This year marks the 50th anniversary of Barbados’ independence from the British Crown.
November 30, 1966, marked the first raising of the Barbados national flag and the launch of a new national anthem. In honour of the occasion, Barbados has put together an inspirational list of the top 50 reasons to visit the island. Thankfully, many of them involve food. On which note: be prepared to be spoiled for choice on the island. Whether your thing is upscale (think the gold-standard Sandy Lane, polo and the Cliff Beach Club) or low-key (Little Arches or the Bougainvillea Hotel and Oistins are ideal for families), Barbados has it all.
50 Reasons to Visit Barbados Right Now
- Savour some grilled swordfish and show off your best dance moves at Oistins Fish Fry.
- Try your luck picking the Trifecta at the legendary Garrison Savannah horse racing track.
- Indulge in a glass of the best rum punch in the Caribbean at Cutters Bajan Deli.
- Test your pipes on a Rhianna cover with an evening of karaoke at Hercules.
- Rub shoulders with the rich and famous over a cocktail at the legendary Sandy Lane Hotel.
- Discover your favourite new local artist at one of the galleries in the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre.
- Gaze in wonder at the subterranean pools and limestone formations deep inside Harrison’s Cave.
- There are over 1000 brightly painted rum shacks all across the island. Find one to call your own.
- Linger over a late lunch, and a second plate of Bajan fishcakes, at the glamorous Lone Star Restaurant.
- Spot monkeys at Welchman Hall Gully, a tropical forest cave that’s home to over 2000 plant species, and dozens of monkeys.
- Catch a match (and possibly a boundary six) at “The Mecca” of cricket, Kensington Oval.
- Dig your toes in the sand while sipping on a local Banks Beer at Ju-Ju’s Beach Bar.
- Stomp divots during a polo match at one of Barbados’ four polo fields.
- Try the locally caught tuna tartare at Tides Restaurant. At lunch, there is a great Prix Fixe menu.
- Eat fresh homemade pasta, served by the Italian owners in a romantic beachside setting at Il Tempio.
- Walk the plank with pirates on the Barbados Black Pearl Party Cruise.
- Watch race horses swimming at dawn at Pebbles and Brandons beaches.
- Try your hand at road tennis, Barbados’ indigenous sport.
- Watch the changing of the guard at the Historic Garrison Clock Tower
- Have some rum with your history during a tour of St. Nicholas Abbey, an elegantly restored plantation house.
21. Plunge into the invigorating Bathsheba Pools on the island’s rugged and dramatic east coast.
22. Gather 14 friends, take a visit to Queen’s Park and try to get your arms around the enormous Baobab Tree.
23. Brunch in musical style at The Crane Resort‘s renowned Gospel Brunch.
- Walk in the footsteps of the 1st President of the United States at The George Washington House.
- Leave the sailing to someone else and rent your very own luxury catamaran for the day.
- Hire a van for the evening and tour the best clubs up and down the coast from Holetown to Oistins.
- Go for breakfast at Silver Point hotel and watch the kite surfers soar across the waves while you sip your morning coffee.
- Break the virtual sound barrier with a visit to the Barbados Concorde Experience museum.
- Discover the rich, and delicious, history of the oldest existing rum brand in the world with a Mount Gay Rum Tour.
- Dazzle the kids with your body surfing skills in the waves off Crane Beach, one of the world’s best.
- Explore Bridgetown a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
32. Test your nerve with a few high-speed laps in a Radical SR3 race car at Bushy Park Racing Circuit.
- Adventure out to the northeast east coast to sample the best banana bread ever at the Round House.
- Drink coconut water from a freshly picked coconut.
- Do absolutely nothing for an entire afternoon on the tranquil and exquisite Mullins Beach.
- Go off-road on an island safari.
- Discover a whole new world with a UV light night dive from Barbados Blue.
- Toast the good life and watch for manta rays in the water below, at the Caribbean’s most romantic restaurant, The Cliff.
- Gallop along the sand with a horseback ride along Morgan Lewis Beach.
- Dive 20,000 leagues (well, 145 feet) under the sea onboard the Atlantis Submarine.
- Experience a natural hot tub at the Hot Pot in Brandons.
- Stroll along the boardwalk which hugs the South Coast.
- Cool down with a tamarind treat from one of the friendly Bajan snow cone vendors.
- Have your picture taken with the lion at Gun Hill.
- Trek out to St. Andrew’s Parish to see the Morgan Lewis Windmill, the island’s only remaining intact sugar mill.
- Start your day with the world’s greatest grapefruit. The famous fruit was first developed in Barbados.
- Rehydrate by sipping from a freshly cracked coconut from one of the many roadside vendors.
- Bar hop along the 1.5 km stretch of party in Saint Lawrence Gap.
- Walk the streets of Bridgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to visit Nelson’s Statue, St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Parliament Buildings.
- Find your personal paradise on the island of Barbados at VisitBarbados.org.