Fodor's Expert Review Botanic Gardens
One of the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere is just north of downtown Kingstown—a few minutes by taxi. The garden was created in 1765 by General Robert Melville, governor of the British Caribbean islands, after Captain Bligh—of Bounty fame—brought the first breadfruit tree to this island for landowners to propagate. The prolific bounty of the breadfruit trees was used to feed the slaves. You can see a direct descendant of the original tree among the specimen mahogany, rubber, teak, and other tropical trees and shrubs in the 20 acres of gardens. Two dozen rare St. Vincent parrots (Amazona guildingii), confiscated from illegal collections, live in the small aviary. Guides explain all the medicinal and ornamental trees and shrubs; they also appreciate a tip (about $5 per person) at the end of the tour. A gift shop, open Monday through Friday, has local crafts, artwork, books, confections, and a traditional creole lunch menu.