Sugar Bay Barbados is located within a UNESCO (United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Heritage Site on the southwestern coast of Barbados. This area contains historical buildings representing British Colonial Architecture that date back to the 17th and 18th Centuries, such as the historical parts of Bridgetown and the Garrison Historical Area. Below is a list of some of the historical sites that are located within this area, all ranging from walking distance to a short drive from your hotel.
The Garrison Historic Area
Just a short walk from Sugar Bay, the Garrison Historic Area is a great example of British Colonial Architecture. The site was built in 1650 and is said to be the most authentic and intact British Garrison complex in the world. There is a ceremonial Changing of the Sentry held every Thursday at 12 noon under the garrison clock tower at the main guard. This event includes men dressed up in uniform performing a traditional, narrated Changing of the Sentry ceremony.
The Garrison Savannah
Located within the Garrison Historic Area is the Garrison Savannah, which has been home to horse racing since 1845. Horse racing continues to occur with 3 full racing seasons per year. Make sure to see if there are any races occurring during your visit! The race horses also take sea baths at Pebbles Beach starting at 6am everyday.
The George Washington House
George Washington, the United States’ first President and American Revolutionary War Commander spent some time here on the island of Barbados. In fact, Barbados was the only country that young Washington ever visited outside of the United States. Take a tour of the house he stayed in during his visit which is filled with realistic furnishings from the 18th Century and artifacts portraying life in 1751. Make sure to stop by Coffee Barbados for a quick drink while you visit the site. There is also an event called “Dinner with George” held seasonally which allows you to experience an 18th Century style dinner with George Washington himself.
Located beneath the Garrison and George Washington House is an extensive combination of tunnels that are over 150 years old. It is believed that the tunnels were used as a drainage system for the once swampy area and occasionally they were also used for the secret movement of soldiers and items. There are at least 9 tunnels that have been rediscovered, reaching lengths of a few miles long. The tunnels were rediscovered during the restoration of the George Washington House, therefore a short portion of these tunnels are open for tours at the same location. The George Washington House is located just north of the Garrison Savannah Race Track.
The Barbados Museum and Historical Society
Also located within the Garrison Historical Area, the Barbados Museum & Historical Society houses eight different galleries to be viewed. One exhibit is a Military Gallery, detailing the historical development of the armed forces from the 17th Century until the end of World War II. Another is the Harewood Gallery displaying information about the ecology of the coral reef, the mangrove swamps, the sea grasses, and various underwater wildlife. The museum is open Monday – Saturday 9AM – 5PM & Sundays 2PM – 6PM.
The Lord Nelson Statue
Admiral Horatio Nelson, later known as Lord Nelson, was responsible for protecting Barbados from becoming a French West Indian Colony back in the early 1800s. The Barbadians were so grateful that they built a bronze statue of Sir Lord Nelson in 1813 to display their appreciation. The statue is located in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, which is just a short drive away from Sugar Bay. This statue of Lord Nelson actually predates the statue of him in London’s Trafalgar Square by almost 30 years.
The Mallalieu Motor Collection
This car collection and museum contains many vintage cars that date back as far as the 1940s. The collection represents a history of motorsports on the island of Barbados, with the Rally Club that was established in 1957. Every car housed in the museum is in perfect working condition. Make sure to check out some of the unique cars, such as the 1947 Bentley Drophead Coupe or the 1955 Rover 75. Located southeast of the garrison, this museum is a short 7 minute walk from Sugar Bay.
Go Snorkeling or Diving in Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Featuring six different ship wrecks and an abundance of marine life, Carlisle Bay Marine Park is a site to explore. The ship wrecks date back as far as 1917 and fill the sea floor with old cannons and anchors. From a large freighter that was sunken by a torpedo during World War II to the very first tug boat in Barbados, the ships in this marine park have lots of stories to tell. Be sure to experience the views of these historic ships and take in the marine life around you. Carlisle Bay is a short five minute drive along the coast from Sugar Bay.