Travel with me to: Aruba

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since we were in Aruba! Oh, how I wish I could be back in the 86º weather right about now! This was my first trip to Aruba and it’s safe to say that I loved the island and will certainly be back! Today I wanted to share a recap of our trip & provide some suggestions on places to eat & things to do! Keep reading to see all Aruba has to offer!  where to eat in Aruba

Getting there & where we stayed

Aruba is a very easy trip from North Carolina! We flew out of Raleigh, had a short layover in Baltimore and arrived in Aruba by late afternoon. I was really impressed with how quickly we got through customs (some countries are in no hurry to get you through!) and we were on our way. From the airport, most hotels and homes are roughly 15 minutes away. This was a huge bonus as I have traveled to many islands where you land and then still have an hour or so drive to get to your hotel!

For this trip there were six of us, so we rented a house so that we could all have our space. I am so glad that we went this route because the hotels were extremely busy since it was over New Year’s! We rented this house, which had three bedrooms, a kitchen and living area, plus a private pool and back yard! We were able to send in our grocery list and they had the house stocked with the items we needed upon our arrival! You could also rent their vehicle for the duration of your stay, which made getting around the island really easy. Our house was located right between Palm Beach and Eagle Beach and was about 1.5 miles from the beach.

Where to eat

For a relatively small island there are so many delicious food options! There was no way we could hit all of the places we wanted in just a week! My absolute favorite restaurant that we ate at while we were there was Fred. It was an incredible culinary experience, serving only 14 guests per night! You have to make reservations at least 6 months in advance, but I promise you it’s worth it! While we weren’t able to try all the places listed below, they all came highly recommended by people!

BUGALOE BEACH BAR| A great place to grab a drink & apps! It’s located on a pier, so the views are beautiful, especially at sunset!

SCREAMING EAGLE | If you’re looking for a nice dinner with fresh caught seafood, be sure to make a reservation at Screaming Eagle!

PAPIAMENTO | Located in a historic home, Papiamento is a great spot to grab authentic Aruban food, while being surrounded by a gorgeous view.

FLYING FISHBONE | While this one is a bit out of the way and a bit on the expensive side, the views can’t be beat! You can even dine with your feet in the water. Make sure you make reservations to catch the sunset!

LOBBY RESTAURANT & BAR | Located in the heart of the high rise district, this is a great spot to grab a drink and people watch! They have live music a few times a week, too.

THE DUTCH PANCAKE HOUSE | There are numerous dutch pancake houses on this island, so you can’t go wrong with any of them! They have a delicious array of crepes and other breakfast foods!

ATARDI | If you’re looking for a spot for a romantic evening, Atardi is the place to go! You eat right on the beach and can view the gorgeous sunset.

ELLIOTI’S ITALIAN | Located in the low rise district, this place has good Italian!

Things to Do

Whether you’re traveling there with family or for a couple’s getaway, Aruba has something to offer everyone! There is so much to do on the island! I really wanted to rent an ATV/UTV for the day and explore the island, but since I was pregnant we couldn’t do that, but it looked like SO much fun! We had a great time exploring the island and relaxing!

SUNSET BOOZE CRUISE OR DINNER CRUISE | We did a sunset dinner/booze cruise one evening through Red Sail Aruba and I highly recommend it! The views and the sunset were gorgeous, the food was really good & the crew was so friendly!

red sail aruba sunset cruise
red sail aruba sunset cruise

VISIT THE DIVI DIVI TREE | There are Divi Divi tress located all around the island, but the famous one that you see often is right in front of Amsterdam Manor. It’s right on the beach and it’s a gorgeous photo app!

FLAMINGO BEACH AT RENAISSANCE HOTEL | I’m sure you have heard of Flamingo Beach & with good reason! The beach is filled with, you guessed it, flamingos! If you’re staying at the Renaissance Hotel you can head to the island free. If you’re not, you can purchase tickets 24 hours in advance at $125/person. This includes the ferry ride to the island along with lunch and one drink. I really wanted to visit the flamingos on this trip but after doing some research I found out that there is NO shade on the beach at all (cabanas/chairs are for hotel guests only) and I didn’t see the point in spending the $$$ since I couldn’t be in the sun for long periods of time! There’s always next time!

RENT AN ATV/UTV TO EXPLORE THE ISLAND | There are a lot of different tours and excursion companies that offer ATV/UTV rentals! You can either do a tour with a group or opt to go off on your own to explore the island. Although I couldn’t do this due to being pregnant, everyone raved about it, so I’m sure it’s worth doing since you can explore the island and go off roading on some of the beaches!

VISIT BABY BEACH, PALM BEACH OR EAGLE BEACH | Aruba has many public beaches! A lot of the public beaches have bars & restaurants with nice restrooms. We really liked Eagle beach and that’s where we set up every day! The first few days we rented umbrellas and chairs at Coco Loco Beach Bar (located on eagle beach) but for the rest of the week we rented those items right in front of Oceania Condos.

ARIKOK NATIONAL PARK | This national park has a totally different terrain than the rest of the island. It has a desert feel and is rich in history! There are natural pools, caves & a lot of different guided tours.

CALIFORNIA LIGHTHOUSE | The lighthouse is located at the northern end of the island and is a must visit. From the lighthouse you can see the entire island and it’s breathtaking! There are a lot of tours – as these are the beaches where you can go off roading in in a car or ATV/UTV!

CASINO HOP | Almost every hotel has a casino in it, so if you’re looking to gamble be sure to check out some of the casinos!

swimsuit coverup & flowy dress

swimsuit | denim shorts | hat


Leave a Reply


  1. Hillary wrote:

    So envious of this trip!! Aruba looks absolutely beautiful! (And all of your looks were so cute!)

    Posted 2.12.20 Reply
  2. Rach wrote:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Aruba!! Definitely going to save this post!

    Posted 2.12.20 Reply
  3. rebecca piersol wrote:

    ahhh i have been dying to go to Aruba!! this house is so cute – looks like a great stay!

    Posted 2.12.20 Reply
  4. Anna English wrote:

    I’ve been dying to visit Aruba! It looks like I need to book a trip asap.

    Posted 2.13.20 Reply
  5. I need a tropical beach vacation like yesterday! Gorgeous photos and will def be looking further into as a possible vacation spot! xoxo, Sarah

    Posted 2.13.20 Reply
  6. Carrington Barfield wrote:

    These pictures are stunning!! This water is so blueeeee, omg I’m jealous!! Wish I were there right now!

    Posted 2.13.20 Reply
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    Aruba sounds like a paradise to me! All the amazing places to eat and the beaches look beautiful. I’d love to go see the flamingos – but wow, that’s a lot of money! I hope one day I get to visit here.

    Posted 2.13.20 Reply
  8. Louella Reese wrote:

    Okay you’ve convinced me – I NEED to go!! Love your beautiful photos and this detailed breakdown. Definitely will reference back if aka when we go!

    xo Laura Leigh

    Posted 2.13.20 Reply
  9. Tanni wrote:

    This is such a great guide. We were there last July and can’t wait to visit again.

    Posted 2.14.20 Reply
  10. Alexia D Anderson wrote:

    I’m going there in May for the Soul Fest. I’m so excited!!! Your pictures are beautiful and everything you said was very helpful🙂

    Posted 3.2.20 Reply

follow along with me | @emilynwilkinson

  • A little mid-week floral happiness for ya! 🌸 hows everyone doing this week? I’m having a pretty good week so far - sharing a few things I’m thankful for this week:
• a loving, supportive husband! I haven’t been out of the house in 2+ weeks & he’s made sure I have everything I need!
• neighborhood walks, they’re good for the soul & a great way to recharge.
• a great support system near & far keeping me encouraged!
• the ability to catch up with friends! 👩🏼‍💻Had a great zoom call with my #bloggersdotravel girls @mystylevita @glitterandgingham @kristinchambless & @poorlittleitgirl today!
• my endless pile of books that I want to read! 📚I’ve enjoyed unplugging and reading every day. #booksconnectus

share what you’re thankful for this week! 💙 #liketkit #LTKhome #floralarrangement
  • 24 weeks with our baby boy🤰🏼💙 it’s crazy to think we get to meet him in just 16 weeks, it feels like this pregnancy has flown by! 👶🏻I feel grateful that I have had a healthy & happy pregnancy but, to be honest, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. As a first time mom, I have these feelings of immense sadness as the last half of this pregnancy is going to be nothing like I had envisioned. There have been a lot of tears over the fact that many exciting moments can no longer be shared with those closest to us. I know others have it much, much worse but I’ve learned it’s ok to be sad & to feel these emotions. I’m upset that I am no longer able to have a baby shower to celebrate our first born, I’m sad I don’t get to hug our family and watch their faces as they see my growing bump. I’m upset that these last few months of just the two of us look completely different - more time spent in our house quarantined and less time having date nights at our favorite spots and doing the things we want before baby arrives. I mourn the fact that our families may not get to meet our baby boy in the hospital the way we always talked about. But with any situation, I have cried it out (a lot) and decided to take it one day at a time and to find joy in each day💙 And ya know what? There’s a lot of joy amidst the chaos. It brings me so much joy to feel his daily movement (and my heart nearly burst when Nick felt him kick for the first time).🥰I am overjoyed that we have such a strong support system near and far. I love that we get to spend more time at home spoiling our fur babies. I find solace knowing that there are so many pregnant mamas out there feeling these exact emotions & we share a common experience and bond! I am grateful for those that are on the front lines caring for everyone. I know we have the best doctors carrying us through this uncertain time. We are strong mamas and we will get through this! 💕 so, I challenge you to find the join in each day no matter your situation! #24weekspregnant #24weeks #pregnancy #2ndtrimester #stylethebump #bumpstyle #pregnant #pregnantduringcovid19 #pregnantblogger #thebump #boymom #expecting #expectingmom
  • Thinking back on a time when I got dressed (in something other than leggings) & was able to leave my house 💙🙈🤣 Anyone else going a bit stir crazy?! 🏡 I think I’m going to put on this @sailtosable dress on Friday & have an in-house date night to feel a lil fancy! 😊 shop this look here + linking a few of their dresses that are on sale! #liketkit #LTKspring #sailtosable #sailtosablepartner
  • Anyone else been reading more lately? 📚 Reading is my favorite form of self-care & now more than ever I'm leaning on books during this stressful time we're in. 🤓Reading before bed lets me unwind and relax! I'm teaming up with @penguinrandomhouse to challenge you to read 10-30 minutes before bed as part of their #ReadtoSleep campaign! March is National Sleep Awareness month so put your phone down & pick up a book for the next few weeks and give yourself a much needed break! 💙 [ad]

p.s. they have a great giveaway going on with @parachutehome where you can win 25 books of your choice (OMG!) and a cozy bedding set from Parachute! Find out how to enter on my stories!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents, 18+. Enter ‪between 1/15/20 and 3/31/20‬. See Official Rules at ‪‬
  • How’s everyone doing? 💙 I’m taking it one day (heck, sometimes one hour!) at a time this week!

Here are a few things I’m grateful for:
• Getting to check on our baby boy👶🏻& hear his heartbeat today!
• That I am able to work from home & have some sense of normalcy through all of this👩🏼‍💻.
• Those who are working & caring for others (including doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, those who work at grocery stores & restaurants handling takeout).
• Having this community to chat with through the good & bad days! It’s been so nice connecting with all of you via DM (especially those who are pregnant or new moms!) as we juggle this new “normal.”
Shop today’s casual outfit here or at the link in my bio #liketkit #LTKbump #LTKunder100 #bumpstyle #stylethebump #ingridandisabel #everydaymadewell #pregnantblogger #pregnancy #expectingmom #boymom #secondtrimester #2ndtrimester #momtobe #22weekspregnant
  • Hi friends 👋🏻It’s a new week & I’m going into it with a positive attitude (that’s all we can hope for at this point, right?) 💙I’m social distancing & self quarantining in an effort to “flatten the curve.” We spent the weekend going on walks with our pup🐶, getting in a lot of reading📚, binging Love is Blind📺 and cooking some of our favorite meals🍽! We’re trying to remain positive & do the best we can to protect ourselves and others 😊 p.s. I am *loving* this dress (wearing XS) & it’s bump approved - swipe to see a pic of my #22weekspregnant bump! #liketkit #LTKspring #LTKbump #bumpstyle #stylethebump #pregnantblogger #22weeks #expectingmom #babyontheway #2ndtrimester #bumpfriendly

Follow Me @emilynwilkinson