This is your three-part travel guide of Barbados, the easternmost Caribbean island and a country in the Lesser Antilles. Begin with a walking tour of Bridgetown, the capital city. Next, explore the beach circuit along the west, south and east coasts. On another day, drive north of Bridgetown along the western coast and then to the rugged eastern shores (this connects with the end of the beach circuit).

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1 View of Bridgetown Harbor from Cruise Terminal, Barbados

If you are one of the half million people who annually arrive in Barbados by cruise ship, you will see this view of Bridgetown Harbor after disembarking. If you have not booked a tour, the best way to explore the island is to hire a taxi. The drivers are knowledgable, friendly and reasonable. If you prefer a rental car, do not expect to cover a lot of the 167 square miles in a day because the roads can be challenging. Also, be aware Barbadians drive on the left side.

Harbour View 2, Bridgetown, Barbados

2 Brandons Beach in Bridgetown, Barbados

If you want to spend a few hours of sunny solitude at the nearest beach to the cruise terminal, then Brandons Beach is your destination. You can be there within a few minutes walk. Spread your towel across a rented lounger. Lather up with suntan lotion. Go for a dip in the Caribbean Sea if you get too hot. Take a long, leisurely stroll including the adjacent Brighton Beach. When you have had enough sun, experience a tour and tasting at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery across the street. Established in 1703, this is the oldest commercial rum distillery in the world. Your tongue and throat will quickly understand why James Bond ordered this rum in the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

Brandons Beach, S Brighton Rd, Bridgetown, Barbados

3 Rihanna’s Childhood Home in Bridgetown, Barbados

Robyn Fenty was born in Barbados. From the ages of five to 16, she lived in this humble bungalow on Westbury New Road with her parents and siblings (two brothers, two half-sisters and a half-brother). She moved to the United States in 2005. Since then, Rihanna has become a major recording success and sold over 250 million records. To honor their native daughter, Barbados renamed this street Rihanna Drive in 2017.

Rihanna’s Childhood Home, Westbury New Rd, Bridgetown, Barbados

4 Mutual Life Assurance Society Building in Bridgetown, Barbados

The Mutual Life Assurance Society, better known as The Mutual, was a Caribbean insurance company. They supplied a significant number of loans to local plantations after being formed in 1840. Their Victorian-style headquarters – with its ornate, cast-iron grillwork – was built in 1895. This downtown landmark is on Broad Street. It has been the home of three different banks since The Mutual became the Sagicor Life Company.

Lower Broad St & Prince Alfred St. Bridgetown BB11009, Barbados

5 West Wing of Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Barbados

This is the West Wing of the Parliament Buildings in downtown Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados. It opened in 1872 followed by the East Wing the next year. Together they house several of the government’s offices. Both neo-Gothic structures were built using local coral limestone. Interestingly, the clock tower used to be a feature of the East Wing. After sinking by more than ten feet, the tower was moved next to the West Wing in 1884.

Broad St & Rickett St, Bridgetown, Barbados

6 Flag above Clock Tower at Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Barbados

The Barbadian flag above The Public Buildings’ clock tower features a broken trident. The heraldic symbol was adopted on November 30, 1966. This was the day Barbados became independent of British rule since English settlers arrived on the island in 1627. The three points represent the “government of, for and by the people.” As a constitutional monarchy, Elizabeth II is the head of state and Queen of Barbados.

Broad St & Rickett St, Bridgetown, Barbados

7 Boats Moored in Careenage Marina in Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgetown’s downtown shopping district starts along the boardwalk on the right known as The Wharf and extends for a few blocks. Inside these colorful European-style buildings you will find chain retailers plus a few local stores that have more charm. When you are hungry, cross Chamberlain Bridge and select one of the restaurants on the left. The food is good and the view is great of the boats in the Careenage Marina. This is part of the Constitution River channel.

Chamberlain Bridge Bridgetown, Barbados

8 Chamberlain Bridge Archway in Bridgetown, Barbados

A 1872 swing bridge once crossed the Constitution River. In 2006, it was replaced by a pedestrian bridge named Chamberlain. It lifts to allow watercraft to pass through the channel. Although the bridge is modern, this 1861 coral stone archway was left intact. In the background are the West Wing, Clock Tower and East Wing of the Parliament Buildings.

Chamberlain Bridge Bridgetown, Barbados

9 Boatyard Pier at Carlisle Bay Beach in Bridgetown, Barbados

Your Barbados beach circuit begins now. Enjoy exploring the island’s best beaches along the west, south and east coastlines. Your first stop is Carlisle Bay Beach. After a short walk or taxi ride, you can be sunning on this pristine sand. Need more excitement? The Boatyard is your answer. You can rope swing from this pier and plunge into the water. Their Adventure Beach has water slides and trampolines plus a bar, restaurant and games. After all that, you can rent a beach chair and umbrella to finally relax.

Bay St & Waterloo Alley, Bridgetown, Barbados

10 Mount Gay Umbrellas at Carlisle Bay Beach in Bridgetown, Barbados

Bajans love their rum, a heritage that goes hand-in-hand with the English sailors who developed an affinity for the island’s unique spirit since they began arriving in the early 1600s. The largest distillery in Barbados is Mount Gay. It is a short walk to any bar to try this golden, strong liquor. You can also tour Mount Gay in Bridgetown.

Shurland Alley Bridgetown, Barbados

11 Row of Small Wooden Houses in Bridgetown, Barbados

These houses are typical in Barbados: some are rusted and worn while others are proudly maintained. Most are small and modest. One look and you might assume this is a poor island. Yet, the country ranks as the 53rd richest in terms of GDP. This apparent dichotomy is because the Barbadian culture abhors debt. They rarely have a mortgage and typically enhance their homes only when they can pay for an improvement in cash. In short, they are frugal and smart.

Brownes Beach, Bridgetown, Barbados

12 Brownes Beach at Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown, Barbados

Carlisle is a very large bay near Bridgetown. Historically, this was the major harbor for the west coast of Barbados along the Caribbean Sea. Six shipwrecks lay below the surface just offshore. This Marine Park is a favorite among scuba divers. There are four beaches along Crescent Bay. Adventure Beach, which is nearest to downtown, is active and crowded. If you prefer quiet and serene, try Brownes Beach toward the southern end.

Brownes Beach, Bridgetown, Barbados

13 Lion Sand Sculpture at Brownes Beach in Bridgetown, Barbados

Most people go to a Caribbean beach to unwind and enjoy the tropical sun. Occasionally, you will see a child digging a hole in the sand or making a rudimentary castle. Rarely will you find a true artesian whose ideal day at the beach is painstakingly shaping sand into a lovely sculpture like this life-size lion.

Brownes Beach, Bridgetown, Barbados

14 George Washington House in Bridgetown, Barbados

Lawrence Washington was the older half brother of George Washington. When he became inflicted with tuberculous in 1751, the two siblings sailed to Barbados and lived in this Bush Hill House for two months. They hoped the warm climate would facilitate Lawrence’s recovery. Instead, George – only 19 at the time – contracted smallpox. Lawrence died from TB the following year. This short period was the only time the future first president of the United States traveled abroad. The former plantation is now the George Washington House. Inside the museum are mid-18th century furnishings, artifacts and exhibits. The George Washington House & Museum is part of the Barbados Garrison Historic Site. The complex of buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bush Hill & Garrison Road, Bridgetown, Barbados

15 Main Guard House Clock Tower in Bridgetown, Barbados

The architectural highlight of the Barbados Garrison Historic Site is the Main Guard House. The Georgian-style building served as a military courthouse, jail and command post for more than one hundred years, from 1803 until the British forces left the island in 1905. The outstanding features are the red brick clock tower and the coat of arms for King George III above the entrance. If you are in the area on a Thursday, stop by at noon. You will be delighted to watch the changing of the sentry. The soldiers wear Zouave uniforms of the West Indies Regiment from 1858.

Main Guard House, Garrison Road, Bridgetown, Barbados

16 Cannons at Garrison Savannah Racetrack in Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados was heavily fortified during the British colonial period. Two of the strongest defenses were Charles Fort at Needham’s Point (built in 1650) and inland at St. Ann’s Fort (1705) near where you are standing. These 17th and 18th century cannons from the Barbados Garrison are relics of this era. There are 26 of the armaments on display. They point toward the Garrison Savannah Racetrack. Horseracing began here in 1845 when British officers used the parade grounds to wager against each other’s equestrian skills. The horse racing venue has been operated by the Barbados Turf Club since 1905.

Garrison Rd & Hwy 7, Bridgetown, Barbados

17 Beaches Encircling Needham’s Point in Bridgetown, Barbados

At the southwestern tip of Saint Michael Parish are three stretches of sand guaranteed to please any beach aficionado. They encircle Needham’s Point. To the north is Pebbles Beach at the end of Carlisle Bay. To the south is Drill Hall Beach. In the center of Needham’s Point is this idyllic personal wading pool. Go ahead! Step into the shallow, warm and aquamarine waters. You might have to share your nirvana with some guests of the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Needham’s Point, Bridgetown, Barbados

18 Needham’s Point Lighthouse in Bridgetown, Barbados

The first lighthouse at Needham’s Point was erected in 1855. It was replaced in 1886 with this 43 foot, white octagonal tower. The stationary beacon provided nighttime navigation for ships approaching Carlisle Bay. After becoming inactive, the historic lighthouse was incorporated onto the grounds of the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Needham’s Point Lighthouse, Bridgetown, Barbados

19 South Coast Starting in Hastings, Barbados

You have entered Christ Church Parish, the second largest in population (54,000) and size (35 square miles). The outer edge of the parish defines the South Coast of Barbados. This area of the island is filled with small hotels, rental apartments, condominiums, nightlife, quaint restaurants and boutique shopping. Since 2012, a major attraction for tourists and locals has been the Richard Haynes Boardwalk. The namesake was an accomplished Barbados politician and former cabinet minister. Sir Richard Haynes died in 2013. On the right is a bandstand. This is a frequent venue for concerts performed by the Royal Barbados Police Band.

Hastings Main Rd & 1st Ave, Hastings, Barbados

20 Hastings Beach in Hastings, Barbados

The South Coast (Richard Haynes) Boardwalk starts at Hastings Beach and extends to Accra Beach in Rockley. This enticing peek of beauty typifies the picturesque scenery you will encounter during your one-mile stroll. Tourists have flocked to this area since the 1700s. Hastings Beach became even more attractive after the construction of a breakwater and the importing of snow-white sand.

Hastings Main Rd & 1st Ave, Hastings, Barbados

21 Accra Beach in Rockley, Barbados

Whether you arrive in Rockley by foot along the boardwalk or by car along Highway 7, you need to make a stop at the Rockley Beach Park. The key feature is Accra Beach. Families who want to keep their kids busy favor the mild wave action, attentive lifeguards and the playground. Seasoned sun-worshippers prefer swimming, boogie boarding, kayaking or lying on lounge chairs. You will also appreciate the restrooms, changing facilities, local bars, food vans and picnic tables. Nearby is a restaurant, quaint shops and Quayside Centre, a small shopping plaza.

Rockley Beach, Highway 7, Rockley, Barbados

22 St. Lawrence Gap in Oistins, Barbados

The St. Lawrence Gap is a must-see if you want great food, rocking nightlife, fun shopping and boutique accommodations. The mile-long walkway is lined with plenty of options to keep you busy day or night. The Gap appeals to all ages and is your best source of Barbadian entertainment and hospitality on the South Coast.

St. Lawrence Gap, Oistins, Barbados

23 Dover Beach in Oistins, Barbados

As you keep walking eastward along St. Lawrence Gap, you will notice the tempo becomes quieter as the retailers give way to hotels and expensive condominiums. Then the end of The Gap marks the beginning of Dover Beach. This is one of the best-kept secrets on Barbados. The stretch of sand is gorgeous yet rarely busy compared to other beaches on the island. Visitors seem to care more about soaking up the sunshine than socializing. You can rent water toys, beach chairs and umbrellas or just throw your towel down on the powder-white sand. There are plenty of palm trees to provide shade. Other amenities include restrooms, lifeguards, volleyball nets, a playground, picnic tables and vendor kiosks plus convenient restaurants and bars.

Dover Beach, Oistins, Barbados

24 Two More Beaches in Oistins, Barbados

In addition to Dover Beach, there are two more beaches worthy of your vacation time while in Oistins. Maxwell Beach is splendid but dominated by the huge Sandals Barbados. A short distance down Welches Road leads to Welches Beach. This is a great place to bring your bathing suit if you want expansive sand with less people. The tradeoff is few amenities and no lifeguard.

Dover Beach, Oistins, Barbados

25 Oistins Fish Market and Fish Fry in Oistins, Barbados

At the east end of Welches Beach is the Oistins Boatyard. This is a fun place to visit if you like seeing weathered wooden boats in various stages of decay. Adjacent to the boatyard is the Oistins Fish Market. The covered pavilions are small yet hopping with activity. Watch as the vendors cut, slice and fillet all kinds of marine life while customers barter for the best price. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also available. A major social event occurs at Oistins Bay Garden on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:00 pm: the Oistins Fish Fry. Local chefs open the windows of these colorful shacks to entice you with their specialties. People mingle among the heavenly aromas while sampling the food, drinking and dancing to the loud music.

Oistins Fish Market, Oistins Main Road, Oistins, Barbados

26 Pier at Oistins Fish Market in Oistins, Barbados

Extending out from the fish market is the Oistins Pier. This is a pleasurable place to stroll encircled by aquamarine water and gentle flowing waves. Enjoy seeing local youths jump from the pier on a hot afternoon while others prefer angling. You will also notice fishermen arriving with their fresh catches of tuna, mahi mahi, kingfish and flying fish. The historic roots of Oistins is a fishing village. In many ways, Oistins has not changed much in 350 years.

Oistins Fish Market, Oistins Main Road, Oistins, Barbados

27 Sea Turtle Swimming at Oistins Pier in Oistins, Barbados

Before you walk along the Oistins Pier, purchase a small bag of scraps from the fish market. Almost as soon as you throw a morsel into the water, one or more sea turtles will appear, snap up your treat and swim away. Barbados is home to three species: hawksbill, leatherback and green turtles. The population was once abundant but then threatened by overhunting. Since the Barbados Sea Turtle Project was initiated in 1987, these magnificent creatures are making a comeback. The hawksbill nests on the west and south coast from April through November. The leatherback shares the south coast but also nests on the east coast between February and July.

Oistins Fish Market, Oistins Main Road, Oistins, Barbados

28 Enterprise Beach in Oistins, Barbados

Just when you think there could not possibly be another attractive beach in the tiny town of Oistins, you come across Enterprise Beach. Barbadians prefer the name Miami Beach, but it is a far cry from the one in Florida. This area is lovely. The north end is partially protected from the waves, making the shallow water idea for swimming. The other end appeals to bodyboarders and an occasional surfer. On weekends, locals spend their time beneath umbrellas and the shade trees or having parties around the picnic tables. These social events never get too crazy because of the attentive lifeguards and a police station located along the shoreline.

Miami Beach, Enterprise Beach Rd, Oistins, Barbados

29 Famous Local Palm Tree in Oistins, Barbados

There are three species of palm trees native to the island: the Caribbean royal palm (or cabbage palm), the macaw palm and the thatch palm. You will also find coconut trees like this one. But according to local residents, this is the most famous tree in Oistins and perhaps the island. Countless photos have been taken here to commemorate engagements, weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions. The scenic background is Enterprise Beach, also known as Miami Beach.

Enterprise Coast Rd & Searocks Rd, Oistins, Barbados

30 Kendal Point in Atlantic Shores, Barbados

The Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean at the southern tip of the island. This confluence is a draw for surfers. A popular spot to bring your board is Kendal Point. Nearby is Surfer’s Point. The point break waves are relatively easy, making this an ideal location for beginners and novices. The best months for waves are November through June. During this surfing season, the average water temperature is 80°F.

Seaside Drive, Atlantic Shores, Barbados

31 South Point Lighthouse in Green Garden, Barbados

This classic, red and white cast-iron lighthouse was displayed at The Great Exhibition in 1851. This event at the Crystal Palace was the equivalent to the first World’s Fair. The following year, the 89 foot lighthouse was shipped to Barbados and reassembled at the southernmost part of the island. It is sometimes called Gordon’s Lighthouse in honor of the architect, Alexander Gordon. This oldest Barbados lighthouse is featured on the five cent Barbadian coin.

South Point Lighthouse, Lighthouse Dr, Green Garden, Barbados

32 Kitesurfing along Silver Sands Beach in Silver Sands, Barbados

Silver Sands Beach is another glorious expanse of sand about a quarter mile long. Park facilities include picnic tables, a gazebo, restrooms and a children’s park. A distinguishing factor of Silver Sands Beach is how the trade winds blow across a reef. This creates optimal conditions for kitesurfing from November through July. This spot is renowned throughout the Caribbean. Experienced kite surfers can rent equipment on site. Lessons are available for wannabes. Expect to share the waves with windsurfers.

Silver Sands Beach, Silver Sands, Barbados

33 Foul Bay Beach in Foul Bay, Barbados

You have entered Saint Philip Parish. The 37 square miles in the southeast corner of Barbados qualifies as the largest parish by size. This is home to about 31,000 people. Your first stop is Foul Bay Beach. The sand is regularly groomed and plentiful – both in width and length. One end is capped by this dramatic cliff. Foul Bay Beach is ideal for sunning but not for swimming. The Atlantic Ocean waves can be rough with hidden undercurrents. Keep a watchful eye out for hawksbill sea turtles. They use this shoreline for nesting.

Foul Bay Beach, Foul Bay, Barbados

34 Crane Beach in Diamond Valley, Barbados

There are two factors distinguishing Crane Beach from all the others on the island. The first is the pink hue of the sand. The second is The Crane Resort perched atop the ridge. Founded in 1887, this is the oldest operating hotel in the Caribbean. The 40 acre property features over 250 rooms and luxurious amenities.

Crane Beach, Crane Beach Rd, Diamond Valley, Barbados

35 Overlook of Bottom Bay in Apple Hall, Barbados

Park your car at the end of Bottom Bay Road and hurry toward the cliff covered with vegetation and palms. Look down. This will be your first glimpse of the impressive Bottom Bay Beach. The scene promises to be your personal hideaway from reality. It will exceed your expectations. Next, descend a winding staircase (not handicap accessible) beneath a canopy of trees. Then, walk onto the white sand facing the azure waters of the Atlantic. This is nirvana for snowbirds.

Bottom Bay, Bottom Bay Road, Apple Hall, Barbados

36 Holding Hands at Bottom Bay in Apple Hall, Barbados

When you and your partner visit someplace as splendid as Bottom Bay, what is your natural inclination? To hold hands while savoring a romantic stroll. You will long remember the powerful Atlantic waves slapping against the dramatic cliff and huge boulders emerging from the sea. This is a quintessential Barbados moment. Equally picturesque and more secluded is the adjacent Harrismith Beach.

Bottom Bay, Bottom Bay Road, Apple Hall, Barbados

37 East Point Lighthouse in Ragged Point, Barbados

The East Point Lighthouse is aptly named for its location near the easternmost coast of the island in Saint Philip Parish. The 97 foot, conical tower with a black lantern was erected in 1875 on the former Golden Grove Plantation. The government-owned land is now called Ragged Point, as is the small village. Hence, the light is often called the Ragged Point Lighthouse. You can walk around the grounds but cannot climb up the still active lighthouse.

East Point Lighthouse, Ragged Point, Barbados

38 Turbulent Seascape in Ragged Point, Barbados

After admiring the East Point Lighthouse, take a few cautious steps toward the edge of the 60 foot cliff called Ragged Point. Peer down. Watch as the turbulent waves of the Atlantic Ocean rush into the crescent-shaped cove. They rhythmically pound into the shoreline, creating swirling designs of white and fountains of mist. Also enjoy seeing the surf roll along the edge of Deebles Point in the background. This seascape is worth lingering over.

Ragged Point, Barbados

39 St. John’s Parish Church in Church View, Barbados

The Parish of Saint John was created in 1640. Five years later, the first Church of Saint John’s was constructed. A series of fires and especially hurricanes have repeatedly destroyed the locals’ place of Anglican worship. The current and fifth structure of St. John’s Parish Church was constructed in 1836. The architectural style is a unique form of Barbadian Gothic. After viewing the gorgeous wooden pulpit inside the church, venture back outside for an elevated view of the eastern coastline.

St. John Parish Church, Church View, Barbados

40 Couple Strolling at Paynes Bay Beach in Saint James Parish, Barbados

Your road trip from Bridgetown along the western coast begins at Paynes Bay. It is one of the best beaches in western Barbados. Paynes Beach is located along the “Platinum Coast” in the middle of Saint James Parish. This area also has the island’s major golf courses (it is where Tiger Woods got married) and is lined with very exclusive resorts for the rich and famous. If you see someone resembling Robyn Fenty, say hello because she probably is Rihanna. She has a home at Sandy Lane and was born in the neighboring parish of Saint Michael.

Hwy 1 & White House Terrace, Barbados

41 Palm Tree Canopy at Paynes Bay Beach in Saint James Parish, Barbados

For this photo I could explain the locations and merits of the different beaches along the west coast of Barbados. Or maybe describe how the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea are typically calm and warm. But if you were staring at this view right now, would you really care? No? Sorry to bother you. Please return to your dream.

Hwy 1 & White House Terrace, Barbados

42 Women Shopping at Chattel Village in Holetown, Barbados

For a unique shopping experience while in Barbados, spend some time at the boutiques of Chattel Village. This is a collection of ten retailers inside very colorful chattel houses. These portable homes were used by Barbadian plantation workers after slavery was abolished in the early 19th century. You will find an array of apparel and souvenirs plus a hair salon, café and cigar store. They are located north of Bridgetown on Highway 1 in Holetown.

Sunset Crest, Chattel Village, Highway 1, BB24045, Holetown, Barbados

43 Hotels and Condos along Holetown Beach in Barbados

Although a crew from an English ship set foot on Barbados in 1625, it would be another two years before the first settlers arrived, formed a community and named it Saint James Town. That landing area is now Holetown, a small resort town designed for tourists. Some colorful hotels and condos line the beach. Nearby is a selection of shops, restaurants and bars.

Highway 1 & Sunset Blvd, Holetown, Barbados

44 People Enjoying Holetown Beach in Barbados

These people sitting in the sun at Holetown Beach are practicing how to have a perfect vacation in Barbados. 1) Find a flawless stretch of sand. 2) Rent a beach chair. 3) Position it facing the Caribbean Sea. 4) Sit down. 5) Forget everything. Feel free to follow this timeless formula. But remember: practice makes perfect.

Highway 1 & Sunset Blvd Holetown, Barbados

45 Saint James Parish Church in Holetown, Barbados

The English settlers built their first Anglican church in Holetown in 1628. The following year it was designated as the Parish Church of Saint James. The winds of a 1675 hurricane were devastating. The stone successor then stood on “God’s Acre” for almost two hundred years. It was replaced with this current building in 1874. The original bell hanging in the belfry was cast in 1696.

St. James Parish Church Holetown, Highway 1, Folkestone, Barbados

46 Saint James Parish Church Organ in Holetown, Barbados

Shortly after the Saint James Parish Church was rebuilt in 1874, they received an elaborate organ from the English firm of Hill & Son. Over time, the organ was refurbished and expanded until it was completely rebuilt in 2007. However, some of the pipes date back over a century. The sound is superb and the elaborate wood carvings are exquisite.

St. James Parish Church Holetown, Highway 1, Folkestone, Barbados

47 Rolling Hills of the Scotland District in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

After visiting the west coast, you can return to Bridgetown or venture across the island headed east. Most of Barbados is flat. The exception is the Scotland District, part of which is located in Saint Andrew Parish. Here you will discover Mount Hilaby, the island’s tallest point at 1,120 feet. As you drive east toward the Atlantic, you will be delighted by these sweeping lush hills and flowing valleys. This land was covered with sugarcane fields for centuries. Today, only sections of this magnificent landscape are host to small family farms.

Highway 2, Lakes, Barbados

48 Chattel House in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

From the mid-17th century until 1807, slaves were imported to Barbados to work the sugarcane fields. After several rebellions, slavery was abolished in 1834 and laborers were given small plots to live. But when they were dismissed by the employer they had to evacuate their “rab land.” This gave rise to the chattel house. They were very small, wooden homes with high-pitched roofs and no eaves to defend against hurricanes. The louvered windows permitted airflow. They also sat unsecured on a rock foundation. This allowed the owner to dismantle and reassemble the home at another plantation. Few of these uniquely Barbadian buildings remain.

Lakes Rd, Windy Hill, Barbados

49 Blackbelly Sheep at Wooden Fence in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

When these four critters rushed up to the wooden fence to have their picture taken, I assumed they were goats. In fact, they are female Barbados blackbelly sheep. The species has evolved on the island from African ancestors since the mid-1600s. This small breed is raised on family farms for their lean meat. They have hair instead of wool so they are ideally suited to the hot Caribbean climate.

Chalky Mount, Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

50 Home on Terraced Ridge in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

Unlike most of the Caribbean Islands that were created by volcanoes, Barbados was formed by coral reefs that slowly got pushed above the sea. As a result, it has layers of terraces especially in the Scotland District. Many of these coralline rock ridges have become foundations for homeowners who want spectacular views of the eastern coastline. But the area is also susceptible to soil erosion, road washout and landslides during heavy rains.

Chalky Mount, Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

Rundown Concrete Block House in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

Far from the fancy resorts and pristine beaches that attract all of the tourists is the real Barbadian lifestyle. Mostly you will find modest old homes huddled together near former plantations. The island is divided into eleven parishes, all of which were named after saints by the early English settlers. Each one has a local church and, until 1967, they had their own government councils. This rundown home is in the island’s smallest parish: Saint Andrew. Its 6,500 residents are only 2% of the country’s total population.

51 Barclays Park on Atlantic Coast in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

In 1966, Barclays Bank gifted a 50-acre park to the new government of Barbados as part of a celebration for the country’s independence from England. Queen Elizabeth II was the highlight of the park’s dedication ceremony. The longest reigning monarch of England is the Queen of Barbados.

Barclays Park, Ermy Bourne Hwy, Benab, Barbados

52 Shade Trees at Barclays Park in Saint Andrew Parish, Barbados

Barbados has a hot tropical climate year-round similar to most of the Caribbean islands. So, when the local residents in St. Andrew Parish want to cool off, they often head to Barclays Park along the Atlantic coast. Although the water can be choppy and not always suitable for swimming, the view and breeze are delightful. Most of the picnic tables in the 50 acre park are shaded by trees.

Barclays Park, Ermy Bourne Hwy, Benab, Barbados

53 Palm Trees along Bathsheba Beach in Bathsheba, Barbados

Most of the popular tourist beaches in Barbados are along the western and southern coasts facing the Caribbean Sea. However, it is worth visiting the charming village of Bathsheba in the Parish of Saint Joseph on the east side. Here you can watch the dramatic waves of the Atlantic Ocean while sipping some locally made rum punch. You can also tour the Andromeda Tropical Botanic Gardens and the Flower Forest.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

54 Surfers’ Paradise on Bathsheba Beach in Bathsheba, Barbados

Experienced surfers love finding any destination where the waves are fast, large and exhilarating. That perfectly describes the surf at Bathsheba Beach. The swells can reach 30 feet and the right point break can offer rides of over 300 feet. No wonder The Soup Bowl attracts professionals from around the world for annual contests such as the International Pro Surfing Classic.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

55 Legend of Village Name at Bathsheba, Barbados

According to legend, the wife of King David pampered herself with milk baths in order to keep her skin soft and beautiful. The Atlantic Ocean creates similar warm, frothy pools in the rocks along the east coast of Barbados. Some people also claim the water contains minerals that provide cosmetic and medicinal benefits. As a result, this small fishing village in Saint Joseph Parish was given the queen’s name: Bathsheba.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

56 Abandoned Cement Shack on Bathsheba Beach in Bathsheba, Barbados

This abandoned cement shack on Bathsheba Beach piqued my curiosity. Unfortunately, I could not learn its history. At one time I would imagine the owner was proud of having the best view of the Atlantic Ocean in Barbados because the structure was built directly into a large rock on the sand. I am certain waves frequently splashed against the front door. And perhaps that was its downfall because the crumbling building now sits empty.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

57 Mushroom Shaped Rock on Bathsheba Beach in Bathsheba, Barbados

This rock resembles a huge mushroom growing from the sea. The eroded coral reef formation is one of several accenting Bathsheba Beach. These oddities earned this stretch of golden sand the nickname, “The Soup Bowl.” The coastline is rugged and tumultuous. The rolling waves are relentless and mesmerizing to watch. Plus the trade winds, which have blown unchecked for 3,000 miles since leaving Africa, offer a breath of fresh air on very hot days.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

58 Bathsheba Rock in Bathsheba, Barbados

There are several huge rocks along Bathsheba Beach. Many resemble misplaced cannon balls. The largest and most famous is Bathsheba Rock. It sits just offshore from a small park that has picnic tables and restrooms. Nearby is one of the island’s classic rum factories. Across the street is a typical Barbadian bar catering to local residents and the occasional tourist.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

59 People on Rocky Outcrop at Bathsheba Beach in Bathsheba, Barbados

These people have a fantastic, front row seat to the rolling surf at the base of a huge, rocky outcrop at Bathsheba Beach. On a hot day, which is almost every day in Barbados, you might want to go for a swim to cool off. But resist the temptation. The Atlantic Ocean here is beautiful but also fierce and unforgiving. Just offshore are strong undercurrents. So, wait until the tide is in and then find one of several pools that form in the rocks.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados

60 Andrews Sugar Plantation in Saint Joseph Parish, Barbados

Sugarcane was introduced to Barbados by the Dutch around 1642. But it was the British who flocked to the island to establish plantations. Soon sugarcane displaced tobacco and cotton as the primary crop. At first, plantations had their own grinding mills. Then ten factories emerged to process the cane. This commercialization transformed Barbados into a major exporter. As the economics changed, the industry declined. Gradually the cane fields disappeared, most plantation owners left and all but two factories closed. Andrews in Saint Joseph Parish is one of the few plantations still in operation. Nearby is the Andrews Sugar Factory. It processes 20,000 tons a year to supply molasses for the local rum industry.

Ashley’s House, Highway 3, Barbados