By Allison Tibaldi, Taking the Kids correspondent
St. Lucia, one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, is known for its natural beauty. It’s a popular honeymoon destination, but it’s equally fine for a family vacation. The Caribbean beaches are spectacular plus there’s plenty to do beyond the sun, sand and sea.
Natural attractions include the twin Pitons, rainforest and a drive-in volcano. Culturally rich offerings, such as the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, yesteryear fishing villages and hands-on chocolate-making classes that utilize locally grown cacao beans, offer an authentic window into local life.
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort is a 90-minute drive from the airport. My family and I were lucky enough to have spent our spring vacation here. JetBlue flies nonstop daily from JFK, so getting to St. Lucia was easy.
Designed to look like a Mediterranean village, brick paths meander through acres of gardens and sparkling swimming pools.
The casual vibe, comprehensive children’s program, powdery sand, calm turquoise water and array of waterfront activities make it a prime place for a family vacation.
The resort has 195 units, including villas, suites and standard hotel accommodations. We were traveling with a large multi-gen family group, so there was a room configuration to fit a variety of budgets and family sizes.
North Point Villas
For families seeking posh digs, book one of the eight North Point villas. All North Point villas have three bedrooms, so there’s lots of space.
Contemporary and comfortable furnishings are the essence of beach-chic. Natural wood, crisp white walls and paintings by local artists add personality and a sense of place. Private infinity pools are icing on the cake.
The Jacquot Fun Club
The Jacquot Fun Club provides supervised daily activities for children 4–12 years of age as well activities for teens ages 13–17. The programs run daily from 10 am-4 pm and again in the evening.
Activities include yoga, basketball, hands-on mocktail workshops, pizza parties and off-property trips.
All-Inclusive or Not: It’s Your Choice
Vacationers have the option of booking an all-inclusive package or a room-only option. If you opt for the all-inclusive plan, you’ll have lots of opportunities to sample the resort’s delectable cuisine.
With five al fresco restaurants and four bars, there are a variety of local and international dishes on the menu. The culinary team exploits the bounty of local edibles so expect fresh, healthy choices.
You may have to drag the kids away from Toppers Ice Cream Shack. The locally made frozen desserts are the perfect beach treat.
Both motorized and non-motorized water sports, including waterskiing, snorkeling and windsurfing, are included for guests on the all-inclusive plan. Non-motorized sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling, are free for all resort guests.
For more information, visit http://www.stlucia.org.