It is a little known fact that Bridgetown, Barbados, is the only international destination visited by George Washington. Legend has it that the fateful trip in 1751 changed the course of the 19-year-old would-be president’s life. His journal of the trip unveils 18th-century elite society and a cosmopolitan lifestyle enshrined in a tropical beauty seen by few Americans at the time. Over two hundred and fifty years later, visitors to Barbados are still ravished by the beauty and sophisticated charm associated with the island. A desirable locale year round, Barbados this December is an especially ideal time for a quick getaway to the jewel of the Caribbean. A wealth of activities is planned that no other island can match.
The island’s rich homegrown culture features carnival-like festivals year round. Joining the dynamic fêtes this year is the Classical/Pops Festival (www.classicalpops.com), a pioneering event that presents modern music against a classical backdrop. For the first time in a Caribbean setting, as opposed to the more traditional symphony halls, Classical/Pop’s premiere All-Star Orchestra comprises members of the highest caliber from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, among other renowned musicians. If some of your most cherished memories are enjoying informal and comfortable summers at Tanglewood, digging into picnics at Wolf Trap and The Mann, dancing at The Proms in Hyde Park, and breaking open container laws by uncorking champagne at the New York Philharmonic in Central Park, here is where you should be.
This December, Barbados also presents the annual Race of Champions taking place for the first time at the newly renovated Bushy Park Circuit. Highlighting the international competition, newly crowned FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg will compete against the world’s best drivers from major motorsport series including Formula 1, NASCAR, X-Games, and MotoGP. The premiere motorsport facility in the Caribbean will welcome spectators from across the globe to witness one driver take the acclaimed title of “Champion of Champions.”
For the ultimate beach indulgence while on the island, visitors can enjoy a luxurious spa day or explore the colorful marine life which is easily navigated through personalized eco-friendly diving. Thrill-seekers can also search the sparkling sea to discover historic ship wreckage or take advantage of kite- and wind-surfing activities. After the beach or before the Classical/Pops Festival, celebrate the origins of Barbados’ fine spirit with a visit to the historic rum distilleries of Mount Gay or St. Nicholas Abbey for signature tours and tastings. Sightseeing in the capital city of Bridgetown offers distinct landmarks and points of interest including the George Washington House, the Barbados Museum, and the Bridgetown Jewish Synagogue. For any traveler dreading the arrival of Old Man Winter, take advantage of an incredible holiday weekend in Barbados this December!