As we flew to the sleepy islands of St. Kitts and Nevis we never suspected that we would encounter some of the best beach parties of our lives. As it turns out, Kittitians and Nevisians (as the locals like to be called) love nothing better than hanging out at the beach with friends, sipping a cold beverage and getting a rollicking beach party going. They even have a special name for this tradition: Limin’! Is it because limes are always present in the food and drinks that the tradition is called Limin? No one seems to know for sure, but one thing is certain, the beach parties on St. Kitts and Nevis are outstanding!
Take a stroll down The Strip along Frigate Bay beach on St. Kitts and you’ll find a raggedy row of charismatic reggae-inspired beach shacks all offering cold brews, hot music, and spicy BBQ. The Dock Beach Bar at Timothy Beach Resort attracted us like a magnet each evening for their $1 happy hour beers and to watch spectacular sunsets over the bay. Then it’s off to choose which beach shack is offering the best festivities of the night… should it be The Monkey Bar, Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, Ziggy’s, Cathy’s?… so many choices, so few nights of vacation.
If it’s Thursday, you can’t miss the bonfire on the beach and local entertainment at Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack. Arrive before 6pm if you hope to get a seat at one of the picnic tables on the beach, and then treat yourself to one of Mr. X’s famous grilled lobsters, lemon-scented snapper or melted lava jerk chicken. By the time the band tunes up and the fire-walker arrives you’ll have made a whole crowd of new friends. It had been a lifetime since we had last danced barefoot in the sand to the light of a bonfire! But don’t exhaust all your energy in one night. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights promise a parade of parties down the beach at Frigate Bay.
For some quality Limin’ time during daylight hours, hop in a taxi and take the gorgeous scenic drive down to Cockleshell Beach where three worthy barefoot watering holes await. The Reggae Beach Bar anchors one end of the beach with lounge chairs welcoming you to sit at water’s edge and watch boats ferry over to Nevis sitting just across the channel. Make some new friends with the roaming menagerie of adopted pets – Wilbur the HUGE pot-bellied pig, a friendly vervet monkey, goats, donkeys, horses and who knows what else. Anchoring the opposite end of the beach is the more upscale Spice Mill Restaurant. Here you’ll find more elegant dining in a whimsical setting and still no need to wear shoes if you don’t want to. Don’t miss Sunday afternoon when the steel band plays.
If you still have the time and the stamina, swing into South Friars Beach on the southeast peninsula near Frigate Bay where you’ll find the quirky beach bar Shipwreck Bar & Grill. This unassuming weathered cabin is full of ‘Nuf Nuf Niceness’ to guarantee a memorable visit. Go snorkeling right off shore with rented gear available, and you may stay all afternoon just to watch for the Green Flash at sunset. Or at least try a Green Flash cocktail at the bar.
Just when you’re thinking there can’t be any more divine beach shacks to sample, it’s time to cross the channel and visit the island of Nevis. If St. Kitts is the showgirl (with modern branded resorts, casinos and cruise ships), Nevis is the beautiful librarian sister (with cultured historic plantation inns and congenial locals anxious to share the tales of their storied past). But fear not, Nevis is not the least bit stuffy and has a collection of festive beach shacks all its own.
You’re probably most familiar with Nevis from the stellar reviews of the Four Seasons Resort. The resort has recently reopened after a two year redevelopment after being hit hard by hurricane Omar. While you may not be able to indulge in a stay at the Four Seasons, you can certainly visit Pinney’s Beach right next door. And there awaits the quintessential rustic Rastafarian beach shack, Sunshine’s Bar and Grill, complete with beach beds, colorful flags and famous Killer Bee cocktails. After two Killer Bees you’ll be so happy you won’t be able to imagine a better place to spend the day. Check out the wall of fame with photos of all the celebs who have wondered over from the Four Seasons to sip a Killer Bee with the ever smiling Sunshine. Stay for the nightly bonfire on the beach, and have your hair braided by the charming Sweet Pea.
Now while the food is great at Sunshine’s, you may want to head over to the very end of the beach to sample the fare at the Double Deuce. Here the talents of a classically trained five-star chef meet those of his flamboyant Caribbean partner to produce exceptional cuisine dished out in barefoot comfort. Don’t miss the fun on karaoke night every Thursday.
So you can see for yourself, St. Kitts and Nevis have an embarrassment of great beachfront shacks, bars and restaurants to ensure that you’ll be Limin’ with the locals all week long!
If you go: Nonstop flights to St. Kitts are available from Miami, or to either island by connecting in St. Maarten. For more tourist information about the islands click over to the St. Kitts Tourism Board and the Nevis Tourist Board websites. To read more about my fun adventures on St. Kitts and Nevis and find my resort reviews click here.