Half Moon Bay and Smiling Harry's are worth the drive from St. John's. Indeed, they probably are worth the flight from anywhere.
Abandon the cramped tourist beaches on the west and south west of the island and head immediately to Half Moon Bay. Once there, stake out a patch of sand under the trees, take a swim and then walk to Smiling Harry's for the best rum punch in the known universe.
Harry himself staffs the beach-front trailer (drinks only) and his brother is up at the cafe. Both are legends and have stacks of great stories. Ask Harry about being Silvio Berlusconi's driver and get the straight dope on the abandoned hotel.
Their opening hours are "whenever they are open" but they generally are there (in season) from about 11 or 12.
Be warned, between their food, rum, sunshine and lovely beach you may decide to abandon your family, job and home so that you can devote your time to being a professional beach bum.
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