48 Hours In St. Kitts

Above: Cannons at Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts (Photo: Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock)
Above: Cannons at Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts (Photo: Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock)

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or something in between, St. Kitts has it all, and we’re sharing how to maximize a quick trip to this versatile Caribbean island.

Where to stay

Bed down at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & the Royal Casino. With the aforementioned casino and an onsite championship golf course, the beachfront property offers a lot to keep travellers busy, and makes an ideal spot from which to explore the best the island has to offer. Large, well-appointed rooms with private balconies make it easy to get comfortable, while three pools, a fitness center, spa, and the chance to snorkel right off the beach ensure a vacation that’s as active or as relaxing as you want it to be.

What to do

Every Caribbean vacation should involve a trip to the beach and if you’re short on time, two of the best include Cockleshell Bay beach and Frigate Bay beach. Cockleshell Bay is a justifiably popular three kilometer stretch of white sand well stocked with beach bars, restaurants and spots to rent snorkel equipment. On most days you can see St. Kitts’ sister island Nevis across the water. Get there early to nab a beach bed, perfect for a few hours of total relaxation, ideally with tropical cocktail in hand.

Frigate Bay beach just outside the St. Kitts Marriott is another postcard-worthy spot to sink your toes in the sand. If you’re feeling active, you can walk (or jog) for quite a while, which we recommend since the farther you go, the more secluded the beach gets. Eventually you’ll start to hit black sand, tinged ashen thanks to the volcano on the island.

What to see

Check out Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only will you be getting up close and personal with a well-preserved former military community circa the 18th century, the 800-foot high fortress offers amazing views over St. Kitts. The hill itself where the fortress is situated is also worth a look – lush green rolling valleys as far as the eye can see, like something out of a Lord of the Rings movie.

Get to know St. Kitts a little better by spending a few hours exploring the colourful capital of Basseterre. Do some shopping, search for the perfect souvenir to bring home to your significant other or family, and wind down with a cold drink from one of the many small bars and restaurants in the area.

Where to eat and drink

Grab a casual lunch at local favourite El Fredo’s, a small establishment where you can sample some of the best Kittitian dishes on the island. The laid back, friendly restaurant makes it easy to get into the flow of island life. Order a fresh squeezed juice with a Carib beer chaser and make yourself a home as you wait for your meal – anything from fresh caught snapper to roast chicken to garlic conch.

If you happen to be at Cockleshell Bay beach, make a stop at Spice Mill Restaurant. The breezy beachside restaurant is known for using fresh, local ingredients and as the name would suggest, lots of flavour. The menu changes with what’s freshest, but expect interesting salads, seafood and sandwiches.

“The Strip” is where you’ll find the bulk of St. Kitts’ lively nightlife. If you only have time to hit one bar during your stay, make it Mr. X’s Shiggedy Shack, epitomizing everything a beach bar should be – lively, unpretentious and full of people who want to have a good time. Go early and nap a picnic table on the sand and wait for the fun to start: A roaring bonfire, live band with dancing (inside or on the sand), karaoke and if you’re lucky to be there on the right night (it varies), a fire-eating show.

Jessica Padykula

Jessica Padykula

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on Styleathome.com, ElleCanada.com, Slice, Travel + Escape, Thrillist, AmongMen.com and SheKnows.com among others. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world. You can follow her on Twitter @JessPadykula

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