Written by Dick and Susan Young.
If you have ever considered a trip to the Caribbean I would highly recommend the quaint little island nicknamed St. Kitts, named after Christopher Columbus. This tiny island of 36,000 Kittians and 65 square miles lies about an hour plane ride south east of San Juan, Puerto Rico and shares its government with its sister Island Nevis. They lie in the West Indies of the Caribbean . You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
There are many beaches to enjoy sunbathing, snorkeling, kayaking, searching for shells, watching sand crabs dart in and out of their holes, pelicans dive, learn about the local gossip from any taxi driver or bar tender and even Wilbert the beach pig at Turtle Beach is a must see attraction!
A trip to the beach would not be complete without an aloe massage, or your hair braided, or the purchase of island made jewelry. You can even enjoy the monkeys swinging freely in the trees.
Accommodations could include a condo rental through many private associations, an all inclusive resort setting or the St. Kitts Marriott and Royal Casino and Beach Resort.
The Marriott offers golfing along the Atlantic, it boasts of several quality restaurants, pools, exercise complex, salon and spa and shopping.
Side trips to explore during your stay could include a trip into the rain forest, or into a volcano, a day trip on a large catamaran to Nevis is a fun trip which includes, snorkeling and lunch on the beach. You could even see the beauty of the island from riding fun bikes or horseback riding. There is ferry service that will take you to Nevis.
A shopping trip to the capital city of Basseterre is always exciting. Island Hopper, Glass Island, Ashburys, Rams Duty Free, Kate Spencers Design and Rosie Cameron Art Studio, Pelican Mall, Smoke and Booze, Brimley Rum Shop, Linens and Things, Island Fever and the many local craft vendors near Port Zante are just a few of the many shops to explore. It is fun to venture away from the Circus and find out of the way dress shops, bakeries, fabric shops and book stores.
There is a national museum where you can become knowledgeable in island history.
If you are interested in keeping up with your friends back home you can check out the Carib Surf Internet Cafe for just pennies a minute for surfing the net.
There are many friendly hair stylists and nail technicians that are always willing to work you in for a needed appointment.
There is Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Subway if that is your pleasure, but you should not leave the island without taking in the local private eateries. To name a few are Stonewalls, Circus Grill, Ballahoos, Bambus all located in heart of the capital city of Basseterre. PJ’s, Jasmines, Sunset Cafe, Rock Lobster, Monkey Bar, Bobsys, and Island Spice located in Frigate Bay area. Turtle Beach Bar and Grill is on the Southeast peninsula. and Shipwreck Beach Bar and Grill is at South Friars Bay. Fisherman’s Wharf, Waterfalls at Ocean Terrace Inn, and Serendipitys are along the bay leading out of Basseterre. To catch a quick taste of the island you need to stop at Beverly Moores lunch stand. This island lady is pleased to serve you with a friendly smile. She comes most every day and sets up her lunch stand behind Pelican Mall. Her menu includes saltfish or chicken / johnny cake sandwiches. One restaurant that is genuine island flavor is Spratnets located in Old Road Town. This is the ultimate in rustic island dining, where you can be relaxed and enjoy the very casual atmosphere.
The meals here are fresh caught lobster and fish and cooked on an open grill by local Kittians that are fisherman. They fish during the day and serve their catch at night. Also on the menu is BBq chicken and spare ribs, served with johnny cake and corn on the cob. And don’t forget the bakery lady across the street from Spratnets for delicious homemade cakes and pastries.
In contrast to any of the restaurants already mentioned you also may want to experience the fine dining venues at the Marriott or Marshalls at Horizons, but don’t leave the island without taking in one of the old Sugar Cane Plantation Mansions: Ottleys Plantation House, Rawlins Plantation, and the Golden Lemon. Taking an island tour by taxi would include a stop at the Caribelle Batik Factory at Romney Manor.
This garden setting is on the ruins of an old sugar cane plantation and the art of batik fashioned on sea island cotton is interesting and beautiful. Many items of clothing and artwork hangings are available for purchase. Also your taxi will take you to Brimstone Hill Fortress. The view from the top is breathtaking and you will learn a great deal about the islands struggle for independence during several centuries.
If you are staying over on a Sunday, you will want to visit one of the many churches that are available. You may have difficulty in trying to decide if the interior design of the sanctuary or the voices raised in song is more beautiful. The Kittians are very friendly and welcome you regardless of skin color. We are all worshipping the same God. The only difference between their services and what we are used to is the length. You may be there for 2-3 hours and the pews are NOT cushioned. But don’t let that be the deciding factor if you are going to attend, because the experience of fellowship with Gods people in the island is not easily forgotten.
St Kitts is home to the Ross University Veterinary School of Medicine and also the Ross University School of Nursing. Many American students are enrolled in these programs.
The beauty of the island is contrasted by the green fields of the sugar cane, and the aqua blue waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean. The dark skin of the Kittian people, their infectious smile, and happy spirit will enter your soul and invite you to return. They are very proud of their little island and very graciously share this little bit of paradise with all who will visit.
Many cruise ships are now including St. Kitts, and the harbor and Port Zante are always a hub of activity. The weather in St Kitts is a steady 86 degrees during the winter months with a light warm breeze.
You will come away from St. Kitts with a desire to go back. It is an infectious island with warm and friendly people.