Last updated: 10:15 AM ET, Fri August 26 2016

Spice Up Your Vacation in Grenada

Hotel & Resort | Sandals Resorts | Kristina Rundquist | August 26, 2016

Spice Up Your Vacation in Grenada

PHOTO: Start your tour of one of the great spice islands by staying at the Sandals LaSource. (Courtesy Sandals Resorts)

Odd as it may seem, those sailing to Grenada’s sunny shores may be reminded of Christmas, despite the warm sun, blinding white sand and dazzling blue beaches.

That’s because the scent of nutmeg hangs in the air, thanks to this Caribbean island’s ranking as one of the world’s top producers of nutmeg (not to mention cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, turmeric, cocoa and more). So prevalent is the spice that the national flag even features a small nutmeg seed.

The Sandals LaSource in St. George’s, Grenada knows all about that and is the perfect home base for your trip to the island.

Visitors to this tropical paradise will certainly want to visit a nutmeg farm to see how this spice is grown and harvested before landing in their kitchen cabinets and baked goods, but there’s much more to see and do. We run down a list of some of the island’s “spiciest” offerings:

St. George’s. Grenada’s capital city is one the Caribbean’s prettiest. The busy harbor of Carenage is worth a visit on its own, if for no other reason than to view the beautiful yachts that put down anchor there. Other must-see’s in this picturesque city are Fort George, which was built by the French in the early 18th century and offers a stunning 360-degree view of the red-tiled roofs below, and the Market Square, a bustling market selling everything from spices to local crafts. Saturday morning brings some of the best goods out for sale so be prepared to haggle.

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Grand Anse Beach. It’s hard to beat Grand Anse when it comes to white sand, sheltered warm waters and unspoiled nature that stretches on for miles. Sheltered from high winds and strong currents, it’s an ideal place to take the kids swimming or spend the day relaxing. Thanks to its popularity, several of the island’s best hotels are also located along the beach, in case you want to take in the splendor without all the sand.

The National Marine Park in Molinere Bay. Billing itself as the world’s first underwater museum, these submerged exhibitions serve as a man-made reef in a Marine Protected Area. Designed by Jason de Caires Taylor, visitors can see life-size  sculptures depicting children (statues were cast from local children) at play, an underwater cyclist and the Christ of the Deep statue. Visitors can either snorkel or dive to get a look close-up, but glass-bottom boat tours will take you right above them as well.

Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve. Another must-see for nature lovers and hikers alike, this swath of rainforest is home to rare Mona monkeys, the Grenada dove and the manicou, a type of opossum. The park is also home to the 36-acre Grand Etang Lake, formed in an ancient volcano crater.

Dougaldston Spice Estate. As one of the oldest and largest nutmeg plantations on the island, you would be remiss not to visit. In addition to learning about how the island’s spices are grown and harvested, visitors have the opportunity to buy vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

River Antoine Rum Distillery. All that hiking and touring can work up a thirst. Why not quench it at the River Antoine Rum Distillery, where not only will you learn about the process of making rum, but you can sample the distillery’s offerings. Be warned—this is strong stuff (but lower proofs are also available for sale).

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