No location is more emblematic of the blend—or clash, depending on how you view it—of Newport’s maritime past with modern development than Goat Island, where this modest and relatively ancient stone lighthouse stands alongside the massive Hyatt Regency Hotel. For almost 350 years, Goat Island, about six-tenths of a mile long in a north–south direction and now attached to the rest of the city by a causeway, has been utilized in just about every way imaginable—from fort to hotel, torpedo station to marina, barracks to condominiums.
Block Island is situated twelve miles south of the mainland (Rhode Island) and about fifteen miles northeast of southern tip of Long Island. Block Island is roughly pear shaped on a north-south axis, with the "stem of the pear" consisting of a sandy spit (Sandy Point) and a submerged sand bar which extends over 1-1/2 miles to the north. Some 500 vessels have come to grief on this obstruction over the years.