Caribbean Destinations

One Perfect Day in Tobago (off the beaten path)

One Perfect Day in Tobago

The birds eye view from the airplane window is enough to take your breath away. Streaks of golden sunlight peak through the clouds and dance over the surface of the ocean. The airport runway, fast approaching, is flanked by the stunning scene of the coconut tree-lined Caribbean Sea coast on your left and the rugged, rocky Atlantic Ocean on your right. It’s a picturesque vision that seems to have been snatched straight out of a painting, and as you take it all in, you’re convinced you made the right choice destination-wise. Tobago is, after all, paradise. The only problem with your travel plan? You have but one day to make the most of an island dubbed “God’s real estate”. Fortunately, if solitude and serenity is what you seek, you can find it within close proximity of the airport. This itinerary is all you need to have one perfect day in Tobago – just off the beaten path.

So…let’s get started!

Breakfast at Shore Things Cafe & Craft

One Perfect Day in Tobago

Ocean views and island vibes overflow at the kaleidoscopic Shore Things Cafe & Craft. Tucked inconspicuously along the side of Milford Road, Shore Things was doing kitschy-cute before Instagram influencers made foodie flatlays and cozy dining spots a fad. Truth be told, without even trying too hard, this quaint restaurant oozes all the charm and serves up all the yumminess you’d want for a tasty breakfast away from the madding crowd. The menu features local favorites like roast or fried bake with salt fish or buljol; as well as international options like pancakes with eggs and bacon or sausage. Each meal is accompanied by fruit cup, fresh fruit juice and a hot beverage, including Tobago’s special cocoa tea. Dine on the deck to the sound of crashing waves down below and the chirping birds flitting about overhead. There’s something wonderfully authentic about this rustic home style restaurant and I highly recommend it as the best way to start your day!

What you need to know

Take a Stroll through the Mangrove

One Perfect Day in Tobago

A leisurely stroll is the perfect followup to a scrumptious breakfast and the meandering paths cutting through the mangroves at Tobago Plantations were definitely made for walking. The towering roots form a beautiful yet ominous corridor as sunlight streams in through the treetops, creating a natural light show that looks almost magical. Beware, the stench may overpower you at first, but be mindful that the pungent smell is just a sign of a thriving habitat. As you navigate the twists and turns of the boardwalk you’ll observe crabs popping in and out of holes and birds resting precociously atop outstretched roots. You’ll see signs of life at every turn and marvel at the fact that this you have this mystical jungle all to yourself. At least for a while. Visitors don’t start to stream in until around midday and even then, they’re few and far between. Note that the walkway veers off in several directions but if you veer left you’ll make your way to the Petit Trou Lagoon where a stunning wooden frame seems to have been constructed specifically for dazzling photo ops.

What you need to know

  • Hours: 24/7, however it’s not advisable to visit the mangrove during hours of darkness
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Tobago Plantations
  • Approximate distance from Shore Things: 15 mins

Beach Vibes at Buccoo Bay

One Perfect Day in Tobago

Rumour has it that there are at least 55 beaches in Tobago. However only a handful of them receive top billing. Which allows gems like Buccoo Bay to fly slightly under the radar, attracting small numbers on a daily basis. Talk about perfection. This expansive stretch of coastline features the silky soft white sand and clear, calm waters that feature prominently in all of your island dreams. Not to mention the added convenience of the shade provided by the lush greenery that lines the shore. Suffice it to say, it is the ideal beach for you to lay low, take a dip and while away the morning without any distractions. Trust me when I say that what this no-frills beach destination lacks in amenities (such as chair rentals or food vendors), it more than makes up for with seclusion and tranquility.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 24/7, how it is not advisable to visit this beach after dark
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Auchenskeoch Buccoo Bay Rd, Buccoo (the entrance to the beach is through the Buccoo Integrated Facility parking lot)
  • Approximate distance from the mangroves: 10 minutes

Lunch at Waves Restaurant

One Perfect Day in Tobago

From beach-bumming to beach-dining, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more scenic lunch spot than Waves Restaurant on Stonehaven Beach. Truth be told, Waves has its fair share of diners throughout the day, but the spacious seating arrangements means the restaurant never feels crowded. The menu offers up a delicious medley of both international and local dishes, from juicy burgers and crispy fries to scrumptious curried chicken and flavourful shrimp. It goes without saying that the food is good. The view is great. And the opportunity to live your best #islandlife while dining on the open deck is priceless! Whatever you do, don’t leave before enjoying one of their signature cocktails while curled up in the cocoon swings positioned to face the ocean. Talk about #vacagoals!

What you need to know

Relax on Stonehaven Bay

One Perfect Day in Tobago

With your tummy full and the sounds of the ocean calling, there’s no need for you to venture any further for the rest of the afternoon. Once you’ve wrapped up lunch, take the stairs down to Stonehaven Bay and set up camp. The beach is long and wide leaving you with ample real estate to play with. Seek cover beneath the shade of a tree or or soak up all the rays while sunning yourself on the sand. Either way, you’ll enjoy the ability to laze around without being over stimulated by noisy crowds or buzzing water activities. Feel free to indulge in a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, take a dip in the calmer surf on the eastern side of the beach, or take a good long afternoon nap to the soothing sounds of the ocean. Whatever you do, pause for a few minutes to watch the sunset over the horizon. But err on the side of caution and leave before complete darkness descends.

What you need to know

  • Hours: 24/7, however visiting this beach after dark is not recommended
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Black Rock, Tobago
  • Approximate distance from Waves: 30 seconds

Dinner at Edge of the Reef

The perfect day in Tobago ends with the perfect dinner. And that perfect dinner is waiting for you at Edge of the Reef. Surrounded by manta rays and sharks, corals and seashells, you’ll have the unique pleasure of dining “under the sea” thanks to the elaborate mural covering the walls at this Pleasant Prospect restaurant. You’ll appreciate the casual atmosphere almost as much as the varied menu. If the barracuda is available – order it! No hesitation. The lamb is also incredibly scrumptious and perfectly prepared. Even the vegetables are worth writing home about – and I usually bypass those as a rule. I’m terribly sorry I don’t have any photos of this meal but they wouldn’t have done the meals justice anyway. Just TRUST ME when I say the food was DELICIOUS and you will LOVE IT!

What you need to know

  • Hours: Daily, 6 – 10 pm
  • Cost: Approximately $170
  • Location: Shirvan Rd, Black Rock, Tobago
  • Approximate distance from Waves: 5 minutes

One day will never be enough time to get the full Tobago experience. However, if it’s all that you’ve got, this simple itinerary featuring great, low-key, high-quality spots is all you need to thoroughly enjoy your time in our little slice of island paradise!

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One Perfect Day in Tobago    One Perfect Day in Tobago

(10) Comments

  1. Great !! congrats for all your travels, your work, and pictures !!!!

    1. Aisha Sylvester says:

      Thank you!

  2. The mangrove forests look kinda creepy but otherwise, the Stonehaven Bay is pretty relaxing.

    1. Aisha Sylvester says:

      Creepy is a great word to describe the mangrove lol but it’s also amazing to see in person – mystical and magical 🙂

  3. The food at Shore Things Cafe looks delicious and all the photos of Tobago are gorgeous! Cheers!

    1. Aisha Sylvester says:

      Shore Things is one of the best restos on the island in my very unbiased opinion 🙂 Perfect for casual dining. And thanks! The island is gorgeous so it’s easy to capture the beauty 🙂

  4. Hanni Brown says:

    Stayed in Fish Tobago in 2015 in Buccoo with my grown son who is half Trinidadian. Loved it. Saw the mangrove and Princess Margret honeymoon house from 60 years ago.

    1. Aisha Sylvester says:

      That sounds lovely! I hope you’re able to make a return trip to Tobago soon 🙂

  5. Junia Mason says:

    Just returned from Tobago… didn’t get a chance to stop in at Shore Things on this trip…. last time I was there (many moons ago) I thoroughly enjoyed the laid back ambience and luscious view …. the cool tropical beverages and carrot cake were delish!… glad to hear the cafe is still going strong… Tobago feeds the soul….


    1. Aisha Sylvester says:

      So sorry you didn’t get to stop by Shore Things on your last trip but indeed it’s maintained it’s charm for all these years and the quality of the food is still TOPS! I’ll be back again in a couple weeks and will order a slice of carrot cake in your honor 🙂

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