Thinking about your next beach-y adventure with your partner in crime WITHOUT kids in tow (we know; dreamy, right?)? Consider Turks and Caicos for a super relaxing adventure that’s just a short plane ride away. Holly Rosen Fink shares her travel tips and top picks.
If you can manage to escape without the kids for a quick getaway this summer, or anytime of the year, you should consider Turks and Caicos. For one thing, JetBlue offers flights from JFK daily, and Delta offers Saturday flights. United Airlines flies from Newark every day except Tuesday, and for our Philly readers, American Airlines flies daily to the island from PHL. The plane ride is just three short hours to the islands which have two full service international airports on both Providenciales and Grand Turk, so getting in and out is relatively easy.
In addition, the sea is a deep blue turquoise and the island offers plenty of respite and refuge from your daily routine. While not the cheapest of places to visit, the island offers a wide variety of hotel options, places to eat, and things to do on a variety of budgets. After just a few days on the island, you and your partner are likely to leave refreshed, rested and ready to come back rejuvenated.
We have the low-down on a short visit to Turks and Caicos without the kids in tow to expedite your planning process and relieve you of the ample research involved.
Things To Know Before You Go:
Turks and Caicos became a British Crown colony on its own in 1962 and still is one today. It wasn’t until the early 1980’s when Club Med Turkoise Resort opened that Providenciales – and Turks & Caicos in general – started to become a viable tourist destination. Since then, increasingly more development has taken shape, and the small country of Turks and Caicos has grown into what is quickly becoming recognized as one of the world’s premiere beach destinations. Travel to the Caribbean can’t get easier for the average American, as the main language is English and the primary currency is American dollars.
Turks and Caicos consists of two groups of islands, which are low-lying and formed by coral reefs. They are characterized by the sea, caves, caverns, and sea cliffs so the scenery is beautiful and dramatic. The long, white sandy beaches are numerous.
Best of all, the climate is tropical all year long. Winter temperatures average 75–80 °F (24–27 °C) and summer temperatures, 85–90 °F (29–32 °C). Hurricane season is between the months of June and November but don’t let that deter your visit.
Where to Stay:
Our Top Choice in Turks and Caicos is Ocean Club & Ocean Club West, a hotel (non-all inclusive) that sits in Providenciales (Provos) on Grace Bay Beach on the northeast coast of the island, between several other resorts and not far from Club Med. These sister properties are less than a mile apart so guests get reciprocal charging and are able to enjoy all of the services and amenities at both hotels. Situated on on the white sands of Grace Bay Beach and set amidst lush tropical landscaping, they offer condominium style suites with cozy Caribbean style architecture and island-influenced interior design. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, a washer and dryer, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating (with a net screen to keep out mosquitoes). If you or your partner needs to bring work with you, there is working Wifi all over the resort to make the room or the beach your office. Balconies offer beautiful views of the resort’s Caribbean Sea, multiple swimming pools, tennis court, and lush tropical gardens.
During the day, you can soak up the Caribbean vibe by the sea under an umbrella with a good book, take a long stroll on the beach, take in a game of tennis or a long bike ride outside the resort, drink cocktails by the pool, go for a kayaking or pony tour in the sea via an outside company.
Where to Eat:
At Ocean Club & Ocean Club West, you can dine in one of the hotel’s many onsite restaurants. Solana at Ocean Club West offers sushi and fresh fish from the sea right on the water; Opus offers upscale, romantic dining; and Cabana Bar & Grille offers a more casual dining experience with music and chatter. For travelers who like to get out and try more local cuisine to soak up the native vibe, head to Da Conch Shack, which makes for a great stop after the Conch Farm and is extremely affordable.
At Da Conch, it’s a common sight to watch fisherman on the job, catching conch, grouper, snapper and lobster, whatever is in season. Be sure to try to try the freshly caught fish and have a few glasses of rum punch. Be sure to sit at a picnic table near the water so you can watch the fishermen do their thing, bringing freshly caught conch right to the sands. Another good option is Caico’s Bakery, which is a short walk from Ocean Club West. It’s a popular eatery amongst natives where local delicacies are served. Just be warned: it is not a cheap option. There are many more other, more affordable options outside the resort, but Caico’s is special.
What to Do:
The good news is that days in Turks and Caicos tend to be long and dreamy, especially when there are no children in tow. You’ll have time to enjoy the sunshine, swim in the ocean or pool, and take long walks on the beach or bike rides into town. The sunsets are gorgeous, and merit a sail in the evening. If you and your partner are feeling more adventurous and crave water sports, contact Big Blue Unlimited. They’ll pick you up at your hotel and drop you back at the end of the trip. From stand up paddle boarding to kayaking to kiteboarding to snorkeling to encounters with whales and dolphins, their trips are equipped with guides who are informative and certified to ensure a high quality experience. You won’t go wrong with whatever activity you choose.
Here are a few tips to know before you arrive:
- If you’re looking to book a trip to Ocean Club Resorts this summer, you can save up to 30% on a vacation to Ocean Club Resorts with the Stay 7, Pay for 5 / Stay 10, Pay for 7 offer, valid now through August 31 for reservations made by June 15.
- You don’t need to rent a car if you are staying at Ocean Club Resorts or another hotel on Provos. It’s easy to get around and cabs are easy to get.
- Bring ample bug repellent to avoid mosquito bites, as well as plenty of sunscreen.
- Arrange shuttle transportation in advance of your arrival to avoid confusion at the airport, and being ripped off.
- Bring your SLR camera – the sea is so photogenic and you will want to frame shots when you get home, or at least share with your children.
- Definitely experience the sea – swim daily, watch the sunset over it, go snorkeling, paddleboarding or kayaking. It’s the bluest you can get, and it’s warm and inviting.
If you fancy coming back again, maybe you’ll bring the kids next time or maybe you’ll make this an annual or semi-annual trip for just the two of you. Whatever, the case, enjoy your trip to Turks and Caicos without the kids.
Disclosure: Ocean Club Resorts was responsible for the cost of this writer’s trip but all opinions are her own.
Holly Rosen Fink is a marketing consultant and writer living in Larchmont, New York.