A charismatic town with a symbiotic mixture of past and present, Speightstown is Barbados’ commercial and tourist center. The second largest city in Barbados, Speightstown boasts a lush history, beautiful scenery, a diverse culture, and delicious food. Stay for a day or your whole vacation and experience all that the charming city of Speightstown has to offer.
Located twelve miles north of Bridgetown on the coast of Barbados, Speightstown was settled around 1630 by British settlers. Quickly becoming the busiest port in Barbados, Speightstown was the country’s main connection to Mother England through the trading industry. The city went through some hard times and fell by the wayside but was renovated to regain its status as a tourist and commercial center. Today it is a lovely city with an unending spirit of enterprise and community, art and pleasure.
Take a walking tour of the city to see historical colonial buildings like the Arlington House mixing amiably with modern additions with contemporary Caribbean styles. The effect is inspiring and envelopes visitors with a sense of continuity and growth, an evolution of spirit whilst maintaining historical roots. The Arlington House, an 18th-century house museum, is a wonderful stop as is the Georgian style St. Peter’s Parish Church, an Anglican church dating back to 1837.
For a nice leisurely stroll or a place to take a break from touring, head to the Speightstown Esplanade, a public park area renovated with a pavilion and bandstand with picturesque views of the ocean, especially during sunrise and sunsets. There are often free public concerts on the Esplanade as well as other community events.
The Caribbean is certainly a colorful area of the world and Barbados is no different. Boasting both local and international art, Speightstown has several art galleries worth a visit or two. Tour the Frangipani Art Gallery, the Caribbean Art Gallery, or others for a unique look into the culture of Barbados.
Several beaches along Speightstown’s coast are nesting beaches for Hawksbill turtles. If you are a nature lover, head to any one of the beaches and search for these beautiful creatures. Even if you don’t find any, relax on the golden-white sands, play in the surf, or take an underwater excursion to snorkel or SCUBA to see tropical marine wildlife.