Guide to Barbados

The island nation of Barbados is unlike any other in the Caribbean. Its strong economy allowed it a great deal of autonomy from the British Empire and early self-rule (long before independence in 1966) created a unique blend of native, African, and European cultures that’s still thriving today. You’ll find refined British mainstays like cricket and polo alongside native Calypso and Soca music as well as carnival-like festivities during Crop Over. In fact, each of the 11 Parishes in Barbados offers something slightly different than the next–surfing on the east coast, sand beaches and exclusive marinas on the west with miles of tropical forest, nature preserves, and striking cave systems between. Take this wonderful blend of refinement and relaxation and place it on one of the most beautiful islands in the Lesser Antilles–a natural gem–and you have the perfect vacation getaway

West vs East Coastline

The West Coast is the leeward side of Barbados and features some of the best beaches and relaxed seas, excellent for casual recreation (swimming, snorkeling, boating) and sunbathing. It’s also home to some of the more affluent neighborhoods and higher end attractions including excellent restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, marinas, and cultural attractions. These include Holder’s House (home to Holder’s Season which brings theatre, song, and dance from all over the world), the Royal Westmoreland Golf Course, world class dining at The Cliff and Lone Star restaurants, and Port St. Charles.

The East Coast faces the Atlantic Ocean and is home to some of the best surfing in the Caribbean and some of the more laid back, casual attractions on the island. These include historic finds like the fully restored and functioning Morgan Lewis Mill, several beautiful Anglican churches, the West Indies Sugar Plantation, and numerous wildlife encounters at locations like the Barbados Wildlife Reserve and Farley Hill National Park.

Both sides of this beautiful island are completely different but no matter where you go you’re likely to find something new and exciting to try

Maxwell Beach Barbados
Crane Beach Barbados
Kite Surfing In Barbados

Wishing to get Married in Barbados?

From intimate seaside ceremonies to massive destination weddings in one of the palatial venues on the island, getting married on Barbados is as exotic, romantic, and showstopping as you’d dreamed it would be. With miles of white sand beaches, lush tropical foliage, and rustic venues converted from authentic colonial era buildings, Barbados offers the bride and groom a number of options to choose from

Getting Married

Restaurants & Bars

When it comes to food and drink, the west coast of Barbados is where the action is. A number of rustic local eateries and taverns stand side by side with world class restaurants featuring new twists on traditional dishes and exotic Caribbean fare. Perfect for grabbing a cocktail with friends or sneaking away for a sunset dinner with someone special, you’re guaranteed to find tasty treats wherever you look

Rosa Wine
Seafood Cocktail

Botanic Gardens

Barbados is home to a number of world breathtaking botanical gardens which make excellent escapes for the nature lover in your travel party. Spend a lazy day meandering the grounds of Andromeda Botanical Gardens, Hunte’s Gardens, The Flower Forest, or Welchman Hall Gully. Get lost in the tropical paradise and be amazed at the sights and scents hidden away in these carefully curated preserves. Many of these botanical gardens are also available for special events and gatherings like destination weddings, receptions, photo shoots, and more

Andromeda Botanic Gardens
Hunte's Gardens

Activities

Being a tropical island, the main draw on Barbados are the beaches (of which there are miles) and the surrounding surf.

From lazy days sunbathing on bright white sand, to adventures in scuba or snorkeling the reefs, to watersports and yacht excursions, if you’re a fan of the salt the sun and the sea you’ll surely find something unforgettable to keep you occupied. The west coast is great for mellow activities like beachcombing or recreational swimming but the east coast is where the adventurous go. With some of the best surfing in the Caribbean and strong breezes off the Atlantic (perfect for parasailing or windsurfing) this is where you’ll find the adrenalin junkies.

Of course, the middle of the island is not to be forgotten either. With miles of hiking and biking trails as well as opportunities for quad biking and even camping excursions, Barbados is an outdoorsperson’s dream

Sea Turtle
Windsurfing in Barbados

Bridgetown

Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados and got its name from the native bridges that used to span the area. It’s one of the most urbanized portions of Barbados and features some of the more elite attractions like the renown Kensington Oval (called the Mecca of Cricket), The Turf Club (for fans of horse racing) and the parliament building (for those interested in the politics or rich history of the island).
Bridgetown is also where cruise ships dock so you can expect to see many shopping outlets offering some of the best deals on Barbadian rum and gemstones and jewelry as well as affordable gift items for friends back home

Parliment-Building-Barbados
Cricket

Harrison's Cave Barbados

Harrison’s Cave is a natural limestone cave formation in the heart of the island. The cave is a living cave, meaning the stalactites and stalagmites are still growing. Inside this intricate underground lair you’ll see breathtaking rock formations as you tour through grottos and tread softly around underground rivers and mirror-like pools of mineral waters. Spending a couple hours in Harrison’s Cave is a wonderful way to beat the heat of the afternoon and see a side of Barbados that many never experience

Harrisons Cave Barbados

Golfing

Barbados is a golfer’s paradise. With multiple courses (including the Sandy Lane Golf Course and the world renowned Royal Westmoreland) there are links for everyone from the casual duffer through the recreational athlete rand even the world class professional. And, with the moderate tropical climate any time of the year is great for golf on Barbados, just remember the sunscreen

Golf Course Barbados

Market Day in Bridgetown

Saturdays mornings aren’t for sleeping in on Barbados. If you truly want to get a taste for the local flavor, make Market Day in Bridgetown a priority on your must see list. With dozens of vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handicrafts you never know what exotic treasure you’re going to find. Make your way through the booths and immerse yourself in the creole language, the smells of the tropics, and the tastes unlike anything you’ve experienced before

Market Day Barbados

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