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Best Things To Do in Barbados

With plenty of golf courses, historic homes and sporting events, Barbados is an ideal vacation spot for active travelers. Avid surfers flock to Bathsheba Beach on the east coast while swimmers looking for calmer waters head to the south coast's Dover Beach. Carlisle Bay near Bridgetown (Barbados' capital) is another popular shoreline, thanks in part to the various shipwrecks and abundant wildlife that await scuba divers and snorkelers. Inland explorers must not pass up an opportunity to visit the lush Hunte's Gardens or Harrison's Cave, a famous Barbadian cave system that is more than a mile long. And a trip to Barbados wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the country's world-famous rum. 

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Barbados

Free
Bathsheba Beach, which sits on Barbados' west coast, is a photographer's and surfer's paradise. For photographers, Bathsheba offers dramatic rock formations and abandoned homes. And for surfers, there's the beach's famous Soup Bowl, where top-notch waves can be found. Named after the area's foamy water, the Soup Bowl is so well-known that international surfing competitions are regularly held here. Do not, however, plan on swimming at Bathsheba. Because of the region's rough waters and rock formations, it is not safe to swim at Bathsheba Beach.
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Bathsheba Beach
Bathsheba Beach, which sits on Barbados' west coast, is a photographer's and surfer's paradise. For photographers, Bathsheba offers dramatic rock formations and abandoned homes. And for surfers, there's the beach's famous Soup Bowl, where top-notch waves can be found. Named after the area's foamy water, the Soup Bowl is so well-known that international surfing competitions are regularly held here. Do not, however, plan on swimming at Bathsheba. Because of the region's rough waters and rock formations, it is not safe to swim at Bathsheba Beach.
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#2

#2 in Barbados

Free
The south coast's Dover Beach can be found in Oistins, which sits in Christ Church parish. Although the beach's waves make it less than ideal for activities like paddleboarding and kayaking, its waters are great for surfing and body surfing. Other popular water sports include Hobie Cat sailing, jet skiing and windsurfing. A swimming area away from the ocean's rip tides is also available.
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Dover Beach
The south coast's Dover Beach can be found in Oistins, which sits in Christ Church parish. Although the beach's waves make it less than ideal for activities like paddleboarding and kayaking, its waters are great for surfing and body surfing. Other popular water sports include Hobie Cat sailing, jet skiing and windsurfing. A swimming area away from the ocean's rip tides is also available.
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#3

#3 in Barbados

Free
Located on the southwestern coast of Barbados, Carlisle Bay's beaches offer calm waters, making this an ideal place to swim. The bay's six shipwrecks also make this area a great spot for snorkeling. Marine animals you may see while exploring these gentle waters include rock lobsters, turtles and fish.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Carlisle Bay
Located on the southwestern coast of Barbados, Carlisle Bay's beaches offer calm waters, making this an ideal place to swim. The bay's six shipwrecks also make this area a great spot for snorkeling. Marine animals you may see while exploring these gentle waters include rock lobsters, turtles and fish.
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#4

#4 in Barbados

Though larger rum distilleries like Mount Gay Rum and West Indies Rum can be found on the island, few offer the historic charm of St. Nicholas Abbey. Unlike other Bajan distilleries, St. Nicholas Abbey distills its rum in traditional small batches. In addition to its rum, the attraction also features a 350-year-old plantation home, which houses a museum with various antiques. Multiple gardens and orchards are also located throughout the property.
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Historic Homes/Mansions Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
St. Nicholas Abbey
Though larger rum distilleries like Mount Gay Rum and West Indies Rum can be found on the island, few offer the historic charm of St. Nicholas Abbey. Unlike other Bajan distilleries, St. Nicholas Abbey distills its rum in traditional small batches. In addition to its rum, the attraction also features a 350-year-old plantation home, which houses a museum with various antiques. Multiple gardens and orchards are also located throughout the property.
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#5

#5 in Barbados

Situated about 4 miles southwest of Bathsheba Beach in St. Joseph parish, Hunte's Gardens offers an array of plants within a gully. The garden is owned by Bajan horticulturist Anthony Hunte, who is known locally for his colorful personality.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Hunte's Gardens
Situated about 4 miles southwest of Bathsheba Beach in St. Joseph parish, Hunte's Gardens offers an array of plants within a gully. The garden is owned by Bajan horticulturist Anthony Hunte, who is known locally for his colorful personality.
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#6

#6 in Barbados

Free
Though Barbados offers an array of beaches to enjoy, one the island's most popular attractions is the Barbados Boardwalk. Situated less than 4 miles south of Bridgetown, this coastal boardwalk connects Accra and Camelot beaches. In addition to providing outdoor enthusiasts with scenic ocean vistas, turtles and crabs are known to visit the adjacent waters. For the best views, plan your visit at sunrise or sunset.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Barbados Boardwalk
Though Barbados offers an array of beaches to enjoy, one the island's most popular attractions is the Barbados Boardwalk. Situated less than 4 miles south of Bridgetown, this coastal boardwalk connects Accra and Camelot beaches. In addition to providing outdoor enthusiasts with scenic ocean vistas, turtles and crabs are known to visit the adjacent waters. For the best views, plan your visit at sunrise or sunset.
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#7

#7 in Barbados

One of Barbados' most popular attractions is Harrison's Cave. This limestone cavern features several streams, as well as stalactites, stalagmites and other kinds of calcite deposits. The cave sits in the middle of the country about 5 miles from Holetown and Bathsheba Beach.
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Natural Wonders Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Harrison's Cave
One of Barbados' most popular attractions is Harrison's Cave. This limestone cavern features several streams, as well as stalactites, stalagmites and other kinds of calcite deposits. The cave sits in the middle of the country about 5 miles from Holetown and Bathsheba Beach.
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#8

#8 in Barbados

Free
Named for its sea anemones, Animal Flower Cave is the island's only accessible sea cave, located under the North Point cliffs in St. Lucy parish. Although it's not as popular as Harrison's Cave, you might want to make the jaunt from your hotel area to spend at least an hour exploring the caves.
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Animal Flower Cave
Named for its sea anemones, Animal Flower Cave is the island's only accessible sea cave, located under the North Point cliffs in St. Lucy parish. Although it's not as popular as Harrison's Cave, you might want to make the jaunt from your hotel area to spend at least an hour exploring the caves.
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#9

#9 in Barbados

One of two commercial rum producers on the island, Mount Gay Rum offers tours of its visitor center, where guests can get a behind-the-scenes look at how Mount Gay Rum is produced. After touring the company's bottling facility, travelers sample several kinds of rum.
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Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Mount Gay Visitor Centre
One of two commercial rum producers on the island, Mount Gay Rum offers tours of its visitor center, where guests can get a behind-the-scenes look at how Mount Gay Rum is produced. After touring the company's bottling facility, travelers sample several kinds of rum.
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