Scarborough, Tobago's main town, lies on a beautiful bay on the southern coast with a lovely hill as a backdrop.
It straggles along the waterfront, where you will find the Scarborough Esplanade, which features a local handicraft market. You can purchase unique handicraft items, leatherwork (such as slippers, handbags, shoes and sandals), locally designed clothing, souvenirs and a bit of local cuisine.
Deeper into the city is the People's Market, a lively place where vendors sell colorful souvenirs, fresh fruits and vegetables. A few interesting old buildings and some traditional wooden houses on stilts cling to the hillside, but there isn't much to see in this modern administrative center—the town itself is rather plain.
It's best to have a quick look around, then hotfoot it up to Fort King George, perched some 450 ft/137 m above the city. The 18th-century British fort has wonderful coastal views. Several buildings have been restored and are worth exploring. Cannons line the old stone walls, and changing exhibits of island art are on display in the old hospital. The island's colonial past and Amerindian heritage are depicted in the on-site Tobago Historical Museum. Also known as the Museum of Tobago History, it is located within the Barrack Guard House.
Once used as a military prison, this popular attraction should be on any sightseeing itinerary. Visitors can enjoy an impressive exhibition of Amerindian relics, military artifacts and buttons, colonial treasures and many ancient pottery pieces, together with an actual skeleton of a past native. There are also displays relating to the former period of slavery and extensive collection of both antique maps and coins.
The museum's shop, the Powder Magazine (under an enormous silk cotton tree), sells handicrafts and serves tea Tuesday-Friday at 10 am. The still-functioning lighthouse uses an impressive lead crystal, prismatic Fresnel lens. (The fort is closed on weekends.)
The Botanic Gardens, northeast of the fort, is little more than a park and not worth a visit unless you are in need of a quiet place to rest for a minute. The gardens do, however, separate lower from upper Scarborough. But do check out Gun Bridge, located in town opposite the fire station: Its railings are made from old rifle barrels.
About 5 mi/8 km northeast of Scarborough (toward Roxborough) is Fort Granby—it's mostly in ruins, but the views are great and the cemetery is interesting. Not far away, on the outskirts of the village of Belle Garden, is the restored Richmond Great House. The whitewashed brick home has wonderful views of the ocean, lovely grounds and a taste of the old plantation days. The house is now a guesthouse with a collection of African art. Tours are available, and you can also grab a light lunch in the small, antiques-stuffed restaurant, where because it is so tiny, the chef will ask you what you would like to eat. Phone 868-660-4444.
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