Just down the road, in Rodney Bay, you can catch one of the island’s most high profile events – the St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. This annual showcase pulls in thousands of music and drama fans, thanks to a bill crammed with famous faces. Pigeon Island hosts a big chunk of the festival, with the likes of Flo Rida and Robin Thicke performing in in recent years. It’s only a 10-minute drive from Cap Estate, and comes hand-in-hand with colourful street parties and a week-long lively atmosphere.
The north east stretch of St Lucia's coastline is a big hit with scuba divers, thanks to the schools of colourful fish and warm Caribbean currents. Pull on a wetsuit, and you can swim with eagle rays, barracudas and lobsters on a reef shaped like a sleeping dinosaur. There are dive sites all along the seafront, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for shipwrecks on the seabed.
Pigeon Island's a must-see for history and nature buffs. Cannons still poke out from an 18th-century fort at the crest of the hill, built centuries ago by the British to fend off enemy ships. The island's since been designated a National Park and a National Landmark, and you can hike to the top for some of the best photo spots in St Lucia. It’s about 10 minutes’ drive from Cap Estate.
Cap Estate's a great base for ticking off St Lucia’s line-up of northern beaches. The most popular in the region's the crescent-shaped Reduit Beach, 10 minutes’ drive away in Rodney Bay. If you fancy sprawling out somewhere quieter, Plantation Beach and Smugglers Cove can be reached in the same time. On a clear day, look to the horizon and you can see St Lucia’s northern neighbour, Martinique, across the Caribbean Sea.
Less than 10 minutes’ driving will land you in Gros Islet, where you’ll get a peek beyond the tourist veil. The aroma of freshly-caught fish and uncorked rum bottles lingers around the shacks and shops, and every week there’s a lively street party which draws hundreds of people to the neighbourhood. Locals call it the Friday night ‘Jump Up’, and you can tuck into Caribbean street food while the drink starts to flow.
St Lucia Golf Club's shoulder-to-shoulder with Cap Estate, so hitting the fairway is a breeze. The 18-hole course is championship standard, and there’s nowhere else to tee off on the entire island. It’s got a grill restaurant in a Caribbean-style clubhouse, plus a rental shop in case you haven’t brought your clubs or shoes with you.