Fly Nonstop from Boston to Barbados
JetBlue to Bridgetown, Barbados (Nonstop Saturdays)
What to Bring:
Extra space in your carry-on luggage for a few souvenir bottles of the island’s addictive, ubiquitous Scotch-bonnet pepper sauce
For the frazzled type-A worrywart in dire need of peace and quiet, a fast-acting prescription for total relaxation is available five hours from Logan’s Terminal C, where one of JetBlue’s newest nonstop flights can whisk you away to the tropical playground that is Barbados in about the time it takes to ride the Amtrak to Manhattan. When warm, ultramarine waves are lapping your bare feet as you sip rum punch from a beading glass, it’s impossible not to melt into a carefree puddle of contentment.
After celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence from British rule, spirits on Barbados are high—and plentiful. For proof, just visit any of the island’s hundreds of rum shops, no-frills neighborhood watering holes offering DIY drinks, good company, and such Bajan staples as macaroni pie and jug jug, a West Indian take on haggis. Or go straight to the source with a tour of the Mount Gay Rum distillery, which proudly takes credit for being the first to barrel this essential daiquiri ingredient, starting in 1703.
The great thing about a 166-square-mile island is that life’s a beach—more than 50 of them. Over in Carlisle Bay, just outside the capital city of Bridgetown, the tourist-friendly Boatyard boasts calm waters—and Jet Ski rentals, if calm’s not your thing. Those with an appetite for both surf and serious Bajan cuisine should head to Enterprise Beach in Oistins, which draws crowds for its Friday-night fish fry. Island dining doesn’t get much more authentic than a platter of fresh-caught flying fish (the national delicacy) grilled on one of Oistins’s open-air barbecues.
A land of cheerful contradictions—home to a rum empire founded by a man named John Sober, where fish fly and there’s a church next to nearly every bar—Barbados also gives visitors the chance to experience quaint bursts of British affectation worlds away from the gray, drizzly continental rock from which they were spawned. That includes polo matches on Holders Field in the St. James parish (a high-roller haven where the likes of Rihanna and Simon Cowell frolic). Don’t know the rules? All you need to know is this one: Like any worthwhile pursuit on the island, it’s best enjoyed with a cold drink in hand.
Whoever declared that Paris is for lovers might have awarded that honor to Barbados instead had they dined at the impossibly romantic Cliff Restaurant, so named for its swoon-inducing perch overlooking the Caribbean.
History buffs will delight in roaming the well-preserved grounds of the Crane Resort (starting at $581 per night), the modern incarnation of the 1887-built hotel that hosted such boldfacers as Buffalo Bill. At the other end of the island, revel in the brand-new plush digs that have sprung up in Barbados’s current building boom: With marina access to go with its gleaming villas, Port Ferdinand (starting at $1,250 per night) is one of the swankiest stays you’ll find. *Hotel prices are for the January through March range.
Spend an unforgettable afternoon with Seaduced Luxury Charters, which can craft a luxurious cruise to suit any whim. While the private chef prepares a gourmet lunch onboard the 62-foot catamaran, work up an appetite with a vigorous kayaking session.