established in 1984
The property was bought by the Newhouse family in 1979 (Robert and Mary, and their three daughters, Alisa, Sarah, and Andrea) from New York City. The Sea Breeze was originally built in the 1920's by the Cyr family, and used as a boarding house for the local fishing community. The Sea Breeze Gallery was first established on the property in 1981, and was the first mixed-media gallery on Block Island. Filled with original art by local island artists, as well as artists from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the New York area. Mary Newhouse featured her abstract landscape paintings, watercolors, and hand formed ceramics, and Alisa Newhouse showed her blown glass pieces in the gallery.
The Newhouse family then had the idea to start a small B+B in one of the cottages on the property. After renovations, The Sea Breeze was established in1984. The Inlet Cottage was designed to be a simple and affordable alternative. The Sea Breeze became a sought after place to stay, as word spread and Block Island gained in popularity as a vacation destination. Block Island remains unique due to the dedication of the town to preserve the natural landscape, small-scale architecture, and Victorian-era buildings. Over 40% of the island has since been designated as preserved thanks to organizations such as The BI Nature Conservancy
Over the years, Mary and Bob Newhouse became involved in the island community, spearheading several environmental committees such as The Committee for The Great Salt Pond, and Scenic Block Island. Mary Newhouse also joined the town planning board and advocated for strict zoning laws to limit the building expansion that was overtaking the small island and which to this day continues to threaten the look and character that makes Block Island so special. The Newhouse family, wanting to give back to the community, bought adjoining ocean-front land and donated it to The Land Trust of Block Island. The idea was to forever protect this coastline, full of wildlife and migratory birds, from any further development.
One of our missions from the very beginning was to keep our business sustainable, and to encourage this we limit our use of the islands fragile natural resources. Our ten guestrooms do not have tv's, air-conditioners, radios, or other electronic devices. We do not have wifi either (a ten minute walk will bring you to the Island Free Library with the best free wi-fi on island). We try and tread lightly and ask our guests to do the same. We want to share what makes Block Island so special to our family - a real vacation from "mainland life" and one where you are given the opportunity to "unplug" and become immersed in the natural environment.
We hope to welcome you to The Sea Breeze and magical Block Island.
The Newhouse Family