As winter sets about sealing us into our comfortable homes and apartments in the northeast portion of the United States, I am dreaming of a warm getaway. It’s not likely that I am the only one. This year, I was so blessed to visit Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica. There isn’t even a fibre of my body that would object to returning to any of those places again right now.
But today, as the wind whips around my apartment building and I eye my passport sitting on top of my suitcase – it’s Barbados that occupies the largest part of my daydreams.
There are so many reasons I will forever rank this island amongst my favorite places …
B – Beach. All beaches in Barbados are public, even on resort properties. This makes it the ideal place for a traveler looking for sun, sand and turquoise water. One needn’t be confined to one beach, when they are all available! With wellcraft boats you can breeze from beach to beach all day long, enjoying the different views all over the island, avoiding the traffic and extra time that comes by traveling via car.
A – Abbey. A distracting name, St. Nicholas Abbey, is really a plantation. The history of the name is a fanciful one as it was bestowed by a wife of one the many English Lords who have owned the property over the centuries because of her affection for the place in which she was married in Britain. Sample rum and tour the beautiful grounds while marveling at how it is so very English and yet so very Barbadian, all at the same time.
R – Rent a car and drive around the island. They do it British style in Barbados and so if you aren’t used to driving on the their side of the road, it’s quite an adventure. One that I highly recommend. Driving during rush hour and on the practically one-lane roads was one of the highlights of my stay. Now, I want to take on the German autobahn! If you’re English already, this will be a piece of cake and such an enjoyable way to see Barbados beyond resort and hotel walls. The backroads of Barbados are where the country really comes alive.
B – Beautiful sunsets every. single. evening.
A – A private shopping appointment at Limegrove.
D – Daphne’s. Dine mere feet from the crashing surf, sand in your toes, candlelight illuminating the faces of those around you and lending an air of romance to the already steamy atmosphere. Enjoy cuisine prepared by world class chefs and feel free to drink the night away without care. When you’re done, stroll along the beach to walk off the calories and sober up. Just slightly. After all, if you’re staying at The House – it’s right next door. No need to stress.
O – Oistins Fish Fry. This is the place to go for seafood on the weekend in Barbados. This market-like venue is a riot of flavors, heat, music and grilled food. The sheer volume of people that flock to Oistins is almost overwhelming once the night really begins, though it’s a largely quiet market during the day. I experienced (not merely ate, but experienced) the best fried chicken I’ve ever had at Oistins and the amount of people seemed to matter little with a beer in one hand and that chicken in the other. It’s important to note this is available if, like me, you can’t eat seafood. Don’t be dissuaded – visit anyway. Between the food, music and vendors selling souvenirs it is the “can’t miss” place to be on a Friday night.
S – Swimming with turtles. Unlike swimming with dolphins in places like Florida, these animals are truly in their completely native habitat. They are not penned, caged or otherwise provoked in any way except to be fed once they do come near your boat. Turtles are such gentle creatures and their movements so calm it was an incredible experience that made me feel as if I would overflow with joy.
My stay in Barbados was provided by Elegant Hotels group but as always, the opinions in this post are my own. I was not compensated for a favorable review or press coverage. Oistins image used under Creative Commons license and is copyright daveypea.