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Silken sands. Captivating coves. Secluded shores. There are 365  beaches of Antigua, one for each day of the year. Tucked along the bays of the island, they are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean.  Antigua's special Caribbean charm, its enormous range of activities, and the lazy pace make this pretty island an ideal tropical destination in every respect.

Antigua MapIf you can tear yourself away from the beaches, a visit to Nelson's Dockyard at English Harbour promises a delightful day with its quaint mix of shops, restaurants and English taverns.St. John's, the capital and main town, is also a premier shopping destination. Shops and restaurants at Redcliffe Quay are set around courtyards. For duty-free shopping, visit Heritage Quay. You can also do well in shops located around the island. Best buys include perfume, liquor, emeralds, jewelry, china and crystal.






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Resorts on Antigua are your base for sailing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing and diving. Most have tennis, too. Rex Halcyon Cove and Sandals Antigua Resort & spa are located in northwestern Dickenson Bay, which offers the widest variety of sports and activities on the island.  Half Moon Bay and Long Bay are both known for unforgettable snorkeling and diving, while the perfect end to any day awaits with spectacular sunsets from Fort Berkeley and Shirley Heights.

Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands, is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, encompassing 108 square miles. Antigua has a pleasant tropical semiarid climate, enjoying hot dry days while the North East Trade Winds make the nights cool and comfortable.Temperatures generally range from the mid-70s in the winter to the mid-80s in the summer. Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches and the northeast trade winds are nearly constant, flagging only in September. Low humidity year-round.


 Resorts & Ratings - Antigua

Click here for a description of Resort Ratings


Blue Heron by rex resorts - All Inclusive


Galley Bay - All Inclusive


Grand Pineapple Beach - All Inclusive


Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort - All Inclusive & European Plan


Halcyon Cove by rex resorts - All Inclusive & European Plan


Hawksbill by rex resorts - All Inclusive


Jolly Beach Resort - All Inclusive


Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa


St. James's Club - All Inclusive & European Plan


Things To See And Do Antigua

 Things "To See & Do" - Antigua



Northwest Coast:

Antigua BeachDickenson Bay and Runaway Bay, located along the island's developed northwestern coast, are the place to go for those who want the fully-loaded resort beach experience. The beaches most convenient to St. John's are Fort James, a locally-popular public beach, and Deep Bay. Galley Bay attracts surfers during the winter months and a joggers during the evening. The series of four crescent beaches at Hawksbill are also highly regarded, one of which is nudist.


Southwest and South Coast:

The beaches of the hilly southwest corner of Antigua are generally less developed than those around St. John's further north. On the road that winds along this coast are Fryes Bay, Darkwood Beach, and the beaches around Johnsons Point. Rendezvous Bay and especially Doigs Beach, both located on the central southern coast at Rendezvous Bay, are especially quiet beaches worth the rough travel necessary to reach them. Pigeon Point, near English Harbour Town, is a convenient balm after a day at Nelson's Dockyard.


East Coast:

On the southeast corner of the island is Half Moon Bay, now a National Park and a good choice for a family outing. Long Bay, on the easternmost point of the island, is another good choice for families, as it is completely protected by its reef.


English Harbour

English Harbour, Antigua's graceful and evocative historic district, is focused on the fifteen English Harboursquare miles of Nelson's Dockyard National Park. Developed as a base for the British Navy in the great age of sail, the harbour served as the headquarters of the fleet of the Leeward Islands during the turbulent years of the late 18th century. Although the dockyard was greatly expanded at that time by Horatio Nelson, it was gradually abandoned in the nineteenth century and was closed in 1889. Today Nelson's Dockyard has been completely restored, and it is now the only Georgian dockyard in the world.

Almost all of the park's other sites of interest overlook the harbour. The closest of these is Clarence House, a residence built for the future King William IV (1765-1837) when he served under Nelson as captain of the H.M.S. Pegasus. Further above the harbour, at Shirley Heights, are the partially-restored fortifications of the harbour's colonial observation post; the view from Shirley Heights extends out over the harbour and far across the Caribbean to Montserrat and Guadaloupe. On Sundays the vista is enhanced by barbeque and live music at the bar there (Steel Band music from 3-6 pm & reggae from 6-9). Shirley Heights can be reached via Lookout Trail, a nature walk that rises from the harbour through a forest of trees--descending the trail is not advisable after dark or barbecue revelry.

English HarbourAlong Lookout Trail and near Shirley Heights is Dow's Hill Interpretation Center , at which visitors can watch an impressive multimedia presentation of Antigua's history, from its initial settlement to independence. Observation decks at Dow's Hill provide another fine view of the harbour, as do the ruined fortifications of Fort Berkeley, located on the far side of the bay and reached by a walk around its perimeter. All of these points, as well as the park's convenient beaches, become especially popular spectator positions during Sailing Week.


St. John's

The skyline of St. John's, the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda, is dominated St. John's Antiguaby the magnificently evocative white baroque towers of St. John's Cathedral. Built in 1845, the church is now in its third incarnation, as earthquakes in 1683 and in 1745 destroyed the previous structures. The towers are the first sight of Antigua for about half of the island's visitors each year, many of whom arrive by boat. With its recently completed cruise ship dock and several hotels, St. John's is a lively hub for shopping and dining.

For those interested in the early history of the island, there is the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, housed in the colonial Court House (1750). The museum displays both Arawak and colonial artifacts recovered on archaeological digs on the islands. It also features a thought-provoking, life-size replica of an Arawak house, models of sugar plantations, etc.

On Friday and Saturday mornings, be sure to visit the vibrant farmers market on the southern edge of the city. Folk crafts, colorful tropical fruits, and a buzzing crowd make for a lively morning.



Both Antigua and Barbuda are almost completely surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs, walls, and shipwrecks. The southern and eastern coasts of Antigua and virtually the entire coast of Barbuda are surrounded by shelfs, providing excellent conditions for spectacular shallow diving and snorkeling. There is little or no current in most places, and the water Diving Antiguatemperature averages about 80 F (25 C). Underwater visibility ranges from 50 to 140 feet, and tropical marine plants and animals are diverse and plentiful. Snorkeling is possible at many of both islands' most beautiful beaches; one of Antigua's best-known offshore sites, Cades Reef, is now partly contained in a designated underwater park. Another popular destination is the wreck of the Andes, a three-masted merchant ship that sank in 1905 and now rests in less than thirty feet of water in (ironically enough) Deep Bay. Antigua's dive facilities are far superior to those available on smaller Barbuda, and so most of the sites that have been established as dive destinations are Antiguan. The southern and eastern coasts are considered to offer the most consistent diving; for more advanced divers, the ledge of Sunken Rock on the south coast is a popular site. Dive depths generally range from 25 to 80 feet and can reach 180 feet; distances from shore to site are in some cases no more than five minutes and at most 40 minutes away.

Barbuda's encircling reefs contain an enormous number of wrecks, most of which are yet to be explored; in fact, the Codrington fortunes on Barbuda were intimately linked to their acquisition of rights to the wreckage in the 17th-century. To dive off Barbuda, it is best to make arrangements with a dive shop on Antigua to have the necessary equipment taken over by air or boat.


 Sea View Farm Village

Antiguan folk pottery dates back at least to the early 18th century, when slaves fashioned Sea View Farm Villagecooking vessels from local clay. Today, folk pottery is fashioned in a number of places around Antigua, but the center of this cottage industry is Sea View Farm Village. The clay is collected from pits located nearby, and the wares are fired in an open fire under layers of green grass in the yards of the potters' houses. Folk pottery can be purchased at outlets in the village as well as at a number of stores around the island. Buyers should be aware that Antiguan folk pottery breaks rather easily in cold environments.


 Harmony Hall Art Gallery

Harmony Hall Art GalleryHarmony Hall, in Brown's Bay at Nonsuch Bay, is the center of the Antiguan arts community. Exhibits change throughout the year, but the annual highlights are the Antigua Artist's Exhibition and the Harmony Hall Art GalleryCraft Fair, both in November. The sugar mill tower around which Harmony Hall is built has been converted to a bar and provides its patrons with one of the island's best panoramic views, including a fine prospect of Nonsuch Bay.



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