On Union Island, the launch for private island resort Petit St. Vincent whisks you to a waiting rum punch and private cottage, where guests raise and lower a flag outside to call for another round. Or slip away to private and perfect 135-acre Palm Island, a 44-bungalow hideaway with a beach that dreams are made of.

Plant your own personal flag on a deserted sandy strip among the six tiny Tobago Cays, popular put-ins for beachcombers under sail.

DETAILS: St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourist Office,
(800) 729-1726, www.svgtourism.com. The Moorings, (800) 535-7289, www.moorings.com. Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club, from $160, (784) 458-8044, www.tamarindbeach
hotel.com. Cotton House, from $560, (877) 240-9945, www.
cottonhouse.net. Petit St. Vincent, from $720 all-inclusive, (800) 654-9326, www.psvresort.com. Palm Island, from $560 all-
inclusive, (800) 345-0356, www.palmislandresorts.com.


"With anything you pick up on Nevis, you're touching the 17th and 18th century," says a Michigan State archaeologist supervising a current island dig. Pieces of Spanish gold and intact pipes make up much of the bounty unearthed here, thanks to the island's light and sternly controlled development. By law, for example, no buildings exceed palm-tree height.

Twinned to more populous St. Kitts, lush 8-by-6-mile Nevis offers no casinos, few shops, and tallies fewer than 400 guestrooms. Which may explain why Hollywood types (Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Jessica Parker) love it, favoring the cosseting Four Seasons Resort Nevis, which recently bolstered its barefoot glamour with a new spa. You can catch such celebs downing Red Stripes at the neighboring beach bar Sunshine's, when it's Sunshine's night, that is. With only 10,000 residents, the bars rotate blowouts - one night it's beachfront Booby's, another Sunshine's, then Eddy's in town.