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The south coast of Barbados is one of the few places on earth where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. And what different personalities these waters have!
The Caribbean is as peaceful as a baby sleeping; the Atlantic as rambunctious as children on a playground.
Here, on the south coast of Barbados these two impressive bodies of water join, offering our guests the best of the east and west coasts: no fearsome undertow -- just lively waves over a clear blue water with visibility up to 50 feet.
Ask those who prefer the south coast to all other areas of Barbados why they return to this area again and again and they'll happily reel off their reasons.
The first is the relaxing lull they slip into when they stretch out on our sugar-white beaches and listen to the rhythmic music made by the sparkling waves against the shore, while gentle breezes soften the warmth of the Caribbean sunshine.
A close second is easy access to 20-plus restaurants, nightclubs, and bars – literally just steps away from reasonably priced accommodations like ours at St. Lawrence Beach Apartments.
Remaining reasons aren't cited in any particular order but always seems to include ... "rum." Yep, rum - in Barbados, it's a religion.
The South Coast of Barbados is the stretch of coastline from Needham's Point just south of Bridgetown, to just past the South Point Lighthouse at Silver Sands Beach
St. Lawrence Beach Apartments are located in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap, next to the charming St. Lawrence Church
The South coast offers something for everyone - calm swimming, snorkeling over inshore reefs and tidal pools, and at the southernmost tip of the island - windsurfing.
Dover Beach: A five-minute walk from us. For great swimming, water sports activities and a long stretch of sand, head over to Dover Beach. This busy beach features plenty of food and drink ou tlets as well as local bars and restaurants. A nice beach facility features cute souvenir stands and a children's playground.
Sandy Beach: A two-minute walk from us. Also known as Worthing Beach and Carib Beach. This one has a favorite "liming" spot: the Crystal Waters Beach Bar, popular with locals as well as tourists. (Don't miss the fun, fun Sunday barbecue and music - great for all ages.) Besides plenty of food and drink, you'll find beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. Generally the water here is very calm and is ideal to take children swimming.
Accra Beach: Also called Rockley Beach, this is one of the longest and widest stretches of beach on the south coast. A wonderful swimming location, Accra is suitable for the entire family with many beach chairs and umbrellas available and good body surfing. Food and drinks are available in the various beach bars as well as a children's playground, toilets and showers.
St. Lawrence Little Bay: This is a picturesque spot where fishing boats head out in the early mornings. It's not a true swimming bay and there's not a large beach to set up camp for a day. But it's lots of fun to sit upstairs at Jumbie's, the restaurant across the street, and look over this charming bay at the fishing and diving boats going out to sea. It's a one-minute walk from us.
St. Lawrence Beach: "Our" beach! By law, all beaches on the island of Barbados are public, but the one behind our building feels private because it's small and so doesn't attract tourists. We boast a charming private jetty, a favorite spot for our guests to sunbathe and fish.
Succumb to a "zen" state of being by relaxing by our pool with the sound of the sea right there. We also snorkel and swim off our beach, although children and will fare better at the calmer Sandy and Dover beaches.
Miami Beach: Also known as Enterprise Beach, near Oistins. This is a great beach to view the breath-taking shades of blues of our sea from the short cliff above the beach. A lively beach, you can buy food and drink, rent beach chairs and umbrellas, and use the shower and bathroom facilities. It is a great beach to take children, as there are two bays for swimming, the below side being a calm lagoon for the little ones. There is also a lifeguard on duty here.
Silver Sands: Off the beaten path, this beach is the eastern point of what we consider the South Coast of Barbados. As is characteristic of the East Coast of the island, which has the force of waves of the Atlantic Ocean, Silver Sands is windier than the South Coast and the waves bigger, harder. The water is more suited to boogie boarders and surfers than swimmers. Have a drink or fine meal at the Silver Point Hotel as you admire kites flying on Silver Sands.
Maxwell Beach: East of St. Lawrence Gap, Maxwell has jet-skiing, Hobie Cats, and a large expanse of pretty, white beach. You actually don't see many dogs on Barbados beaches; this fellow just happened to be on Maxwell Beach the day this was snapped. The delight dogs find in rolling in the sand, then racing into the water only to get knocked back with a small wave is one of the funniest shows on the island.
Barbados' sunny climate and green landscape make it the pefect location for a golfing vacation.
The island boasts a number of excellent golf courses, the following on the south coast:
Rockley Golf Course: 9 holes, par 70, in a beautiful setting. This is the island's oldest golf club. 246-435-7873 Read More
Barbados Golf Club: 18 hole, par 72 championship course designed by Ron Kirby. 246-428-8463 Read More
Note: A bit farther away, the West Coast features two outstanding golf experiences:
Royal Westmoreland Read More
Sandy Lane Read More
All of These Restaurants Serve Liquor.
Some claim Cafe Sol has the best Mexican food in all of the Caribbean. It's right across the street, very casual and friendly, with great two-for-one margaritas in many varieties during happy hour. No sea view, but it's a fun people-watching spot if you sit at the outside bar or tables. 246-435-9531
Josef's is right next door to us. Ask for a seaside table and you'll be not just at the water's edge but over it – as close as you can be to the sea without swimming with the fish. Upstairs is Kampai – fantastic sushi and other Japanese specialties. Really great food and lovely, lovely staff. Waverly House on the Gap, 246-420-7638
Pisces is also romantically situated at water's edge, and about a 2-minute walk from us. Try the bread pudding (to die for) 246-435-6564
The award-winning Restaurant at Southsea also offers romantic seaside dining and is a 5- to 7-minute walk down the Gap from us. Famous for impeccable service and details such as cute torches to read the menus by. The wheat-free chocolate cake, called The Perfect Storm, is fab. 246-420-7423
Harlequin, two doors down from us, has a great choice of fare with at least nine entrees on the menu – as well as really good non-vegetarian dishes. Fantastic people-watching on the Gap.
We hear that the very casual Steak House offers the best American breakfast on the island. But they're mostly known for their steaks and signature martinis. 3-minute walk down the Gap.
The Just Stop Café serves up great local food – and you'll get your money's worth with food left over to take back to your place.
Other fun local-food spots are Sweet Potatoes and Jumbie's, about 2 minutes' walk from our location. Eat upstairs at Jumbie's and get a table overlooking Little Bay.
Also at Little Bay is Bellini's Trattoria, on the water, with excellent Italian cuisine, moderate prices, and a warm, Mediterranean atmosphere. A two-minute walk to Little Bay Hotel, 246-435-7246
McBride's Pub, almost across the street, is an Irish pub with photos of old Dublin and Irish memorabilia. Casual, with live entertainment nightly.
The Whistling Frog, at Time Out on the Gap – about a 3-minute walk, serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day in a friendly and casual environment. At night come for the sports bar featuring games, karaoke, and local entertainment.
Surfers Café is on the outskirts of Oistins, across from the supermarket, maybe a 10-minute drive from us. It's a casual place open from 9 a.m. where you can drop in for a snack or drink and then linger. If you get there early, you might score a table by the sea.
Il Forno brought in a brick pizza oven from Naples and that's what they serve up – pizza as well as good antipasti. The boardwalk being built at water's edge will really help perk up the atmosphere.
Champers gives diners a fabulous seaside view and reliably good food. Watching the sunset here is dreamy, so go early to view their art gallery and linger for awhile over a drink before dinner. A short drive from us. Skeetes Hill, 246-434-3463
David's Place By the Sea is around the corner from us and is another supremely romantic dining establishment by the sea. Great Bajan marinated chicken, pepper pot stew, and curried shrimp. At the entrance of St. Lawrence Gap (at Hwy 7), about a 2-minute walk. 246-435-9755
Oceans is a 2-minute walk from us and has an ocean view but does not sit right at sea's edge. Serves up fresh fish with a Bajan touch for dinner. Formal dining with casual dress. On the Gap, 246-420-7615
Oistin's Fish Fry can't be missed. It's a fish fry with music, dancing, and lots of fun. Every Friday and Saturday nights in Oistins (a ten-minute drive) on the beach. Beer and fish and live music – it's a blast and uniquely Barbadian. An inexpensive and highly memorable experience on the island; everyone loves it.
The Plantation is far more than a restaurant, but the food is so good it deserves a mention in the Restaurant category. The Plantation's "Bajan Roots & Rhythms" is a theater and stage show offering visitors a wide representation of true West Indies culture. The costuming is opulent, choreography often breathtaking. And the scrumptious buffet dinner serves up authentic Bajan food. The price of $50 includes both dinner and show. And you can walk there from our place, saving the hassle of parking. 246-428-5048
The food carts set up at night along the Gap dish up lots of great food at low prices.
Aqua is one of our favorites, elegant with a hip vibe and only a very short drive away in Hastings. By water's edge, with the new boardwalk right outside, you can kick back to their Buddha-Bar-type music with a libation followed by a scrumptious dinner of sushi or fresh fish cooked to perfection. One night at dinner we saw a mother turtle come up on the beach looking for a place to lay her eggs. 246-420-2995
Did anyone say "fast food"? With our slower pace, nothing's truly "fast" in the Caribbean, but we do have our local version of "fast food" in Chefette's. With locations all over the island, including the airport, one is never far – although the nearest to us is a 15-minute walk away. Our favorite dish is the roti; it's an Indian-Caribbean concoction of curry potatoes, veggies, chicken, and/or beef and wrapped in a chapatti Indian bread wrap. Also try the conkies – cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, raisins, sweet potatoes, and spices steamed in banana leaves. This is fast-food livin'!
Visit Barbados-Eating for ratings!
The nights are comfortably warm, the street is well-lit, and The Gap is alive with people and music. In fact, entertainment in Barbados begins in St.Lawrence Gap where clubs cater to all musical tastes.
There are others, but these will get you started:
With its pretty lights, open door, and either Irish music or live, McBride's offers up food, drinks, and a lively atmosphere. Just down the street, it's a popular night spot.
The Ship Inn is an old-time place on the Gap and open for lunch, but it's as a bar and night spot that it earns its reputation as a lively, live-entertainment watering hole. Thursdays are supposed to be the best night to go.
When you're out on the Gap at night, you might hear a soft chirping that you think is crickets. It's not; it's our tiny "whistling frogs." The nightclub of the same name serves up a street party atmosphere with Karaoke or live music to entertain. The Whistling Frog: casual and lots of fun.
Time Out at the Gap is all about jazz. If you're a jazz fan, you'll find it here. Down the street.
Reggae Lounge - Dance the night away under the stars in this open-air nightclub. It looks scruffy on the outside but the club is popular for its range of music, from reggae and calypso to mellow music and rhythm and blues.
The Plantation - As mentioned above. The evening begins with the sweet sounds of the steel pan that you can enjoy during your dinner. After dinner sit back and enjoy a spectacular dance show. Join in the fun with the limbo queen and dance to the music of The Plantation Band.
Harbour Lights is a popular hangout on Carlisle Bay on the outskirts of Bridgetown (a short drive from us; cabs are plentiful on the Gap). It's a popular bar scene at night, but offers lots during the day, too. Here, you can rent beach chairs and relax, sidle up to Sharkley's Bar, play on the trampoline in the sea, eat at South Deck Restaurant, or play a game of beach volleyball.
Go down to the harbor in Bridgetown (short cab ride) and book a night time cruise on Harbour Master Cruises. Get on board early, find a cozy spot, and watch the sun sink into the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Whether for romance or excitement, the Harbour Master cruise is a great choice. Good food and drink, a colorful floor show including comedy, exotic belly dancing by calypso dancers, and a fiery limbo act add up to a fantastic evening.
Daytime, don't miss the Catamaran Cruises - these are a must-do in Barbados! Swim with our beautiful turtles and snorkel some of the bluest waters you've ever had the pleasure of slipping into. The crews on the catamarans are superb; the food is Bajan and delicious, and the bar is open. What's not to love?
Sailing enthusiasts, see if you have reciprocal membership at the Barbados Yacht Club, located on Carlisle Bay, a short drive from us. BYC has tennis, daily buffet lunch service, sailing lessons, and a safe, secluded area to relax on a beautiful beach while your children run and play safely.
Fans of American history will enjoy The George Washington House. When he was a lad of 17, Mr. Washington visited Barbados; it was the only place outside the U.S. he ever traveled. The house is wonderfully restored. Drawing at left by Walter Kerr Cooper.
Bridgetown has its charms, but the real shopping in Barbados is a 7-minute walk from us: Walkers World. Begun by famed Barbadian artist Jill Walker, Walkers World sells quality, unique housewears, Barbados-made items for the home, and innumerable Jill Walker prints, placemats, napkins, oven mits, and much more. This is the place to find a bit of Barbados to take home with you! P.S. From their site you'll be able to order the Bajan hot sauce everybody loves.
There are only 3 Concordes on display in the world and one's here. It's spectacular. Thrilling. The tour is first class. Located next to Grantley Adams Int'l Airport.
Like lighthouses? Ours on the south coast was exhibited at London's Great Exhibiton in 1851 and then brought to Barbados. It was the first lighthouse on the island and it lies just east of Miami Beach. The tower unfortunately is not open. It still works, though: it flashes 3 times every 30 seconds.
Walkers World, a 7-minute-or-so walk from us, is easily the most fun place on the island to shop. Founded by the famed Barbadian artist Jill Walker (whose art you see below right), Walkers offers really gorgeous island goods -- pottery from Earthworks, for instance -- along with posters, placemats, oven mits, tea towels, trivets, and lots else featuring Ms. Walker's playful and beautiful art. Larger home accessories can also be found here ... Really, you could spend all day here.
Down the Gap you'll see a little chattel house village of shops (photo below). It's pretty typical sundresses-and-flip-flops stuff, but it's cute and fun and a great place to pick up a new swim suit or cover-up or beach towel. While you're strolling down the Gap, stop and linger over the goods at the outdoor stands along the way - you'll find some fun things and meet some great characters.