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The Know Zone
PACKAGES / PORT CITY / BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS
Explore the capital and largest city for historical reference and even more great beaches and other activities, including the world’s oldest rum.
Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados and a city with a lot of history. When the English arrived to declare the area a British colony in the 17th century they found an abandoned Indian settlement and bridge and later gave the area the Bridgetown name. The harbor became a critical port for ships traveling across the Atlantic and was heavily protected against attack from other colonizing European powers.
Visit the Bridgetown Garrison, initially constructed starting in 1705 as a British fortification, and now an internationally protected World Heritage Site. Take a guided walking tour to appreciate the historic significance of the military, commercial and social activities of the 18th and 19th centuries in Barbados. Points of interest include St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s churches, Queen’s Park, Jewish Synagogue, Heroes Square and Parliament Building.
Walk in the footsteps of earlier world leaders by visiting the George Washington House and the Lord Nelson Monument in Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar Square) in front of the Parliament Building.
For a lighter look at history, tour the Mount Gay Rum Factory bottling facility which claims to be the best and oldest rum in the world. It has been made in Barbados since 1703. Make reservations to enjoy taste testing on weekdays; children can participate but not drink. On Saturdays, watch thoroughbred horses race at Garrison Savannah, where horses have been running for over 150 years.
December through mid-April is the most popular time to visit the Caribbean, as travelers flee the chilly northern weather for sunny skies, white-sand beaches, and warm temperatures. To get the best rates, visit in the late spring or summer months—or get even better rates by traveling in the fall (September–October).
If you are traveling from the west coast, plan on leaving as early as 7 a.m., or take a red-eye flight to Miami, Atlanta, or New York and connect from there. Coming from New York, you can expect to travel approximately five hours, from Atlanta or Miami it can be approximately three hours and as long as eight hours from Seattle. In any case, plan on leaving early or on a red-eye flight from the West Coast.
Tour Barbados by boat, car, on horseback, via helicopter, even on a submarine. Smooth beaches and golf courses rim its western and southern shores. Spunky green monkeys inhabit the Barbados Wildlife Preserve; Harrison’s Cave is another don’t-miss attraction. And vast Crane Beach is rated among the world’s best sandy stretches. Flying fish, the local specialty, is scrumptious – especially when accompanied by premium Bajan rum.
While traveling in Barbados we recommend: