Grenada, Antigua, or Turks & Caicos?

Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Grenada, Antigua, or Turks & Caicos?

My husband and I are beginning to plan our vacation for next summer. Our favorite Caribbean spot is St. John, but I want to branch out a bit. Last summer we went to Aruba, and while we had fun, we were disappointed. Aruba couldn't begin to compare to the beauty of St. John and its beaches. I've narrowed down my search to Grenada, Antigua, and Turks & Caicos. Could someone provide us with any information on these islands, especially a comparison between these islands and St. John? Do Grenada, Antigua, and Turks & Caicos have lush scenery? How are the beaches? We are looking for crystal-clear water, beautiful and secluded beaches, good restaurants, and some sight-seeing. Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 03:42 PM
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I did not see St Barth's on your list. St Barth's beaches compare to St Johns as well as the topgraphy. The island is cleaner than St Johns. It has a very distinct French flavor. However there is very little sightseeing other than very pretty beaches. The town of Gustavia is a quant harbor town. Great dining experiences too.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 03:42 PM
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I've only been to Grenada, but have done some research on the other islands. Of the three, Grenada is by far the most lush and is the only one with a true rainforest. T&C is alot like Aruba -- flat and dry, and Antigua is in between, but more on the arid side. On Grenada, you will find white sand and clear water in the southwest, between the airport and St. Georges. This is the driest part of the island and is where most of the hotels are located. Because Grenada is a volcanic island, the other beaches are different shades of grey.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for the replies. St. Barth's would have been on my list if it was not so expensive. Do you have any suggestions for places to stay in St. Barth's that are reasonably priced? Brian, where did you stay in Grenada? I am looking at La Luna and LaSource. Do you know anything about these properties? How are their beaches? Thanks!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 04:49 PM
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We stayed at the Sereno Beach Hotel. The room rate included a car for the week (a must) and continental breakfast. The food at the hotel was expensive but there is a refrigarator in the room (Honor Bar we moved things around and made room for snacks and sandwiches.) There are more reasonable priced places to eat in St Jean as well as several nice deli's. If you decide to go don't miss Gouvernors Beach and Saline Beach. There are no facilities on either but they are great places for a picnic. If you are a Jimmy Buffett fan he wrote "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" at a liitle place in Gustavia called LaSelect.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 05:29 PM
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I've been to both Antigua and Turks and Caicos. Both were excellent destinations in my opinion. I think they are comparible in terms of scenery. I wouldn't think of either of them as being on the super lush side, I've heard of other places that are very hilly and filled with vegitation.

I think I preferred Antigua of the two destinations which is probably rare to hear. Turks has such a great reputation for beaches (and they are beautiful). It's also very peaceful an relaxing. The food in Turks is also excellent. We stayed at the Allegro and I gained weight.

Antigua however stole my heart. I can't put my finger on what exactly made it better. The beach we liked there was called Darkwood beach and it was comparable to the beaches found in Turks and was also very secluded. I know some will argue Turks has nicer beaches but I think I spent more time in the water in Antigua because it was a bit warmer. We loved our resort (Jolly Beach Resort) and I'd say it was nicer for grounds than Turks Allegro. I enjoyed the food in Antigua but must admit the Allegro resort won in this category. But overall I think we just did more in Antigua and spent more time on the beach. Either way you can't go wrong. Turks by the way is pricier to travel to if that weighs into the decision at all.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 06:19 PM
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Good point about water temperature. I prefer warmer waters. I was surprised that the waters in Aruba were much cooler than the waters in St. John - maybe it was because there was so much wind in Aruba that made us cooler. Did you think the water was clearer in Turks or Antigua, or were they comparable?
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 11:07 PM
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Becca,

I've been to T&C and Grenada. Grace Bay beach is beautiful and the water very clear, but it is not a lush island. The food was also very very expensive. unless you stay in an AI. We were only in Grenada for the day (2 weeks ago as a port stop) and fell in love with the island. It is very very lush, more dense than St. John. We did a private tour and saw quite a bit of the island. We had an incredible lunch at the La Sageese resort on the beach and we visited La Luna where we plan to stay when we return. The beaches were beautiful, but not as beautiful as St, John. We were just there also and spent the day at Trunk Bay, which as I am sure you know, is incredible.

I have not been to Antigua, but have heard that it is a beautiful island.

Good luck with your choices.



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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 04:11 AM
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I have visited all three of the islands you mention, and I would choose Grenada. While the beaches are not as nice as the T&C or Antigua, they are nevertheless gorgeous. And they are varied, ranging from white sand and crystal water at Grand Anse, to greyish sand bordered by lush stands of palms with a creek entering the sea at La Sagesse (very South Pacific looking).

But there is so much to explore in Grenada beyond the beaches -- dense vegetation, mountains, waterfalls, crater lakes, sulphur springs, spice plantations, rum distilleries, etc. You'll barely scratch the surface. Also, Grenada grows much of its own food, so there is a vibrant local cuisine and runs the gamut from cheap to pricey. Provo, on the other hand, is all about the beach (spectacular though it is); Antigua has a little more to offer, but is somewhat arid depending on the season.

Above all, however, Grenada has the most welcoming islanders. They make you feel like they WANT you on their island, and many of the older ones are still extremely appreciative of the US intervention in the 1980s. I can't say I felt the same welcome in Provo, and in Antigua, we found the residents downright chilly, despite our well-honed Caribbean manners.
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 04:12 AM
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I have been to TCI and Grenada. I loved both places. Grace Bay on Provo is astounding. Grande Anse in Grenada is equal if not better. TCI is arid and flat whereas Grenada is lush with a mountainous interior. While you can take interesting tours from Provo (snorkelling, the caves on Middle Caicos) the outings on the spice island are much more interesting and varied (tour spice factories, rum distilleries, rain forest hikes, waterfalls). Both islands are very safe with helpful locals. Both islands have some very good restaurants (TCI more expensive). Between the two and taking into account your description/love of St. Johns I would recommend Grenada.
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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Hi Becca.

I have also been to all three and couldn't possibly agree more with Callaloo! Reading that post was interesting as it echoed our experiences on all three islands exactly.

I would also suggest Grenada for all of the reasons previously mentioned. I will never forget the friendliness of everyone we encountered there from the taxi driver who gave us an island tour and shared his lunch with us, to the impromptu beach party we had with some locals on Grand Anse, to sitting under some shade trees and drinking Ting with a group of locals and policemen at one of the waterfalls.

Although the beautiful scenery would be enough to get me back to Grenada, it was the people there who I remember most fondly.

(We were also rebuffed on Antigua despite our best efforts. That's the only Caribbean island we've ever been to where that was the case.)

I just returned from my first trip to St John and agree with the others who said you would like Grenada if you like St John. But Grenada has MUCH more of an authentic island feel and flavor to it. Who knows, you may get a new favorite!
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 09:47 AM
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Hi Becca,
My husband and I love the USVI, too. There is so much to see in Antigua. We found it very enticing. There are many nice places to stay and a visit around the island is a must. There are a generous amount of beaches in Antigua, but you must understand that compared to St. John, you may be disappointed at any other beach. We found the food to be just under first class, but very good.
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 04:51 PM
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Becca, I've stayed at both the Flamboyant Hotel (4 times) and Grand View Inn (2 times). I prefer the simple, apartment-like accommodations because I don't spend much time there. La Luna is just down the road from both of these hotels. Last March I took a walk there to check it out. The hotel is very secluded, with a small, but nice shaded private beach. I've never been to La Source, but I know it is very close to the airport. The beaches in that area are white with clear water. This is the driest part of Grenada. During the height of the dry season, it is almost desert-like.
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 08:54 PM
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Hi Becca,

A bit late replying but if you are still trying to decide hope this helps.

You were asking about the water clarity in Turks and Antigua. I would probably have to say Turks had clearer water overall. Particularly because we were at a resort that has a reputation for it's "milky" water (the sand is fine and it got stirred up in the area we stayed in). Having said that, if you drove 5 minutes down from the Jolly Beach Resort (where we stayed) to a beach call Darkwood it was much nicer. I could see to my feet in water that was to my shoulders. In Turks the water is probably nice wherever you go on the Island.

I really thought the water at Jolly would be a turn off because there was alot of mention about the lack of clarity by previous travellers but it was still nice believe it or not. Again it's important to bear in mind that this was a specific area of Antigua and not reflective of other resorts or beaches on the Island. If I was going to go back to either place I'd still choose Antigua and would in fact stay at the same resort. I am a beach lover so that should tell you something!

Good luck once again. Any other questions just ask.


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Old Nov 25th, 2003, 12:08 PM
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I have to agree totally with Diana. The people of Grenada is what I remember most. There warmth surpassed any other island I have visited. It is a lovely island, rich in vegatation, and quite interesting. Turks & Caicos has a wonderful beach and the clariy of the water is good. Other than this it was a bit to quiet for my tastes. Antigua I visited for the day and did the beach at Dickensons Bay. We had a wonderful day there but we were on a cruise stop so cannot offer much more info. St. Johns I have never been to nor Aruba.
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Old Nov 27th, 2003, 09:27 AM
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Something to think about, if you are going to the Caribbean in the summer. Summer is hurricane seasion. The Turks & Caicos and Antigua are in the hurricane path where Grenada is far enough south to be out of the path.
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