All summer we asked the question of every cruiser we met, “Caribbean or the Bahamas?”. And what we discovered was equivalent to a religious divide on the subject. Not one person said, “oh both are great!”. So here is our list of favorite places including both the Caribbean and Bahamas. Keep in mind the furthest south in the Caribbean we went was Dominica.
1. Falmouth Harbor, Antigua – Antigua is very welcoming. Falmouth Harbor with its bars and restaurants were fun and the nearby Nelson’s Dockyard was an awesome place to visit with a lot of history. We toured the island and enjoyed the people we met and all the places we visited. Plus the harbor was very sheltered and it was nice to have some calm nights!
2. Gorda Sound, BVI – We may be biased because we got married at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Gorda Sound. However, while in the BVIs we did find ourselves gravitating towards anchorages in Gorda Sound which were both beautiful and and calm. And the free wifi from Saba Rock didn’t hurt either!
Ryana in Gorda Sound
3. Road Bay, Anguilla – What made Anguilla for us was the people. Everyone, and I mean everyone, smiled at us and said hello as we passed. Even the teenage boys who were headed home from school took a moment to say hi! The smiles and good vibes (not to mention amazing beaches and great food) made this place for us.
4. Hope Town, Abacaos, Bahamas – This is probably the cutest place we visited in all the Bahamas. The houses were all adorable and well kept. There were restaurants, a great beach, grocery store and lots of shops all within walking distance. Plus they had a wine bar downtown. Now you’re talking!
House in Hope Town
5. Culebra, Puerto Rico – This little out island off the east of Puerto Rico was an oasis in itself. The cruising community was vibrant and the island is a (somewhat) hidden gem. It doesn’t hurt that it boasts one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach. We enjoyed the laid back feel and the wonderful company. And the tacos (at Zaco’s Tacos of course!).
Flamenco Beach with storm brewing.
6. Les Saintes, Guadeloupe – This was a place everyone told us we would love, so expectations were high. And it did live up to what was said. This place, above all the other French islands we went, evoked a feeling of France. We loved that we could walk everywhere and not worry about lots of cars on the road. There were interesting historical places nearby, like the Fort, and beautiful beaches, and fun dance clubs and good restaurants.
Les Saintes Harbor
7. Providenciales, Turks & Caicos – This place was fun to see, with all the inlets cut out of the limestone, the amazing Grace Beach, and of course Prince’s House complete with purple driveway! We stayed at the Southside Marina and I think this made the stay for us. We met great people, including amazing friends Kirk & Donna, and heard about all the history of the island at Bob’s Bar.
At Southside Marina.
8. St Croix, USVI – We mostly spent time in Christiansted here and loved the quaint town. The Dutch architecture was gorgeous and to be honest we loved the comforts of St Croix (i.e. Mexican Food!!) which we had been missing while further south in the Caribbean.
The Fort in Christiansted.
9. Grand Case, St Martin – What’s a LOLO? Turns out it’s code for super delicious, inexpensive meals! We had great meals on the cheap in Grand Case (actually so good Ryan preferred it to my cooking. Hurrumph! 🙂 . The vibe here was more laid back than other parts of St Martin and we felt at home and comfortable here.
10. Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas – You’ve got swimming pigs and the Thunderball grotto nearby, what’s not to love? We had a fun time anchored out here in the beautiful water with these fun attractions nearby. And the Staniel Cay Yacht Club was a nice place to eat out!