Nevis, the sister-island to St. Kitts, is a 36 square mile lush and unspoiled slice of paradise about 217 miles (350 km) east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 50 miles (80 km) west of Antigua.
A tiny island that has more monkey crossings than stop lights, it has attracted, and continues to lure, its fair share of notable visitors.
It’s the place where Princess Diana went to escape the media spotlight after her divorce in 1996. In more recent times, the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, John Travolta, Beyoncé, Britney Spears and former US President Bill Clinton and others have visited the island too.
If you are considering Nevis for your next Caribbean vacation, you could be their next A-list visitor!
Below, I’ve summarized my suggestions for things to do when you get there:
1. Visit the wedding site of Frances “Fanny” Nisbet and Admiral Horatio Nelson
The decorated British naval officer who has a statue in his honor at London’s famed Trafalgar Square. The two star-crossed lovers married under a silk cotton tree at Montpelier Estate in 1787, shortly before the end of Nelson’s Caribbean tour of duty.
2. See the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton
The man credited with being one of the most influential contributors to the U.S. Constitution. The oceanfront location houses a museum and the local parliament. I found it slightly surreal to walk through that modest looking abode and read about the early history of the man whose face adorns the US$10 bill.
3. Dip your body, arms or toes in the therapeutic Bath Spring
A free outdoor “spa” supplied by hot volcanic waters that flow from a hillside. It is reputed to cure numerous aches and pains but be warned, the temperature gets very hot so tourists are advised not to spend more than 10 minutes at a time soaking up its healing powers.
4. Explore the Botanical Gardens
All nature lovers will like this place because it is hard not to appreciate seeing the array of tropical trees, plants and shrubs that are so lovingly cared for by the efficient yet unobtrusive staff. What’s more, the quiet spaces, the Asian-influenced statues and the fountains make it feel like an oasis that will zap all your stress away.
5. Get stung by a Killer Bee at the legendary Sunshine’s Bar and Grill
No, that’s not an insect; it’s a simple but powerful signature cocktail that will knock you sideways if it is consumed too quickly or in excess. Located on Pinney’s Beach, Sunshine’s is a few chains from Four Seasons Nevis and it is an experience not to be missed.
6. Eat, eat…and eat!
Whether you opt for lunch at Golden Rock, a pre-dinner snack at Banana’s Bistro, a fancy four-course meal at Coconut Grove or simple local fare, just unbuckle your belt and give in 100% to the foodie experience. Simply plan to lose the pounds later because the meals are beyond good. You must try local favorites like the goat water (a thick, meaty soup) and Tanya fritters (made from root vegetables).
7. Tour the old sugar plantations that are now converted into hotels
Once a vibrant industry, sugar production used to be the backbone of the Nevisian economy and evidence of that is seen in the many sugar mill ruins you’ll see as you drive around the island. Hermitage Plantation, Montpelier Plantation, Nisbet Plantation and Golden Rock Inn, were some of the ones I visited and they each had their own distinctive style.
8. Finally, no trip to the Caribbean would be complete without a few hours spent lazing on an uncrowded beach
I clocked my sun and sand time at the Paradise Beach Nevis but there are several places to choose from. Go pick out your beach chair and mark your own spot soon!