Aruba: Eat from The ABCs of the ABC Islands Slideshow

The ABCs of the ABC Islands Slideshow


Aruba: Eat

Courtesy of Trish Friesen

Skip Hooters, T.G.I. Friday's, and Señor Frog's, all located behind Palm Beach's high-rise resort strip, and eat on a beach pier at The Pelican instead. For barefoot dining, try Moomba Beach Bar & Restaurant (one of the best beach bars in the world according to CNN) or the Flying Fishbone just outside of town. For a local meal, head to The Aruban Chef serving fare like calco stoba (conch stew) and fresh fish. Finally, don't miss a sunset drink at Bugaloe Pier where stiff mojitos are served at happy hour from 5-6 p.m.

Aruba: Play & Stay

Courtesy of Trish Friesen

Walk along a non-resort stretch of Palm Beach beside fishing huts, surfers, and a shipwreck, learn to kiteboard at the Aruba Kitesurfing School, or take in a game of beach tennis, one of the country's most popular sports, behind Moomba Bar.

Book at the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino. Capping off Palm Beach's resorts, you'll find a gleaming white mega-property with palapas shading the sandy shorefront, a meandering pool with a swim-up bar, large, comfortable rooms with private balconies, and a slew of restaurant options. Don't miss the newly designed adult pool with a modern-meets-South Beach vibe.

Bonaire: Eat

Courtesy of Trish Friesen

Just off Kralendijk's oceanfront road are a series of open-air restaurants with flickering candles and mouthwatering food. Sit at a wooden high-top at the City Café and order the nachos, it's a local tradition to pour sweet chili sauce on top of the cheese. One of Bonaire's most modern restaurants happens to be housed in one of its oldest buildings. Appetite offers guests an all-appetizer menu for a lingering island time meal. Sunday brunch is an event at Sorobon Beach Resort's restaurant. An older, bronzed gentleman wearing a terrycloth sweatband around his head serenades guests on his electronic keyboard with classical favorites.

Bonaire: Play & Stay

Flickr/shots by mars

Search for eagle rays, schools of fish, and turtles while diving just off the shore at one of the island's 87 official dive spots. Learn to windsurf or refresh your skills at The Windsurf Place, located in Lac Bay, a 1.8-mile saltwater lagoon with knee- to waist-deep water.

Stay at Sorobon Beach Resort. Clustered around the only natural white sand beach on the island, Sorobon is a casual, tropical hideaway with 30 clay-roofed and whitewashed cottages. Sit at the resort's central beach bar every night at 6 p.m. to watch flamingos do a fly-by overhead. Bring bug spray (mostly for the evening) and your own soap for the kitchen and bathroom.

Curaçao: Eat

Courtesy of Trish Friesen

Overlooking Willemstad and the rotating bridge, Gouverneur De Rouville is an open-air restaurant in a restored Dutch building. Excellent service and a fusion of local and globally-inspired cuisine make it consistently busy with both tourists and locals. Instead of searching for shops as air conditioned retreats, escape the midday sun with a chilled Amstel Bright — the ABC's local beer — under umbrellas with misters and fans at Iguana Cafe. Outside the city, Jaanchies is an 85-year old family-owned restaurant worth a try. 

Curaçao: Play & Stay

Flickr/Jessica Bee

Kura Hulanda Hotel and Lodge. Bath yourself in history at the Hotel, set in a UNESCO world heritage site and restored Dutch village in the heart of Willemstad. Walk along cobblestone streets, dine in the main square, or massage your shoulders under the cascading waterfall in the eco-pool. For a breezy, beach experience, stay at the Lodge on the Island's west side. A tranquil cove and coral cliffs front the cool, coastal retreat with amenities from home, thousands miles away from it all.