.
Only the slow boat from Point Judith, RI takes cars. A reservation is required. It's best to make your car reservation as soon as you know your date of arrival to ensure yourself a spot.
You may also take your car over on stand by. This is first come, first serve and you may have to wait through several ferry trips to get your car on. If your car is small you can get lucky and get right on. Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days as delivery trucks have standing reservations.
Please do not bring more cars than you need. The island is very easy to navigate, it's super small, taxi's are readily available in season. Parking is impossible in town in summer and the roads are increasingly congested.
Parking in Point Judith, RI: As you come down the escape road toward the ferry dock you will see signs for parking. These are all privately run parking lots. They are currently charging $10-$15 per calendar day in summer and $5-$10 in the off season. That means that if you park over night you pay for 2 days. Enterprising, isn't it?
The first parking lot you see is run by Rosie the Lobster Lady. You'll see her lobster truck right there. There's usually an enthusiastic flagger summoning you in. She also sells season passes: $150 for Rhode Island residents and $250 for out of staters. Right across from the ferry there are 2 lots, pretty much the same deal.
Bargain Hunters read on...
If it is the bargain you seek, continue driving past the ferry dock and stay to the left. (this is a one way street) This will take you past private residences that offer parking for $5-$10 per day. I would say that these lots are as safe as any, none of them provide 24 hour security including the state parking lot. Continue around the bend to the left and you will run into the state parking lot run by Rhode Island's DEM. Rates are $10 per day or buy a season pass: $150 for Rhode Islanders or $250 for out of staters, $75 for senior citizens. 2 Cars in the same family can share the pass as long as only one car is parking at a time. This lot sometimes fills up around the holidays and in July & August.
Do not Park on the Streets Overnight. There is four hour on the streets. You will get a ticket or be towed.
One last thought - the Block Island Ferry waits for no man (or woman!) so leave yourself plenty of time for traffic and to park your car. If you are speeding to make the ferry, that's the last excuse the many officers of Narragansett want to hear, you will get a ticket AND miss your boat.