Grenada For Families: Beaches, Fish Fries, Chocolate
Caribbean Island that are close to the US, like the Bahamas and Virgin Islands, get the most buzz for family winter getaways. But islands further south like Grenada, Dominica and Barbados have neat opportunities to get off the beach and explore nature, local history and West Indian culture. They’re alluring to me. So I was excited to receive this list of 9 things to do in Grenada. They are supposedly the favorite local activities of Olympic gold medalist Kirani James. I’m not sure I believe that, but they’re appealing ideas that give you a sense of what the “Spice Island” has to offer to families.
Gouyave Fish Fridays
Kirani’s hometown of Gouyave, in the northwest part of the island, hosts this weekly street party where tourists and local people gather for music, dancing and fresh seafood. Things kick off at 6:00 and go well into the night, but with little kids it’s best to get there on the early side when it’s less crowded and loud.
Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station
Grenada produces one-third of the world’s nutmeg. Before the fish fry visit this nutmeg factory, where you can see workers select, grade and package the nutmegs. It only costs $1, which means you’ll have money left over to sop for local spices from the Nutmeg World store.
Grand Anse Beach
This two-mile stretch of white sand and turquoise water is home to several beaches with calm child-friendly waters. You’ll find shops where families with big kids and teens can book activities like scuba, waterskiing, parasailing and windsurfing. A vendors’ market features local spices, crafts and food as well as practical stuff like beach chairs. There are plenty of restaurants and hotels, too.
The National Museum
It’s hard to get revved up for a museum day when you’re in beach mode. But this museum, built by the French in 1704 and part of the foundations of Fort George, hosts live performances including jazz music and dancing on Fridays. Its exhibits tell all you want to know about Grenada’s history.
Hikers can explore the rainforest that hugs the Park’s central mountains. You’ll see lush flora and a large crater lake. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot Mona monkeys or Antillean crested hummingbirds.
Walk through tropical gardens before taking an invigorating (read: COLD!) dip below the impressive falls. Best for families with kids that are good swimmers.
This 300-year-old working plantation has plenty for families. Learn how chocolate is made on a tour that starts in the cocoa fields and ends with organic chocolate samples. Run around the gardens, see how local spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves grow. Eat lunch at the restaurant, which uses spices and produce from the estate’s garden. There’s also a craft co-op, goat dairy and farm animals for the littlest kids.
The protected Grenada Dove is unique to the island and lives in a dry thorn scrub ecosystem. Come learn about these birds and the island’s diverse landscapes.
The Spice Basket
You can see the more colorful side of West Indian culture at the elaborate (though pricey) dinner shows they stage here. Kids under 12 are half price and the show winds down around 9:30. But if your kids can stay up later, consider staying for the steel drum music after.