Charlestown Nevis can hardly be called a city, as its population is only a couple thousand. However, it is the capital of Nevis and an important hub of transportation between the smaller island and larger island of St Kitts. The ferry comes in from the larger island twice a day, comprising the town's most important daily events, except when Culturama (held over two weeks in July), Carnival (held over the Christmas season), and other island-wide festivals occur. The ferries are carrying not only residents and visitors, but also goods and wares that are taken directly to the nearby local market.
Charlestown Nevis also boasts a long and colorful history, which many of the things to do in Charlestown are centered around. Simply strolling through this small town will reveal a wealth of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century colonial buildings that include several fascinating sites. There are some buildings still standing that bear scars from the cannon bombardment that ravaged the town from Brimstone Hill Fortress on St Kitts.
Here in the capital of Nevis is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (1757) . At his birth, he was the illegitimate son of a Scotsman. Later, he became an important statesman in the United States, serving in the first Continental Congress, being appointed Secretary of the Treasury, and later being killed in a duel. There is a fascinating Jewish Cemetery, a remnant of the once vibrant community of Sephardic Jews who brought the revolutionary process of crystallizing sugar to the island. It was the sugar produced from sugar cane on plantations that brought prosperity to these two small islands. You can experience some of this history at plantation inns scattered around both islands, including the gracious and luxurious Nisbet Plantation Beach Resort on Nevis. Other things to do in Charlestown that explore the island's history are visits to the Horatio Nelson Museum, which contains the largest collection of memorabilia pertaining to this great English admiral in the Western Hemisphere.
Many things to do in Charlestown involve the calm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. You can actually enjoy tours of the town and walk to the most popular beach on the island. Beautiful Pinneys Beach is located less than a mile away from the center of town. If you don't care to walk, a taxi will be happy to drop you off and come back for you at a prearranged time. In fact, the island is so small that a taxi will gladly drop you off at almost any of the beaches on the island. Pinneys Beach in Charlestown Nevis is where the exclusive Nevis Four Seasons is located, where you can enjoy the luxury of beautiful hotel rooms and suites or find opulent vacation rentals that are magnificent mansions.
While neighboring St Kitts boasts the more famous Mount Liamuiga, the capital of Nevis boasts beautiful lush hills that are excellent for hiking and provide spectacular views. Just south of the city is a wonderful Botanical Garden. From the city, you can also book diving cruises to the Atlantic Ocean side of the island for more challenging scuba diving and snorkeling.
Image: simonsimages (flickr)