The most prominent feature of this area is Morne Fortune, the hill which overlooks Castries. This hill became a prestigious residential area in the days of the British empire.
Government House is the home of St Lucia's Governor General, the Queen's representative, and the head of state for the island.Built in 1865 high on a prominent hill to the south of town, its lacework crown can be seen from much of Castries. Besides the royal crown, the tower sports a royal crest. The architecture of this mansion is a mixture of Victorian with prominent quoins plus some fanciful elements which defy easy classification.The grounds are open to the public.There is a good view point located below Government House with views over the harbor.
Opening hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm; Sat: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm; Closed: Sun
Useful tips: Only the grounds are open to the public.
Across the street from the official arched entrance of Government House is a scenic lookout which is one of the best viewing spots for an overview of Castries, its harbor and cruise ship port, airport and the north end of the island.
This ocean-front workshop at La Toc demonstrates the art of silk screening for visitors. Founded in 1960, by Sydney Bagshaw, who had been the art editor for Reader's Digest, Bagshaws Shop now produces their unique prints on wall hangings, table runners, place mats, potholders, as well as, ladies, men's and kids apparel and t-shirts with bright colorful tropical designs. While the shop is open everyday, demonstrations are limited to weekdays.
Painted in white and bright yellow, the Victorian mansion named Howelton House is now the home of a Batik enterprise which demonstrates this fabric art. Visitors see how wax is applied to cotton to prevent coloration of specific areas before the material is dyed. The process is then repeated until the entire design is completed. Shopping for the high-quality designs is part of the visit. Orchid gardens on the grounds overlook Castries below this mountain called Morne Fortune.
La Toc Battery
Built by the British in 1888, this hilltop gun emplacement was placed to protect the mouth of Castries harbor and thus offers great views. Castries was very important, because being the only port in the Caribbean large enough to serve the entire British navy it served as an important coaling station.Its underground rooms now display maps and gun shells.The main feature of the fort is an 18-ton Rifled Muzzle Loader gun.Visits are by appointment only.
Sandals La Toc
Sandals has become an institution as a self-contained destination, but all its facilities are open to those willing to purchase a day pass. The La Toc facility is appealing because of the attractive architecture of the pools, waterfalls, bridges, pavilions and mosaics of the pool floor beside the white sand beach. This hotel also provides guests with a 9-hole golf course and complete spa facilities.
Useful tips: A day pass (8 a.m. to 2 a.m.) which includes use of the golf course, pools, and other activities plus access to the restaurants costs US$85. Extras might include use of a mandatory caddie or spa treatments.
Facilities: Beach, Gift shop, On-site accomodations, Restaurant or food service
Gros Islet, Rodney Bay, St Lucia
On the Gros Islet northern end of St Lucia, this picturesque bay is enclosed on the north by Pigeon Island National Park and on the south by Labrellotte Point. A large portion of St Lucia's hotels and restaurants are in this region.The Rodney Bay Marina with 232 slips is one of the best equipped in the eastern Caribbean. It lies in a man-made lagoon off the center of the Bay.Rodney Bay is also the location of St Lucia's biggest shopping mall. The hills around Rodney Bay contain many wealthy homes.
Pigeon Island National Park encompasses 44 acres with a beach, interpretive trails, abundant wildlife, and the remains of the naval base that occupied the island in 1778.
North of Castries, the Great House is a reconstruction of the Cap Estate mansion first built in the 1740s by Monsieur de Longueville, French Military Commandant of St Lucia. The house was first destroyed in the early 1790s during slave uprisings as part of the French revolution.The house was next rebuilt by the Comte de Brette, a distant relation of Monsieur de Longueville. It became one of the most lavish and regal houses and the center of the island's largest sugar plantations. This house was demolished by the Hurricane of 1817.In the 1960s retired British Lt. Colonel E. Harrison reconstructed the de Brette home.The building now serves as a fine restaurant with linen-covered tables overlooking the hills and the sea. Of note, the staff wear the plaids and laces in the traditional dress of the island.
St Lucia Golf & Country Club
St Lucia Golf & Country Club is a semiprivate 18 hole golf and country club on Cap Estate. Golf carts are mandatory on this 6,771 yd, par 71 championship course. There are also a 350 yard driving range, lessons and club rentals.