Liming with the Locals
If your idea of the perfect vacation is sitting on a Caribbean beach – soft white sand caressing your toes, the dazzling sun kissing your skin, a tropical drink in your hand and nothing to look at but the most gorgeous turquoise water you’ve ever seen – you’re in good company; 30 million people a year agree with you.
To be sure, St. Kitts has more than its fair share of spectacular beaches and logging sufficient time doing nothing but sitting among the palm trees and sea breezes is a must. But experienced island travelers know that quality beach time is just the beginning of unplugging from the worries and cares of normal life and having a truly revitalizing, let-your-hair-down island getaway. One of the best ways to get a genuine slice of the laid-back, easygoing Caribbean vibe is when you’re liming.
When you’re what?
Liming. It’s how locals describe relaxing, hanging out with friends, doing only what you want to do. It could be drinking a Ting with a Sting while relaxing at Cockleshell Bay, snorkelling at Turtle Beach, eating great food at a one-of-a-kind restaurant, hiking to the top of Mt. Liamuiga to gaze into the volcano’s crater, or strolling around the Circus in Basseterre to find the perfect gift or souvenir.
But liming with the locals on St. Kitts has yet another dimension. Kittians are known for being happy, polite, welcoming, friendly and gregarious and by hanging out with them – liming – some of that stress-free island vibe is bound to rub off. So when it’s time to pack up and return to normal life, you may just go home with a different outlook.
While you can lime with the locals doing just about anything, food and drink are quite often a part of this Caribbean tradition. St. Kitts has some fantastic dining establishments and here are a few of the top places to sink into that irresistible, free-and-easy island vibe.
Jam Rock Bar and Restaurant
Frigate Bay is one of the island’s most popular beaches and one reason why is because of “the Strip” – a line of restaurants and beachfront bars that engender a lively party atmosphere. This is where you’ll find Jam Rock Bar and Restaurant, famous around the island for its jerk chicken and pork. Other specialties include the grilled grouper, conch chowder and ginger shrimp. Executive chef and owner Michael Clarke has been in the business for over 30 years and infuses his Jamaican roots in many of the dishes he prepares. A full bar and outdoor seating are available.
Vibes Beach Bar
Liming often means hanging out with friends at a great bar on the beach and enjoying food, drinks, conversation and the beautiful Caribbean just a few feet away. And it would be hard to find a better place to do this than Vibes Beach Bar, on the Strip at Frigate Bay. Part sports bar, part beach bungalow, Vibes is open through the afternoon and evening and when the sun settles below the cerulean sea, the music, dancing and fun are just beginning. Burgers, conch fritters, wings and signature cocktails are always on hand and you won’t miss a minute of the game with eight large-screen TVs. Or step onto the beach – chairs and umbrellas are available – put your feet in the sand and lose yourself in sublime island serenity.
Chrishi Beach Club
Across The Narrows from St. Kitts is its smaller neighbour Nevis and Chrishi Beach Club – just a few minutes’ walk from the ferry terminal at Cades Bay – is the pride and joy of owners Hedda and Christian (“Chrishi”) Wienpahl. It is an undisputed favorite beach club on Nevis due to both the great food and the places to completely unwind – choose from a comfortable sun lounger right on the sand or the palm-thatched and tastefully decorated Love Shack + Bar. Take in the view of St. Kitts and the aquamarine sea as you enjoy a steak, burger, seafood, salad, fondue, tapas or something else; chic European fare and American classics populate the menu and gluten-free options are available. The full bar includes top-quality wines and champagne. Great music is always part of the laid-back, beachy atmosphere at Chrishi’s. This is what liming is all about.
Carambola Beach Club
If fine dining is your version of liming, head directly to South Friar’s Bay and don’t stop until you get to Carambola Beach Club. The establishment features “international cuisine with a Caribbean flair,” and the upscale lunch and dinner choices in a hacienda-style atmosphere are sure to please. Start with pumpkin soup, move on to Osso Buco (lamb shanks in a white wine tomato sauce) and finish with the Vanilla Crème Brulee. The menu is extensive and includes soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, wraps, seafood, pasta, meat & poultry, sushi, pizza and mouth-watering desserts. Get there early and enjoy the pristine beach; settle into a padded lounge chair or love seat and drink in the view of the beautiful sea and lovely mountains that border the coast. Water sports are also available and the washrooms on site include showers where you can freshen up before dinner.