Grenada Travel Guide

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Exploring Grenada

explor01.jpg (18919 bytes) St George's
This picturesque city, wrapped around the perimeter of the island's finest natural harbour, is perhaps the most appealing capital city in the entire Caribbean. Founded in the early 18th century by the French, St. George's still possesses something of the character of a French town, particularly in the red tile roofs and pastel colors of its traditional architecture. St. George's contains a number of sites worth exploring, and the Board of Tourism (at Burns Point) provides a handy guide for walking tours.

St. George's ideally-formed inner harbour is--as it has been for the last three centuries--the centre of marine activity on the island. The Carenage serves as an anchorage for every sort of vessel imaginable, from small fishing boats and elegant yachts to great white cruise ships. A walk along the encircling Wharf Road allows a lovely view of the harbour and its bounty of colorful ships.

St. George's Roman Catholic Cathedral
The Gothic tower of St. George's, though modest enough, is the most visible landmark in the city. Built in 1818, the tower lends Grenada's capital a distinctively European character.

House of Parliament
Across Church Street from the cathedral are two of St. George's most venerable buildings. York House, purchased in 1801, houses the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Along with the neighbouring Registry, which was built in 1780, York house is a graceful example of early Georgian architecture.

explor02.jpg (26778 bytes) Market Square
Bustling, noisy, and colourful, the market is the centre of the capital's civic life, as it has been for the last two hundred years. It is the main site for the purchase and sale of local produce, as well as the focal point for parades, political speeches, and religious activities. More recently, it has become the starting point for minibuses to the outer areas of the island. No visitor to Grenada should miss the Saturday morning market.

The Esplanade
Just down Granby Street from Market Square is the Esplanade, which looks out to the west across the Caribbean. A fine locale for an evening promenade.

Grenada National Museum
Although the National Museum is not large, it houses a fascinating collection of artifacts from Grenada's cultural history. Its collection extends from ancient times to the present, including material and exhibits on everything from the Caribs to the political events of the 1980s.

Sendall Tunnel
This 340-foot tunnel, still the most convenient connection from the Carenage to the Esplanade, was rightly considered a technological triumph when completed the early 18th century. It is named for the island's governor at the time.

explor03.jpg (21522 bytes) Fort George
Fort George is situated on an elevated peninsula that commands the harbour entrance, a position that has given the fort enormous strategic importance since the French constructed it in the first decade of the 18th century. Although it continues to serve as the police headquarters, Fort George is most appreciated today for the views that it offers to sightseers. Much of its elaborate colonial structure remains intact, and part of the pleasure of a visit is rambling around among the passages and stairs of the ancient stone fortifications. Fort George still maintains a battery of old cannons, which are used on special occasions to fire off a resounding salute.

In the 1980s, Fort George once again played a prominent role in Grenadian history as the site of the assassination of Maurice Bishop, along with several members of his cabinet. In 1983, the fort was bombed by American troops.

Fort Frederick
Perched atop Richmond Hill at the center of St. George's, Fort Frederick is a smaller and more recent complement to the imposing Fort George. Built by the British, it was completed in 1791, during the French Revolution.

Around St. George

Botanical Gardens
Situated just five minutes drive to the southeast of St. George, these pristine, tranquil gardens offer an enchanting introduction to the natural plants and flowers of Grenada and of the Caribbean generally.

Bay Gardens
The Bay Gardens, with their winding paths and careful cultivation, offer a fine example of the European impulse to tame and order the paradisical vegetation of the tropics. With over 3,000 species of plants, the Bay Gardens provide a lifetime's introduction to the flora of Grenada--indeed, of the entire Caribbean. The gardens are located behind St. George's, in the suburb of St. Paul's.

Around Grenada

Carib's Leap, or Leapers Hill
Directly north of the town of Sauteurs is a steep cliff face that descends vertically into the sea for more than 100 feet. It was from the top of the cliff that Grenada's last remaining Carib Indians hurled themselves in 1651, preferring suicide to domination by the French.

The drive along Grenada's western coast from St. George's passes through some of the island's most picturesque areas. Along the coast a scattered small fishing villages, set at the entrance of mountain valleys that abound with papaya and breadfruit trees. Gouyave itself is the major site of Fisherman's Birthday celebrations in June.

explor04.jpg (21708 bytes) Dougaldston Spice Estate
Located just outside of Gouyave, this historic estate is still the primary producer of the island's spices and the place where they are first processed after harvest. Tours provide a fascinating glimpse of the traditional preparation of spices as well as offering visitors a chance to sample many of the spices and products in their fresh, unprocessed form.

Grand Etang Lake and Forest Reserve
The volcanic mountains of Grenada's Central Range rise to over 2000 feet in some places. Some of the mountains contain ancient crater basins, one of which holds a large crater lake, Grand Etang. The lake is over 1700 feet above sea level, and is surrounded with some of the island's most beautiful rainforest. Close to the lake is the visitors' center of the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, Grenada's premier naturalist park. The visitors' center provides visitors with a fascinating introduction to the island's indigenous wildlife, vegetation, forestry, history, and culture. It is also the starting point for many of the walks, hikes, and treks that can be taken through this stunningly beautiful area.

Grenville, situated about halfway up Grenada's windward eastern shore, is the island's second largest city. Grenville is also home to Grenada's largest nutmeg processing factory, which offers visitors extensive tours of the entire process of nutmeg preparation. Grenville's colorful Saturday market is also worth a visit, as local farmers, fishermen, and merchants gather to sell all sorts of fresh produce, as well as local handicrafts.

Lake Antoine National Landmark
About six miles north of Grenville lies Lake Antoine, .

La Sagesse Nature Centre
This recently established nature centre holds a wide variety of different attractions, from the prolific birdlife of its salt pond and mangrove estuary to the peaceful isolation of its three fine beaches. La Sagesse also maintains a small guesthouse and restaurant.

Levera National Park
The coastal area of this popular park is one of the most dramatically beautiful areas on Grenada, including a superb beach. Levera's marine areas are equally esteemed, with outstanding coral reefs and sea grass beds that shelter lobsters and beautiful reef fishes.

Mt. Carmel Waterfall
This is the highest of the island's several lovely waterfalls. It actually consists of two different falls, which together tumble over 70 feet to the crystal clear waters below.

Mt. Rich Amerindian Remains
The petroglyphs at this site are unmatched for their detailed depiction of the daily life of Grenada's earliest inhabitants. Numerous artifacts have been recovered from the site, indicating its extended use as an early settlement.

River Sallee Boiling Springs
These well-known springs are located in the island's northeast, about one and a half miles north of Lake Antoine. The springs are noted not only for their unique geology, but as a natural wishing well.

River Antoine Rum Distillery
No other distillery in the entire Caribbean has been in operation as long as River Antoine, and very few have so carefully maintained traditional methods of rum preparation. Although the distillery is privately owned, it does permit guided tours. Visitors can watch as rum is made in much the same manner that it was in the 18th century, when it fired the throats of the real buccaneers.


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