Coming to T&C soon!

Old Dec 29th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Coming to T&C soon!

We are a family of 5 with an extra adult for help with the kiddos. I have a few questions regarding transportation, safety and general things to do. We are staying on the far east side of the island, and it appears from google maps, there's not much around for restaurants and shops. I would love a recommendation on a cozy place on the beach to grab lunch and a drink, and a nice place to being the family?. Also, any recommendations on car rentals? As for safety, anything we should be aware of for personal safety, or any food consumption concerns, or water consumption? Lastly, we would like to venture out to try a few different beaches, any recommendations, and do you have to buy a permit for access?
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Old Dec 29th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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We rented a car last month for one day through Thrifty and they were excellent (brought the car to the resort and picked it up there as well). The one thing they told us that I thought was interesting was that we shouldn't lock the car if we parked it at the beach or other out of the way places. This way, if someone was going to break into the car, they wouldn't have to break the windows! That being said, we didn't have any concerns for our personal safety and wandered all over the island. Have fun!
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Old Dec 29th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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Do your kids like Mexican food? We really love SOMEWHERE cafe on Grace Bay Beach. It's located next to The Windsong Resort. Very casual atmosphere, good Mexican food, drinks, good views from the top level of the restaurant.

In November, we visited DA CONCH SHACK for the first time, and liked that, too. They serve fish n chips, cracked conch, conch soup, etc. It's a very basic kind of place, but right on the beach, away from the hotels. They also sell conch shells and t-shirts.

A little farther on from DA CONCH SHACK is a place called SAILING PARADISE, in the BLUE HILLS section. We haven't visited yet, but hope to get there soon. It serves Jamaican jerk dishes and seafood of all kinds. Supposedly, it has a very beautiful location on an uncrowded beach. I've heard that the owner will send a shuttle to the hotels to pick you up, but no idea if he will pick you up from the rest of the island.

We've also gone to HEMINGWAYS at THE SANDS HOTEL, also on Grace Bay. It was fine for lunch, nothing special, but is beachfront and has a kid-friendly menu.

Two places we've tried and loved at dinner that seem very family-friendly are: MANGO REEF and BAY BISTRO, both of which I'd highly recommend. I also love COCO BISTRO, but it's more of an adult atmosphere, expensive, and the food can take a while to arrive.

About safety: We've been advised not to walk the beach after dark. No special precautions about food or water. Have a great time!
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Old Dec 29th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Lastly, I wanted to mention LAS BRISAS. I had a chance to visit that area in November, but didn't get to eat at the restaurant. It's got great reviews online, and also offers a daytime pontoon ride around the Sound on its private boat. Might be fun for your kids!
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Old Dec 30th, 2012, 07:06 AM
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Da Conch Shack for sure---Sun. live music starting at 2pm. Lots of beautiful shells for sale, the kids will love choosing one and watching them clean out the meat is interesting.

Tiki Hut,Turtle Bay---nice outdoor seating on the boat harbor and kid friendly food, great desserts. Pretty at night. Haven't been there for lunch.

Mango Reef, Hemingway's, and Sesaide Cafe at Ocean Club West---all on the beach. Good for lunch or dinner.

Las Brisas at Chalk Sound---gorgeous views, pontoon ride around the sound, very good Mexican food and other sandwiches for lunch, plus some tasty tropical drinks (loved the blue one, can't remember the name of it.)No beach though.

Bay Bistro---tables right on the sand with tiki torches. Gorgeous at night and fantastic food--pricy, but great for a treat.

Giggles ice cream shop at Ports of Call---fun for all.

Many of the resorts have beach BBQ's which would be fun for the kids---check it out.

A bit of a warning----the food can be spicy, even the ff's, chicken & fish fingers, so ask if that's a concern for the kids. At Danny Bouys Irish restaurant the ff's were so spicy even we couldn't eat them and we like spicy food. I know our grandkids would like the ck. & fish to be a bit plainer. Most places have pasta, but again ask about the sauce or get plain butter. Then again, maybe your kids are more adventuresome when it comes to food.

As far as safety is concerned, we have always felt safe even walking the streets at night. Our car rental also told us to crack a window, leave the door unlocked, and leave nothing in the car. At the resorts, things left on our chairs(books, etc. and a little money in our bags) has never been touched while we swam. Just use normal caution and you should be OK.

We used this car rental and will use it again
http://www.gracebaycarrentals.com/

Someone else will have to tell you about beach fees as we are at a resort on the beach.

Hope I've helped a bit. Have fun.
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Old Dec 30th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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no permit for beach accesses, numerous free parking lots for miles up and down the beaches.

You have to bring your own chairs, umbrellas. There is no where to rent, and chairs and umbrellas belong to resorts for their guests. Even if you eat lunch at any of the resorts, pools,chairs and lounges are off limits.

Cars, Grace Bay Car Rentals, Thrifty and Avis are all good.

Staying in Leeward area? Very close to everything, supermarkets, golf, shops, restaurants.

no food or water concerns, except for your wallet and stay hydrated

Great lunch places, Da Conch Shack, Bay Bistro, Hemingways

Safety in general is fine, proceed like you would anywhere (don't leave things in rental cars, don't leave things laying on the beach if walking away, lock doors at night, etc)
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 05:04 PM
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Thank you all for the advice, we can't wait!! It looks like a lovely island! One last question, how's employment as I may want to stay after my visit!!!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 04:05 AM
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Employment laws, as most islands, are extremely hard.

Expats tend to be realtors or property managers, sometimes resort managers (which requires experience)

All jobs for foreigners require work permits, renewed annually starting at $9000 a year.

Most get the job, have the company set them up and pay for permits.

There are no taxes.

You also have to get a job that a Belonger doesn't want or is not qualified for.

You could also consider investing, renting and retiring with a villa
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