Antigua & Barbuda: More Than Just The Beaches
There are beach lovers everywhere, but some people prefer to spend only a portion of their beach vacation at the beach. If you are one of those people, let me introduce you to Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua is pronounced An-TEE' ga! It's popularly known as "Waladii" or "Wadadii" by most of the locals. The island is part of the country of Antigua & Barbuda. With about 68 square miles, Barbuda is a coral island just 30 miles north of Antigua. This twin-island nation lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, east, southeast of St. Kitts, and north of Guadeloupe and Dominica.
Antigua has a rich cultural heritage deeply rooted in a mixture of African Heritage melded with the influence of Colonialism which together creates a vibrant, spirited culture that remains strong until this day. Whether it's cricket, rum, food, or carnival, one thing is certain - feelings run deep.
Antigua is a picturesque island that people dream of visiting when they fantasize about a Caribbean getaway. It's lined with beautiful coastlines, brimming with bays, coves, and natural harbors, beautiful ocean views, and turquoise blue waters.
On Antigua, there are beautiful beaches of places 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.
It will take a 90-minute ferry ride north of the island to reach Barbuda, which is unbelievably edged with eight miles of pristine pink sand beaches. It gets its warm hue from the crushed corals in the sand.
What most people don't realize is that there is a lot more to this island than just the beaches. With a wide selection of markets, shops, and restaurants to tour while in Antigua, this island filled with rich colonial history offers plenty of activities away from the beach, there’s so much more to do!
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. It was a plantation that helped Britain generate considerable wealth in the Caribbean.
Established in 1674, it was named for 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 and Shirley Heights
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, shops, and even a museum where you can spend a fantastic day out in Antigua.
Shirley Heights is a great hike that you can take from the Dockyard. Shirley Heights is just under 500 feet above sea level, and the summit of this hike allows for views of Guadeloupe island and the active volcanic island of Montserrat, both located just to the south. It is also a prime spot for a great Sunday night party at the Shirley Heights Lookout Bar and Restaurant. For more nightlife fun head to Falmouth and English Harbors.
A few more...
Get an adrenaline rush by going, jet skiing, and tubing at Dickenson Bay
Hiking at the Lookout Trail and Carpenters Rock Trail
Watch a cricket match at the Antigua Recreation Ground
Soar over the beautiful blue waters of Antigua and Barbuda By Parasailing
Swim with the Stingrays
Try your luck at a casino
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