It is undeniable that Barbados has wonderful beaches and that hours or days at a time should be spent enjoying them, but there is so much more you might want to experience. To help you get the most out of your stay, we’ve found a list of non-beach activities that should be considered “must see” or “must do” activities when you have had your fill of the beach (feel free to chuckle, but it could happen!).
Take a Trip on the Concorde
Though the famous speed of sound flying jets were grounded after a horrific accident in 2003, British Airways has one of the remaining Concorde jets housed in a special hangar in Barbados. There, visitors are welcome to climb on board and enjoy a multimedia experience emulating what it was like to take a tip on these amazing planes. They made weekly trips to Barbados from London until the accident, so this is a rare and entertaining treat.
Visit an Abbey and Sample the…Rum!
The St. Nicholas Abbey is a historic estate that was once a working plantation and is now a heritage site with gardens, manicured grounds, and a rum-making plant. Visitors can enjoy a fully-guided tour of the stunning Jacobean mansion, watch rum being made, and purchase specially engraved bottles to take home or gives as the best Barbadian gift imaginable. The experience includes old footage from the 1930s, when the plantation was still operating. There is a fabulous restaurant on the premises and most visitors agree that the carrot cake is an unforgettable indulgence.
The Friday Fish Fry
Though we did mention the Friday fish fries in an article about must-try restaurants and dining experiences, it needs to be re-emphasized. Every Friday night, islanders head to Oistins beginning around 7PM in order to dig into the very best of the daily catch. The fish fry features a variety of local food booths offering fish and all of the sides, but there is also entertainment, rum, and lots of local crafts.
The four acre Barbados Wildlife Reserve is less than 40 years old and was established as a way of studying the charming Green Monkeys who arrived here during the 1600s. They roam freely around the property, and you will also see tortoises, iguanas, Red Brockets (a form of small deer) and Mara (a rabbit-like creature) among many others. You also get to visit the Grenade Hall Forest & Signal Station, which is a must see spot for a photographer thanks to the views from so high above.
Sit in On a Match
Cricket is as popular in Barbados as it is in the UK, and every parish has a “pitch” (field). There is a huge stadium in the capital and there are constantly matches to catch throughout the year. While you might want to go just to enjoy the rum punch that is part of the experience, sitting in on a cricket match can be a fun and unforgettable way to meet true locals and learn the rules of this somewhat complex game.
Get Familiar With Island History
The Barbados Museum and Historical Society may sound like a stuffy place to spend time, but most visitors are astonished by the experience. Housed in a gorgeous, nearly 200-year-old building that was once a military prison, it features a stunning range of artifacts and impressive displays. Whether you are into maps, or the original island inhabitants, kids’ displays or antique furnishings, this museum has everything you might imagine, and more.
Hiking, biking, getting a car and driving, visiting Harrison’s Cave and paying a visit to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery are also options for those who are done with the beaches and want to see more of Barbados.