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Plan Your Trip to Barbados: Best of Barbados Tourism

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Barbados
Romance and adventure are practically a given in Barbados. And your experience can depend on which coast you pick. To the west, you’ll find calm waters and good swimming on the upscale “Platinum Coast.” To the east, there are massive, pro-level waves for surfing and a more bohemian vibe. Wherever you stay, turquoise waters, fine soft-sand beaches, and catamaran cruises are close at hand. Barbados is celebrated as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, with dishes like flying fish and cou-cou and rich macaroni pie. Oistins Friday-night fish fry in Christ Church is a must for both locals and visitors. Looking for more? We’ve got additional recs below.

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Essential Barbados

How to do Barbados in 3 days

Coastal hikes, rich history, and scenic restaurants
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Best places to enjoy the beach in Barbados

There are lots of things I love about Barbados: its rum distilleries, its historic sights, and, most of all, its gorgeous beaches. There are more than 80 of them scattered around the island, and each is a little different. Whether you’re relaxing on a sandy shore, surfing the waves, or enjoying a beachfront dinner, here are the best ways to experience the beaches of Barbados.
  • La Cabane
    359
    I always point travelers to La Cabane, a beachside restaurant with a cool surfer vibe. The entrance is flanked by surfboards. Once inside, wooden picnic tables and long wooden tables provide perfect views of Batts Rock Beach. It’s my favorite low-key spot for grabbing a drink and a few appetizers in the afternoon. The Six Roads cocktail, infused with Mount Gay rum, is generously poured, and the ceviche and fish tacos are crowd-pleasers.
  • Bathsheba Beach
    1,426
    Bathsheba Beach, on the east coast of the island, is known for its huge waves and rocky shore. The surf is too wild for leisurely swims, but it’s still a great spot to spend an afternoon hanging out at a picnic table or walking along the shore. Bathsheba’s Soup Bowl—a reference to the foamy surf—is a surfing hotspot and the site of international competitions.
  • The Tides
    5,632
    In historic Holetown, The Tides—a white-tablecloth restaurant decorated with vibrant artwork from Bajan artists—is considered one of the island’s best places to eat. For an intimate dinner, request a table overlooking the water. You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood dishes, but my pick is the shrimp curry topped with fresh coconut. A couple of nights each week there’s live music.
  • Crane Beach
    961
    One of the most famous stretches of sand in Barbados, this pink-sand beach is located on the quiet southern tip of the island. If you plan on spending the day at this public beach, you can rent chairs and umbrellas from nearby Crane Resort. If you also want to enjoy some sky-high views, make a reservation at the resort’s clifftop restaurant, L’Azure.
  • Animal Flower Cave
    1,602
    On the northern tip of Barbados, Animal Flower Cave is reached by navigating a narrow set of stairs. While some of the pools around the cave are deep enough to swim in, most people come just to take in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. There’s also a cliffside restaurant that’s open for lunch service. My recommendation? The breadfruit tacos or the fishcakes.
  • Cuz's Fish Stand
    1,802
    Painted bright blue, this tiny food stand near Carlyle Bay has an outsized reputation for serving some of the best food on the island. Locals and visitors alike stand in long lines for the “cutters,” made from pan-fried fish fillets sandwiched between pieces of golden, crusty bread. They deliver a sweet and savory punch of flavor that’s even better when you top them with a dollop of spicy scotch bonnet hot sauce.