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Explore the dreamy Turks & Caicos

On the dreamy Turks and Caicos Islands, world class luxury hotels, spas, and restaurants await you, as do famous stretches of uncrowded beaches and vibrant coral reefs. Whether ashore or on and below the water, you’ll be able to vacay and relax within the unique serenity, hospitality and wonder of the majestic islands.

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Exploring the Turks and Caicos Islands will seem like you are tripping down Alice’s rabbit hole. They are under British rule, but the currency is the U.S. dollar. Traffic moves on the left, but most rental car steering wheels are on the right. You also won’t find one McDonald’s or KFC fast food restaurant.

What you will find is one of the world’s most stunning shorelines of Grace Bay Beach. The 12-mile porcelain white crescent of sand is fronted by the sort of turquoise and beryl-hued colored waters that Instagram dreams are made of. The color and clarity come partially from the crushed pink coral of the ocean floor which is found only in this a part of the South Atlantic.

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A protective coral reef enables safe lagoon swimming for youngsters, easy snorkeling, and excellent diving and bone fishing. But if you desire to simply relax, the islands vibe is all about tranquility and more beach chic exclusive than overdeveloped. Although numerous resorts have opened on Providenciales, which is basically the only island developed for tourism, there are just two small shopping centers and hotels here that blend into their natural environment.

Turks and Caicos’ location, which is technically within the Atlantic hurricane belt, often spares it direct hits from major storms, although Hurricane Ike did pummel the outer islands of Grand Turk and South Caicos in 2008.

If you travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands during the off-season, which is June through October, you’ll be able to score serious lodging deals and likely have great weather on Providenciales. Expect prices to skyrocket during the peak season of December through April. The typical temperature is between 85F and 95F degrees in the summer, falling a little to 80F in winter. With abundant sunshine throughout the year, the islands are a perfect year-round destination.

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Fresh fish and shellfish are staples in the Turks and Caicos. The islands’ geography doesn’t lend itself to growing much in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables, so a traditional local dinner will mostly likely be fresh seafood accompanied with peas and hominy. Conch, the local delicacy, is on nearly every menu and served dozens of ways, with fritters probably the most common. Rum and native beer are the popular alcoholic beverages although you can find almost any mixed drink at any given restaurant.

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The Turks and Caicos aren’t a nightlife destination so you will not find much open past 10 p.m., except at the resorts, making it perfect for honeymooners, couples, or families trying to find a quiet getaway. Food and drink here are often pricey, so if you intend to consume plenty of both, consider renting either a villa or a residence-style hotel room with a full kitchen to cut down on costs.

Grace Bay is among the world’s most beautiful beaches and is additionally an excellent place to don a mask and snorkel, as you can literally walk out to perfect snorkeling spots. The coral and fish here are abundant and colorful so bring your waterproof Go-Pro.

These gorgeous islands are surrounded by the turquoise waters and pink flamingos which make it an Instagram dream. From scuba diving on Grand Turk to horseback riding on the white sand of Long Bay Beach, you will be able to spend lots of time enjoying life in and near the water.

But you’ll also find a fascinating National Museum, shopping in and round the capital of Cockburn Town, the craftsmen of the Conch Shack and, speaking of conch, a deep dive into farming that favorite local delicacy.

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