7 Things to Do While Visiting the Caribbean Island of Nevis

Apr. 15th, 2014 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment   
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

If you’re searching for the perfect escape where you can truly unplug and unwind, consider a trip to the sleepy island of Nevis, located between Puerto Rico and Antigua. Its unique landscape features lush greenery, sugar plantation ruins and even a dormant volcano. Nevis has managed to remain under the radar, retaining its charming, and laid-back Caribbean vibe despite its popularity among glitterati and celebrities. While Nevis offers every beach activity under the sun, there are also plenty of opportunities to explore its rich and fascinating history if you can stand to spend some time away from the ocean. Here are a few of our top picks to make your visit to Nevis a memorable one.

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Photo Courtesy of Brian Tibbets/WikiMedia Commons

Perhaps the most special part of Nevis is its amazing people. Not only are they friendly and down-to-earth, but they are extremely knowledgeable about their island. One of the best ways to get to know Nevis is to hire a car service or taxi to take you on an island tour. Your driver (who doubles as your guide) will point out the best views, landmarks and beaches as well as share tons of whimsical facts and historical tidbits along the way—things you could never find in a guidebook. Ask your hotel to set you up with Cavelle Jeffers or Hillary Lightfoot, two of the island’s top guides.

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Photo Courtesy of The Botanical Gardens of Nevis

The Botanical Gardens of Nevis offer a five-acre oasis of magnificent tropical flowers and plants from all over the world. You’ll find cascading fountains, water lily ponds and even a rainforest conservatory complete with a two-story waterfall. These picturesque gardens are nestled in the mountains and boast sweeping views of Mt. Nevis and the Caribbean Sea. Located inside the Gardens is The Oasis, a fabulous Thai restaurant; you must try its famous Purple Rain cocktail, which features leaves from the vibrant purple butterfly pea flower grown right on the property.

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Photo Credit: Katie Goldstein

The island’s sprawling sugar plantations remain in ruins, but many of the surviving plantation houses have been converted into charming inns. Montpelier Plantation Inn once hosted Princess Diana and has been a longtime favorite of visiting VIPs. Tour its historic grounds and stay for afternoon tea or an elegant dinner. Its restaurant, Mill Privée, features one of the island’s most romantic dining rooms, which is set inside the plantation’s old sugar mill. Golden Rock Inn also showcases picturesque grounds, breathtaking views and The Rocks restaurant features a tranquil alfresco dining experience. Be sure to take a moment to remember Nevis’ sorrowing past with the slave trade and sugar cane production during your visit.

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Photo Courtesy of Sunshine's Beach Lounge

The sun is always shining at Sunshine’s Beach Lounge, located on right on Pinney’s beach. Renowned for its “Killer Bee” rum punch, fresh seafood and relaxing vibe, this celebrity haunt (think Ellen, Britney Spears and Kelly Ripa), is the island’s most popular watering hole. Sunshine, the owner and namesake of this establishment, is a celebrity in his own right and can usually be found holding down the fort by the bar; he will be the first to warn you not to have too many of Killer Bees unless you plan to crawl home! Paradise Drive-Thru and Bananas are also great, local spots.

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Photo Credit: Katie Goldstein

Nevis provides ample opportunities to enjoy its seemingly endless natural wonders. Work off those tropical cocktail calories with a scenic hike along Nevis’ many trails. Adventurers and fitness fanatics will enjoy the challenging hike to the majestic peak of Mt. Nevis. Keep your eyes peeled along the way and try to catch a glimpse of the island’s playful vervet monkeys, which actually outnumber the island’s residents! Sea lovers have the opportunity to experience more than 40 stunning diving sites, which feature underwater eye-candy like the Wreck of River Taw, reefs, caverns and aquatic sea life.

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Photo Courtesy of The Four Seasons Resort Nevis

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The Four Seasons Resort Nevis is undoubtedly the most luxe hotel on the island and an ideal spot for those looking to soak up some sun in style. If you’ve already booked other accommodations, you can still enjoy some of the spectacular amenities this five-star resort has to offer by booking a Day Room ( USD $200-$400, upon availability.) Day Room guests enjoy the same privileges offered to regular guests, like preferential use of its enchanting spa or the chance to rent a fully souped-up beach cabana, which includes direct beach access, solicitous service, flat screen TV, refrigerator, board games and an iPod dock. The Four Seasons’ most unique offering is its Dive and Dine program where guests can catch their own lobster with a local dive master and enjoy their fresh catch at a beachside barbecue with the Four Seasons’ executive chef (USD $1,950 USD for two people). For something a little less hands-on, save room for dinner and drinks at Mango, which features a bar that carries over 100 different types of rum. And don’t miss Mango’s famous ribs, trust us!

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Photo Credit: Katie Goldstein

Nevis is home to many surprising cultural and historical treasures. Did you know that founding father Alexander Hamilton was actually born on Nevis?  Visit the Nevis History Museum in Charlestown, which is actually housed in Alexander Hamilton’s family’s old, restored Georgian mansion. A visit to the Horatio Nelson exhibit, which is dedicated to the famed British naval Admiral, is also an enriching experience for history buffs that features an impressive collection of Nelson memorabilia.