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A Southern Caribbean paradise, Barbados draws more than a million travelers each year, thanks to its legendary white sand beaches, the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery and friendly locals noted for their island hospitality. But there’s something this island has over its Caribbean competition and her name is Rihanna. Recently appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Barbados, which gives the pop icon the official responsibility to promote education, tourism and investment for the island, Riri is a Barbados tourism magnet all on her own. If you want to explore Rihanna’s fave Barbados spots, follow our very own Rihanna trail.

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rihannadrive

Rihanna Drive | Photo  courtesy of R. Cummings-Yeates

Rihanna Drive

It’s best to start at the beginning and that means the Bridgetown the brightly painted house in St. Michael’s parish where Rihanna grew up. It sits on recently dedicated Rihanna Drive, a street formerly known as Westbury New Road. Stroll the residential street and neighbors will wave and maybe tell you a few things about Riri ‘s childhood. A plaque with a photo of the star and her history marks the corner of the street, along with an official street sign. A bar next to the plaque displays bright red bottle caps with Rihanna’s hits painted on the sidewalk and a collage of her song titles, along with suggestions to “pour it up,” at the side of the corner bar.

One Sandy Lane

It’s no surprise that the most luxurious address in Barbados is where Rihanna’s current home is located. Although security is meticulous at One Sandy Lane, guaranteeing that you won’t be able to get in to gawk at her $22 million home, you can visit one of her favorite beaches right in back. Sandy Lane Beach is a calm stretch of golden sand that, like all Barbados beaches, is open to the public. It’s also a nesting place for Hawksbill turtles ,so if you don’t spot bad gyal Riri,  you might just spot one of these protected reptiles.

Daphnes

Daphne’s restaurant | Photo courtesy of Daphne’s

Daphne’s

The island is filled with elegant eateries, but Rihanna is a fan of Daphne’s, an oceanfront restaurant on Barbados’ famed Platinum Coast serving up modern Italian dishes. Be sure to try a dish that reflects Bajan seafood highlights like linguine with Caribbean lobster or grilled yellow fin tuna with garlic and chili spinach.

Oistins

A stop by Oistins is a requirement for every visitor to the island, no matter how many times you’ve been and this is true for Rihanna as well. She loves this lively fishing village on the south coast of the island, where an array of shacks serve up delicacies like flying fish, marlin and lobster every weekend night. There’s also music and craft vendors at this informal street fest.

Chefette

All over Barbados, you will notice bright purple and yellow signs for Chefette restaurants. This uniquely Bajan fast food chain is beloved by Rihanna and most islanders for its flavorful fried chicken, rotis (wraps featuring curried ingredients) and chips (fries).  Drop by for a taste of casual local culture.

rum shop

Old Brigand Rum Shop | Photo courtesy of R. Cummings-Yeates

Dominoes at a rum shop

Besides cricket, one sport that’s played across the island is dominoes. You’ll see locals playing everywhere but particularly at rum shops. Not just a place to drink, but a place to socialize and catch up on gossip, rum shops are an authentic part of Bajan culture.  Rihanna likes to stop by random rum shops and play a game so visit any rum shop and sample the rum, as well as a dominoes game.

Tagged: Caribbean, Destinations

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

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