With white-sand beaches, artisanal markets and attractive colonial buildings, this Caribbean capital offers a fresh island experience and a sense of history.
The Caribbean island of St. Kitts has a long trading history, centered on its lively urbanized port, Basseterre. Admire Basseterre’s colonial landmarks, dine at beach-side restaurants and explore undeveloped island landscapes.
Make your base in Basseterre's downtown, a grid layout of thoroughfares along St. Kitts' southwest coast. Wander the shop-lined avenues between Central Street and Liverpool Row to find Independence Square, the port's social center. Restaurants along the Bay Road promenade offer seafood dishes and ocean views.
Browse boutiques and enjoy a coffee at the Pelican Mall. Artisanal goods and cute souvenirs can be bought at the Amina Craft Market or the Public Market.
The island was settled by the French in the 1620s, making Basseterre one of the Caribbean's oldest towns. Despite colonial struggles and natural disasters over the decades, restoration efforts have ensured Basseterre's historic buildings are still standing. Admire the columned façade of Government House or stroll the manicured gardens surrounding Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden.
Learn about the island's colonial wars at the National Museum. Take daytrips to Spooner's Ginnery or the St. Kitts Sugar Factory to see relics of the island's production history.
Pay your respects at the Church of Immaculate Conception and admire the commanding Gothic tower of St. George's Anglican Basilica. Get a photo of the Berkeley Monument, a misty fountain bubbling beneath a decorative clock.
St. Kitts' climate is unflinchingly temperate, allowing for year-round enjoyment of its sandy coves. Drive to Banana Bay and relax beneath coconut trees or walk a 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch of white sand at Cockleshell Bay. Snorkeling, fishing and birdwatching tours offer fresh perspectives on this invigorating environment.
Fly into Basseterre's international airport or cruise into its harbor. Downtown Basseterre can be easily navigated on foot, while its surrounds are best accessed by bus or taxi.
After enjoying the town, experience the island's verdant valleys and fields from the Scenic Railway. As evening falls, follow the music to Frigate Bay, where beachfront clubs provide lively nightlife.