Saint Vincent & the Grenadines - Attractions
Kingstown is best appreciated for its West Indian feel rather than for any grand attractions. It's a good place to relax and stroll the cobblestone streets. The town gets its unique atmosphere from the produce vendors along Bay and Bedford Streets, the crowds at the fish market and rum shops, and its stone-block colonial buildings.
Kingstown is known for its churches. The 1820s St Mary's Cathedral of the Assumption (Catholic) has an eclectic mix of Romanesque arches and columns, Gothic spires and Moorish ornamentation. Other notable churches include the Georgian-style St George's Cathedral and the Kingstown Methodist Church.
This delightful, hilly, green island is just an hour's sail south of St Vincent. The largest of the Grenadines (though that's not saying much), it was once a centre of shipbuilding and whaling. Today, most maritime activity is confined to yachting and model boat building. The island's commercial centre is Port Elizabeth, which fronts Admiralty Bay on the western coast. The town strikes a nice balance between quaintness and convenience. It has an international mix of residents, and many of the restaurants and shops are run by expats. Many of the waterfront businesses cater to the boaters and shun touristy glitz. Friendship Bay, on the southern coast of the island, is oriented more toward the tourist. The bay has a golden-sand beach and offers good swimming and windsurfing. You can view the paraphernalia of Bequia's whaling past at Anthneal's Private Petite Museum in Friendship Bay.
The Tobago Cays are a group of uninhabited islands near the southern end of the Grenadines. Many consider them to be the best in the chain, citing their fine coral reefs and turquoise waters. The islands are rocky and studded with cactus, fringed with coves and beaches of powdery white sand. The country has set the cays aside as a national park. Snorkelling, swimming and tanning are the cays' major attractions.
The southernmost port of entry for the country, Union Island is more of a jumping off point for the Tobago Cays than a destination in itself. Consequently, if you wander out of the port of Clifton, you'll discover a decidedly local atmosphere that's virtually untouched by tourism. About 5km (3mi) across at its widest point, the island is rocky and dry, covered in thorny scrub and dotted with cacti, the consequence of decades of foraging by free-ranging goats.
Clifton, in the island's southeastern corner, is the commercial centre of the island. More functional than quaint, it's the hub of the Tobago Cays tour junket industry. Short walks from the centre of town offer views of the island and its neighbours. Few tourists make it to Ashton, on the island's southern coast, making it a great place to walk around and soak up the West Indian atmosphere.