Barbados is blessed with miles and miles of pristine sandy beaches, this is true. And while it’s easy to while away your vacation here sipping coconut rum and soaking up the rays, there’s much more to do in this tropical paradise if you can manage to coax yourself up from your beach chair. These activities are also good bets for those rare cloudy days this sun-drenched haven sometimes experiences, or if you’ve just had too much sun already.
Here are some picks for what’s beyond the shoreline.
Barbados Concorde Experience
If you love planes, love history, and harbour a penchant for the 70’s glam lifestyle, check out the Barbados Concorde Experience. Just a few minutes walk from the airport, this new-ish attraction in Barbados chronicles the history of the Concorde jet and the key role Barbados played in making it all possible. You’ll even get to board the fabled jetliner — a British Airways Concorde takes up much of this hangar turned museum. Don’t worry though; it’s not going anywhere. The Concorde was sadly retired from service in 2003.
The Sugar Museum
A labour of love by Sir Frank Hutson, The Sugar Museum occupies an old boiling house on the grounds of the Portvale Sugar Factory. Though some visitors have reported the yard and building are a tad on the tatty side, the collection of artifacts documenting the sugar industry in Barbados are still worth a visit, and well worth the low entry cost. If you go during harvest time (around February through May), you’ll get the added bonus of seeing more modern machinery in action — a tour of the newer sugar factory is included at this time as well.
If you find yourself in Barbados during the month of February, the month-long Holetown Festival is an even not to be missed. Held in the town the festival is named for, and only a short drive from Tamarind Barbados, the Holetown Festival commemorates the first settlement in Barbados — at this location in February 1627. Exhibitions, parades, cultural events and of course plenty of fresh Barbadian food abound during this time. And of course there’s plenty of rum. Just don’t get too out of hand — the police are everywhere. But it’s part of the celebrations. One of the highlights of the festival is the Police Tattoo — a nightly event that features the men and women of the Royal Barbados Police Force, their band, their canine units, and their motorcycles.
If none of these activities tickle your fancy, well, there’s always the beach I suppose.