The four-mile long (6.5 km) East Side Beach is the longest beach on Grand Turk. Largely undeveloped, this coast generally doesn’t offer the best swimming conditions, but several decent stretches can be found. It’s directly exposed to the open Atlantic Ocean.
Grand Turk’s main riding stable is found at the north end of this beach.
Seaweed and Flotsam
Dense seaweed grows close off the beach in much of this area, and a heavy band of seaweed, sargassum, and flotsam is usually found washed up as well. Due to being directly exposed to the consistent eastern trade winds, plastic flotsam (from throughout the Atlantic) is common as well.
Sargassum is a reddish brown holopelagic macroalgae that grows in warmer sections of the Atlantic Ocean, and is the primary buildup on many of the windward coasts in the Turks and Caicos. Sargassum is seasonal, typically being worst during the hottest months of the year.
It’s interesting to comb through the strange and foreign items that make it to the beach, and it’s not uncommon to find an actual message in a bottle.
There is no developed beach access to East Side Beach. Tracks lead down to East Side Beach from Lighthouse Road in many places, yet you’ll have to hunt a bit to find the perfect spot. On the northern point of East Side Beach are the remains of the U.S. NAVFAC 104 Navy Base, and the Grand Turk Lighthouse.