A family vacation to Turks & Caicos is paradise year round. Whether you're looking for a warm-weather getaway or a beachy summer vacation spot, this tranquil Caribbean haven is ideal for families. Here's everything you need to know to plan the perfect family vacation to Turks & Caicos.
Photos by Becca Ingle
My family and I have been traveling to Turks & Caicos for 6 years now, and it truly only gets better every trip! Peaceful turquoise waters, some of the best beaches in the world, drool-worthy restaurants and engaging activities for all ages make unwinding and leaving your cares behind effortlessly easy.
For East Coasters, direct flights from Florida take you to the island in under two hours. The airport is small, so once you land going through customs and hopping into a taxi usually takes under 20 minutes. Turks & Caicos has roughly 40,000 full time residents and getting from one side to the other takes under an hour!
While the island is idyllic in every season with year-round highs in the 80s, you'll find less crowds and better deals during March, April and May while also still cashing in on some of the best weather. The winter months are the peak season so if you want to visit during this time, be sure to book early and plan for higher prices. The fall is the rainy season, which also means there are generally more mosquitos during these months. There's a possibility of hurricanes from June to November, but that also means there's less visitors during these months and sometimes you can even feel like you have the beaches and resorts all to yourself.
As soon as your sandals hit the island sand, you will feel the laid back vibe. There is not really a nightlife scene here, which makes it a great destination for families. You're never far from small grocery stores and local shops to grab whatever necessities you might have forgotten to pack and the range of hotels and restaurants means there's a place for everyone's budgets and tastes.
Courtesy of Grace Bay Club
When it comes to high class resort amenities and direct beach access, you can’t beat the Grace Bay Club. The consistent high level of service we've receive is worth every penny and earned it five stars in our book. The Villas are an ideal spot for us with the kids because they feature a full kitchen, plus a laundry area. (Pro tip: The best advice I ever got for traveling with kids was to do all your laundry before you go back home anytime you can!) Onsite butlers cater to your every family whim and they can even do all the grocery shopping for you before you arrive.
This private, quiet resort offers an array of pools and beach chairs that will have you in vacay mode in seconds. They also have free watersports for those looking to be a bit more active and a kids camp on site daily so parents can even get some much coveted alone time. Grace Bay Club also has our favorite onsite dining on the island, complete with live music on the beach. At the end of the day, unwind on your oversize private balcony and take in an unreal sunset.
Another great option for families, the Villa Renaissance is also located right on Grace Bay Beach. We visited this property during hurricane season and were thrilled to have the place almost entirely to ourselves. The pool is the center of the hotel, and if you get a room on the second level you can sit out on your balcony and overlook the pool for a great view. The property has several villas you can choose from depending on your needs. We opted for Villa 603, a one-bedroom suite with a pull-out couch for the kids and very comfortable king bed in a separate room for us.
There are many great shops and restaurants within easy walking distance from the property, as well as onsite food. We even ordered pizza one day from across the street and ate it at the hotel pool for a casual, laid-back lunch. They also feature a tennis center and plenty of comfy lounge chairs at the beach.
If you want a homier feel, Turks & Caicos has plenty of Airbnbs you can choose from. We especially loved our time in this Airbnb, atwo-bedroom house that was clean and spacious with a great location. The private pool outside was a highlight for the kids and we saved quite a bit of money cooking our own meals in the kitchen. To get around the island, we rented vespas, which made for fun family outings. What we loved about this spot:
Book a half day or full day adventure on their boat excursion online. They pick you up right on the beach in front of the resort. We have always felt like the 9am-1pm half-day option was ideal with younger kids, since we get back just in time for their naps. They have no age restriction for the boat, and since it’s a larger boat and the waters are calm, it's safe even for babies and toddlers. The tour features a snorkel tour followed by a trip to a private beach where they catch live conch and whip up a fresh lunch for you. They have a slide off the top of the boat and on the way back they stop and let everyone take turns zooming down it to make a splash in the ocean. There is also unlimited rum & punch for the parents, plus water & sodas for the kids.
Ride horses through the stunning island waters and get that quintessential vacation moment. The horses and ponies are well-trained so it's safe for kids, though the minimum riding age is 6. You can sign up for group tours or private tours online.
There are two companies on the island that offer this, Tours by free and TCI Flyboarding. We have had great experiences with both, though the location of TCI FlyBoarding is better with toddlers since it's easier to keep an eye on them. If you’re use to snowboarding or skateboarding, standing in the water on these power jets will come easily. And with some practice, anyone can do it. The whole experience is less than 20 minutes, but if you’re anything like my husband, you'll be wishing you could do it for hours. It is definitely a good leg work out!
If you want to feel like you are in the middle of a rainforest dining, head to this spot! It is one of the best places to dine on the island, so make sure you book reservations months in advance. If you can’t get into the restaurant, the airstream in the parking lot is open for dinner & has really good churros!
A hidden gem, Coyaba hits the nail on the head with every dish. They bring samples throughout your meal for you to try as well, so you get to taste a wide range of dishes and the atmosphere is cozy, with an indoor-outdoor Italian vibe. The wine list is impeccable, but fair warning, it's also pricey. The atmosphere is great for families and extremely welcoming. On a recent trip, we were even able to meet the head chef, who took time out of his busy evening to stop by tables to say hello and meet his fans.
Onsite at Grace Bay Club, our family has fallen in love with this spot and we often eat here multiple times during our stay. If you are staying at Grace Bay Club, it's incredibly convenient. Best of all, you can dine at several areas of the restaurant and have a completely different feel at each one. One option is to have an intimate dining experience by sitting by the beach (with kids this is great because they can play in the sand while you dine). Book this option so you're there for sunset for a real show. Another option is to eat at the long infiniti bar for a casual feel. And, a third option is to eat in the lounge area, where they serve a full menu by cozy fire pits and you can listen to live music while you dine. If you're a surf and turf lover like me, this place will not disappoint.
By Becca Ingle