I feel that as a vacation destination, Antigua is absolutely perfect. Some destinations offer great beaches, some abundant wildlife, some interesting cultural attractions and some stunning scenery. But when I visited, I realized that Antigua is unique in that it offers all of this in one fabulous destination.
Antigua is situated in the Caribbean east, southeast of St. Kitts and north of Guadeloupe and Dominica. It is a picturesque island that people dream of visiting when they fantasize about a Caribbean getaway because it offers beautiful ocean views and turquoise blue waters. But there is so much more. Let me tell you all of the things that I love about Antigua.
365 Beaches – One for Each Day of the Year
Most people know Antigua for its beautiful beaches like Half Moon Bay, Dickenson Bay, Galley Bay, and Valley Church. These are just the right places to enjoy sunbathing, water sports with the family, swimming, and snorkeling fun. A popular activity when you visit is to board a boat and spend an afternoon circling the entire island. When you do, you see firsthand just how many stunning beaches surround this destination.
Betty's Hope was the first and the most abundant sugar plantation on the island of Antigua. It stands as a reminder of the role that Antigua played in the British Colonial Era. Established in 1674, it was named after the daughter of one of the former owners. The comprehensive visitor’s center and museum educate tourists on the daily lives of slaves on this plantation. It also offers a way to step back into the past and understand Antigua’s rich history.
St. John’s Saturday Morning Market
St. John is the capital of Antigua and is the center of island life on Saturday mornings. This market draws in vendors from all over the island and provides a wonderful place for tourists to spend time. This market is a beautiful reflection of Antigua. You can get in touch with the locals, their incredible culture, and their fun way of life.
Nelson’s Dockyard National Park
Nelson's Dockyard, located in English Harbor, served the British Naval Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). It also served as the headquarters for Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson from 1784-1787. The area is filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and even a museum where you can spend a fantastic day out in Antigua.
Shirley Heights is just under 500 feet above sea level, and the summit of this peak allows for views of Guadeloupe island and the active volcanic island of Montserrat, both located just to the south. During your time in Antigua, you must visit Shirley Heights on Sunday night to join the great Sunday night party at the Shirley Heights Lookout Bar and Restaurant. Enjoy a delicious BBQ while you watch the gorgeous sunset then dance the night away to live music.
Stingray City Antigua
Fun for both children and adults, Antigua offers great opportunities to interact with local wildlife. One example, is swimming with and feeding the stingrays at Stingray City. With the Stingrays free to come and go as they please this is one of the few fence-less animal interactions in the world.
A popular saying is that we don’t travel to escape life but so that life doesn’t escape us. Antigua is one of those destinations that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed, having learned a little history, experienced local culture, enjoyed some beautiful scenery and all while relaxing in the sun and sand.
I would love to help you plan a vacation that includes all that Antigua has to offer. Contact me to start planning.