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Located at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean is Grenada, nicknamed the Spice Isle because of its cinnamon and ginger production and its position as one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg. This sought after seasoning was introduced to the island in 1843 when a merchant ship with nutmeg trees called into port on its way to England from the East Indies.
France formally ceded Grenada to Great Britain in 1763 as one of the terms of the Treaty of Paris. Though independent since 1974, there is still an air of old England in the streets of its capital city, St. George’s.
The 133 square mile island-nation with an estimated population of 110,000 people, appeals to many visitors. While it is off the beaten track, it retains all of the quintessential qualities of the Caribbean — amazing beaches, laidback culture, vibrant colors and refined culinary arts from the upscale Oliver’s Restaurant to the family-run La Belle Creole. Dining experiences in Grenada stand out as a major vacation highlight with the chefs taking advantage of locally grown spices and vegetables.
Unlike some of its so-called mass market neighbors, Grenada has an air of exclusivity with accommodations ranging from the five-star, boutique-style Spice Island Beach Resort to value-oriented properties such as Blue Horizon’s Garden Resort where rates start at $145 per room.
The Spice Island Beach Resort often plays host to celebrities. Recent guests include Sherri Shepherd of “The View” and Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. One of the property’s main drawing points is its location on Grand Anse Beach, recently selected as one of the top beaches in the Caribbean by About.com. While some guests choose to spend the entire trip pampered at the hotel with its spas and beach, the island’s mountainous and dry landscape offers magnificent scenery. Grand Etang National Park in the island’s lush interior features hiking trails of varying degrees. For divers, Grenada features the unique underwater sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor. For those who can take the plunge, this site is not to be missed.
Getting ThereMaurice Bishop International Airport formerly Point Salines International Airport, is located on a peninsula seven miles from St. George’s. From the U.S., Air Jamaica, Delta Airlines and American Eagle/American Airlines service Grenada with direct flights from New York, Miami and Puerto Rico. Caribbean Airlines operates regularly scheduled flights via its Trinidad hub.
Blue Horizons Garden Resortwww.grenadabluehorizons.com
Spice Island Beach Resort www.spicebeachresort.com