Top 10 things to do in Antigua
If you’re in the mood to wander around the West Indian island of Antigua then you’ll discover just over 50 miles of tropical shoreline that’s blessed by both the sun and the gentle lapping of the Caribbean Sea.
This is simply one of the most idyllic spots in the whole world and if you're lucky enough to be stepping foot onto the island and feeling the soft white sand sneaking between your toes then be assured, rest and relaxation are never far behind.
Aside from the enviable beaches and warm waves, Antigua is also well-known for its colonial heritage and for its sporting sons, of which, cricket is by far the most popular with Viv Richards being one of the island’s most notable stars.
If you want to find out more about what makes Antigua’s people tick and what you can do on the island other than catching a tan then check out the top 10 things to do in Antigua below that will give you plenty of ideas as well as making you green with envy.
#10 Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary
Currently accommodating over 150 donkeys that have been deemed at risk, this sanctuary, on the east coast, presents a great way to find out more about what the Humane Society is doing to save these noble beasts of burden. This makes for a great alternative from building sand castles and kids will love the chance to pet and feed the donkeys as well as browsing in the gift shop for donkey-related souvenirs or should that be souven…ears? No, probably not.
#9 Cedar Valley Golf Club
This is one of the island’s finest golf courses and has been enticing tourists to thwack a few balls since back in the 70s. As Antigua's only 18 hole course of championship quality you can expect to find perfectly manicured greens and far reaching fairways that are constantly maintained under the beating Caribbean sunshine. Rent some clubs, get some lessons, use the driving range, play a half course or go for the whole tin cup and, if all else fails, there’s a pretty good 19th hole from where to enjoy the view. Location: north of the island, three miles from St. Johns.
If you're hoping to practice your swing on your Antigua holiday, we recommend staying at Blue Waters, a secluded hotel offering sophisticated interiors, beautiful beachfront pools and gourmet a la carte dining. Or, if you prefer a larger resort with fabulous activities and entertainment, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa boasts beach party BBQs, six freshwater pools, a plethora of water sports and delicious dining to enjoy.
#8 Reservoir Range
There’s only so much splashing and lazing around that you can fit into one day and activity centres, such as Reservoir Range, offer an altogether different approach to taking it easy. Clay pigeon shooting, air pistols and archery are all on offer if you fancy going all Ernest Hemingway and there’s also a rum tour by Land Rover if you want to really seal the deal. Mountain biking, fishing and plenty of places to picnic; what more could you ask for?
#7 Devil’s Bridge
This is where all the cool kids hang out and if you’re in need of a few breaks and warm waves then check out the natural swirls around Devil’s Bridge on the east coast near Indian Town Point. Well-known for being one of the best places to swim in the area, Devil’s Bridge is also revered for its blowholes that have a tendency to spurt out warm water on unsuspecting tourists who just so happen to be strolling past.
Just a short walk from Devil's Bridge, you'll find The Verandah Resort & Spa, a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort that offers even more fun activities, including catamaran trips, crazy golf, and an amazing kids club for young guests to enjoy. For couples seeking a more romantic break, Hammock Cove is a nearby adult-only hotel, built up of private ocean-facing suites, all with their own infinity-edge plunge pool, as well as two elegant restaurants and a waterfall-style pool area.
#6 Snorkelling spots
Of course, for many, no visit to Antigua is complete without donning a mask and flippers and taking the plunge into the warm waters surrounding the island. Snorkelling is pretty much the greatest way to spend time away from your hammock. There are literally hundreds of areas to explore underwater, discover colourful coral reefs and fish while working on your back tan.
Top spot: if you’re looking for one of the best snorkelling locations then check out Long Bay on the north east coast, it is simply stunning! The adult-only Pineapple Beach Club resides on this striking beach, which will entice you with colourful Caribbean decor, a multi-level pool with waterfalls, and sensational island cuisine, all included in the price.
#5 Hell’s Gate
This is one of Antigua’s natural landmarks that will inevitably be one of the highlights of any trip to the island. Only reachable via boat but well worth the effort, you’ll find an archway that’s been carved over time by the Caribbean's warm waters and as such makes the perfect spot to explore and indulge in a little bit of rock pooling. Hell’s Gate is also an awesome location for snorkelling and swimming although once you check out the natural jacuzzi you may be hard pushed to attempt anything more strenuous.
#4 Shirley Heights
Overlooking English Harbour you’ll find one of the best view points on the island and it will come as no surprise that Shirley Heights was once used by the military to keep watch for marauding invaders. Today you’ll discover that the lookout points and gun battery serve more as a tourist attraction and the corresponding bar/restaurant is a regular haunt for party-goers every Sunday evening as the sun sets on yet another perfect week in the Caribbean.
#3 Nelson’s Dockyard
Antigua’s colonial and naval history is well-documented and if you’d like to learn more about Admiral Lord Nelson’s part in the island’s past then this is the ideal place to start. There’s a fine array of figureheads, anchors, monuments and artefacts dating back to Nelson’s time spent on the island and the modern marina presents plenty of glamour during events such as the annual sailing regattas.
The Inn at English Harbour is an excellent choice of hotel should you desire staying near this cultural attraction. Part of our Platinum Collection, this luxury hotel has just 28 elegantly-decorated rooms, so you're guaranteed a secluded stay, plus there's a beautiful beach, two romantic restaurants, and a complimentary water taxi to Nelson's Dockyard.
#2 Stingray City
Located on the east coast of Antigua, in Seaton’s Village, Stingray City does exactly what it says on the dive suit and enables you to get up close and personal to more rays than you’ll possibly be able to handle. This is pretty much snorkelling heaven and although it’s best known for its propensity for the nonstinging stingrays it’s also an exceptional spot for coral reefs and tropical fish.
#1 365 problems but a beach ain’t one
If you believe the locals then little old Antigua can boast 365 white sand beaches meaning that you get to choose a different spot to relax every day of the year. Whether or not there are actually that many beaches to choose from is a different story but one thing is for sure, what is actually on offer is amongst the best in the world with the likes of Carlisle Bay offering up just one example of tropical paradise.