St. Lucia’s swaying palms and easygoing pace belie its often tempestuous history. Head to Pigeon Island National Park where traces of the island nation’s former colonial rulers are closer to the surface than anywhere else. Fort Rodney, named for a British admiral, was established here in the 18th century and you can still see its fortifications and cannons, with views as far as Martinique to the north.
The protected surrounds make for interesting and undemanding walks, and there’s a small beach for swimming. If you arrive in May, the island calm is shattered (relatively speaking) by the annual Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, which despite the name covers a broad range of music.
Pigeon Island National Park is on the west coast of Saint Lucia, near the northern tip of the teardrop-shaped island, and is joined to the "mainland" by a causeway. It is around half an hour’s drive north of the capital, Castries.