14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Grenada
In the far south of the Caribbean, Grenada is known as "the Spice Island" for the fragrant nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and cocoa that flourish in its fertile volcanic soil. The nation of Grenada also includes the two smaller and quieter islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, northeast of the mainland. If you're seeking an authentic Caribbean experience, Grenada offers an appealing mix of local culture and colonial roots, as well as rainforests, lush mountains, colorful seaside villages, plantations, and beautiful beaches framed by frangipani and flamboyant trees.
St. George's, Grenada's capital, is one of the prettiest cities in the Caribbean, and the busy harbor of Carenage here bristles with sailboats. Many visitors spend their time around nearby Grand Anse Beach, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, but Grenada offers more than just golden sands. Waterfalls gush in the island's interior, hiking trails thread through the lush rainforest, and coral reefs rim the coast. Swimming, diving, snorkeling, and fishing are all popular activities in Grenada's turquoise waters, and history buffs will enjoy exploring the country's forts and museums.
1 Grand Anse Beach
Fringed by sea grapes, almond trees, and coconut palms, Grand Anse is Grenada's most famous beach. Cruise ship visitors flock to this three-kilometer arc of golden sand and gentle surf. Water hues range from clear turquoise in the shallows to deep cobalt blue, and the calm waters are perfect for swimming. Many hawkers patrol the sands, but a polite "No, thank you" will keep them at bay. If you feel like indulging in a little shopping, midway along the beach is the Grande Anse Craft and Spice Market, another popular stop for cruise ship visitors.
Many boutique resorts and restaurants lie along the shores of Grand Anse. Steps from the sand Spice Island Beach Resort is one of the island's most famous boutique hotels and one of the best luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Grenada
2 St. George's
One of the prettiest port towns in the Caribbean, St. George's curves along a horseshoe-shaped harbor backed by volcanic hills. This colorful capital of Grenada is popular with boaters, who dock in the busy harbor of Carenage. Brick and stone buildings with red-tiled roofs line the streets, where locals sell spices and crafts. Two of the main historical attractions in the city are Fort George, built by the French in the early 18th century, and Fort Frederick. Both offer beautiful views over the town and sea.
Housed in a 1704 French barracks and former prison, the Grenada National Museum displays a hodgepodge of historical items, including Carib and Arawak artifacts and exhibits on the sugar and whaling industries. Right nearby, the House of Chocolate is a must-visit for cocoa fans, with exhibits on the local cocoa industry and decadent sweet treats. To soak up some local color and buy fresh tropical fruits and spices, stop by the popular Saturday morning market at St. George's Market Square.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in St. George's
3 Underwater Sculpture Park
On the west coast of Grenada, a short drive north of St. George's at Moliniere Bay, the Underwater Sculpture Park is a unique submerged gallery that also serves as an artificial reef in a marine protected area. Created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, the sculptures range from Amerindian petroglyphs to life-size figures cast from local children. Divers, snorkelers, and glass bottom boat passengers can admire this underwater exhibition, although coming face-to-face with these sculptures below sea level is the best way to appreciate their artistry.
Location: Moliniere Bay, St. George's
4 Fort Frederick
At the end of winding hairpin turns atop Richmond Hill, Fort Frederick offers stunning views of St. George's and the sea. The fort has an interesting history. The French began construction of Fort Frederick in 1779, and the British then completed it in 1791. It is nicknamed the "backwards facing fort" because its cannons face inland instead of out to sea, thanks to the French who feared a surprise land attack after they used this successful strategy with the British. In 1850, the fort was abandoned completely until it was later occupied by the Grenadian military.
Location: Richmond Hill, St. George's
5 Fort George
Built in 1705 by the French, Fort George lies on the promontory to the west of the harbor and is Grenada's oldest fort. It was built to protect the harbor, but stands mostly derelict today. The main draw here is the spectacular 360-degree view across the town's red-tiled roofs and church spires to the harbor and sea beyond. Be prepared for a hot and steamy hike up a flight of stairs to reach the fort.
Address: Church Street, St. George's
The inner harbor and anchorage, known as the Carenage, is a lovely place to wander along the waterfront, browse the shops, and watch the dockside activities. Wooden schooners are loaded and unloaded here, and you can chat with the locals or relax at one of the restaurants selling fresh seafood and snacks. Wharf Road runs along the harbor offering great views of the area. Look for the bronze Christ of the Deep statue donated by the owners of a luxury liner in gratitude for local rescue efforts after the ship exploded off Grand Anse.
7 Morne Rouge Bay
One bay south of Grand Anse, near the southern tip of Grenada, Morne Rouge Bay is usually a quieter alternative to Grand Anse Beach. Calm jade-green seas slosh upon this one-and-a-half kilometer crescent of white sand making this a safe beach for swimming. Resort restaurants along the beach offer snacks, and the lush foliage fringing the beach provides plenty of shady areas to sit and relax.
Location: Morne Rouge, St. George's
8 Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve
Home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, Grand Etang National Park, in the interior of the island, offers some beautiful rainforest scenery and rewarding hikes. One of the focal points of the park is the beautiful crater-formed Grand Etang Lake. From the Grand Etang visitor center, several trails lead through the park, ranging from the 30-minute self-guided Morne LaBaye Trail with many specimens of native plants to the more challenging Concord Falls Trail, which passes a trio of cascades with swimming areas. Other popular hikes include the Shoreline Trail around the Grand Etang Lake, the Seven Sisters Falls hike, and the Mount Qua Qua Trail, a three-hour uphill trek with views over the forest. Along the trails visitors can spot many species of birds, orchids, and towering rainforest trees.
Location: St. Andrew
9 Levera National Park
On the northeastern shore of the island, Levera National Park offers some beautiful and dramatic scenery where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic. Backed by cliffs, coral-sand Bathways Beach boasts pretty views of Sugar Loaf (Levera Island) and other islands in the distance, while a natural offshore reef affords good protection for swimming. Sea turtles frequently nest on the beaches here.
Also of interest is Levera Pond, a water-filled, ancient volcanic crater and an important habitat for birds such as black-necked stilts and herons. A visitor center lies at the entrance to the park.
Location: Levera, St. Patrick
10 Annandale Falls
In the mountains north of St. George's, Annandale Falls is a 10-meter waterfall plunging to a pool tucked in tropical foliage. The short trail to the falls begins at the Annandale Falls Centre. Visitors can swim at the base of the cascades and watch local divers leaping into the water from the top. Change rooms are also available here. Be prepared for locals hawking souvenirs.
Location: Annandale, St. George
11 Belmont Estate
About an hour's drive from St. George's, the Belmont Estate is a 17th-century plantation that gives you a delicious taste of the island's centuries-old spice industry. You can choose from a variety of tours here that explore the organic farm and its tropical fruits and spices, as well as the cultivation of cocoa and how the fruit is made into chocolate (with tastings along the way). Serious chocoholics can sign up for a tour, which includes a scrumptious three-course lunch spotlighting chocolate in every course. Other fun things to do here include visiting the organic farm, dining at the restaurant, browsing the small heritage museum, and shopping for chocolate-related treats and local crafts. Children will enjoy the goats, donkeys, tortoises, and talking parrots.
For another glimpse at Grenada's spice industry, stop by the Dougaldston Spice Estate, a rustic operation where local workers demonstrate how the island's spices are grown and processed. After the tour, you can stock up on nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves.
Location: Belmont, St. Patrick
12 La Sagesse
La Sagesse, on the Atlantic side of the island, lies on the former estate of Lord Brownlow, Queen Elizabeth's cousin. His beachside residence has been renovated and turned into a romantic hotel and restaurant fronting a golden sand beach, with great swimming in the protected bay. The restaurant here is a lovely spot for lunch, with locally-caught seafood dishes and produce plucked fresh from the organic garden. After lunch, you can explore the nature trails that lead up through the windswept hills with pretty views over the ocean. The area is also great for birding. Many avian species make their home in the area's scrub forests, mangroves, and salt ponds. This is a fun day trip far from the crowds on the well-trodden tourist track.
Location: La Sagesse Bay
Known as the "Land of Reefs", the island of Carriacou (carry-a-cou), northeast of Grenada, offers visitors a pleasing taste of the old Caribbean. Both white and black sand beaches fringe the coast, and coral reefs lie offshore with great opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Nearby Sandy Island, in a Marine Protected Area, is also excellent for snorkeling. The island has a number of small villages but the main population center is Hillsborough. The Carriacou Museum here displays Carib, European, and African artifacts, and the island offers several hiking trails. Visitors can access Carriacou via high-speed ferry from St. George's Carenage or flights from Grenada's Point Saline International Airport.
14 Petite Martinique
Five kilometers northeast of Carriacou, Petite Martinique is even quieter than its neighbor and equally beautiful. Fishing is the mainstay of this tiny island, and you can watch the locals haul in their catch, or stroll along the beaches and chat with boat builders as they work. This is truly an island getaway, with few tourist facilities except a couple of guesthouses and family-run restaurants, but you'll find plenty of local color. Many boaters stop here to dine at one of the island's restaurants or hike up the piton for fabulous views. From Carriacou, you can catch a ferry or water taxi across to the island.
Other Must-See Islands near Grenada
For a taste of the Old Caribbean, see our page on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This spectacular chain of emerald islets lie just to the north of Grenada and are home to some of the best luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. North of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia is another classic Caribbean beauty, with lush volcanic peaks and luxury resorts, and to the east, Barbados exudes a distinctly British feel. South of Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago is famous for its evocative mix of cultures, excellent birding, and lively Carnival celebrations. If gorgeous beaches are top on your sightseeing list, see our page on the best beaches in the Caribbean.