Barbados, the most easterly Caribbean island, is only twenty-one miles long and fourteen miles wide. Yet a coast-to-coast drive reveals a montage of landscapes, which have their own distinct vibes, personalities and crowds. The west coast—also known as the “Platinum Coast”—faces the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea and is the Barbados most people have heard of: polo grounds; old-money estates; posh, pricey hotels and their equally posh, occasionally famous, guests. The glamour apex is reached along St. James’s Millionaire Mile in Holetown, where you’ll find Sandy Lane hotel, a number of lavish, closed-off estates and the highest concentration of high-end restaurants, like Daphne’s and the Cliff.
Those who don’t care much for the scene, along with surfers and anyone just looking to tune out, head to the more rugged east coast, which many locals refer to simply as “the country.” The beaches, fronting the rougher Atlantic waters, are wider, prettier and much less crowded. The northeast coast, part of the island’s Little Scotland district, is perhaps the most beautiful—at least in a raw, wild sort of way—with its dramatic...
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