Nevis is the smaller of the two islands that make up the small Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. A former British colony, the islands became independent in 1983. They are separated by a 2-mile (3.22 km) wide channel.
The island of Nevis is divided into five parishes:
Charlestown, the capital of Nevis, is a small, picturesque town, with a Main Street lined with Georgian stone buildings which are examples of the architectural style of the colonial era, sporting breezy balconies and wooden upper floors over a ground floor built of stone.
Several Nevisian buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries are still in use today. Hermitage Plantation in Saint John, built of lignum vitae wood in 1640, is the oldest surviving wooden house still in use in the Caribbean today. Bath Hotel of 1778, located just outside Charlestown, is the first hotel built in the Caribbean and once served as a luxury hotel and spa. The soothing waters of the hotel's hot springs lured many famous Europeans, including the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Antigua-based Admiral Nelson and Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, the future William IV of the United Kingdom. They attended balls and private parties at the hotel. Today, the building serves as the government headquarters and the hot springs are open to the public. Many of the churchs also date to this time as well as some of the reconstructed mills.
Topless sunbathing is not allowed on the beaches of Nevis.