In September, my husband and I took a belated honeymoon/anniversary trip to Grenada, West Indies. The reason we chose to vacation in Grenada is because it’s not overrun with all-inclusive resorts and tourist traps as many of the islands are; we really wanted to experience the culture and we did just that.
Grenada is one of the southernmost islands in the Caribbean and is located off the coast of Venezuela. It is a mountainous island with gorgeous white and black sand beaches at sea level, and as you wind up the twisting roads that cover the island you eventually find rainforest.
After researching for a few days we decided to stay at Mango Bay Cottages in St. John Parish, about seven miles from the main city of St. George. The compound, consisting of four cottages, a main house and a restaurant, is situated on the side of cliff with breathtaking views of the ocean. Each cottage has its own private balcony. At the bottom of the cliff – accessible by stairs – is a secluded black sand beach offering wonderful snorkeling. The restaurant offers delicious vegetarian fare and the fresh mango lime juice is to die for!
When we weren’t at the cottage we were driving around the island in a little red Suzuki exploring. Often we would drive down to St. George to walk the historic streets and take in all the sites. The island is known for its spices and a plethora are available at the open-air market. Among the spice vendors are others selling jewelry, local jams, and coconuts. The fresh coconuts are split with a machete and the delicious waters are sipped through a shell.
Our favorite place to walk was The Carenage. Both small and large fishing boats were docked in the harbor and locals were hanging out on the sidewalks chatting and enjoying the view. There are a few shops and restaurants among the warehouses, the best being Masqueraders which offered amazing lambi (conch) roti. Above The Carenage are colorful homes situated among the cliffs.
Above St. George sits Fort George, which was built by the French in the 1700’s. It offers breathtaking views of the city and if you are feeling adventurous you can hire a tour guide to give you a history of the area. Just the views alone are worth the small cover fee to get in.
On the opposite side of the island is Belmont Estate, dating back to the 1600’s and still in operation today. It is one of the more touristy attractions on the island but has an interesting history that is worth the trip. Their main export is cocoa and one can see the rich, brown beans drying on trays throughout the property.
The best places to eat on the island are local homes and, of course, the Friday fish fry in the town of Gouyave. We enjoyed a tapas style dinner at Patrick’s, which was roughly 16 courses of traditional Grenadian dishes including breadfruit salad (similar to potato salad), Callaloo (similar to a stew), and nutmeg ice cream. The fish fry in Gouyave is also a must and upon arrival one is greeted with live music and the smell of freshly fried food. There are many vendors present, frying up all types of fish and offering a multitude of different sides. We enjoyed tuna, fried breadfruit, and a lambi skewer. Everywhere we turned in Grenada there were beautiful views and wonderful people. It was truly the experience of a lifetime and we would love to return one day.
- We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon history lesson in Fort George.
- No visit to Grenada is complete without a traditional Fish Fry Friday in Gouyave!
- Carve time into your travel schedule to stop by Belmont Estate, it won’t disappoint!
- The Carenage in St. George was a highlight of our trip. Walking the infamous waterfront and drooling over the vacation homes was such a treat!
Meghan Hale is a wedding and portrait photographer living in Alexandria, VA. While she loves weddings she is most at home when shooting documentary style portraiture and travel work.