Known as the "Island of Spice," Grenada is an island getaway you many never want to leave. Boasting rolling hills, rock-strewn terrain, pristine beaches and miles upon miles of unspoiled rainforest, this exotic island in the southeastern Caribbean Sea offers something for everyone.
Things to See and Do
When arriving in St. George's the first thing you'll most likely want to do is to get an idea of the destination you're visiting. With that in mind, there's no better place than Fort Frederick or Fort George. Offering both a glimpse into the island's history and the best views of the city and marina, it's a prime spot for snapping pictures and taking it all in.
If you're looking to surround yourself in nature, a visit to Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve should not be missed. With countless hiking trails for both beginners and experts, this rainforest wonderland is a tranquil sanctuary of the senses, home to exotic flora and fauna plus Grand Etang Lake, an inundated crater of an extinct volcano.
If sweets are your thing, then be sure to carve out some time to visit the Grenada Chocolate Company. Purveyors of fine dark chocolate, the company organically produces all of their sweets on the island, from the cocoa of local farms.
Those interested in Grenada's economic workings will want to explore the 18th-century Westerhall Estate, known for rum production, and the 19th-century Dougaldston Spice Estate, a still-active spice processing plantation. Both places are well worth the trip for understanding firsthand the story of Grenada.
No visit would be complete without a stop at the stunning Grand Anse Beach, considered by many to be best stretch of sand of not only Grenada, but of the entire Caribbean. While there, enjoy swimming, snorkeling or just about any other beach sport your heart desires—including sunbathing.
Local Culture and Flavor
To experience the hustle and bustle of Grenada, amble along Market Square, the main hub for the buying and selling of island goods, including fresh fruit, spices and take-home treasures. Likewise, Grand Anse Beach features an extensive vendor market offering one-of-a-kind crafts, jewelry, clothing and more.
In Grenada, Creole cooking is king, enhanced by spices grown on the island. Popular dishes include pepper pot (meats cooked with pepper and garlic), roti (beef, chicken or vegetables cooked with curry), jerk chicken and roast pork. Be sure to try Grenada's national dish: a stew with meat, vegetables and spices called the "Oildown." Rum punch, as can be expected in the Caribbean, is a favorite beverage on the island.
Past and Present
Originally home to the Arawaks and then later to the Carib Indians, Grenada was "discovered" by Christopher Columbus in 1498. Due to the strong defense by the Caribs, it wasn't until the 17th century that the French finally settled the island. Battles waged between France and Britain until the British formally gained possession of the land in 1783 and started importing slaves for sugar plantations.
Soon after, tensions rose between the slaves and the British, which resulted in a rebellion that resulted in the abolishment of slavery in 1834. The British ruled the land until 1974 when Grenada gained independence. In the early 1980s, the U.S., Jamaica and the East Caribbean States successfully halted a Communist takeover of the government.
Today, tourism is the main economy in Grenada, and it's easy to see why. With so much stunning beauty everywhere you look, plus friendly people and a hospitable culture that continues to thrive, Grenada is tropical paradise for one and all.