5 Day Travel Guide to Grand Cayman

I surprised my fiance with a 30th birthday trip to Grand Cayman for 5 days, which literally felt like 5 days in paradise! We were absolutely blown away by the beaches, the food, people and of course the ever famous String Ray City. Even after a month of vacationing there, I can’t stop thinking about going back for another visit. For me, Grand Cayman tied with Turks and Caicos as my #1 favorite island in the Caribbean!

Grand Cayman is the most developed island of all the Caribbean islands. It is a British Territory with a population of around 53,000 people and is the largest of the three Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman).
Situated 272 miles below Cuba, Grand Cayman is only an hour and a half flight from Miami. If you can visit sometime in January or February, you can usually find flights for under $500 roundtrip from anywhere in the US. We visited in mid January and a non-stop flight from New York City was only $350 roundtrip on JetBlue. Most people travel less after the Holidays so you can score cheap flights almost anywhere in the Caribbean during these months. We’ve made it an annual tradition to spend a week in the Caribbean this time of year because it’s so affordable and because you can’t beat spending a week in 75 degree weather when it’s 30 degrees in New York City!

The main beach on Grand Cayman is Seven Mile Beach. Most of the resorts located here are pretty expensive, but worth the money if you’re looking to lounge on the beach all day. When we travel, we typically stay in an air bnb because we spend most of our time out exploring and therefore, don’t feel that resorts are worth the expense. At the end of the day, it’s just a place to sleep! I booked an affordable air bnb in South Sound which was a 5 to 10 minute drive from Seven Mile Beach about 70% less in price than the resorts located on Seven Mile Beach. The cheapest hotel I could find on Seven Mile was around $350 after taxes and resort fees vs. our $110 per night air bnb.

I like a good mix of relaxing beach days and adventurous days when I travel anywhere, so we opted into renting a car while visiting to explore different areas of the island. You will not need a car if you plan to stay at a resort as many places are walkable on Seven Mile Beach and most resorts have fantastic bars and restaurants. However, I highly recommend a car if you plan on exploring different beaches and are looking to snorkel or do other activities around the island.
Grand Cayman itself is only 22 miles long and 8 miles wide so you can get from one end to the other in about an hour with no traffic. It’s about a 33 mile drive from the Northwest area of the island to Rum Point, the Northeast end of the island.
Side note: If you rent a car, keep in mind that you will drive on the LEFT side of the road and that you must yield to oncoming cars at round abouts. Most Caribbean islands have round abouts instead of traffic lights!

Here is my 5 day trip itinerary for Grand Cayman with a good mix of relaxing beach time, snorkeling, animal adventures, bars and restaurant recommendations. Note that we didn’t have enough time to go everywhere on my list so I included a top rated restaurant list at the bottom of this itinerary as well as other island activities. I guess that just means I’ll have to plan another visit to Grand Cayman soon!

Our nonstop flight from NYC was about 4 hours and we landed in Grand Cayman around 12:30pm, picked up our rental car, and dropped by The George Town Yacht Club for a quick bite to eat.
I recommend starting your trip here because it’s right down the street from the airport and you will most likely be starving when you arrive! The George Town Yacht Club features casual outdoor dining by the dock where you can watch boats come in and out of the club. Sip on delicious tropical cocktails while you enjoy fresh seafood and a beautiful view. I would definitely recommend the rum punch (my Caribbean go to), the conch fritters, coconut shrimp, fish tacos and fresh Mahi Mahi.
IMG_7613IMG_7618After your meal, check into your hotel or air bnb, get settled and get ready to explore Georgetown!
Tip: If you’re like me and want to stock up on snacks for your trip, drop by Foster’s Food Fair, located right by the airport before you head to wherever you’re staying.

Georgetown is the capital of Grand Cayman and is a major cruise ship port. It boasts a plethora of coffee shops, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. You’ll want to explore this area of the island in the afternoon as most cruise ships arrive early in the morning and the area is overwhelmed with tourists. Go in the afternoon around 2pm or 3pm as most cruise ship passengers are heading back to their boat by then. It’s pretty deserted after 5pm so would not recommend this area for dinner while you’re visiting.

Grab a delicious cup of coffee from South West Collective. We liked this place so much that we came back every single morning for the balance of our trip! Not only do they have delicious handcrafted coconut milk lattes, but they also serve all natural food and fresh smoothie bowls. In addition, the view from the coffee bar is pretty unbelievable. You can see all of the cruise ships parked out in the water.
After grabbing a coffee to go, walk around and explore the many souvenir and gifts shops near the cruise port and take a photo with the “Welcome to the Cayman Islands” sign. Be sure to also pick up a Tortuga Rum Cake which Grand Cayman is famous for!
After exploring downtown Georgetown, head to Pure Art Gallery, one of the top ranked gift shops in Grand Cayman on Trip Advisor. This unique, colorful gift shop features art, gifts and accessories that are handmade by local artisans on the island! You can find jewelry, housewares, home decor, and more. Be sure to take a photo out front by their cute swing and decorated store front!
IMG_9093IMG_8724IMG_0039Following your visit to Pure Art Gallery, enjoy a refreshing sunset cocktail at Grand Ole House just down the road. This is one of the oldest establishments in Grand Cayman and features premium waterfront dining, an award winning wine list and live music. You can also have a romantic seaside dinner here following cocktails if you wish!
Unfortunately Grand Ole House was closed for a private event when we we arrived so we decided to grab drinks at Lone Star Bar & Grill before dinner instead. This outdoor sports bar was the perfect location because it was walkable to our dinner reservation at top rated Italian restaurant, Ragazzi.
Dinner at Ragazzi was one of my favorite meals I’ve ever had! You absolutely must book book a dinner reservation here during your visit to Grand Cayman.
Ragazzi is an Italian restaurant featuring wood fired pizzas, house made pastas, an excellent wine list and delicious desserts. We ordered the Lobster Penne which had chunks of fresh lobster and the creamiest, most delicious roasted garlic cream sauce. We also ordered the Frutti Di Mare pizza with lobster, scallops, shrimp and mussels, tomato and basil an it was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had in my life! If seafood isn’t your thing, they have a ton of meat and vegetarian pizza and pasta options as well.
A huge plus for me was that they had gluten free pasta and pizza dough.

You deserve a relaxing beach day! On your way up to Seven Mile Beach, start your morning with breakfast at the Marriott hotel. Anchor & Den is a top rated restaurant on the island to have brunch and features eclectic cocktails and the ultimate comfort food menu. Enjoy breakfast classics like eggs benedict, pancakes and french toast with a modern twist.
The Marriott is located on Seven Mile Beach, but the best area to park closest to beach access is a little but further North of the Marriott, across the street from the Westin. Typically you can find parking on the street just about anywhere, but there is beach access located at Governors Beach. Make sure to pack your beach towels and plenty of sunscreen!IMG_8864IMG_7852After a long day in the sun, enjoy a beautiful evening with sunset cocktails and dinner at Camana Bay, one of the island’s newest shopping developments with plenty of bar and restaurant options to choose from. Enjoy outdoor happy hour at Karoo followed by dinner at Mizu Asian Restaurant or Agua.
If you’re looking to splurge on a special occasion or love a fantastic 5 star dinner experience, I totally recommend Upstairs at Kaibo. Upstairs has been Grand Cayman’s #1 rated restaurant from 2012 to 2018, featuring artisan cocktails and superb dishes, including locally line caught fish and fine Caribbean ingredients. Inside, the Rare Rum Bar houses Grand Cayman’s widest selection of rums.
We took a 6pm ferry from Camana Bay to Kaibo, located on the opposite end of the island and enjoyed the 6 course tasting menu, which was excellent and I highly recommend! We like to eat dinner pretty late, but if I could do it over again, I’d add the wine pairing and book a 6pm dinner reservation here to watch the sunset and enjoy pre-dinner cocktails downstairs at Kaibo’s Beach Bar.
Ferry tickets are $20 CI roundtrip. View the ferry schedule and book your reservation in advance HERE.
Note that the last ferry back to Camana Bay from Kaibo is at 9:30pm.

If you have a major sweet tooth after dinner like me, enjoy freshly made gelato at Gelato and Co. or house made desserts at Agua once you arrive back at Camana Bay on the ferry. In addition, if you want a late night spot for drinks and dancing, check out Royal Palms Beach Club, a local favorite located across the street from Camana Bay. We liked this place so much that we went back later in the week to watch the sunset on the beach. Have you ever seen a more beautiful sunset than this one?!
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Start your morning with a delicious smoothie bowl for breakfast at Island Naturals and head up to West Bay to check out the Cayman Turtle Centre, the island’s only turtle sanctuary. Here you will find a giant green turtle breeding pond (where some turtles weigh up to 500 pounds!) and you may be lucky enough to spot a female turtle’s nest.
There are turtle touch tanks where you can take a photo holding a green turtle, a butterfly garden, the island’s largest swimming pool and more. There are several great activities here, especially if you are traveling with children.

After a few hours of exploring at the turtle sanctuary, enjoy a casual, waterfront lunch at The Cracked Conch and a delicious cocktail from Macabuca Tiki Bar before heading to snorkel at Cemetery Beach, the best snorkel spot in West Bay.
We chose to snorkel at Smith’s Cove in South Sound, closer to where we were staying which is another great snorkel area to spot tropical fish and jump off of the rocks into the water. Spotts Beach is also noted as a top snorkeling destination on the island because you can often swim with turtles.
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End your day with sunset cocktails and dinner at Catch, one of Grand Cayman’s best waterside seafood restaurants. I highly recommend their Mahi Mahi Schnitzel, another one of my favorite meals while one the island!

Grand Cayman is famous for String Ray City, a giant sand bar where you can swim with and feed string rays! Start your day bright and early with a String Ray City & Star Fish Point snorkeling tour. We toured with Aquarius Sea Tours and our 4 hour tour started promptly at 9:30am, leaving from the Grand Cayman Yacht Club. The tour company provided snorkel gear and was $55 USD per person. The other note worthy String Ray City tour company on the island is Red Sail Sports which also offers water sport rentals.

The first part of our tour was 45 minutes of snorkeling out on the reef where the water was about 15 feet deep. We saw plenty of tropical, colorful fish along with a couple of small string rays.
IMG_8948IMG_8954IMG_8952Our second stop was Star Fish Point where our tour guide parked the boat and gathered several star fish for us to take photos with in the shallow water on the beach. It was pretty cool to hold a star fish for the first time! They were about the size of my hands. Star Fish Point is where star fish gather to procreate. The water temperature and climate are perfect for them to make babies here. During your visit at Star Fish Point, remember that star fish are animals and absolutely need to stay in the water to survive. Grand Cayman actually charges a $5,000 fine if you remove them from the water!
After 45 minutes at Star Fish Point, it was time for the main event: String Ray City. Our tour guide brought us to a large sandbar with the clearest, most beautiful blue water I’ve ever seen in the Caribbean! As soon as we jumped into the water, our boat captain pulled out fish bait and lured a friendly female string ray over that he has ‘known’ for almost 40 years. She was beautiful and BIG! Shortly after, we were surrounded by 30 to 40 string rays of all sizes which was kind of overwhelming at first. Many of them swim straight at you which made me a bit uncomfortable, but they will swim right past you and are harmless. Just be prepared that they will rub up against you! We each got to pet and feed the the string rays straight out of our hands which was pretty cool. This was definitely one of my top favorite life experiences with animals and I highly recommend you do it during your visit to Grand Cayman!
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Travel tip: Water is provided on the boat but make sure you bring a beach towel, sunscreen and plenty of snacks!

After 4 hours of sun and snorkeling, you’ll likely be starving. Opt for a casual lunch at a local favorite: Pepper’s Bar & Grill. This was easily another one of my favorite meals on the island, so much so that I actually placed a pick up order on our way to the airport before leaving the island so I could enjoy it one last time on the plane!
Pepper’s is famous for their authentic Caribbean baby back ribs and jerk chicken. They also have burgers, grilled fish and my personal favorite, loaded disco fries!
IMG_8853After being in the sun and water most of the day, we opted into catching the sunset at Royal Palms Beach Club and relaxing instead of making a dinner reservation. The food here was just as great as the view!

Spend your last day in Grand Cayman at Rum Point. Known for white sandy beaches, picturesque hammocks and delicious food, you can sip on rum punch and snack on conch fritters, all while enjoying the view!
Be sure to also add a mudslide to your list of items to oder at Shipwreck Bar & Grill. This is where the original mudslide was invented! After exploring Rum Point, we decided to check out Kaibo’s Beach Bar down the street before heading back to South Sound.
rum point entranceIMG_9024IMG_8486IMG_9018 3FullSizeRenderIMG_8509Snapseed 4Reserve a table at The Brassiere or dinner, another one of the top rated restaurants on the island with a very unique and delicious dining experience. The restaurant has it’s own fishing boat and serves fresh daily caught local fish along with fresh ingredients from the restaurant garden. Don’t skip out on dessert!

All and all, Grand Cayman is a romantic destination for couples and would be a great honeymoon spot. It’s also very family friendly and has a ton of activities for children and adults. I can’t wait to go back!

Here are some additional top rated activities, restaurants and bars I’m saving for my next trip to Grand Cayman that I would recommend checking out. Happy trip planning!

Queen Elizabeth Botanical Park (Open from 9am to 4:30pm, $10 for Adults & Children 6-12 $5, Under 5 FREE)
Distillery Tour at Cayman Spirits Company in Georgetown (Tours are at 11am, 1pm & 3pm daily, but closed on Saturdays)
Helicopter Island Tour with Cayman Helicopter Company
Crystal Caves Tour (on the way to Rum Point)

Sunshine Grill
Sunday Brunch at Ave (Kimpton Seafire Resort)

Calypso Grill
Blue Cilanto
The Warf
Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant

Bar Jack (Beach Bar at the Ritz)
Beach Terrace (Beach Bar at the Westin)
Ave at the Kimpton Seafire Resort
Anchor & Den at the Westin

Disneyland: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

Disneyland: The happiest place one earth where all your dreams come true!
Even at 30 years old, everything about Disneyland still gets me excited and every time I visit my family in Los Angeles, you can bet I’ll be planning a day trip to the park!

For those of you who have never been to Disneyland, there are many things you should know before you go to make your day at the park as easy and as memorable as possible. This blog post dedicated to a multiple of tips and tricks you can utilize to get into the park as quickly as possible, minimize ride wait times and ride every single ride in the park!
Disneyland Tips to Know Before you go California Adventure Travel Guide to Los Angeles California
1. Plan to go on an Off Peak Day
Not only is it cheaper, but the crowds are also minimal! For ages 10+, a one day off peak “value” ticket is $97, a “regular” ticket is $117 and a “peak” ticket is $135.
View the pricing schedule by day here.

2. Buy your tickets online
This one is obvious, but you’d be you’d be surprised how many people don’t buy their tickets beforehand and end up wasting 10 to 15 in line after they go through security to purchase them.
You can buy your tickets in advance on the Disneyland website here or from the Disneyland app (#3 below). If you work at a corporate company, you can usually get a 15% discount through Plum Benefits as long as you sign up in advance and purchase your tickets 48 hours or more beforehand!

3.  Download the Disneyland app BEFORE you go
Not only does the Disneyland app have an interactive map that tracks your location within the park, but you can save a ton of time by tracking ride wait times and you can also see when rides are closed for maintenance in advance so you don’t waste your time walking over to them.
There is also useful information including where to find the nearest restrooms and restaurants. The best part is that you can view all the food menus in the park and order food while you’re waiting in line for a ride or walking over to pick your food up!
Disneyland Tips to Know Before you go California Adventure Travel Guide to Los Angeles California Sleeping Beauty Castle
4. Plan to arrive an hour before the park opens
I know it might sound crazy, but by the time you arrive, purchase your parking ticket (which is $20 per car), actually park your car and take the drop-off shuttle to the entrance of the park, you’re already looking at about 20 minutes. You will also have to go through security and bag check so getting to the actual entrance can take a full 30 to 45 minutes from the time you drive into the parking lot. The other plus to getting there early is that your car will be parked closest to the park which will save you time when you leave (after you’re exhausted from walking 5 or more miles the entire day!)

5. Hit all the big rides first & map out a route BEFORE you go
As soon as you enter Disneyland, I would suggest hitting all the most popular rides first when less people are in the park. My plan of attack is usually to hit Tomorrowland first to ride Space Mountain and Star Tours. Then I would suggest popping directly over to Adventureland to knock out Indiana Jones, the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain, which are all in the same area. Afterwards, head to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain and over to the Matterhorn. That completes most of the most popular rides with the longest wait times within the first few hours! If any of the lines are already long, snag a Fast Pass! (See #6 for more info)

If you plan to do California Adventure (and I highly suggest that you do) I would head over there from 2pm to 7pm. You can typically knock out the entire park within a 5 hour time period. Don’t forget to utilize your fast pass! I usually use it for the Cars ride as it’s usually no less than a 2 hour wait.
Disneyland Tips to Know Before you go California Adventure Travel Guide to Los Angeles California Mickey Ferris wheel
6. Utilize Fast Pass
Fast pass is great to use between 11am and 5pm when the park is at peak capacity. It can sometimes save you and your group from having to wait in a 2 hour line. I suggest using it on rides with an hour and a half wait or more. You will scan your Disneyland ticket and get a print out showing the ride name and next time slot that you can come back to ride without waiting in line. The time slot is typically 2 hours AFTER you receive your ticket and it holds your spot for an hour. For example, if you get a fast pass at 11am, you will be able to return to that same ride 2 hours later between 1pm and 2pm and enter the Fast Pass line without having to wait in the normal line. It’s almost like being in two places at once!
You will usually get 2 fast passes a day, but 3 if you’re lucky and can time it right!

7. Eat at off peak times
If you can try to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at off peak times, it will maximize your ride time due to less people and less waiting when everyone else is eating in the park. This would mean eating breakfast at or after 9am, eating lunch before 11am or after 2pm and eating dinner at around 5pm or after 8pm. Less people at the restaurants at the same time means more ride time for you!

8. Use the Single Rider Line
If lines are more than an hour and a half long and you don’t feel like waiting, but you REALLY want to ride, you can wait in what is called the single rider line. You will be separated from your group (aka you will each have to ride solo) and will be utilized as a fill in for open seats not being utilized by groups riding the ride together that actually waited in the regular long line. It’s an easy way to save 2 hours or wait time!
Note that it could still be a 15 minute wait in the single rider line on a ride that’s a 2 hour long wait for the regular line.
Disneyland Tips to Know Before you go California Adventure Travel Guide to Los Angeles California Sleeping Beauty Castle
9. Skip the 8pm Fireworks
If you don’t care about the fireworks or the shows, take advantage of the rides while the 8pm fireworks are going off. Majority of everyone in the park will be watching them so if there’s a ride you’ve been dying to ride all day that has had a consist long wait, now would be the time to ride it!

I can’t stress this tip enough. I would suggest no sandals and only comfortable sneakers. I tracked how many miles I walked last time I went and it was a total 7 miles! Trust me, you will thank me later!].
Disneyland Tips to Know Before you go California Adventure Travel Guide to Los Angeles California Sleeping Beauty Castle

A Guide to New York City’s Central Park

Summer is my favorite season in New York City! The tulips are fully bloomed, the birds are constantly chirping and you no longer have to wear a jacket at night. Outdoor activities are very limited during the Winter, but luckily NYC is home to some of the world’s best indoor museums and restaurants (which you will definitely want to check off your list during your Summer visit as well!)

During the Summer, New Yorkers spend most of their time in Central Park to relax, get some sun and picnic (if they’re not off to the Hamptons for the weekend of course). I’ve lived in New York City for 8 years and have created a one day guide that includes the most popular sights to see and activities to do in Central Park. ENJOY!

Tips before you go: Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes. Central Park is 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide. My guide below guide requires about 3 and a half miles of walking. Fun fact: On average, the typical New Yorker walks two to five miles in a day!
There will be plenty of street vendors throughout the park so make sure to bring cash so you can pick up bottled water or snacks as needed throughout your day. I would also suggest bringing sunscreen if you plan to knock out my entire list below!

9-10AM Weekend brunch at the famous restaurant Tavern on the Green 
Located on the West side of Central Park at 66th Street & Central Park West, begin your morning enclosed in a beautiful glass room or on the outdoor patio sipping fresh squeezed orange juice and enjoying homemade pastries, French toast, eggs Benedict and more. The restaurant opens at 9am Saturday and Sunday and closes at 8:30pm. Be sure to book a reservation two months in advance (the earliest possible) as it is one of the most popular restaurants in Manhattan!
View their brunch menu here, lunch and dinner menus here.
(About half a mile walk to next destination, 10 minutes)Tavern on the Green Restaurant Central Park Top Activities in Central ParkTavern on the Green Restaurant Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
10:15 Visit the Strawberry fields “Imagine” mosaic

In memory of John Lennon, 2.5 acres of landscaped land has been dedicated to this former Beatles member. Check out the famous “Imagine” mosaic which is adorned with flowers daily. There might even be someone playing Beatles music and/or singing Beatles songs as a tribute during your visit!
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About half a mile walk to next destination, 12 minutes)
Imagine Mosaic Central Park Top Activities in Central Park10:45 Belvedere Castle
Located in the heart of Central Park, Belvedere Castle was built in 1869 and offers some of the highest and best views of the park. Typically, hours are from 10am to 5pm but it is currently closed due to renovation and will re-open in 2019. Regardless of the renovation, it is still a major tourist destination within Central Park and is worth a visit and photos!
Expect to spend about 20 minutes here.
(About 0.3 mile walk to next destination, 7 minutes)
Belvedere Castle Central Park Top Activities in Central Park11:15 Bow Bridge
Bow Bridge was built in 1862 and was constructed out of cast iron. Spanning a total of 60 feet long, it is the most iconic and largest bridge in Central Park; perfect for taking beautiful photos of the lake, Loeb Boathouse and memorable photos during your visit.
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About 800 feet walk to next destination, 3 minutes)
Bow Bridge Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
Bow Bridge Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
Bow Bridge Central Park Top Activities in Central Park11:30 Bethesda Fountain
Bethesda Fountain is located at the heart of Bethesda Terrace and is one of the most famous fountains in the world! It is very iconic to Central Park, measuring 26 feet high and 96 feet wide, featuring an 8 foot bronze angel on top. A beautiful sight to see and great for turtle and people watching.
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About 0.2 mile walk to next destination, 5 minutes)
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Bethesda Fountain Central Park Top Activities in Central ParkNoon-1:30pm Have lunch at the Loeb Boathouse & take a boat out on the lake
One of the most famous places in all of Central Park and definitely my favorite! The boathouse is over 150 years old and offers lakeside dining with delicious lunch menu options including crab cakes, ahi tuna, salads, burgers and more. You can dine inside or out on their patio while you watch the boats go by. The Loeb Boathouse offers dinner as well as weekend brunch only. View the full menu here.
House are based on seasonality which you can view here.
I would highly recommend taking a boat out for an hour after your meal! Boats are $15 an hour, but make sure you bring cash as they do not accept credit cards.
Expect to spend about an hour and a half here (lunch and one hour of boat time).
(About 800 feet walk to next destination, 4 minutes)

Loeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central ParkLoeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
The Loeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central Park1:30pm Alice & Wonderland Statue & Conservatory Pond Boats
The Alice in Wonderland sculpture was built in 1959 and was made from smooth bronze. One of the most visited statues in the city, children are encouraged to play and climb on it if they wish!
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About 0.6 mile walk to next destination, 14 minutes)
Alice In Wonderland Statue Central Park Top Activities in Central Park2-4pm Visit the Central Park Zoo
I bet you didn’t know there was a zoo located inside Central Park! Check out penguins, sea lions, snow leopards, grizzly bears and more. You can watch the penguins and sea lions being fed twice a day and there is also a children’s area with a petting zoo.
Zoo hours are 10am to 5:30pm and tickets are $13 for children, $18 for adults & $15 for seniors 65+. You can purchase tickets here.
Expect to spend two hours max at the zoo.
(About 0.4 mile walk to next destination, 9 minutes)
Central Park Zoo Top Activities in Central ParkCentral Park Zoo Top Activities in Central Park4:15pm Ride the Central Park Carousel
The original Central Park carousel was built in 1871 and operated with a horse and mule underground! It has since then had four total remodels. The current carousel was built in 1908 and is one of the largest carousel’s in the US with 52 horses and 2 chariots.
Fun fact: 250k people ride the Central Park carousel a year!
The carousel is open from 10am to 6pm daily, weather permitting, and costs $3 a person.
(About 0.3 mile walk to next destination, 7 minutes)
Central Park Carousel Top Activities in Central Park4:30-6pm Picnic and people watch in Sheep Meadow
My favorite thing to do in the Summer! I typically drop by Whole Foods in Columbus Circle for a bottle of Rose, cheese and crackers. Technically you’re not allowed to have an open container in public in the city so make sure to bring some plastic cups and throw out any glass bottles when you’re finished. I would suggest popping by there beforehand to grab a snack. Be sure to bring a blanket, sunblock and a football to throw around with friends or family!
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Other popular activities in Central Park include: 
8pm ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ shows at Delacorte Theater. Purchase your tickets here.
Bike riding in Central Park. I would recommend renting a bike for an hour or two at the corner of Central Park West & Central Park South (at the Columbus Circle park entrance).

Top 5 Activities to do in Barbados

I’m an explorer at heart and am always up for an adventure! My favorite thing about traveling is when I find opportunities to experience the natural beauty of our world and time to marvel at the beauty of animals in their natural habitat. During my 10 day trip to Barbados, I got to see so much of the island and planned some fun activities that completely beat my expectations and blew me away.

If you’re planning a trip to Barbados, here is my list of the top 5 activities I would highly recommend you do to satisfy your craving for adventure!

1. Feed the monkeys at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve
This was the highlight of my trip! I didn’t expect the monkeys to be so friendly and agile, but when it comes to food they love humans and don’t mind getting up close and personal. I totally didn’t expect them to eat right out of my hand but they did and it was incredible! You can read more in depth about my wildlife reserve experience here and see all the photos I took of the animals in the reserve. Admission costs $30 BDS ($15 USD) for adults and $15 BDS ($7.50 USD) for children. Hours are from 10am to 5pm and it is recommended that you are there around 2pm as this is the animal feeding time so you are more likely to see many of the animals at this time.
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2. Swim with sea turtles
If you love being in the water as much as I do and you enjoy water activities like snorkeling or scuba diving, Barbados is a great place to experience swimming with sea turtles! The best part about this activity is that you don’t even need to pay to go out on a catamaran because the turtles can be found many places right off the beach. You can even feed and pet the turtles when you swim with them!
Head out early in the morning when the turtles are likely to be scouting for food. We snorkeled and swam with the turtles in Alleyne’s Bay (located behind the Lonestar hotel and restaurant) where many of the glass bottom boats and catamarans stick around. Other good areas to swim with turtles include Freights Bay, Carlise Bay & Paynes Bay.
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3. Visit Hunte’s Gardens
This beautiful outdoor garden was stunning from the moment we pulling up to the entrance to the moment we left. I’ve never seen such lush, colorful plants or palm trees so tall in my life! This walkable garden holds different surprises around each corner and I could have literally spent an entire day taking pictures of all the exotic scenery, birds and animals among the soft classical music playing throughout the garden. Admission costs $30 BDS ($15 USD) per person and hours are from 9am to 4pm daily. It truly is a magical place unlike any other!
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4. Explore the natural beauty of Animal Flower Cave
Discovered in 1750, this naturally formed cave is the only accessible cave on the island and was formed by natural limestone similar to cenotes found in Mexico. Build in 1912, coral steps lead down to the cave floor which is estimated to be 400,000 to 500,000 years old! Be sure to wear sneakers or take your shoes off while in the cave because it’s pretty slippery and easy to fall if you don’t have good balance. There is also a separate swimming chamber in the cave if you’re up for it! Make sure to visit when the waves aren’t too big because it will close due to the strength and size of the waves on occasion. Admission costs $20 BDS ($10 USD) per person and hours are from 9am to 4:30pm daily. In addition to a guided cave visit, there is also a restaurant where you can grab a quick bite to eat and drinks on top of the cave with an incredible ocean view, open from 11am to 3:30pm daily.
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5. Enjoy a Rum Punch at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery
Honestly, I was mostly excited for rum cocktails upon showing up to the distillery, but the best part ended up being the incredible history lesson behind Mount Gay Rum! I highly suggest taking the Signtaure Rum Tour through the distillery where you will learn the history of the brand and enjoy a tasting of 3 different rums. You receive a delicious rum punch at the beginning of the tour and it ends at the bar where you can also enjoy specialty rum cocktails. The tour costs $40 BDS ($20 USD) per person and hours are from 9am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday and 10:30am-2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Cheers!
Other activities I would highly recommend depending on how much time you have on the island include:
Oistnis Friday night fish fry
Sunset sail with Cool Runnings
Paddle boarding

Turks & Caicos: Providenciales

If you’ve already explored the Bahamas, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and are looking for somewhere different to explore in the Caribbean, Turks & Caicos is perfect for your next Spring Break, Summer or holiday vacation! I would highly recommend it for both couples and families because there are a multitude of activities for adults and kiddos. It’s also a great place for a romantic getaway or just  to unplug from the outside world!
Located just 550 miles off the coast of Miami, Turks & Caicos is a British Territory and consists of 40 islands, 8 of which are inhabited. The most popular island in Turks & Caicos where we visited for 9 days is the island of Providenciales, voted the #1 island in the world on Trip Advisor in 2015!
Check out MoonlightGypsyShop.com for all of your beach essentials before you go. Our beach shop is the perfect place to find handmade beach bags and beach jewelry with a Bohemian vibe. Don’t forget your sunscreen + sunnies!
MoonlightGypsyShop.com The Beach Shop   MoonlightGypsyShop.com Pom Pom Wristlet
Known for it’s gorgeous turquoise waters and pristine beaches, Turks & Caicos is famous for Grace Bay, the main beach area where you can find a plethora of resorts, restaurants and shops. If you’re looking to stay where the action is, Grace Bay is definitely the place for you! Voted the #1 beach in the world in 2016, you can work on your tan, casually snorkel right off the beach, eat at restaurants overlooking the beach and find plenty of activities to do in the bay.
Grace Bay Turks & Caicos
Photo from GetsReady.com
If you’re looking to live like a local in a more secluded area of the island with no tourists, I would suggest suggest booking a private house or villa on Airbnb or RVBO on the opposite side of the island.
We stayed in a secluded beautiful home with an infinity edge pool and private beach on for the first half of the week of our vacation.
Check out this view!
Turks & Caicos beach view   MoonlightGypsyShop.com Embroidered Pom Pom Tote
For the second half of the week, we stayed at La Vista Azul which is walkable to Turtle Cove, a cute and casual area filled with great restaurants and water views. La Vista Azul was cozy and comfortable. I would highly recommend staying here and would definitely go back!
La Vista Azul Turks & Caicos   La Vista Azul Turks & Caicos
For more resort and hotel information on the island, check out hotels.com to input the dates of your trip, read reviews and check availability.
You can also click here to read reviews on top rated places to stay.
There are a number of outdoor activities for both adults and children in Turks & Caicos.
We decided to spend one afternoon reef fishing with Grand Slam Fishing Charters which turned out to be more fun than I expected.
The staff on the boat made it super easy and helped us bait our fishing lines which was nice, especially because I didnt want to be the one touching slimy fish guts. I had never been fishing before, but caught 3 fish including this grouper! They gave us some great tips and also would take the fish off the hook for you (after you take all necessary insta worthy photos and selfies of course!)
To book a fishing trip with Grand Slam Fishing Charters, click here.
Grand Slam Fishing Charters Turks & Caicos
Fishing was a lot of fun, but the ultimate highlight of our trip was  Snuba diving in in Coral Gardens around Bight Reef.
Jodi is well known on the island for her Snuba expertise and was an absolutely amazing instructor. I only had previous experience with snorkeling so was a bit intimidated at first with having to learn how to breath from an air tank, but if my 65 year old mom could do it, you can too! It was honestly one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Unlike a typical snorkel experience, you can get up close and personal with some really cool wildlife. We saw huge green turtles, lobster, eel, a giant sting ray and tons of gorgeous tropical fish. Jodi even picked up a sea spider and shrimp under water to show us which was REALLY cool. I highly recommend this activity as a must on your trip!
To schedule snuba with Jodi, click here.
Snuba Turks & Caicos   Snuba Turks & Caicos
 After an afternoon of activities in Grace Bay, cool off with a tropical cocktail at Ozmosis Bar, a beachside bar at The Palms resort. You can enjoy a full bar, daiquiris or the island’s famous Rum Punch, my personal favorite!
Rum Punch Ozmosis Bar Turks & Caicos   Ozmosis Bar The Plams Turks & Caicos
Photo from TrueViralNews.com
One of the best local activities to do in Provinciales is the Thursday night Fish Fry. Unfortunately our Thursday night got rained out so we weren’t able to attend but it is highly recommended and frequented by the locals. From 5:30 to 9:30 in Bights Park, you can enjoy local food vendors, entertainment and cultural activities. This is also a great activity for kids and all ages.
For a full list of top rated activities in Provo, check here.
Breakfast & Brunch
If you’re looking for a great brunch spot, I would highly recommend Bay Bistro at the Sibonne Beach Hotel. You can enjoy delicious banana coconut pancakes or lobster Benedict while overlooking the ocean from a causal shaded patio. The food was fantastic and they have an awesome $16 brunch deal that includes a menu entree + a Bloody Mary, screwdriver or mimosa. 😉

Bay Bistro Coconut Pancakes   Bay Bistro View
Photo from TripAdvisor.com

If you’re staying near Turtle Cove, Green Bean Island Bistro is the perfect place to grab your morning joe and a casual bite. Their breakfast bagel sandwiches really hit the spot! We put in a to go order before heading over to the secluded beach area where Smith’s Reef is located. This is another great area to snorkel if you dont make it to Coral Gardens to check out Bights Reef or want to snorkel somewhere less crowded. Certain areas are rocky getting in the water though so make sure you bring water shoes or flippers.

Green Bean Coffee Turks & Caicos
Lunch & Small Bites
One of my favorite lunch spots in Turks & Caicos was Bugalos Conch Crawl which is well known for their conch dishes. You can eat outside under the shade of palm trees with a fabulous view of the beach and listen to their live music while enjoying a frozen tropical cocktails. I would absolutely recommend their conch fritters here because they are known for having the best on the island!
Check out this gorgeous view!
Conch Fritters Bugaloos Turks & Caicos   Strawberry Daquari Bugaloos Turks & Caicos
Photo from TripAdvisor.com
Shark Bite was also a favorite of mine for lunch. Located in Turtle Cove Marina, this spot has some great bar bites and fish sandwiches. Their crab cakes were AMAZING! You can casually dine outside on the patio and enjoy this great view of the marina while watching the boats go by.
Shark Bite Turtle Cove Marina View Turks & Caicos
Coco Bistro is the islands most popular restaurant for dinner, but you’ll need to make a reservation about a month or two in advance. Unfortunately, we booked too late but we were able to walk next door to Cocovan which is the restaurant’s new outdoor food truck. They offer yummy lobster dishes and tacos as well as a full bar. If you dont make the cut fora reservation at Coco Bistro or want just something more causal with outdoor seating, check this place out!
Coco Bistro Turks & Caicos   Cocovan Turks & Caicos
Photos from Pintrest.com & Twitter.com
If you love fresh sushi, Yoshi Sushi is the top rated sushi restaurant on the island. This was definitely one of my favorite meals on our trip. We tried some great lobster dishes including the Tempura Lobster & Lobster Fried Rice but my ultimate favorite was the volcano roll. It was honestly one of the BEST sushi dishes I’ve ever had and I LOVE my sushi! (I’m still dreaming of it by the way…)
Yoshi Sushi Turks & Caicos
Photo from TripAdvisor.com
Specializing in French cuisine, we enjoyed Le Bouchon Du Village so much that we ate there twice for dinner! Their romantic outdoor ambiance sets the mood for a pleasant evening. We started with a selection of cheese and meats to pair with our wine and enjoyed their Mediterranean salad which was one of the best Ive ever had. Their menu had so many fresh seafood dishes, it was hard to choose! Their sea scallops are a must and if you’re a meat lover, their steak is absolutely delicious.
Le Bouchon Turks & Caicos   Le Bouchon Scallops Turks & Caicos
Photos from Pintrest.com & TripAdvisor.com
Voted the #3 best spa in Turks & Caicos on Trip Advisor, we spent one morning at The Palms Spa. Upon arrival, the staff were extremely attentive and gave us a tour of the locker room and meditation pool where you can relax and enjoy a variety of warm tea before and after your services. Talk about heaven on earth! My stone massage was hands down, the BEST stone massage I’ve ever had! I will definitely be back on my next vacay here.
To view the spa services offered at the Palms, click here.
The Palms Spa Turks & Caicos   The Palms Spa Turks & Caicos   The Palms Spa Turks & Caicos
To check out other top ranted spas on the island, click here.
If you need more info about visiting Turks & Caicos islands, I would definitely read reviews on Trip Advisor and I have included some other fantastic resources below.
I hope this blog post was helpful and that you enjoy your trip to Turks & Caicos!
Happy Travels!
Turtle Cove Marina Turks & Caicos   MoonlightGypsyShop.com Boho Bracelets Beach Jewelry