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The scent of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon perfumes the air in sleepy Grenada, nicknamed the "Spice Island" for its fertile spice plantations. The largest of the three-island independent nation of Grenada (including Carriacou and Petit Martinique) tempts visitors with waterfalls, rainforests, and white-sand beaches. Devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the nutmeg crop is back in full flower, as is the island interior -- a riot of blooms, from hibiscus to bougainvillea to frangipangi. The 18th-century harbor capital, St. George's, is one of the prettiest in the West Indies.
Beaches -- Some visitors never leave the sugary sands of Grand Anse, the two-mile stretch of beach near St. George's, which has watersports, craft vendors, and ice cream. La Sagesse has a tranquil olive-green horseshoe cove, and at Magazine Beach flickering schools of silver fish reward beachside snorkelers -- both beaches have good restaurants. In the northeast, where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean, wild Levera is often deserted and fronts a miniature offshore cay, the moss-backed, cone-shaped Sugar Island.
Things To Do -- Renting a car is an excellent way to explore the island's plantation houses and distilleries. Watch sugar cane being crushed the old-fashioned way, by water-powered machinery, at the pungent River Antoine Rum Distillery in St. Andrew's. The idyllic Belmont Estate in the green hills of St. Patrick's is suffused with the scent of fermenting cocoa beans; learn how chocolate is made, and try cocoa tea. Stock up on spices to take home at St. George's Market Square.
Eating & Drinking -- Grenada's national dish is the "oil down": meat and vegetables lovingly simmered in spices and coconut milk over a fire in one enormous pot. Savory stuffed crabs and hot roti (filled pancakes) are mouth-watering island specialties. Don't miss the nutmeg ice cream at the Aquarium, a laid-back treat under the palms on beautiful Magazine Beach. Make friends over an icy Carib beer -- but if you really want to get the party started, order a colorful rum punch.
Nature -- Watch as daredevil divers entertain tourists at Annandale Waterfalls near St. George's; the blissful walk through the steamy flower-filled rainforest to the higher falls at Concord or the Seven Sisters feels as rewarding as a dip in the sparkling water. Hike the trails of the Grand Etang National Park to see unexpected vistas of the coastline, kaleidoscopic bird life, and the extinct volcano's crater lake. Experienced divers explore the "Titanic of the Caribbean," the coral-encrusted sunken remains of the passenger ship Bianca C.
With American Airlines flights to Grenada, it's easy to visit the Spice Island of the Caribbean. It's also easy to plan a relaxing getaway here with our tips on the best things to do in Grenada, from diving to hiking a rainforest.
One of the most popular activities in Grenada involves the crystalline waters off shore: diving and snorkeling. Thanks to the lovely weather, you can explore the colorful marine life year-round. There are more than 50 diving sites off Grenada, letting divers see everything from coral reefs to submerged shipwrecks (more than 20 of them, in fact, leading Grenada to be known as the wreck diving capital of the Eastern Caribbean). There's even an Underwater Sculpture Park.
Of course, one of our favorite things to do in Grenada is to simply relax on a pristine white-sand beach. Because of its irregular coastline (created by its mountainous interior), the island of Grenada is home to many secluded beaches. Be sure to plan a visit to Grand Anse Beach, one of the island's most famous. Located along the southwest edge of Grenada, it offers several purveyors of water sports, dining and local crafts.
There are also many activities in Grenada that don't have to do with beaches or crystal-clear water. Â There are national parks and rainforests well worth exploring on the island. The Levera National Park does have a beautiful beach, but it also has a mangrove lagoon that serves as a wildlife habitat. You'll be able to spot any number of bird species, including herons. There's a trail that makes for a peaceful and picturesque walk.
Well into the island's interior you'll find the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, home to a fascinating rainforest. Go hiking here and see an impressive range of both flora and fauna -- everything from hummingbirds and frogs to monkeys and even a species of mongoose. Choose from hikes that range from the relatively easy (taking under half an hour) to more challenging (taking several hours).
From diverse things to do in Grenada to total relaxation, this is one Caribbean destination that promises something for everyone. Fly to Grenada with American Airlines and decide how you'd like to spend your time here.
|Fishermen's Birthday Celebrations||Jun 2013 (annual)||Gouyave|
|Carriacou Regatta||Jul 2013 (annual)||Carriacou|
|Grenada Carnival||Aug 2013 (annual)||St George's|
|Carriacou Parang Festival||Dec 2013 (annual)||Carriacou|
|Spice Island Billfish Tournament||Jan 2014; not Wed (annual)||Grenada Yacht Club, St George's|
|Grenada Sailing Festival Work Boat Regatta||Feb 2014 (annual)||Grenada|
|Carriacou Carnival||Feb 2014 (annual)||Carriacou|
|Grenada Drum Festival||May 2014 (annual)||Tivoli, St Andrew|
|Aquarium Restaurant||Seafood||Around the Island||2||3|
|Belmont Estate||Caribbean||Around the Island||1||2|
|Coconut Beach Restaurant||Creole||Around the Island||3||2|
|Deyna's Tasty Food||Caribbean||Around the Island||1||2|
|La Belle Creole||Caribbean||Around the Island||3||3|
|La Boulangerie||French||Around the Island||1||1|
|La Sagesse||Caribbean||Around the Island||1||2|
|Laluna||Italian||Around the Island||3||1|
|Morne Fendue Plantation House||Creole||Around the Island||1||2|
|Oliver's Restaurant||Creole||Around the Island||3||2|
|Patrick's Local Homestyle Restaurant||Caribbean||Around the Island||1||1|
|Red Crab||International||Around the Island||3||2|
|Rhodes||International||Around the Island||3||4|
|Water's Edge||Seafood||Around the Island||3||3|
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