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Dreaming of a tropical rainforest-filled honeymoon escape? Don't set your sights solely on South America. One hundred miles north of Venezuela lies one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean — Grenada — nicknamed the "Spice of the Caribbean." Think colonial charm from its French and English background, scenery that ranges from waterfalls to hot springs and rainforests, and tucked-away villas that lead straight out to the beach. Measuring up at just 133 square miles, this island is an easy one to crisscross over the course of a weekend with activities that range from the more adventurous (scuba divers will fall in love!) to full-on relaxation with just the sea, sun and your sexy other half.
Getting There: In just three and a half hours from Miami on American Airlines, you'll land on Grenada in the evening, right in time for cocktails and dinner. Flights are daily and the airport is just a 10-minute drive away from the resorts lining Grand Anse Beach. JetBlue and Delta also offer a few direct flights per week that clock in at around five hours of flying time, still less than a honeymoon across the pond to Europe.
Call Mount Cinnamon your home-away-from-home for the weekend, cozying up in one of the 21 villas dotting the hillside and gardens above the two-mile-long Grand Anse Beach, one of the nicest stretches of white sand on the island. The duplex-style whitewashed villas are the epitome of island eco-chic with billowy curtains, four poster beds and terraces facing the sea that double as the perfect spot for breakfast as well as Champagne come sunset. After freshening up, head down to a candlelit dinner at farm-to-table restaurant Savvy's, where the chef will pluck produce straight from the resort's onsite garden — this goes for coconut water, too! (Rates from $415 per night)
It's not hard to get on island time here. Sleep in and then decide where you'd like your morning couples massage: villa or seaside cabana? Indulge in the signature Cinnamon Massage that weaves local ingredients into oils like nutmeg and cinnamon taking away any lingering post-wedding (and flight) stress, and getting you into full-on honeymoon mode in no time.
Trek down to the beach club and spend the rest of the morning and afternoon seaside, pausing for a BBQ lunch at the Beach Cabana tucked into the gardens along Grand Anse Beach. You can't go wrong with the grilled fresh catch of the day, served up alongside a tropical medley of melon salsa and BBQ'ed breadfruit.
The island is surrounded by over 50 dive sites sitting above colorful coral reefs, shipwrecks and one of the highlights of them all — the Underwater Sculpture Park. Head out on a half-day snorkeling trip with Savvy Grenada Sailing Charters ($65 per person) on a hand-built sailing sloop inspired by the style of those used in the early 1800s for trading rum, cigarettes and spices from St. Barths to Trinidad. Cruise from St. George's Harbour along the West Coast to the sculpture park — the first in the world — with over 60 statues by English sculptor Jason Taylor. Inspired by Grenada's folklore, these works of art are easily visible from surface level while snorkeling.
Don't want your time on the water to end? Set off into the sunset on a two-hour cruise ($45 per person) toasting to your new nuptials island-style with rum punch on board Savvy. When it's time to head back to shore, dine with your toes in the sand at local favorite Coconut Beach Restaurant, on the northern end of Grand Anse. Set in an antique house, this low-key locale is perfect for honeymooners to sit back and enjoy the sound of the waves while dining on French Creole cuisine with a Grenadian twist. Order a bottle of chilled Chardonnay and dig into a feast of conch salad, lobster crepes, fish creole, and Caribbean chicken stewed and seasoned in Grenadian herbs and spices.
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Start the day on a sweet note with a cappuccino and Italian pastry — or something a bit more island-influenced like the banana-mango muffins — at Sweetly Confectioners before hitting the road for a full-day island tour. First stop: a trip to open-air St. George's Spice Market, strolling the stands of nutmeg, ginger, clove and fresh produce set up under tents and along the street. This market really heats up come Saturdays, with roads closing down to make way for vendors pedaling their fares.
Continue the trip hugging the west coast by car with the next destination being one of the island's most scenic — the Concord Waterfall — where you can spend the rest of the morning swimming and snapping Facebook pics sure to make everyone back home jealous. (Edwin Frank runs his own tour company and has been in the biz here for over 20 years, so not only is he a guide extraordinaire when it comes to history, he also knows some of the more hidden spots on the island; +1-473-407-5393).
Once you reach the northern part of Grenada, pause for lunch at the Belmont Estate Restaurant, tucked into the hills of a 17th century plantation that still functions as an organic farm and cocoa processing facility. Learn the process of bean to bar when it comes to chocolate on a quick tour before popping into The Grenada Chocolate Company to sample a bit of the small-batch organic dark chocolate.
After lunch, try a digestif in the form of a rum tasting at the oldest continuously operating rum distillery in the Western Hemisphere, River Antoine Rum Distillery, dating back to the 1800s. It's only $2 to take a guided tour of the water-propelled distillery that still crafts rum the way the French did on the island centuries ago.
Cruise through Grand Etang Forest Reserve around the 30-acre Grand Etang Lake, sitting inside an extinct volcano crater, admiring the park's lush mountains and tropical plants before heading somewhere even more remote.
A 40-minute drive away on the east coast of the island lies La Sagesse beach, a grey- and white-sand stretch that's one of the most romantic on Grenada. Stop for dinner in the gardens within views of the sand at La Sagesse Beachfront Restaurant, with a menu of local fish and lobster, plus veggies grown right on the restaurant's organic farm in the rainforest.