Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
Grand Turk, the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, is a small island bursting with turn-of-the-century Caribbean charm, retaining the look and feel of the Caribbean 40 years ago. Grand Turk was founded by Bermudan salt rakers some three centuries ago and its Bermudan-British-colonial architecture surrounded by colorful local dwellings make the island a treasure to visit. It is recognized as being one of the first places in the New World where Christopher Columbus landed and also gained worldwide attention when John Glenn splashed down near Grand Turk on his historic first mission to space. Grand Turk is six miles long and just over a mile wide with a population of only 6,000. It is blessed with miles of uncrowded, beautiful beaches and is close to several uninhabited cays such as Gibb's Cay, home of the stingray encounter. While there are many landside attractions to explore such as the Old Prison, Lighthouse Park, and the re-created salt salina, the real beauty of the island lies underwater. Grand Turk is world-famous for its healthy and beautiful coral reefs that surround the island, stretching almost from the coastline to the 7,000-foot vertical wall just offshore.