Travel tips for beautiful Barbados

TRV_barbados_beach

As the cold winds come down from the north, out come the wistful screensavers depicting golden sunsets, limpid waters, swaying hammocks and sweet drinks with little pink umbrellas. But when you get tired of holding your mouse really still to get a glimpse of digital paradise, think about cashing in those unused vacation days and heading down to Barbados. The warm Caribbean waters caress its western shores, the wild Atlantic is to the east, and rum takes care of everything in between.

Once a British colony and still part of the Commonwealth, English-speaking Barbados has long been a favorite retreat for the kind of people who like baked beans for breakfast. American tourists are a bit of a novelty on this unspoiled coral island, and you’re unlikely to get stuck with a raucous party of spring breakers in the room above you. There’s a thriving nightlife, but the island’s true siren song is one of tranquility and family-friendliness.

All-inclusive is the way to go for a stress-free vacation in the sun. Mango Bay resort (www.mango baybarbados.com) offers everything you could ask for: Rooms with a fantastic view, helpful staff, a good bar, breakfast (there will be beans), lunch and semiformal dinner, a Caribbean beach with watersports and a sigh-inducing sunset. The resort is literally just steps from a street bustling with nightlife and a European-style mall with high-end retailers.

The resort also offers wedding packages, nightly live entertainment and plenty for the kids to do.

There might be a secret competition on Barbados as to who can serve the best —and the most— rum punch. It’s all pretty delicious, so don’t pass up a taste. If you want a bit more history and a little less punch, visit Mount Gay distillery (mountgayrum.com). They’ve got lunch, a museum, an informative (and musically dramatic) film and a tasting. Rumor has it that Mount Gay was George Washington’s favorite rum.

Tip: If rum isn’t your thing, the resort’s bartenders do sweet, smooth justice to a mango martini.

If you’re the kind of person whose tan more closely resembles Santa’s rosy cheeks than the electric orange of Jersey Shore beach bums, don’t despair. Here’s a sample of activities that don’t require your own weight in SPF 9000:

  • Take a submarine ride: Unlike most of its volcanic neighbors, Barbados is a coral reef topped with clay and dirt. Its spectacular origins are visible 140 feet below the azure waves. Get down with the periscope crowd at Atlantis submarine tours (www.barbados.
    atlantissubmarines .com) and view the best in teeming sea life. If you’ve ever wanted to see an actual shipwreck, complete with Titanic-style eeriness and barnacles, this is your chance.
  • Cave in and take a cavern tour: Barbados has become a little easier on the casual, less adventurous traveler in recent years, and Harrison’s Cave is a good example (harrisons cave.com). The series of caverns, among the largest and best on the island, offer a sit-back-and-relax trolley tour for families and those who packed nothing but beer cozies and flip-flops in their luggage. It also offers a more hands-on and strenuous set of adventure tours for the more daring tourist. Also, mind the iPhones — the caves are alive, and thus very drippy.
  • There’s something fishy in the state of Barbados: riday nights at Oistin’s Fish Fry are a crowded affair — just about everyone, their mother and their children, comes out for an evening of food, song and drink. It’s the perfect place for out-of-towners to mix with Bajans and try local fare.

News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.