The tangled history of St. Lucia has played out on this 44-acre nature reserve and national landmark on the island's northwest coast. Here lived Amerindian tribes, pirates, 18th-century French and British soldiers, whalers—and even a British actress with a penchant for entertaining. With twin hump-backed peaks, this green, rugged island is an island no more, joined to the mainland by a causeway in 1972. Today Pigeon Island National Landmark draws visitors and cruise ship passengers with its handsome 18th-century ruins and fortifications, museum/interpretation center, two small, pretty, white-sand beaches, and a 330-ft. lookout point, Signal Peak, where the sea views extend to the island of Martinique. You can also climb a well-marked path to Fort Rodney, established when Admiral Rodney defeated the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. Located in the restored British officers' mess (circa 1808), the museum/interpretation center holds artifacts and multimedia displays detailing St. Lucia's history, from the Amerindian occupation to the seesawing battles between French and British naval forces for control of the island. Pigeon Island is also a center-stage locale for the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival (, held annually in early May. Food and drink are available year-round on the island.