St. George's is the capital of Grenada.
Friedel Gierth/Corbis

For your next TROPICAL GETAWAY, skip the crowds and head to this culturally rich island that’s ripe for discovery.


Flamboyant Hotel & Villas, from $185
South end of Grand Anse Beach, St. George’s
(473) 444-4247

Spice Island Beach Resort, from $806
Grand Anse Beach, St. George’s
(800) 501-8603

Petite Anse Hotel, from $150
St. Patrick
(473) 442-5252

La Sagesse, from $125
St. George’s
(473) 444-6458

Belmont Estate
Belmont, St. Patrick
(473) 442-9524

The Aquarium Restaurant
Maurice Bishop Memorial Highway, at the west end of Magazine Beach
Point Salines, St. George’s
(473) 444-1410

Lagoon Road, St. George’s
(473) 440-0364

The Owl

South end of Grand Anse
(473) 444-4247

Dodgy Dock Restaurant & Lounge Bar
True Blue, St. George’s
(473) 443-8783

True Blue, St. George’s
(473) 444-4662

Grand Etang National Park
St. Andrew
(473) 440-6160
Visitors can call the park to request a guide or make arrangements through local tour operators.

Adventure Tours Grenada
St. George’s
(473) 444-5337

Dive Grenada
South end of Grand Anse
(473) 444-1092

The island of Grenada, in the far southeastern Caribbean Sea, is among the best off-the-beaten-track islands in all the Antilles. Nicknamed the “Spice Isle” and blessed with rich volcanic soil, Grenada is an organic feast of local fruits and spices — papaya, ginger and nutmeg sprout from every crack and permeate the island. But visitors also wander here to hike the dense rain forest, to lounge on never-crowded crescents of white-sand beaches and to experience a largely untouched slice of Caribbean culture. The glittering Grand Anse Beach, just outside the capital city of St. George’s, is the main hotel zone. Picture a small collection of locally owned boutique hotels offering a low-key escape.

From its hillside perch on the southern end of Grand Anse Beach, the Flamboyant ­Hotel & Villas offers some of the best views on the island. The hotel has standard rooms as well as kitchen-equipped studios overlooking the beach, with picturesque St. George’s gleaming in the distance. Right at the heart of Grand Anse sits the Spice Island Beach Resort. Owned by Sir Royston Hopkin and run by his prominent family, it’s one of the island’s most luxurious hotels and features beachfront suites with private pools and gardens. Travelers­ looking for serious seclusion can find breezy cottages at the Petite Anse Hotel, on the island’s northern tip, or romantic manor-house rooms at La Sagesse, on the island’s southeastern shore.

Grenada isn’t called the Spice Isle for nothing, and its lush volcanic mountainsides are laden with cocoa, nutmeg and fruit trees. To see and taste it all firsthand, head to Belmont Estate in St. Patrick’s Parish. The open-air restaurant of this fully functional, 17th-century plantation serves local dishes sourced from its organic gardens. The Aquarium Restaurant, tucked between the jungle and the sand of Point Salines, throws a beachfront barbecue bash every Sunday. And for serious down-home Caribbean cooking, head to Patrick’s on Lagoon Road in St. George’s. The unassuming hole-in-the-wall serves a prix fixe menu — about two dozen small plates of seasonal local dishes like curried chicken, callaloo soup and fried breadfruit — for only $23 per person.

Grenada is a beach-bar-and-rum-shack kind of island, where locals and visitors mingle by the water drinking cold Carib beer while enjoying reggae and the backdrop of red sunsets. A favorite watering hole for all stripes is The Owl on the soft sand of Grand Anse, especially during the Monday- and Friday-night crab races when crowds gather to place bets on their preferred crustaceans. The Dodgy Dock Restaurant & Lounge Bar at the True Blue Bay Resort has exotic cocktails and live music several nights of the week. And the nightclub Bananas in True Blue is a popular late-night spot among locals and American students from the nearby medical school. Fridays and Saturdays get going around midnight, with dancing till the sun comes up.

At the heart of the island sits Grand Etang National Park, a glorious nature preserve packed with trails, waterfalls and a crater lake, all shrouded by a verdant rain forest. The park’s passionate guides lead visitors on hikes to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls. Adventure seekers can shoot the rapids on a tubing trip down the Balthazar River with Adventure Tours Grenada, stopping to swim and cliff-jump along the way. Grenada is home to some of the Caribbean’s most lauded undersea attractions. Scuba divers call the sunken cruise liner Bianca C the Titanic of the Caribbean, while the underwater sculpture park is an art installation turned famed artificial reef accessible by divers and snorkelers alike with Dive Grenada.