While European royalty and rock stars reward themselves with some island R&R, they usually jet off Barbados (with their entourages, of course). This wee bit of Britain in the Caribbean is the epitome of luxury. Forget about throbbing nightlife and mass-market hotels. Rather, you’ll find refined properties like Sandy Lane tucked amid quiet, coastal gardens. When the sun sets, connoisseurs filter in to one of the gourmet eateries that line the idyllic west coast, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. But you don’t have to be a mega-millionaire to tour a Barbadian rum factory or snorkel with sea turtles. Check out what to see and do in Barbados for affordable options and wedding/honeymoon specials.
Here are five reasons we love Barbados:
• Mount Gay Rum Tour Enjoy one or more cocktails with expert shakers at the Mount Gay Rum distillery. Discover the colorful history of this brand and learn how the world’s finest rum is produced. Watch as the distiller shows you how to create this precious spirit, and become a rum expert yourself as you explore the subtleties of flavors that will tickle your palate.
• Island Safari Tour Embrace the nature, history, culture and folklore of Barbados at captivating places of interest, which are usually inaccessible to the public but pose no challenge to the fleet of Land Rovers. On the safari you’ll visit the highest cliff on the island where Jim Hackleton, devastated by unrequited love, rode his horse off the edge and crashed into the sea below.
• George Washington House Barbados was the only foreign country ever visited by the future first president. This visit is a little known but very important chapter in the life of the then unknown 19-year-old. George and his brother, Lawrence, resided in this historic plantation house, also known as Bush Hill House, for two months in 1751.
• Exploring the Crystal Room in Harrison’s Cave With an abundance of stalactites, stalagmites, streams, lakes and waterfalls, experts agree the Crystal Room Cave to be among the finest showcases of its type in the world. The Caves are located near the geographical center of Barbados, in St. Thomas parish and are a natural phenomenon in this tropical world.
• Surfing the Soup Bowl at Bathsheba Come November, the Soup Bowl comes alive when the swells arrive from the North or Northeast, and break over a shallow reef, producing a perfect barrel or tube that many surfers relish. Located on the Northeast Atlantic Coast, surfers from the U.S., Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad and the U.S. Virgin Islands compete for a prize of $10,000.