Located at the most Eastern point in the Caribbean Sea, is one of the most gorgeous Island Nations on the planet. Barbados, is a magnificent country that is as equally charming and low key as it is glamorous and luxurious. Birth nation to some of the best in music and my parents, Barbados has produced some of the greatest talents in the world. Today, 50 years ago, this great nation gained its independence from British rule. As your resident expert, having visited at least every year of my life and living there for 3 years for high school, I want to celebrate by giving you a travel guide to let you know why this little 166 sq miles of sand and sun should be your next travel destination.
Where to stay
If you asked 10 Bajan’s where the best place to stay was, they would probably give you 10 different answers because there’s so many and everyone has their favorite but as far as what is most convenient and popular on the Island, three locations come to mind.
This Parish, located on the West coast of the island and locally referred to as the “gold coast”, is one of the most expensive yet the most luxurious area to stay in Barbados. Sandy Lane Hotel and the Sand Piper hotel are two of most popular and nicest hotels to stay in St. James. You also have the option of finding a private rental house in St. James, which can be just as luxurious as the hotels at more competitive prices.
Christ Church is another popular location to stay in Barbados. There are tons of great hotels , including Accra Beach hotel, The Crane and Turtle bay. Like St. James, Christ Church also has tons of private rentals, most famously in St. Lawrence gap, which provide great accommodations as well.
Now Bridgetown isn’t my favorite place to stay because there’s always a lot going on and it tends to be busy because it the main area for shopping and commerce in Barbados, but for some people they love to be in the mix of things so if that’s you, I would definitely recommend checking out Hilton Barbados. There are so many things to do and see at this hotel and you are so close to all the action in “town”.
What to Eat
Growing up in a Bajan household, with tons of great cooks in the family, makes me a bit bias when it comes to eating in Barbados, but I do have my favorite local spots that will give you a taste of what I have experience all my life.
There are plenty of fine restaurants in Barbados that offer local cuisine, seafood and continental cuisine. The variety makes it easy to find something you like. My top three things to try when you visit are: Coucou and Salt fish, flying fish and Bajan Macaroni Pie. My top three places to go to find these food’s done well: P and N Catering, The Cliff Beach Club and Pat’s Place.
You can’t mention food in Barbados without mentioning, Oistins’ Fish fry. Oistins is an area in Christ Church that is popular to locals and tourist alike, for its Friday night fish fry where you can line up to fill your plate with freshly grilled or fried flying fish, tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi, or meats, and sample appetizers and sides of fish cakes, macaroni pie, plantains, breadfruit, and more island specialties. My favorite, and the most popular, shop to get food in Oistins is Pat’s Place. The line is always a mile long but the food is fresh and delicious.
Where to Shop
I couldn’t do a travel guide without adding where to shop. My top three favorite places for shopping are:
“The Grove” is located in St. James and is full of luxury shopping including Louis Vuitton and Cartier.
In Bridgetown, you can find tons of local made products and shops. There is also the department store Cave Shepard, which can be compared to Macy’s in the US.
Sheraton is where I use to go for all my fast fashion when I lived in Barbados for high school. It’s also a great place to “lime” (chill) and catch a movie as it has one of only two movie theaters in the island.
What to do
Barbados is best known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters. No wonder the beach is probably one of the main attractions on the Island. Whether to surf, sunbath or swim with turtles, the beaches in Barbados can’t be beat.
If you can pull yourself away from the beach long enough, there are tons of other activities to keep one entertained while visiting. My top three favorites are:
Get on the back of a jeep and head on a bumpy guided tour of some of the more remote places on the Island
Harrison’s Cave– Located, literally, in the middle of the Island, Harrison’s Cave is one of the biggest attractions. Traverse the cave of lime stone speleothems on a tram and explore this nature wonder.
Mount Gay Rum factory tour
Discover where the world’s best, in my opinion, rum comes from and how it’s made. On this guided tour, you’ll learn the history behind Mount Gay rum and even get to taste the different varieties.
I hope that you guys enjoyed my travel guide and why you should book your ticket to Barbados ASAP. I’m so proud of my little Island nation and want nothing more for you all to experience what makes it so awesome. Seriously, you won’t regret it!