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Favorite Things About St. Kitts

While I’ve been to only a handful of Caribbean islands, St. Kitts has been one of my favorites, and here’s why:

Monkeys. On St. Kitts, it’s said that monkeys outnumber the human residents nearly two to one. The vervet monkeys are not native to St. Kitts, but were brought by French settlers and left there when the British took over the island. Whether they’re trying to steal your drink while you’re lounging on the beach, or hanging out in the trees during one of your island excursions—they make things more fun and unpredictable.

Liming on the Strip. Lined up along the Frigate Bay beach, the strip of small, outdoor restaurants and bars lures locals from around the island to “lime” (chill out) and dance barefoot in the sand. Find your favorite: Rainbow Bar, Monkey Bar, Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, Ziggy’s Bar, Inon’s Bar and more. All are ready to serve you a potent drink and show you a good time.

The music. The mix of soca, zouk, calypso and reggae had my constantly asking a friend which band was playing on the car stereo. At the end of my trip, she gave me two CDs full of music. I don’t care if you think you can’t dance. It’s impossible to keep from moving with all the great music on St. Kitts.

Ting with a sting. No drink for lightweights, the sweet combination of local grapefruit soda and a “sting” of CSR (a local rum), is refreshing in hot weather—but too many can ruin your evening, and perhaps the next day as well. After two, I had to opt for Carib beer for the rest of the evening. I have a healthy respect for that beverage.

Lack of crowds. My visit didn’t coincide during a festival week, but I expected at least to run into the occasional cruise ship day-trippers. The entire time I was there, I kept wondering where all the people were.

For more about St. Kitts, read my article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle Travel section.