St. Kitts and Nevis

We’ve compiled the best of the best in St. Kitts and Nevis - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Alexander Hamilton Birthplace

    Museum/Gallery

    The Alexander Hamilton Birthplace, which contains the Hamilton Museum, sits on the waterfront. This bougainvillea-draped Georgian-style house...

    The Alexander Hamilton Birthplace, which contains the Hamilton Museum, sits on the waterfront. This bougainvillea-draped Georgian-style house is a reconstruction of what is believed to have been the American patriot's original home, built in 1680 and likely destroyed during a mid-19th-century earthquake. Born here in 1755, Hamilton moved to St. Croix when he was about 12. He moved to the American colonies to continue his education at 17; he became George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury and died in a duel with political rival Aaron Burr in 1804. The Nevis House of Assembly occupies the second floor; the museum downstairs contains Hamilton memorabilia, documents pertaining to the island's history, and displays on island geology, politics, architecture, culture, and cuisine. The gift shop is a wonderful source for historic maps, crafts, and books on Nevis.

    Low St., Charlestown, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-469–5786

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5, with admission to Museum of Nevisian History $7
  • 2. Banana/Cockleshell Bays

    Beach

    These twin connected eyebrows of glittering champagne-color sand—stretching nearly 2 miles (3 km) total at the southeastern tip of the island...

    These twin connected eyebrows of glittering champagne-color sand—stretching nearly 2 miles (3 km) total at the southeastern tip of the island—feature majestic views of Nevis and are backed by lush vegetation and coconut palms. The first-rate restaurant-bar Spice Mill (next to Rasta-hue Lion Rock Beach Bar—order the knockout Lion Punch) and Reggae Beach Bar & Grill bracket either end of Cockleshell. At this writing, plans for a 125-room mixed-use Park Hyatt (with additional residential condos and villas) are back on schedule for opening by late 2016. The water is generally placid, ideal for swimming. The downside is irregular maintenance, with seaweed (particularly after rough weather) and occasional litter, especially on Banana Bay. Follow Simmonds Highway to the end and bear right, ignoring the turnoff for Turtle Beach. Amenities: food and drink; parking. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; swimming; walking.

    Banana Bay, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 3. Bath Springs

    Hot Spring

    The Caribbean's first hotel, the Bath Hotel, built by businessman John Huggins in 1778, was so popular in the 19th century that visitors, who...

    The Caribbean's first hotel, the Bath Hotel, built by businessman John Huggins in 1778, was so popular in the 19th century that visitors, who included Samuel Taylor Coleridge, traveled months by ship to "take the waters" in the property's hot thermal springs. It suffered extensive hurricane and earthquake damage over the years and long languished in disrepair. Local volunteers have cleaned up the spring and built a stone pool and steps to enter the waters, though signs still caution that you bathe at your own risk, especially if you have heart problems. The development houses the Nevis Island Administration offices; there's still talk of adding massage huts, changing rooms, a restaurant, and a cultural/history center on the original hotel property.

    Charlestown, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 4. Black Rocks

    Nature Sight

    This series of lava deposits was spat into the sea ages ago when the island's volcano erupted. It has since been molded into fanciful shapes...

    This series of lava deposits was spat into the sea ages ago when the island's volcano erupted. It has since been molded into fanciful shapes by centuries of pounding surf.

    Atlantic coast, outside town of Sadlers, Sandy Bay, Sand Bank Bay, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 5. Botanical Gardens of Nevis

    Garden

    In addition to terraced gardens and arbors, this remarkable 7.8-acre site in the glowering shadow of Mt. Nevis has natural lagoons, streams...

    In addition to terraced gardens and arbors, this remarkable 7.8-acre site in the glowering shadow of Mt. Nevis has natural lagoons, streams, and waterfalls, superlative bronze mermaids, Buddhas, egrets and herons, and extravagant fountains. You can find a proper rose garden, sections devoted to orchids and bromeliads, cacti, and flowering trees and shrubs—even a bamboo garden. The entrance to the Rain Forest Conservatory—which attempts to include every conceivable Caribbean ecosystem and then some—duplicates an imposing Mayan temple. A splendid re-creation of a plantation-style great house contains the appealing Oasis in the Gardens Thai restaurant with sweeping sea views (and wonderfully inventive variations on classic cocktails utilizing local ingredients), and the upscale World Art & Antiques Gallery selling artworks, textiles, jewelry, and Indonesian teak furnishings sourced during the owners' world travels.

    Montpelier Estate, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-469–3509

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $13; $8 children 6–12
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  • 6. Brimstone Hill

    Historic District/Site

    This 38-acre fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is part of a national park dedicated by Queen Elizabeth in 1985. After routing the French...

    This 38-acre fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is part of a national park dedicated by Queen Elizabeth in 1985. After routing the French in 1690, the English erected a battery here; by 1736 the fortress held 49 guns, earning it the moniker Gibraltar of the West Indies. In 1782, 8,000 French troops laid siege to the stronghold, which was defended by 350 militia and 600 regular troops of the Royal Scots and East Yorkshires. When the English finally surrendered, they were allowed to march from the fort in full formation out of respect for their bravery (the English afforded the French the same honor when they surrendered the fort a mere year later). A hurricane severely damaged the fortress in 1834, and in 1852 it was evacuated and dismantled. The beautiful stones were carted away to build houses.The citadel has been partially reconstructed and its guns remounted. It's a steep walk up the hill from the parking lot. A seven-minute orientation film recounts the fort's history and restoration. You can see remains of the officers' quarters, redoubts, barracks, ordnance store, and cemetery. Its museum collections were depleted by hurricanes, but some pre-Columbian artifacts, objects pertaining to the African heritage of the island's slaves (such as masks and ceremonial tools), weaponry, uniforms, photographs, and old newspapers remain. The spectacular view includes Montserrat and Nevis to the southeast; Saba and St. Eustatius to the northwest; and St. Barth and St. Maarten to the north. Nature trails snake through the tangle of surrounding hardwood forest and savanna (a fine spot to catch the green vervet monkeys—inexplicably brought by the French and now outnumbering the residents—skittering about).

    Main Rd., Brimstone Hill, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-465–2609

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10
  • 7. Eden Brown Estate

    Historic Home

    This government-owned mansion, built around 1740, is known as Nevis's haunted house, or haunted ruins. In 1822 a Miss Julia Huggins was to marry...

    This government-owned mansion, built around 1740, is known as Nevis's haunted house, or haunted ruins. In 1822 a Miss Julia Huggins was to marry a fellow named Maynard. However, come wedding day, the groom and his best man killed each other in a duel. The bride-to-be became a recluse, and the mansion was closed down. Local residents claim they can feel the presence of "someone" whenever they go near the eerie old house with its shroud of weeds and wildflowers. Though memorable more for the story than the hike or ruins, it's always open, and it's free.

    East Coast Rd., between Lime Kiln and Mannings, Eden Brown Bay, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 8. Fairview Great House & Botanical Gardens

    Garden

    Parts of this French colonial great house set on more than 2 lush tropical acres date back to 1701, with an impeccably restored interior in...

    Parts of this French colonial great house set on more than 2 lush tropical acres date back to 1701, with an impeccably restored interior in period fashion. Each room is painted in different colors from pomegranate to lemon. Furnishings include a 16-seat mahogany dinner table set with china and silver; docents relate fascinating factoids (chaises were broadened to accommodate petticoats—or "can-can skirts," in local parlance). Cross the cobblestone courtyard to the original kitchen, replete with volcanic stone and brick oven, and bathing room (heated rocks warmed spring water in the tub). The fieldstone cellar now contains the gift shop, offering local pottery, art, and honey harvested on-site at the apiary. You can wander meticulously maintained gardens with interpretive signage, filled with chattering birds and monkeys. The Nirvana restaurant offers pan-Asian food; dips in the pool are a bonus.

    Artist's Level Hill, Boyd's, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-465–3141

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10
  • 9. Fothergills Nevisian Heritage Village

    Museum Village

    On the grounds of a former sugar plantation–cotton ginnery, this ambitious, ever-expanding project traces the evolution of Nevisian social history...

    On the grounds of a former sugar plantation–cotton ginnery, this ambitious, ever-expanding project traces the evolution of Nevisian social history, from the Caribs to the present, through vernacular dwellings that re-create living conditions over the centuries. The Carib chief's thatched hut includes actual relics such as weapons, calabash bowls, clay pots, and cassava squeezers. Wattle-and-daub structures reproduce slave quarters; implements on display include coal pots and sea fans (used as sieves). A post-emancipation gingerbread chattel house holds patchwork quilts and flour-bag dresses. There's a typical sharecropper's garden explaining herbal medicinal folklore and blacksmith's shop. Docents are quite earnest and go on at great (mostly fascinating) length.

    Gingerland, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-469–5521

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $3
  • 10. Friar's Bay

    Beach

    Locals consider Friar's Bay, on the Caribbean (southern) side, the island's finest beach. It's a long, tawny scimitar where the water always...

    Locals consider Friar's Bay, on the Caribbean (southern) side, the island's finest beach. It's a long, tawny scimitar where the water always seems warmer and clearer. The upscale Carambola Beach Club has co-opted roughly one third of the strand. Still, several happening bars, including Jam Rock (great grouper and jerk), ShipWreck and Sunset, serve terrific, inexpensive, local food and cheap, frosty drinks. Chair rentals cost around $3, though if you order lunch, you can negotiate a freebie. Friar's is the first major beach along Southeast Peninsula Drive (aka Simmonds Highway), approximately a mile (1½ km) southeast of Frigate Bay. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: snorkeling; swimming; walking.

    South Friar's Bay, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 11. Frigate Bay

    Beach

    The Caribbean side offers talcum-powder-fine beige sand framed by coconut palms and sea grapes, and the Atlantic side (a 15-minute stroll)—sometimes...

    The Caribbean side offers talcum-powder-fine beige sand framed by coconut palms and sea grapes, and the Atlantic side (a 15-minute stroll)—sometimes called North Frigate Bay—is a favorite with horseback riders. South Frigate Bay is bookended by the Timothy Beach Club's Sunset Café and the popular, pulsating Buddies Beach Hut. In between are several other lively beach spots, including Cathy's (fabulous jerk ribs), Chinchilla's, Vibes, and Mr. X Shiggidy Shack. Most charge $3 to $5 to rent a chair, though they'll often waive the fee if you ask politely and buy lunch. Locals barhop late into Friday and Saturday nights. Waters are generally calm for swimming; the rockier eastern end offers fine snorkeling. The incomparably scenic Atlantic side is—regrettably—dominated by the Marriott (plentiful dining options), attracting occasional pesky vendors. The surf is choppier and the undertow stronger here. On cruise-ship days, groups stampede both sides. Amenities: food and drink; water sports. Best for: partying; snorkeling; swimming; walking.

    Frigate Bay, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 12. Ft. Ashby

    Ruins

    Overgrown with tropical vegetation, this site overlooks the place where the settlement of Jamestown fell into the sea after a tidal wave hit...

    Overgrown with tropical vegetation, this site overlooks the place where the settlement of Jamestown fell into the sea after a tidal wave hit the coast in 1680. Needless to say, this is a favorite scuba-diving site.

    Main Rd., 1½ miles (2½ km) southwest of Hurricane Hill, Asbby Fort, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 13. Hermitage Stables

    Sports Venue

    Here you can opt for everything from horseback riding to jaunts in hand-carved mahogany carriages. ...

    Here you can opt for everything from horseback riding to jaunts in hand-carved mahogany carriages.

    Hermitage Plantation Inn, Hermitage Rd., Gingerland, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-469–3477
  • 14. Independence Square

    Plaza/Square

    There are lovely gardens and a fountain on the site of a former slave market at Independence Square. The square is surrounded on three sides...

    There are lovely gardens and a fountain on the site of a former slave market at Independence Square. The square is surrounded on three sides by 18th-century Georgian buildings.

    Off Bank St., Basseterre, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 15. Mansa's Farm

    Farm/Ranch

    Anyone who wants a real sense of island daily life and subsistence should call Mervin "Mansa" Tyson. He'll take you past his fruit trees and...

    Anyone who wants a real sense of island daily life and subsistence should call Mervin "Mansa" Tyson. He'll take you past his fruit trees and herb gardens through rows of tomatoes, cucumbers, string beans, eggplant, zucchini, sweet pepper, melons, and more. Discussing the needs for at least partial organic growing practices, he passionately explains how he adapted traditional folk pesticides and describes the medicinal properties of various plants, cultivated and wild. He'll prepare a lunch using his produce, including delectable refreshing fruit drinks at his Mansa's Last Stand grocery across from the beach. Weekend barbecues are a highlight. All in all, this agritourism foray redefines food for thought.

    Cades Bay, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-469–8520

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Varies
  • 16. Museum of Nevis History

    Museum/Gallery

    Purportedly this is the Western Hemisphere's largest collection of Lord Horatio Nelson memorabilia, including letters, documents, paintings...

    Purportedly this is the Western Hemisphere's largest collection of Lord Horatio Nelson memorabilia, including letters, documents, paintings, and even furniture from his flagship. Nelson was based in Antigua but came on military patrol to Nevis, where he met and eventually married Frances Nisbet, who lived on a 64-acre plantation here. Half the space is devoted to often-provocative displays on island life, from leading families to vernacular architecture to the adaptation of traditional African customs, from cuisine to Carnival. The shop is an excellent source for gifts, from homemade soaps to historical guides.

    Bath Rd., Charlestown, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-469–0408

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5, with Hamilton Museum $7
  • 17. National Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    In the restored former Treasury Building, the National Museum presents an eclectic collection of artifacts reflecting the history and culture...

    In the restored former Treasury Building, the National Museum presents an eclectic collection of artifacts reflecting the history and culture of the island.

    Bay Rd., Basseterre, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-465–5584

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $3
  • 18. Nevis Equestrian Centre

    Sports Venue

    The Nevis Equestrian Centre offers leisurely beach rides as well as more demanding canters through the lush hills, starting at $75. Lessons...

    The Nevis Equestrian Centre offers leisurely beach rides as well as more demanding canters through the lush hills, starting at $75. Lessons are sometimes available ($30 group, $40 private).

    Clifton Estate, Cotton Ground, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
    869-662–9118
  • 19. Newcastle Beach

    Beach

    This broad swath of soft ecru sand shaded by coconut palms is near Nisbet Plantation, on the channel between St. Kitts and Nevis. It's popular...

    This broad swath of soft ecru sand shaded by coconut palms is near Nisbet Plantation, on the channel between St. Kitts and Nevis. It's popular with snorkelers, but beware stony sections and occasional strong currents that kick up seaweed and roil the sandy bottom. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: snorkeling.

    Newcastle, , Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 20. Old Road

    Town/Village

    This site marks the first permanent English settlement in the West Indies, founded in 1624 by Thomas Warner. Take the side road toward the interior...

    This site marks the first permanent English settlement in the West Indies, founded in 1624 by Thomas Warner. Take the side road toward the interior to find some Carib petroglyphs, testimony of even earlier habitation. The largest depicts a female figure on black volcanic rock, presumably a fertility goddess. Less than a mile east of Old Road along Main Road is Bloody Point, where French and British soldiers joined forces in 1629 to repel a mass Carib attack; reputedly so many Caribs were massacred that the stream ran red for three days.

    , St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis

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