Four-Star Resort Between a Beach and Yacht-Studded Marina
From just about every vantage point at Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa, you can see Saint Lucia’s glassy, blue-green water. The resort sits on a peninsula, and a secluded beach along Rodney Bay runs the length of the resort. You can go scuba diving among the lobsters and eel in the cove, take a boat tour along the Saint Lucian coastline, or enjoy a beachside massage at La Mer Spa.
Fodor’s calls Rodney Bay's Reduit Beach "the island's finest," and it's easy to see why. Palms line the flour-soft sands, and small islands dot the bay. After a full day of swimming and snorkeling, you can walk to the local bars, restaurants, and shops. Enjoy dinner at Trios Caribbean Fusion Restaurant, which serves locally inspired dishes. In its beachside setting, the more casual Hi Tide Restaurant also serves Caribbean fare, including grilled snapper with callaloo leaves.
At night, you can retire to a deluxe pool-view room or a one-bedroom pool-view suite, both of which feature private patios overlooking the lagoon-style pool. The resort’s suites come with full kitchens and are housed in buildings with Georgian-plantation-inspired columns.
Saint Lucia: French-Inspired Cuisine and Spectacular Volcanoes
Located in between Martinique and Saint Vincent in the eastern Caribbean, Saint Lucia was coveted by the British and French, who quarreled over the island for more than a century. Although English is now Saint Lucia's official language, the French seem to have left a more noticeable influence on its arts and cuisine. Along the coast, a string of marinas exhibits a cultural blend through restaurants ranging from fried-fish shacks to upscale French eateries. Grab a table to sample meaty pepperpot stew, spinach-like callaloo soup, or the country’s national dish of green fig—a Caribbean term for small, unripe bananas—and salt fish.
With several beaches, Saint Lucia attracts those looking for snorkeling excursions, dolphin-watching tours, or deep-sea-fishing trips in search of blue marlin, barracuda, and mako sharks. Crowds descend on the popular Reduit Beach at Rodney Bay, not too far from the 18th-century British forts at Pigeon Island National Park. For a less hectic scene, head south down the coast to Anse Chastanet, a more secluded beach with giant palm trees and undulating green hills.
A vacation in Saint Lucia is not complete without a visit to its volcano or one of its volcanic plugs. Considered the country’s unofficial symbol, the Pitons are two vegetation-covered volcanic plugs rising more than 2,000 feet above the western coast. Nearby Soufriere Volcano is considered "the world's only drive-in volcano," as you can drive your car close to the volcanic crater to see its steaming sulfur springs.