Located in the southeastern region of the Caribbean, Barbados is one of the main destinations of travelers to the Caribbean. Although Barbados is only 431 square miles, more than 275,000 people live there and thousands more come to visit each year. The capital city, Bridgetown, and other towns, such as Speightstown, Holetown, and Oistins, feature a large array of activities and attractions for children and adults.
Shopping in Barbados
While Bridgetown has the same attractions as every other tourist town (gift shops, malls and boutiques), everything in Barbados is duty-free. Expensive brands such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani can be purchased for about half of the cost in America. The Pelican Craft Centre, near Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, is a modern-day craft mall that has more than 20 souvenir and craft shops as well as a quaint restaurant.
Activities and Dining in Barbados
Several companies on the island offer catamaran cruises. Similarly, a traveler in Barbados won’t have any trouble finding snorkel tours, private cruises, sunset tours and dinner cruises. Cruises that don’t feature lunch or dinner normally offer refreshments of some sort.
Among the eateries on Barbados are pizzerias, seafood shacks, casual restaurants, Chinese restaurants and even fast-food joints. Many restaurants offer mixed drinks or other alcoholic beverages, as well as nice choices for children.
Little Bay and Cove Bay
Among the interesting things in Barbados is Little Bay, where the sand looks different than that of any other area of the island. Blowholes embedded within the tide pools cause seawater to spout into the air at any given time. Moreover, the swimming is great and the views are unbelievable.
On the north side of Barbados is Cove Bay, St. Lucy. Although it’s a little more difficult to get there, it’s worth the extra hassle.
Other popular destinations are White Hill, Cherry Street in St. Andrew, Farley Hill of St. Peter, Hackleton’s Cliff, Bathsheba, and Three Houses Park. These areas offer the best of swimming, fishing, hiking, nature walks and sun-filled days.
Culture in Barbados
If culture is more up your alley, go see the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, established in 1933. Formerly a military prison, the museum now features galleries and exhibits that express the history and heritage of Barbados. There’s even a children’s gallery that showcases antique toys and dolls of all types. Fees are inexpensive and you’ll enjoy an entire day of interesting pieces.
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve, located in St. Peter parish, is directly across the street from Farley Hill National Park. The reserve is full of animals, birds and reptiles in their natural habitats. Among them are deer, turtles, guinea pigs, monkeys, cockatiels and peacocks. More than 400 birds make their homes here. There’s also a serpentarium where snakes of all sorts, including pythons and boa constrictors, are housed.
The Grenade Hall Forest is another favorite spot for nature lovers. Trails wind through trees and plants while monkeys entertain you along the way.
Like mysteries? Visit the Chase vault that has been surrounded by legend for many years. Supposedly, the vault once contained several heavy lead caskets that were somehow moved each time the vault was opened. The problem became so eerie that the caskets were moved out and placed in the open portion of the cemetery. Rumors of ghosts and demonic activity still surround the area to this day.
Hotels in Barbados
Barbados offers a wide selection of accommodations for the family looking at options for caribbean vacations. Budget hotels, five-star resorts, guesthouses, villas and beach apartments are all available. Booking accommodations before traveling is recommended, since many tourists visit the area.