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When the sun goes down, the locals "lime" (which can mean anything from getting together for a drink and casual chat to enjoying a full-blown "jump-up" or street party). Occasional performances by world-renowned stars and regional groups are major events, and tickets can be hard to come by—but give it a try. Most resorts have nightly entertainment in season, and nightclubs often have live bands for listening and dancing. The busiest bars and dance clubs rage until 3 am. On Saturday nights, some clubs—especially those with live music—charge a cover of $15 or more. Many bars and nightspots feature happy hours.

Barbados supports the rum industry with more than 1,600 "rum shops," simple bars where (mostly) men congregate to discuss the world or life in general, drink rum, and eat a cutter (sandwich). In more sophisticated establishments, you can find upscale rum cocktails made with the island's renowned Mount Gay and Cockspur brands—and no shortage of Barbados's own Banks Beer.