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Reader’s Choice

What is the best tropical destination for diving, adventure, beer, rum and romance?  Caribbean Travel & Life releases the findings of their 2011 Reader’s Poll.

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Best of the Caribbean

Many of us have faced that common dilemma when planning a Caribbean holiday — where do we go to find the best beach, resort, adventure and party?  Caribbean Travel & Life has set out to provide some clarity by creating an annual Reader’s Poll to determine the Best of the Caribbean.  17,000 loyal readers were polled on what the islands have to offer.

Here are a few of our favorite picks:

Best Beach:  7 Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

The name says it all.  Seven miles of powdery sand, wide open views and turquoise water.  A perfect spot to spend an afternoon.

Best Island to Live On:  St. John, USVI

Among the most beautiful of the Virgin Islands, a strong infrastructure and no need for a work permit (for Americans anyway) makes St. John an enticing place to call home.

Best Festival:  Trinidad Carnival

The birthplace of Carnival and still the place to be, Trini Carnival remains the freakiest party in the entire Caribbean. (feathered headdress, body glitter and thong required)

Best Happy Hour:  Rick’s Cafe, Jamaica

There’s always a party going on at Rick’s, but it reaches its peak during happy hour when sunburned tourists and locals gather to watch the sunset and enjoy a few strong rum cocktails.

Best Overall Caribbean Island:  Puerto Rico

What’s not to like?  Secluded beaches, Old San Juan, world-class restaurants and bars…..and it’s fairly inexpensive and a short flight from dozens of big city airports.

Best Restaurant:  The Cliff, Barbados

Officially on our bucket list.  The Cliff has one of the best menus (and reputations) in Barbados.

Best Beer: Red Stripe

It’s a tasty beverage while sitting on a beach in Negril or enjoying back home after the Jamaican vacation ends.  Everyone loves Red Stripe.

Best Rum:  Cruzan, St. Croix, USVI

The best rum category is always an interesting one and this year Cruzan takes home the gold.  With a variety of well made rums in their portfolio, Cruzan has won over the hearts of many a Caribbean traveler.  From flavored rums to aged sippers, their line of rums is popular in USVI duty-free shops as well as in any decent liquor store back home.

To check out the rest of the Best of the Caribbean list, tune into Caribbean Travel + Life.