Wandering bustling Bridgetown with its many sights and old colonial buildings can easily occupy a day. There is good shopping, especially along Broad St and on pedestrian-only Swan St, which buzzes with the rhythms of local culture. The entire downtown area and south to the Garrison was recognized by Unesco in 2012 for its historical significance.
Barbados’ west coast has lovely tranquil beaches that are largely hidden by the majority of the island’s luxury hotels and walled estates. Known to some as the Platinum Coast, it gets this moniker either from the color of the sand or the color of the credit cards. In colonial times, the area was a popular holiday retreat for the upper crust of British society.
Bathsheba is prime surfing country. It’s also good for long beach walks as you contemplate feeling you’ve reached the end of the world. It’s an idyllic image of sand, sea and palm trees. If you’re not an expert swimmer, this is not really the place to go into the water; rather, enjoy the wave-tossed scenery on long beach walks.
St Lawrence Gap & Dover Beach
The real action here lies along a mile-long road that runs close to the beach and is lined with hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. It’s mostly free of traffic, allowing nighttime strolling. The west end is known as St Lawrence Gap; the east end carries the Dover Beach moniker.
Easily the most evocative small town on Barbados, Speightstown combines old colonial charms with a vibe that has more rough edges than the endlessly upscale precincts to the south. Since the main road was moved to the charmless bypass east, traffic is modest, so take time strolling to look up at the battered old wooden facades.