With its diverse and welcoming environment, Barbados is known as “the island for everyone.” Serene, private resorts located on its sandy white beaches offer the perfect romantic getaway for enamored couples. Endless opportunities for adventure, activities and learning—both in and out of the water—make Barbados the go-to place for thrill-seeking
families and solo travelers. With diverse culinary options and as the birthplace of rum production and distillation, Barbados is also a destination for foodies across the globe. Art lovers, too, will find plenty to explore in the local pottery scene, a business that has thrived on the island for centuries, through collecting and opportunities to experience the art making firsthand.
An approximately three-hour direct flight from Miami and five-hour direct flight from New York, Barbados is both historically and culturally rich, and so much more than sun, sea and sand. Its variety in activities to enjoy also extends to its hospitality industry, where both name brand hotels and small boutique resorts offer an ideal experience for any traveler. The friendly and vibrant culture of Barbados ensures that everyone who visits will fall in love with the island.
What to See
Barbados Museum and Historical Society
Home to over 500,000 artifacts and comprehensive collections reflecting Barbadian heritage and natural history, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society in Bridgetown is a must-visit destination. Like the island itself, the Barbados Museum has something for everyone: for the science lover—the Barbados natural history display; for inquisitive children—the interactive children’s gallery; for the budding historian, the Shilstone Memorial Library expounds on the genealogy and history of the island. Established in 1933 and located in the UNESCO World Heritage Property of the Garrison at the former British Military Prison, the museum offers a full exploration of the rich history and culture of Barbados.
The Cricket Legends of Barbados Museum
Cricket is the national sport of Barbados and this museum allows sports lovers to dive into its culture on the island. Located in Fontabelle, St. Michael, the Cricket Legends of Barbados Museum immerses visitors in the world of cricket and sits next to Kensington Oval, the home to many famous cricket matches throughout the years. Its displays explore the island’s history of cricket and celebrate the careers of its luminaries.
St. Nicholas Abbey
Spanning over 400 acres of sugar cane fields, formal gardens, forests and tropical gullies in the parish of St. Peter, the historical St. Nicholas Abbey is a plantation house, rum distillery and museum. Built in 1658 by Benjamin Berringer, the house is one of only three Jacobean mansions left in the Western Hemisphere. (Another, Drax Hall Great House, is also located in Barbados.) The rum distillery of St. Nicholas Abbey offers visitors a fundamental lesson in Barbadian history and culture as the birthplace of the beverage.
Where to Eat
Oistins Bay Gardens
A well-known fishing village in the southernmost part of Barbados, Oistins Bay Gardens is home to the famous Friday night fish fry. The village is also bustling with food vendors on any other given night and provides ample opportunity to experience authentic Bajan cuisine. Not only does this location offer an array of fresh eats, but it also doubles as a vibrant nightlife spot, allowing visitors to mingle with locals while enjoying a meal.
The Sea Shed
Located in St. Peter next to the beautiful turquoise waters of Barbados, the Sea Shed allows a visually stunning locale for patrons to relax and enjoy French-inspired cuisine. The Sea Shed is more than just a restaurant with fine dining, however, as visitors can also enjoy a luxurious beach day with access to the beach and bar, and a crew service dedicated to keeping glasses filled. To add on to the fun, The Sea Shed hosts a Shed Sunday where visitors can enjoy live DJ sets, champagne and rosé from 10 a.m. onward.
Naru Restaurant and Lounge
Offering an exquisite blend of traditional Caribbean and Japanese cuisine, this Asian-fusion spot is the perfect place for those with diversified culinary tastes to dine. Naru Restaurant and Lounge is just one of the many great examples of the diverse cuisine found in Barbados. The exciting culinary experience offered by Naru coupled with its prime location on the beautiful coastline of Barbados makes the restaurant a must-visit spot.
What to Explore
Crop Over Festival
A five-week-long summer festival, the Crop Over Festival is one of the oldest and liveliest festivals in Barbados. Dating back to the 1780s, the 200-year-old tradition allows full cultural immersion. The island was once the largest producer of sugar in the world and the festival originated as a celebration of the end of the sugar season. The tradition is still very much alive, with endless opportunities for locals and visitors alike to join in on the festivities. Be sure not to miss the Crop Over Visual Arts Festival as well, with an impressive variety of art exhibitions from both masters and emerging artists.
West Coast Beaches
When visiting beaches on the West Coast of the island, visitors can enjoy the serene beauty of Caribbean waters. Whether your agenda calls for relaxation or adventure, the white sands and turquoise water of the West Coast beaches act as the perfect destination. Visitors can enjoy lounging in the sun, swimming, snorkeling, sailing or even water skiing on these beautiful shores.
South Coast Beaches
Windblown all day, the South Coast beaches are a bit more apt for high-intensity activities. Visitors can enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing and swimming on the South Coast beaches of Barbados. Be sure to check out the Silver Sands Area if these activities interest you.
East Coast Beaches
For visitors who love to surf, the rugged beaches on the East Coast of Barbados are a hot spot for catching the perfect wave among beautiful rock formations created by the Atlantic Ocean meeting the shore. Though these beaches are great for experienced surfers, the waters are not meant for swimming, so stay safe and out of the water when not on a board!