On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:The thought of covering two islands in one day might seem daunting, but thanks to the small size of St. Kitts and Nevis and the ferries that run regularly between the two islands, it can be done. Start your day by hiring a taxi at Port Zante, St. Kitts’ cruise ship port in Basseterre. Take in the sights as your driver winds through downtown streets, then make a stop at Romney Manor, a former Carib village site and historic home of Thomas Jefferson’s great-great-great-grandfather.
Continue on past Bloody Point, where St. Kitts’ main Kalinago settlement was located, to the impressive Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, an historic British military fort and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before returning to Basseterre to head over to Nevis, ask your driver to stop at Frigate Bay Beach for a quick swim in the bay’s serene turquoise waters.
Back in Basseterre, hop on one of the hourly ferries to Nevis’ capital of Charlestown, then sit back and enjoy the approximately 45 minute ride. Once you arrive in Charlestown, you should have no trouble hiring a taxi there to give you a tour of this tiny island. But before you do, spend a bit of time walking around in historic Charlestown, a charming town with friendly people and interesting shops. Once you’ve hired a driver, head south to see the island’s famous thermal bath spring. From there, visit the Museum of Nevis History and Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace. Make sure you leave enough time at the end of the day for a stop at Lover’s Beach at the island’s northern end. This secluded, private strip of sand is the best place to unwind after your busy day of sightseeing.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis might not be known for happening nightlife, but you can find places to go out and let loose. On St. Kitts, Bobsy’s in Frigate Bay offers nightly drink specials, occasional special events and weekly theme nights like Everything Jerk Fridays and Karaoke Wednesdays. A beautiful setting and a wide selection of rum beckon at the Keys Cigar & Rum Bar in The Royal Beach casino, also in Frigate Bay. It’s a good spot to grab an after-dinner drink and just relax.
Outside Basseterre, Eclipse Bar and Nightclub is the place to go if you’re looking to dance the night away. DJs spin reggae and calypso along with familiar American tunes.
Nightlife on Nevis is even more subdued, but there is one option if you want to dance into the wee hours of the morning: Courtyard in Charlestown. DJs spin music that keeps the dance floor jumping late at this open-air club, sometimes until 4 a.m. To party island-style, head to popular Pinney’s Beach where you’ll find Chevy’s Calypso Bar & Grill. The best night to be here is Sundays, when Chevy’s hosts Reggae Nitez, a beach party with DJ music and a beach bonfire.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:Whether you want to try something new or join a local dinner party, St. Kitts and Nevis offers several different food experiences. Here are our top five:
1. Dine on the beach with mongoose and monkeys at Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill on St. Kitts, but make sure you call ahead to see if they’re serving goat water, arguably one of their best specials. Much more appetizing than it sounds, this dish is a delicious soup of stewed goat meat, vegetables and dumplings.
2. It seems that anything that comes off the grill at Cathy’s Ocean View Bar and Grill on St. Kitts is just plain delicious, but nothing beats her grilled lobster—it’s perfectly seasoned and tender.
3. The Beach House on St. Kitts is a beautiful, breezy beachfront restaurant. Enjoy seasonal, local dishes like lobster pho soup or snapper ceviche.
4. Visit Nevis’ Nisbet Plantation Inn Thursday seafood barbecue. This laid-back party, accentuated by the sounds of calypso tunes, is held by the resort pool. Diners are invited to sample snapper, shark, wahoo and grilled strip steak. Wrap up the evening by dancing under the stars to live music on the beach.
5. An evening at Miss June’s Restaurant on Nevis is like attending a dinner party at the home of a friend. Miss June’s opens just once a week, each Wednesday, and invites diners to mingle with one another over cocktails before digging in to her delicious West Indian-style dishes. You’ll need reservations to attend this culinary event.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:The Caribbean is known first and foremost for its stunningly beautiful beaches, but coming in a close second is rum. Many islands throughout the region distill their own local varieties, and St. Kitts and Nevis is no exception. Bring home some Brinley Gold rum, made on St. Kitts in a family-run operation. Rather than the traditional white or aged rums you might find in the Caribbean, the Brinley family makes rums infused with tropical flavors like vanilla, coffee, mango and coconut. Visitors are allowed to bring home one-and-a-half liters of spirits duty-free, so why not take home a bottle of each flavor?
If rum isn’t your thing, pick up some Nevis honey — pure and natural, it’s made by bees that buzz between the island’s mango and wild tamarind trees, making for a sweet and distinctive tasting honey. Pick some up at the Beehouse in Gingerland. Nevis is also known for its pottery, made at Newcastle Pottery Center from the island’s iconic red clay and fired outdoors over coconut shells.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:To see St. Kitts and Nevis’ famed monkeys, just step outside. Green vervet monkeys, which were brought to St. Kitts and Nevis by British settlers, are a common sight on these islands. For a sure sighting, head to Port Zante on St. Kitts, where locals greet cruise ship travelers with their pet monkeys. For a small fee, you can take your picture with one of these little furry guys, pet them and even hold one. Monkeys are also known to frequent beach bars and restaurants in search of a handout, but mind your drink — they’re known to steal beverages from visitors.
If you’d like to see green vervets in more of a natural setting, take a drive through the less-developed parts of either island during the early morning or late evening, when the monkeys are most active. You’re sure to see them scampering across the road. It’s been said that there are more monkeys than people living on these islands, so your quest to see one in person shouldn’t be too difficult.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:If you’ve got money to burn and a desire to shop, head straight to St. Kitts’ Port Zante. This is where cruise ships arrive to the island, and you’ll find shop after shop with a wide array of items for sale including clothing, rum, jewelry, cigars, and unique souvenirs. A noteworthy shop in Port Zante is Linen and Golf, a local mainstay that sells modern jewelry and handcrafted textiles. Shopping is not as prevalent on Nevis, but the island’s capital of Charlestown is home to the City Market, where you can sample local produce like breadfruit, plantain and tannia (a starchy root vegetable). Also in Charlestown, the Nevis Craft Cooperative has a store that sells items made by Nevisians, such as rugs, wooden mobiles and ceramics.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:Kids are king in St. Kitts and Nevis, where the tourism board publishes a special booklet chock full of children’s activities, inviting young visitors to collect a stamp for each activity they complete. Here are the top five activities your kids will love:
1. Nothing punctuates a tropical vacation more perfectly than the sounds of the steel pan drum, and thanks to Nevis’ Scherzando School of Music, your kids can learn to play like the locals. Steel pan lessons are open to visitors age six and older. You’ll love to see your kids learning about local culture, and they’ll love hammering out some tropical tunes.
2. Thanks to the British Empire’s prolific past in the Caribbean, cricket is one of the region’s most popular sports. At TK’s Cricket Coaching in Nevis, kids age 5 to 15 can learn to bat and bowl with the best of them. Former West Indies player and Nevisian Carl Tuckett leads three-session lessons.
3. Imagine the look of wonder on your child’s face as he witnesses the miracle of hundreds of turtle hatchlings digging their way out of the nest and crawling intently toward the sea, driven forward by the light of the moon. The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network gives kids the chance to accompany the research team into the field.
4. Nothing creates a bonding experience for the whole family like learning a new skill together. Tighten the bond with your family at the St. Kitts Sailing School at Reggae Beach. Sailing lessons are available for children, adults or the whole family. You’ll also find snorkel gear and kayak rentals here, as well as Reggae Beach’s resident goat, monkey and two pigs.
5. One of the best ways to fully appreciate the beauty of St. Kitts is from above, and the whole family can do just that at Sky Safari, where kids and grown-ups alike can soar at close to 50 miles per hour across five different zip lines. St. Kitts’ rainforest, historic sites and even nearby islands are part of the scenery on this tour.
On August 16, 2012Andrea Milam answered the question:Natural beauty abounds in this two-island nation, and the five best things to do in St. Kitts and Nevis take advantage of the finest that Mother Nature has to offer:
1. Sweeping views, unique history and vibrant flora and fauna come together for a memorable experience at the Clay Villa Plantation House and Gardens, a property that dates back to 1763. Tour the home and gardens with upbeat guides Philip and Bridget, and you’ll be captivated by St. Kitts’ only free working estate (which never employed the use of slavery).
2. The juxtaposition of the imposing Brimstone Hill Fortress against St. Kitts’ tranquil landscape is curiously beautiful. This formidable fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a testament both to the intelligence of the British military engineers who designed it and to the strength of the African slaves who were used to build it. Spectacular ocean views make this self-guided tour all the more worth it.
3. The waters surrounding St. Kitts and Nevis are home to a plethora of interesting dive sites, from reefs, walls and caves teeming with life to wrecks like the River Taw, where easy swim-throughs and views directly into the hull of this 144-foot-long island freighter make for a magical experience. Don’t pass up a dive at The Vents, where hot water vent holes attract all kinds of curious species.
4. The very essence of Nevis’ beauty and tranquility is on display at the Nevis Botanical Gardens, set against the backdrop of the stunning Nevis Peak. Take a stroll through this five-acre garden and you’ll encounter beautiful collections of tropical flowers, fruit trees and cascading water elements. It’s peace and serenity at its finest.
5. There’s an air of mystery surrounding the dramatically beautiful Nevis Peak, a spire of lush greenery that rises more than 3,000 feet toward the sky, often disappearing into the clouds. Guides can be hired for an informative tour, but the hike can be done solo and is not quite as strenuous as you might imagine. Sections of rope assist hikers along the easy-to-follow trail, and the canopy overhead keeps you cool throughout the hike. If you get lucky and happen to hike on a rare day when the peak is not shrouded in clouds, the view from the mountain is nothing short of spectacular.