Why Antigua Should be on Your Caribbean Bucket List

Shirley Heights Lookout

Nestled in the middle of the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, Antigua is a dream destination for sailors, yachties, history buffs, and beach bums. I was mesmerized by the island’s captivating charm, its nautical ports, the warmth of the island’s locals, and the stunning vistas at every turn. Here are my top reasons to visit Antigua now!

The Beaches

photo of body of water

Antigua boasts 54-miles of exquisite coastline outfitted with 365 stunning beaches, one for every day of the year. Half Moon Bay is considered Antigua’s most instagrammable beach, with milky white sand and water so blue it almost glows. Bodysurfers enjoy the south end, while snorkelers head to the calm waters north. Half Moon Bay Beach also houses two of the best bars on Antigua for grilled fish and rum cocktails.

Feeling adventurous? Head south to one of Antigua’s most remote beaches at Rendezvous Bay. Located along an undeveloped chunk of coastline, Rendezvous Beach is accessible only by foot or private yacht.

Separated from the rest of Antigua by a lagoon, families will love Ffryes Beach. A perfect compromise between busy and balmy. The low-key locale is seldom overcrowded and is a hit with families seeking a fun spot to enjoy the sand under the shade of the sea-grapes.

Hit Jabberwock Beach on the northeastern coast of Antigua for world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding (with instruction). One of the closest beaches to the V.C. Bird International Airport, Jabberwock is your fast-track to an Antiguan beach paradise upon arrival.

Beach at Curtain Bluff Resort
Pineapple Beach Club

The History

Betty’s Hope

Another top reason to visit Antigua is the history. There are so many fascinating historical sights to explore on the island. Betty’s Hope is a sugarcane plantation dating back to 1650. Hundreds of Africans lived out their lives on this and similar plantations, first as slaves, then as laborers after their emancipation in 1834. They worked under exhausting conditions and were especially skilled as craftsmen, boilers, and distillers. Today there are over a hundred sugar mill towers dotting the countryside of Antigua, an important reminder of the days of slavery under King Sugar.

Nelson’s Dockyard National Park in English Harbour is a must-see experience while on Antigua. The Georgian-era working naval dockyard is set in some of the most stunning scenery on earth. Designated a World Heritage Site in 2016, the park is a unique combination of history, heritage, and environment with spectacular scenic beauty, beaches, and sailing. The Copper & Lumber Store Hotel (above) is a lovely boutique property in the middle of it all, pairing an intimate, elegant feel with the fascinating naval history outside its doors.

Cloggy’s Cafe

A visit to Nelson’s Dockyard would not be complete without a lunch stop at Cloggy’s Cafe. Located at the Antigua Yacht Club, Cloggy’s serves up incredible seafood along with killer views of Falmouth Harbour and the multi-million dollar yachts that sail in and out of the harbour daily.

The Resorts

Hammock Cove Luxury Resort

Antigua has so many gorgeous resorts you will be hard-pressed to choose one, another top reason to visit Antigua. The luxury all-inclusive resorts on Antigua go above and beyond to create enriching experiences and unique amenities for their guests. Hammock Cove is an adults-only boutique resort best known for its Michelin-star dining options, personalized service, and uninterrupted luxury. Each of Hammock Cove’s villas comes with a personal butler and private plunge pool.

View from Hammock Cove luxury suite

Curtain Bluff Resort offers effortless island luxury, blending timeless seaside elegance with toes-in-the-sand charm. Tucked away on a rocky point with breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea on both sides, Curtain Bluff is a refined all-inclusive family resort with incredible amenities and service, every outdoor activity imaginable, and a breathtaking spa.

Curtain Bluff
Spa Views at Curtain Bluff

Galley Bay Resort is the quintessential castaway island experience and an ideal choice for couples seeking privacy and pampering. A tranquil setting with stunning beach and water views, Galley Bay Resort is a luxury all-inclusive resort designed for relaxation. Check out the secluded Gaugin suites with private plunge pools, and beachy, whitewashed interior for the ultimate romantic escape. Tap HERE to learn about another one of my favorite resorts in Antigua.

Galley Bay Resort
Beach at Galley Bay Resort

The Boats

Catamaran at St. James Club Resort

Antigua is a haven for sailors and yachties, so if boating is your thing Antigua is your island! I highly recommend getting out on a boat during your stay, as Antigua is breathtaking from the water! While I was in Antigua I took a Calypso Cat boat tour around the island. We experienced some incredible snorkeling on stunning Cades Reef, a fabulous lunch with endless cocktails, and amazing sunset views. We even had a dance party on deck with the Calypso Cat’s very entertaining crew.

Cades Reef
Falmouth Harbour Yachts

Final thoughts: Antigua is a spectacular island perfect for couples, families, and solo travelers too. Top reasons to visit Antigua are its stunning beaches, historical sights, and some of the finest luxury resorts in the Caribbean. Antigua’s picturesque harbours lined with yachts draw boaters from around the world to its magical blue waters.

To book your trip to Antigua contact me here. To explore other island possibilities for your next vacation to paradise, go to my destinations page or check out my other blog posts.

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