Nutmeg ice cream. Nutmeg cheesecake. Nutmeg sprinkled over rum punch. There's even a nutmeg rub that's supposed to cure the common cold. Grenadians are nothing if not resourceful with the spice. And that's understandable: They grow 20% of the world's nutmeg.

But although you'll see (and smell) plenty of the glossy brown nuts in Grenada, there's more to this country than spices. St. George's, the capital city, is one of the prettiest ports in the region. Pastel-colored houses with red-tiled roofs perch on green slopes overlooking the bay, which includes a lagoon that's actually the collapsed crater of an extinct volcano. Then there's the intensely blue lake atop the rain forest in Grand Etang Park.

All of the islands that make up this nation have the languid charm of the Caribbean as it used to be. Although resort developers have discovered Grenada, only a small stretch of beach is given over to them. The rest of Grenada feels very local rather than touristy. Grenada was badly damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 and Hurricane Emily the following year, but almost all hotels and services—including the Melville Street Cruise Port Terminal—have been rebuilt, along with others built in the aftermath.

Carriacou and Petite Martinique—the other two islands sometimes visited by travelers—are especially enticing for those who find even the leisurely pace of Grenada too hectic. A windjammer-type cruise or a yacht trip through the area is a good option: These are some of the finest sailing waters in the world.

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