The Grand Turk Lighthouse is one of the most popular attractions on Grand Turk island, and this has a lot to do with its historic appeal. Found on the island's northern tip, this beacon for ships was actually constructed in the UK in 1852 and moved piece by piece to its current resting point. The aim of its installment was to bring an end to the numerous shipwrecks that were caused by Grand Turk's reefs. Whale oil lamps were first used to illuminate the top of the tower, and they were replaced by a kerosene light in 1943. The kerosene light didn't last as long as the whale oil lamps. In 1971, an electric lighting system was put in place. Thanks to renovations, this historic, cast-iron lighthouse in Turks and Caicos Islands still works, and should you drop by for a visit, you can learn more about its history by reading the informative plaques that surround it.
The Grand Turk Lighthouse overlooks North Creek from its hilltop perch and can be found near the island's cruise center. Some historians argue that North Creek might just be the first inland body of water that Columbus encountered in the New World. Whether or not this is true, the location is a strategic one. In addition to overlooking the lake that is North Creek, the Grand Turk Lighthouse overlooks the expansive waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean views from the spot are quite spectacular, and should you visit during the months of February and March, chances are good that you will spot some whales offshore.
During a visit to the Grand Turk Lighthouse, many visitors choose to enjoy a picnic. The former lighthouse keeper's house was converted into a snack area, so you don't need to bring your own food. After your picnic, a walk on the nature trails that lead off from the lighthouse might be in order. These trails also offer wonderful ocean views, and should you be interested, they eventually lead to a quiet beach.
When you're not taking in the lovely Grand Turk Lighthouse during your visit to Grand Turk island, there will be plenty of other tempting options for things to do. The National Museum, which is among the best Turks and Caicos museums, can be found on Grand Turk, and Governor's Beach can be a fine place to spend a few hours when the sun is shining. Going on a horseback riding adventure and delving into the underwater realms on a scuba diving excursion are just two more ideas when it comes to keeping busy on this inviting Caribbean island, and if nothing else, you might explore the duty-free shopping opportunities at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. There's pretty much something for everyone in Grand Turk.
Image: Tours & Caicos Tourism Office