I love living in New England. Boston is a beautiful city. HOWEVER, there is one time of year that makes me question why I decided to live here….WINTER. We got off to a bad start this year: blizzard after blizzard. 9+ feet of snow in city! So, of course, I had to plan my escape… if only to spend a long weekend with my toes in the sand, relaxing in the warmth of 80-degree weather with incredible views of turquoise water and palm trees and a piña colada in my hand. Read more about our short getaway to the Islands below…
I just returned a few weeks ago from one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever taken. Four of my closest friends and I decided to reunite in Providenciales (nicknamed “Provo”), part of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Not a lot of people have heard of these islands, and I hesitate to let the secret out, because it still remains one of those hidden gems that not everyone has discovered yet. We were some of the few American tourists in the area. The beaches were not very crowded, so we were able to enjoy our short time relaxing and thawing out.
We stayed in the Grace Bay area. Grace Bay Beach has consistently been rated in the top 3 best beaches in the world, and it definitely deserves its place there! The beach was clean, wide, miles long, safe for swimming, reefs right of the beach for snorkeling, small waves, crystal clear water, not too crowded, amenities nearby, or in other words, absolute perfection. The locals were super friendly, too. We didn’t plan any major activities for this trip, nor did we plan to explore the other nearby islands. Mostly, we just sat on the beach, took dips in the ocean, ate good food, and enjoyed the time we rarely have to catch up, just us girls. And that was just what we needed.
- When you arrive at the Provo airport, shared taxi vans will be waiting outside to take you to your accommodations. They’ll ask you what area you’re going to and will fit in as many people as they can and might make a few different stops. Be aware they charge per person. I’d be wary if they try to charge you more than $15 per person to the Grace Bay area.
- I wouldn’t recommend renting a car, unless you feel comfortable driving on the left side of the road. If you find a taxi driver you like, ask for their card and give them a call when you need a ride somewhere.
- We stayed at Sibonne Beach Hotel in Grace Bay, one of the first hotels in the area. It’s a boutique hotel with only 28 rooms and right on the best part of Grace Bay beach. We thought it was the best value. Book well enough in advance, as the rooms sell out quickly. It’s well worth it to stay beachfront, and I highly recommend this hotel.
- The Bay Bistro restaurant at the Sibonne hotel is right on the beach with the most amazing views. People come from other resorts for their famous brunch and homemade ice cream.
- One of our favorite restaurants on the island is called Mr. Grouper’s restaurant. Caribbean cuisine, fun music, casual/relaxed atmosphere, mostly local diners, and decent prices for the island. Best known for their Conch chowder and Coconut-crusted grouper. Service is friendly, but definitely runs on “Island time.”
- Crackpot Kitchen was my other favorite place to eat. A little pricey, but well worth it for an evening out with delicious food, live music, and dancing. The chef and owner of the restaurant came out and greeted us and asked each one of us to dance with him. Apparently, he’s famous on the island for having his own reality TV show!
- A great place to go snorkeling is called The Bight Reef. The reef is located right off the beach in front of the Coral Gardens resort, but anyone can go snorkeling. We had our own masks and snorkels, but you can also rent equipment there. We saw lots of colorful fish and had great visibility.