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10 Top Barbados Attractions

Barbados festival
Festivals top the events in Bridgetown. Copyright Barbados Tourism Authority
Feel like swimming with sea turtles? It is one of the best Barbados tourist attractions.

If not, Barbados land attractions include the Flower Forest that combines a botanical garden and nature trail.

Andromeda Natural Gardens has six acres of tropical plants and flowers. Harrison's Cave includes underground streams and a 40-foot waterfall.

1) Bridgetown

The capital city of Bridgetown is the most popular Barbados tourist attraction because it has the main island cruise terminal.

Visitors can walk right off the boat and immediately start shopping and dining in this bustling city of 100,000 people.

The main thoroughfare is Broad Street, where many duty-free shopping opportunities exist.

Cave Shepherd is a shopping center on Broad and provides some of the best variety in duty-free shopping. Those looking for local crafts should travel to Pelican Village, where a wide selection of handcrafts, art and local food is available.

Harrison's Cave
Harrison's Cave; ©

2) Harrison's Cave

Harrison's Cave is a stream cave system that carries water and is more than 2.3 kilometers long.

The largest cave in the system is 50 feet high. The system was discovered in the 1700s, mapped in 1974 and opened to the public in 1981.

It is open seven days a week with the first tour at 9 a.m. and the last one at 4 p.m. Fees are $40 in Barbados Dollars per adult and $20 for children, which is about $20 and $10 U.S. each.

3) Swimming with Sea Turtles

One of the best attractions in Barbados and a recommended family excursion is swimming with sea turtles.

Sea turtles that live off the coast of Barbados have learned to come in contact with humans. Excursions offer visitors a chance to go snorkeling with them and view them up close.

4) Flower Forest

The Flower Forest has more than 50 acres of flowers, trails, monkeys, birds and other plants and animals.

The forest is open seven days a week and has an entrance fee of $7 U.S. It is located close to Harrison's Cave below.

5) Andromeda Botanic Gardens

The gardens managed by the Barbados National Trust cover six acres and have orchids, palms, ferns, heliconia, hibiscus, bougainvillea, begonias and cacti.

In addition to the flora and fauna, the garden has a stream with pools and waterfalls.

6) Baobab Trees

Two mature Baobab trees live on Barbados, with the one in Queen's Park in Bridgetown measuring more than 51 feet wide.

They reportedly were brought to the island from Guinea in Africa around 1738, making them about 270 years old.

7) Jacobean Mansions

Barbados has two of the three remaining Jacobean Mansions known to be left in the Western Hemisphere.

St. Nicholas Abbey in St. Peter and Drax Hall in St. George were built in the 1650s and display the distinct Jacobean style of curved Dutch gables, chimney stacks and coral stone finials. They also have a Chinese Chippendale staircase, antiques and fine china.

8) Beaches

Bridgetown is located on the southwest coast of the island, so beaches nearby are popular with the many cruise visitors.

Three beaches near Bridgetown include Brandons Beach with watersports, restaurants and calm waters; Batts Rock with picnic areas, playground, facilities, shade trees; and Brownes Beach, which has calm waters and lifeguards.

9) George Washington House

The only house where the first U.S. president ever stayed outside of the country was in the Bush Hill House, which has been restored to its former glory.

He spent two months there in 1751 with his brother, contracted smallpox and eventually recovered to return to Virginia.

10) Heritage Park & Rum Factory

The first rum distillery on Foursquare Plantation opened in 1996 -- the first on Barbados since the 19th century.

It is located on a former molasses and sugar plantation that originates about 350 years ago. Entry is free.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Attractions   

September 13, 2016

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