One of the Caribbean's least visited and hurricane-safe islands
The tranquil haven of Grenada is grandiose during hurricane season. One of the Caribbean’s least visited islands is a lush paradise of landscape, adventure, culture and plenty of spice! The Island of Spice might be petite in size, but it packs a punch in personality for those who are looking for an affordable, hurricane-free escape.
Grenada has direct flights daily going into Maurice Bishop International Airport, from Miami on American Airlines, New York on JetBlue and Atlanta on Delta. However, frequency of flights always varies dependent upon season.
It’s easy to find flights for under $400, round-trip, to Grenada from major US destinations. Plus hotels, VRBO and Airbnb are all available on the island starting at $75 for two- to three-star locations.
It’s also pretty easy to get around. There are shuttles, taxis, car and moped rentals, public transportation and many sites and destinations within walking distance of lodging and beaches.
Grenada is known as the “Island of Spice” and places like Belmont Estate offer a hands-on history lesson in the tradition of spice and chocolate on the island. The Estate has a restaurant serving local Grenadian cuisine with much of the food coming from the in-house garden, There is also a goat dairy farm, petting farm, café, produce shop and craft market.
Grenada has roughly 110,000 people living on the approximately 133-square-mile island. The colorful and friendly capital, St. George’s, is located in the Saint George parish and is where most of the action occurs. However, there are niche neighborhoods throughout the island with varying industry, land and business.
You can tour the entire island in a couple of days, but it could take months to explore all the nuances of food, culture, beach, sport and more. Places like Secret Window Beach can be yours – and yours alone – most of the time.
Grenada’s tropical climate provides for hours of beach time, hikes through lush forests and strolls around plantations without the threat of major storms. There are, of course, localized thunderstorms that help fuel the incredible foliage of the island. But more often than not, chances are extremely high for moderate tropical temperatures and nice breezes.
Even better, the island is located 834 miles north of the equator. This positions it outside of the hurricane belt that saw so much devastation this year. In fact, many insurance companies allow yachters to anchor their boats in St. George's Harbor due to its natural disposition, depth and location.
The island has only sustained two direct hits from hurricanes in the last 50 years.
Grenada is a very highly educated island and is proud of its literacy rate, university attendance rate and postgraduate population. The island is practically crawling with medical students, so don’t worry about a scrape, stitches or surgery.
The island is home to the first-ever underwater sculpture park. Sure, there might be others around the world, but this was the world’s first. British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor designed the park in 2006 to include 65 concrete sculptures spread across roughly 800 square meters underwater.
Most people rent a water taxi to and from the site. However, strong swimmers can snorkel to the site from shore; plan about an hour's swim each way.
The Market Square is located in the heart of St. George’s. Try and visit the Market on a Saturday morning to find the island's best food, produce, people, community and culture. Grab a coconut from the street vendors, watch the fish come off the boat, iced and filleted for dinner.
The market isn't too large or cumbersome to explore and should take about an hour or two. Pick up some of the island's famous spices and peruse through hundreds of local items. If you have time, stop by the House of Chocolate for a quick tour and tastings close to Market Square.
This is a world-famous beach, highly regarded and known throughout the Caribbean for its 2.5-mile stretch of sand, majestic aqua waves, leisure activities and water sports. The beach is located along the southwest coastline of the island and is one of the most popular tourist spots.
Restaurants and bars are dotted along the beach to satisfy any cool beer cravings or hunger pangs. There are chaise lounge rentals, water sport rentals, motorboat trips and so much more available right from the beach.
Don’t miss Umbrellas Beach Bar, one of the most popular beach bars on Grand Anse with plenty of outdoor seating and action. For more local food, head to Cummin’Up for some jerk chicken or curried lamb. The shack is extremely affordable with hearty portions and plenty of ice cold beers for when the sun really starts to beat down on the sand.
This is one of the most insane and awesome attractions on the island. Each Saturday afternoon, whoever on the island – local, tourist, grandma, child, runner, teen – wants to participate meets in a designated area. There are two courses laid out: one for runners and another for a fast-paced walk.
It’s a mad dash through the surrounding lush forest, agricultural land and neighborhoods, which changes each week. Before the big run, Hash virgins get a little warm beer from his or her shoe, and after the Hash, there is food and beer for all. This is one of the best experiences for multigenerational fun on the Spice Island.
The majority of hotels and guest houses on the island are two and three stars. There are more luxe choices such as Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club, located on a lush hillside atop Grand Anse Beach.
Cinnamon Resort boasts activities and amenities for days. On the property, you'll find restaurants, a diving school, spa, gym, swimming pool, tennis court and a private white sand beach. They have loads of water sports necessities like kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie Cats, masks and snorkels, and they even have a Montessori Kids Club (in season).
For a more intimate experience, Kalinago Beach Resort is a 29-room hotel located in Morne Rouge bay. The hotel has a closet next to the main desk with toys and sports equipment for the beach that are free to borrow, with goodies like snorkels and rafts. There's an onsite restaurant both poolside and in the tree house where breakfast is served. You'll also find a pool with great views of the beach. Next to the pool area, the hotel hosts crab racing and betting, card trick evenings and beachside barbecues!