• I visited Barbados for the first time in May for a friend's wedding.
  • I've lived near the water in many cities, but in my opinion, the beaches in Barbados are the best.
  • Pebbles Beach and Thunder Bay were so beautiful that I doubled back to each.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I flew to Barbados from New York City to celebrate my friend's wedding. I stayed for seven days and had the time of my life.

I'd never been to the Caribbean country and heard rave reviews from the bride (whose family is from Barbados) and other friends who visited over the last few years.

While Barbados has gained fame as the homeland of beauty mogul and pop star Rihanna, I wanted to go off the beaten path and avoid tourist traps. My mindset was to be open to venturing to new spots, so I made sure not to pack my itinerary and to be flexible.

I grew up in the Los Angeles area and went to college in Charleston, South Carolina, so the beach is my home. In my travels, I've also spent time in Mexico, Thailand, Cuba, and Ghana, so I was excited to compare my beach experience in Barbados. It did not disappoint.

Peebles Beach was scenic and quiet

The island is divided into 11 parishes, and I primarily visited St. Philip, St. James, and St. Michael, located on the south-eastern coast (St. Philip) and west coast (St. James, St. Michael) of the island.

On my first day, I ventured to Peebles Beach in St. Michael between the Radisson Aquatica Resort and the Hilton Barbados Resort. The white sand and clear blue water were breathtaking.

My friends and I enjoyed delicious food at the Radisson, including a Caesar salad that I've thought about every day since and fishcakes, a Bajan food staple consisting of codfish — similar to a hush puppy or fritter.

Thunder Bay Beach was an absolute vibe

The day after the wedding, my friend and her husband planned a beach day for the guests at Thunder Bay, located in the western coastal region of the island in St. James. We enjoyed a catered feast by the beach, which included macaroni pie, salad, jerk chicken, and lots of rum punch.

It was the perfect day to celebrate their union and enjoy more breathtaking views. The main difference was that Thunder Bay has more of a social, party feel than Peebles Beach. We set up near Thunder Bay Beach Bar, which serves non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages that run from $6 and up.

It was so good that I did it twice

On my last two days, I divided my time between the two spots, first visiting Peebles Beach, where I enjoyed some quiet time as well as a Banks, one of the country's most popular beers.

Then on my last day, I closed at Thunder Bay, where my friends and I walked about half a mile along the road to eat at Reggie's Real Jamaican Jerk Restaurant, and enjoyed a feast of jerked pork ($18), oxtails, plantains, peas, and rice, which cost about $24.

When I return, hopefully in the near future, I plan to explore more of the eastern part of the island, which recently appeared in the series finale of the hit HBO show "Succession," according to The Telegraph.

Barbados is a beautiful country, and I hope to visit again and take in more scenic sights. And if you're on the fence, go — it has the best beaches I've ever visited.

2023-06-10T11:50:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd