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What to see and do in Barbados - a guide to popular activities and attractions

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In Barbados, you’ll find plenty of things to do beyond the beach; attractions and landmarks are dotted all around the island. Visit a historic plantation house, wander through the Wildlife Reserve, take part in a coastal sightseeing tour or explore the Barbados Museum. Whatever you choose to do, however, the island’s unique colonial history and endless charm won’t disappoint. Of course, a day spent snorkeling by the beach or swimming with sea turtles is just as appealing…

Sally & Keith Miller

My Destination local expert on

Barbados

St Nicholas Abbey

 

Shaded by palm trees and verdant crops, St Nicholas Abbey is one of the most picturesque plantation houses in all of Barbados. Purchased in 2006 to protect the architectural heritage of Bajan culture, this captivating house is filled with antiques and artifacts spanning across the home’s 350-year old history. A unique landmark considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, make sure to explore the boiling house and rum distillery, wander through the orchard garden and soak up the rich colonial surroundings.

 

Mount Gay Rum Visitors Center

 

Home to three centuries of history, craft and sailing heritage, the Mount Gay Rum Visitor Centre is one of Barbados’ most popular attractions. Take a 45-minute factory tour to learn about the rich history of the world’s oldest rum. A story told through artifacts, black-and-white photos and film, this in-depth exploration of Barbados’ biggest export is a narrative worth your time. Finish up the tour by savoring the rich and silky delights of Mount Gay Rum.

 

Barbados Wildlife Reserve and Grenade Hall Forest

 

A nature reserve bursting at the seams with unique wildlife and unusual flora, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a local favorite. Home to a fragrant mahogany forest, an exotic walk-in aviary and many examples of the elusive Barbados Green Monkey, this natural attraction has plenty of draws. Next door, the Grenade Signal Station & Educational Forest offers insight into an extensive system used to relay messages to the north of the island. Here you will also discover a tranquil nature trail, comprehensively outlined by educational signposts.

 

 

Harrisons’ Cave

 

Rediscovered in 1970 and excavated to allow visitor access, this subterranean cavern is a particular family favorite. A series of tunnels and aquifers, guests can enjoy tours through impressive coral rock formations such as stalactites, stalagmites and cascading underground waterfalls. Filled with interactive displays and walking trails, this educational spot offers insight into the complex ecosystems and natural attractions found in Barbados.

 

 

Oistins fish fry

 

Taking place every Friday evening in the quaint little fishing town of Oistin is the fish fry. A local hub of socializing and eating, these weekly gatherings revolve around a huge grill of fried fish and meat. An assortment of tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, flying fish, chicken and pork fill the air with sizzling smells; while guests enjoy the laidback sounds of relaxed reggae beats.  With an enormous plate of fish and beer, setting you back only BBD$30.00, this informal event offers a slice of local island life.