This "spice island," famous for producing huge quantities of nutmeg, has become a vacationer's idyll in recent years, offering a trifecta of beach, rainforest and rich culture. In Grenada you can sail, scuba dive or sunbathe one day, hike to the top of a foliage-covered mountain the next, and then spend some time soaking up French and English colonial culture by strolling the streets of capitol city St. George's.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
East Caribbean dollar (EC)
4 hours from New York City
Taxi or rental car
When To Go: Grenada at its best
Temperatures average a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. June through December is considered the rainy season (though it rains on and off all year), and January through May are typically warm and dry with a pleasant breeze.
As with any Caribbean island, you're most likely to find deals during the "off-season" of summer and early fall.
What To Do
After spending the requisite time sacked out on Grenada's gorgeous beaches, try seeing the water from the vantage point of a yacht -- the island is known for its great sailing conditions. (If you're a sailing newbie you can take lessons, or go the pampered route and charter a boat that comes with a crew.)
Take a hike:
At the island's center you'll find the Grand Etang National Park, which is filled with verdant rainforests surrounding a crater lake. Whether you're up for just a mellow stroll or a heart-pumping hike, you'll be able to find a trail suited precisely to the level of exertion you seek.
Take a 90-minute ferry ride to the nearby island of Carriacou, where you can do more basking on the beach, relax at a laid-back seaside bar, or spy exotic flora and fauna at the local botanical garden.
-- Celeste Perron