Grand Turk: Golf Cart Rental (Turks & Caicos) Renting a golf cart is a great way to explore
the island of Grand Turk. Some of the more popular destinations outside
of the cruise center are the Grand Turk Lighthouse and Governor’s Beach. We visited both when we rented a golf cart
during our last visit. Prior to our cruise, we reserved a golf cart
with a vendor operating inside the cruise center. The golf cart pick-up was located past the
shops at the covered walkway that leads to the cruise center’s main exit. Our reservation gave us priority over passengers
who did not have a reservation. With a limited number of golf carts available
during our visit, those without a reservation had a very long wait. The rental fee for the golf cart was $100
for the day and we were required to refill the fuel tank to the same level as when we
picked it up. After a quick reminder from the rental company
rep to drive on the left side of the road, we were on our way! Our primary destination during our visit was
the Grand Turk Lighthouse, which is located roughly seven miles from the cruise center,
on the island’s northern-most point. To get to the lighthouse, head north from
the cruise center, passing by the turn off for Governor’s Beach and the island’s
airport. When you reach Emancipation Square, which
you can easily identify by the clock tower, follow the road to the right to stay on
Lighthouse Road. Be aware that there was no street signage
at the Square during our visit, so if you miss the turn, like we did, you’ll end up
on Hospital Road, which you’ll soon figure out when you reach the hospital instead of
the lighthouse. If you end up at the hospital, just make a
U-turn and head back to the Square. Since the golf carts are pretty slow, you’ll
have plenty of opportunity to see the sights of Grand Turk as you drive along, such as
spectacular views of the coastline and water, feral donkeys, both on the side of the road
and in residents’ yards, and, if you look in the direction of the cruise center,
you’ll likely be able to see your ship in the distance. Another sight you’ll be able to see from
your slow-moving golf cart is quite a few regular vehicles passing by, even in “no
passing” areas. The drive to the Grand Turk lighthouse took
us about 30 minutes, after subtracting a few minutes for getting lost on Hospital Road. Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by
several donkeys hanging around the parking lot when you arrive. After parking our golf cart, we removed the
key and explored the area. The lighthouse, which was built in 1852, is
no longer operational, but visitors are able to enter the grounds for a nominal fee. The lighthouse grounds include a small gift
shop, restrooms, and a bar. On our trip, a ticket cost $3.00 and could
be used for a discount inside to help offset the price. From within the grounds, we walked along a
small path that led to cliffs with beautiful views overlooking the ocean. We also saw horse stables that were operated
by a local tour company and the remnants of a United States naval base. Prior to being decommissioned in 1979, the
primary purpose of the base was reportedly to track Soviet submarines as part of an underwater
listening system. After we finished our visit to the lighthouse
grounds and surrounding area, we headed back south and refueled the golf cart at one of
several gas stations that can be found along the main road. Be aware that during our visit, the last gas
station before the cruise center was located a few minutes before Governor’s Beach on
the return trip. With the golf cart fueled up, we stopped at
Governor’s Beach, which is located just a mile north of the Grand Turk Cruise Center. The beach is popular with cruise passengers
wanting to escape the crowds at the cruise center, especially since it’s within walking
distance. Restrooms and changing facilities are available
at the beach, and nearby trees provide a good amount of shade for those who prefer it. While there was plenty of space to swim, the
snorkeling at Governor’s Beach was mostly limited to what could be found around the
rocks near the shoreline. Still, there was enough sea life in that limited
area to enjoy for quite a while. Many visitors to Governor’s Beach are drawn
to the Mega One Triton shipwreck situated on the shoreline. The cargo ship ran aground during Hurricane
Sandy in 2012 and — because of tourists’ interest in the wreckage — the local government
has advised the public to not touch or enter it. After calling it a day, we headed back to
the cruise center and our ship. Before we re-entered the cruise center gates,
we spotted several locals renting golf carts and ATVs for a price that was reportedly less
than what the companies inside the cruise center were charging. If you’re interested in saving some money,
it’s an option worth researching.

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