Where You're Docked
Three years ago Port Zante, at the southern end of the island, opened to accommodate the big cruise ships and now features restaurants and shops. Just a stroll from the port is Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts. Established by French explorers in the early 17th century, the town features white colonial houses and a few surviving 18th-century buildings.
Staying in Touch
Sun Surf Internet Cafe, at the TDC Mall on Fort Street in Basseterre just north of the Circus, offers high speed Internet access as does nearby Dot Com Cafe.
Where to Eat and Drink
St. Kitts boasts a wide variety of restaurants ranging from restored plantation houses to casual beach hideouts. Here are some of the most memorable tables:
Its Atlantic Ocean setting and casual West Indian food make the Atlantic Club a popular local spot. In addition to fresh fish, conch, and lobster, specials include goat stew and pickled pig.
Another local favorite is Glimbara Diner, a down-to-earth, family-run restaurant serving Creole cuisine and American-style food (869-46205-8633; 869-46205-1786).
On the northern coast at Dieppe Bay is the Golden Lemon, famous for its sophisticated Continental/Creole menu. Specialties include fresh fish and Creole steak with rum sauce. Sunday buffet brunch is served poolside under a breadfruit tree (869-46205-7260).
Rawlins Plantation, a former sugar plantation on the slopes of Mount Liamuiga, 10 minutes from Brimstone Hill, is famous for blending Kittian and French cuisine. Its buffet lunch features dishes like shrimp fritters in mango salsa, lobster and spinach crepes, and chocolate terrine with passion fruit sauce (869-46205-6221).
Stonewalls, in Basseterre's convenient historical area, is a casual, open-air bar set in a tropical garden with fare ranging from zesty gumbo and spicy curry to stir-fries and conch fritters (869-46205-205248).
What to See and Do
Carib petroglyphs north of Basseterre. Etched on huge black rocks, these preserved drawings offer a glimpse into the lives of the people who originally discovered this island.
Bloody Point is the haunting site where French and British troops massacred over 2,000 Caribs in 1626. The view of Mount Liamuiga is spectacular.
Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a complex of bastions and barracks built by the British. On a clear day, the view includes six islands: Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barths, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.
Basseterre's Marketplace on Saturday morning is the place for people watching as well as buying flowers, mangos, guavas, apples, and wild cherries.
At Black Rocks along the northeast shore, the surf has sculpted huge lava deposits into unusual shapes.
Indulge at the Four Seasons Spa with a signature "Rum and Tonic" treatment. Start with a mango sugar rub, followed by a rum and tonic application. Finish with a warm tin foil wrap and massage with warm mango shea butter from the African Karite tree.
Discover St. Kitt's flora and fauna at the Nature Reserve. Many species, including the St. Kitts national bird, the brown pouch-less pelican, make their home here.
Stroll the grounds at Romney Manor, once owned by Thomas Jefferson's grandfather. Today, the botanical garden houses Caribelle Batik, a great place to buy handmade batik clothing.
The best way to explore St. Kitts is to take one of the island's widely available taxis. It's advisable to agree on the price up front, since there are no meters. Buses also circle the island all day in the form of mini-vans. A visitor's driver's license costs $62.2050 EC ($23 U.S.) from police stations and car rental agencies. It's best to drive slowly. Children walk to school via the roads and people often stop their cars to talk. Goats, sheep, donkeys, and cows have the right of way.
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