One of the oldest cities in the Caribbean, Bridgetown, Barbados, has a compact, walkable downtown that is surrounded by a sprawl of wooden houses, 19th-century coral-stone villas and modern homes. Fragrant flowers and lush trees are everywhere. You could easily spend the day just exploring the streets—particularly between Broad and Swan streets, where you'll find elegant shops as well as fruit and produce stalls.
The heart of town is next to the Careenage (the inner harbor of Bridgetown's port), where you can explore Barbados' seafaring roots, stroll the boardwalk and meander among the cafes and shops that line the waterfront. The area gets its name from an old ship-maintenance practice. Sailing ships were careened (tilted) there so the barnacles could be scraped off their hulls.
Traffic can be bad in Bridgetown, so try to avoid the morning and afternoon rush hours. When cruise ships are in port, the disembarked passengers can clog things up in a hurry.
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