Turks & Caicos
Everything in Turks & Caicos is about the water, and it's the most beautiful color of turquoise you've likely ever seen. Crystal clear and warm you can literally be in or on the water all day every day.
- More about your oliver guide: Allison Handy
- Trip type: Family, Beach
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: One week
to & from
Turks & Caicos is one of the few Caribbean Islands you can get to with only one stop – United through Newark, American through Charlotte or Miami, and Delta through Atlanta. The airport is small, hot and chaotic. Dress to wait in long customs lines with no air conditioning upon arrival. Plan to have patience and practice being on Island time.
- You don't need a rental car. All of the big resorts will arrange transport for you. However, I highly recommend getting one for at least one day to explore the other parts of the island. There is an Avis in Grace Bay that you can get a car from for the day.
Where to Stay
There are so many great hotels on Grace Bay, many of which have family 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites. Seven Stars Resort was recommended to us and it was pretty amazing. Right in the center of Grace Bay, where you are welcomed with a cold hand towel and rum punch to ease you into vacation mode. It’s one of the larger resorts but nothing like a crowded US or Hawaiian hotel – plenty of wide open pool chairs and beach chairs, cabanas and continual poolside and beach side service. It has a modern coastal vibe.
- Grace Bay Club is another beautiful resort on Grace Bay with one of the best restaurants on the island - Infiniti. This resort is smaller and leans a bit more true modern aesthetic.
- The Palms is the third popular resort - it's a bit more traditional coastal in design (think Palm Beach) but also has fantastic accommodations for families.
Where to Eat and Drink
Infiniti at Grace Bay Club is the clutch reservation to get but fills a month in advance. But if you miss out, go for happy hour.
- Grace's Cottage - it's stunning with garden seating under lights and palm trees. The bar is beautiful. Pricey but worth it.
- da Conch Shack - have to drive 15 minutes from Grace Bay but everything a Caribbean beach shack should be. Toes on the sand, live music, an extensive rum menu and the conch fritters are out of this world!
- crest & berry - a brand new Acai and fresh smoothie space on the main drag in Grace Bay. When you just need something clean and healthy this pretty space is just perfect.
- Coco Bistro - we heard this is the other great spot - we didn't get in but multiple people we talked to there recommended it
- Bugaloo's - something fun and casual for the whole the family. Not on the water but very Caribbean casual.
- Island Scoop - You've got to get ice cream here - is great ambiance, delicious ice cream and friendly service. Or go for a departure from your heavy resort breakfast for a casual morning meal.
What to Do
BE ON THE WATER – that’s what you do here. That’s it – everything in Turks & Caicos is on the water and it’s the most beautiful color of turquoise you’ve likely ever seen. Crystal clear and warm you can literally be in or on the water all day every day.
- T&C has one of the best reefs in the world for snorkeling and diving. We snorkeled Smith Reef for sea turtles and eagle rays and Coral Gardens for plentiful and colorful reef fish. Your resort will loan out snorkeling equipment for you to use.
- Try to leave Grace Bay and drive around to discover other remote beaches - or get on the water with a boat to cruise around the island. We rented a private boat with captain and first mate for a day through Island Adventures. A splurge but the most perfect day. Captain Jack took us to some sand bars and beaches where we were the only people there. We
- Spa - each resort has a great one I'm sure - take advantage!
The sun is hot and powerful – lots of sunscreen.
- What you hear about island time is true. Expect service to be slow - drink your rum punch, relax and go with it.
Shopping – not that many stores and prices are really high for what it is. Though a stop at the Studio by Island Organics for all natural, organic skincare products is well worth it. Besides that, a few coral necklaces and conch rings that will break before the trip is over is all the kids need.
What to Pack
Swimwear, sun hats and sundresses. That’s it. Some nights you’ll walk to dinner either on the beach or along Grace Bay Road so leave your city heels at home. Most of the visitors are from the south so think coastal preppy vs. Hawaiian. Some of the nicer restaurants require pants and shoes for men but boys can still wear shorts.
- Leave the sweaters, jeans and jackets at home. It stays warm well into the evening.