Even before the United States of America became a nation, its residents enjoyed visits to the islands of the Caribbean. George Washington took his only trip outside colonial America in a visit to Barbados in 1751, 15 years before he became the first president of the new republic. Barbados was then a British colony and the American colonists had not yet separated from the mother country they shared with Barbados.
Follow in Washington’s path, visiting the house where he lived for two months. The Barbados National Trust has preserved the house, providing not only a “George Washington slept here” claim, but also a glimpse of life in Barbados 250 years ago.
Start on the ground floor to see the house as it was lived in historically. You’ll recognize a face basin and chamber pot, essential because there was no indoor plumbing at the time. But you may puzzle at the three stacked masonry jars that were used to filter and chill water using principles of diffusion and evaporation; simple, but effective technology in the age before bottled water and refrigeration. Some of the dishes and utensils in the kitchen were recovered from a gully behind the house.
On the second floor, see 18th-century items for medical applications. George Washington and his brother Lawrence traveled to Barbados to address Lawrence’s tuberculosis, and George contracted smallpox while he was there. They both needed medical attention. Barbadians give credit to the skill of their Dr. Lanaham who helped Washington return to good health and go on to become a world leader.
Investigate an exhibit on slavery. Learn about agricultural methods from the 1700s from farming artifacts and daily life from cooking implements. Then see the darker side of slavery with the display of manacles and other tools for punishment.
George Washington House is in Bridgetown, a short walk from other historic sites. It is open Monday through Saturday and has free on-site parking.
Located in Garrison Historic Area, this beachfront resort is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Garrison Savannah and Brownes Beach. Barbados Parliament Buildings and Kensington Oval are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Overlooking a Caribbean beach to the west and Carlisle Bay and Bridgetown to the north, this 350-room resort hotel on Needham's Point in Barbados includes partially restored 17th-century Charles Fort.
Nestled on the beach, this Parish of Christ Church resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Rockley Beach, Brownes Beach, and Barbados Parliament Buildings. Worthing Beach and Hastings Rocks are also within 10 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Parish of Christ Church resort is within 2 mi (3 km) of George Washington House, Brownes Beach, and Barbados Parliament Buildings. Kensington Oval is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.
Located on a white-sand beach within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this South Coast hotel in Barbados is 7 km (less than 5 mi) from St Lawrence Gap's nightlife and restaurants; Bridgetown's shopping is 4 km (less than 3 mi) away.
This family-friendly Bridgetown resort is located by the ocean, within 1 mi (2 km) of Garrison Savannah and Brownes Beach. Barbados Parliament Buildings and Kensington Oval are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Parish of Christ Church, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Surf in Barbados Surf School and within 3 mi (5 km) of Brownes Beach and Barbados Parliament Buildings. Kensington Oval is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Parish of St. Michael apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Garrison Savannah and Brownes Beach. Barbados Parliament Buildings and Kensington Oval are also within 3 mi (5 km).