Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Antigua Island

Antigua Island, boats in the bay

Antigua is a West Indies Island Located in Close Proximity to Barbuda Island in the Caribbean Sea. Antigua has about 250 beaches. It was discovered by Columbus during his second voyage and he named it after Maria La Antigua, the Saint of Seville. Antigua offers its tourists a wide array of attractions from art to culture, from history to outdoors. Tourists get attracted towards an array of interesting places in Antigua such as beaches, historic monuments, sightseeing tours, outdoor recreations, cultural activities, nightlife and local cuisine. Here are the best 50 things to do and to see:

1. St. John, Antigua Capital

The capital and the largest city of Antigua and Barbuda is St John’s, a country situated in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. St. John’s is one of the most urbanized and cosmopolitan municipalities in the Lesser Antilles. The city is popular for its different shopping malls in addition to boutiques throughout the city, selling designer jewelry and haute-couture clothing. There are also many autonomous, locally-run establishments, selling a range of fashions. St. John’s attracts tourists from the many special resorts on the island and from the cruise ships which dock in its harbor at Heritage Quay and Radcliffe Quay several times a week.

This city is home to some interesting museums such as: the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda and the Museum of Marine Art, a small facility containing fossilized bedrock, volcanic stones, petrified wood, a collection of more than 10,000 shells, and artifacts from several English shipwrecks.

2.The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is a museum located in St. John’s, which is the capital city of Antigua. It is housed in the colonial Court House, constructed in 1747 on the site of the first city market, and is the oldest building which is still in use by the citizens. The museum presents both Arawak and colonial artifacts recovered on archaeological digs on the islands. It also displays a larger than life replica of an Arawak house, models of sugar plantations, with a history of the island, and also the famous Viv Richards’ cricket bat.

3. English Harbour

English Harbour is a resolution on the island of Antigua, in the extreme south of the island. It gained its name from the close by harbour in which the Royal Navy established its foot of operations for the area in the eighteenth century. Its population is 759 according to 2001 Census. English Harbour is a centre of boating, particularly yachting. There are two sheltered deepwater harbours nearby; The English Harbour and The Falmouth Harbour. English Harbour is well known for Nelson’s Dockyard, which occupies the site of the British Navy base. It presents restored buildings and other very famous historical artifacts from the colonial period of the dockyard, especially during the time it was commanded by Horatio Nelson.

4. Guiana Island

Guiana Island is the fourth largest island of Antigua and Barbuda also known as Guana Island is an island off the northeast coast of Antigua, in between the Parham Peninsula and Crump Island. It forms the southern coast of the North Sound. The island is owned by Allen Stanford, who is being investigated for fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Antiguan government is now considering seizing the land, with other Stanford assets.

5. St. John’s V.C. Bird International Airport

St. John’s V.C. Bird International Airport is one of the famous Tourist Attractions. V. C. Bird International Airport (IATA: ANU, ICAO: TAPA) is situated on the island of Antigua, 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of St. John’s, which is the capital of Antigua and Barbuda. In December 2005, the Antigua and Barbuda Millennium Airport Corporation announced for tenders to construct the first phase of a new passenger terminal designed to serve the airport for 30 years.

6. Stanford Cricket Ground

The Stanford Cricket Ground, colloquially known as “Sticky Wicket Stadium”, is a cricket ground in Osbourn, Saint George Parish, Antigua. It was formerly recognized as the Airport Cricket Ground, before it was taken over by Allen Stanford and rebuilt in 2004. It is the home ground of Leeward Islands, and has hosted many international twenty20, including both the 2006 & 2008 Stanford 20/20 tournaments and the 2008 Stanford Super Series. The stadium also hosts football matches for Antigua Barracuda FC of USL Pro.

7. Sea View Farm

Sea View Farm is a rural community in central Antigua. It is to be found half way between the capital St. John’s and Potworks Dam which is the island’s largest lake. Sea View Farm is very famous for being in the middle of the island and also become popular for its pottery. The township also has a school The Sea View Farm Primary. Elvie’s Pottery is the oldest pottery still in function in Antigua today where traditional handmade pottery can still be seen. This pottery is almost 200 years old and has gained a lot of tourist attraction.

8. Antigua Recreation Ground

Antigua Recreation Ground situated in St. John’s, on the island of Antigua, is the national stadium of Antigua and Barbuda. The ground has been used by the West Indies cricket team and Antigua and Barbuda national football team. It has Test cricket position. A large amount of great cricketers, including Andy Roberts and Richie Richardson actually began careers there. One of Antigua’s most popular personalities, Viv Richards, scored the fastest Test match century off 56 balls v England in the “Blackwash” series of 1986 at the Recreation Ground. It was also where Brian Lara twice set the record for highest individual Test innings, scoring 375 in 1994 and the current record of 400 not out in 2004, both times against England. In May 2003 the West Indies completed the highest ever successful run chase in Test Cricket at the ARG, making 418/7 against Australia in their fourth innings to win by 3 wickets. Antigua is well thought-out to be a good wicket on which to bat — hard and dry whilst which does not offers much bounce or movement to bowlers. A larger number of visitors wish to visit this stadium every time they visit Antigua.

9. Prickly Pear Island

Prickly Pear Island is a desert island approximately 650 meters off the north shore coast of the large amount larger island of Antigua, West Indies. The island measures approximately 100 meters north to south, and approximately 50 metres east to west. The island is uninhabited, but frequently used for recreational excursions. Tourist from all over the world come to visit Antigua and this island in particular has become very famous.

10. The Shekerley Mountains

The Shekerley Mountains are a collection of hills in southwest Antigua, which comprise all of the highest points on the island. The range stretches for 15 km along the south coast of the island from near Johnsons Point in the west to Falmouth in the east. The most prominent peaks in the range include The Mount Obama previously Boggy Peak, Signal Hill, Sage Hill and Monks Hill are among the other most prominent peaks.

11. All Saints

With the population of 3,413, All Saints is the third-largest township in Antigua and Barbuda. It’s situated in the middle of Antigua. Just 5 miles SE of here is the capital, St. John’s. Within the surrounding area of the town is Betty’s Hope, the first large-scale sugarcane agricultural estate in Antigua. Betty’s Hope was built in 1674 by Sir Christopher Codrington, the namesake of Codrington, and was named for his daughter, Elizabeth Codrington. Currently the only remaining structures are two stone sugar mills and the some remains of the still house; nevertheless its significant role in Antigua’s history has inspired its government to turn it into an open-air museum. This open-air museum is one of the most sought after tourist attractions. The area in the region of All Saints is known for its traditional pottery. Potter’s Village, a nearby settlement, is named after it.

12. Mercers Creek Bay

Mercers Creek Bay previously Belfast Bay is considered as a large bay in the northeast of Antigua. If you visit Antigua is one of beautiful places which you love to visit. The settlements of Willikies and Seaton’s stretch out close to the bay, which is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by a sequence of small islands, the largest of which is Crump Island.

13. Crump Island

Crump Island is an island off the northeast coast of Antigua. It is to be found to the southeast of Guana Island in Belfast Bay, close to the town of Seaton’s. This beautiful and naturally decorated island is a treat for the tourist. This island specially attracts visitors who are fond of relaxing and chilling out.

14. Great Bird Island

Great Bird Island is a small islet lying approximately three kilo meters north-east of Antigua. Measuring just 20 acres (81,000 m2), which is actually smaller than most city parks, it is the only place on Earth where you can see an Antiguan Racer (Alsophis antiguae) in the wild. The whole World population of this snake lives on the island. Named by sailors who were stunned at the large number of birds that they found living and nesting there, Great Bird Island is a miniature paradise. in addition to being the last protection of the Antiguan Racer, it is also home to a diversity of other rare creatures including the rare lizard Ameiva griswoldi, Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), West Indian Whistling Ducks and Red-billed Tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus). Luckily for the snake, there are no mongooses on the island,

15. Falmouth Harbour

Falmouth Harbour is a horseshoe-shaped natural harbour on the remote south of the island of Antigua. The tiny community of Falmouth lies close to its northern shore, and English Harbour is positioned close to its eastern shore. The harbour lies close to the eastern end of the Shekerley Mountains, a range of hills skirting Antigua’s south coast. Monk’s Hill, the easternmost hit the highest point in the range, lies instantaneously to the north of the harbour.

16. Bethesda township

Bethesda is a community in Antigua. It is situated in the southeast of the island, to the northeast of English Harbour, at the head of Willoughby Bay. Bethesda is a township. You can go into fields, pick natural resources such as Widdy-Widdy bush and went down to the sea and collect cockles and wilks (Livona pica). The city has a historical landmark- a Tamrind tree, which can be found about one and a half miles from Bethesda on the road towards the northeast. Where people used to sit and plan there strategy in fight against the tyranny the earlier rulers inflicted upon them.

17. Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights offers you some of the stunning overviews, you can look far out over English Harbour, and on a vacation afternoons the view is accompanied by barbecue, rum punch, and the plangent strains of steel band and music. The sprawling array of gun emplacements and military buildings is known today for the absolutely stunning prospect that it Shirley offers.

This location is named after General Shirley, the then Governor of the Leeward Islands when the regions was fortified in the late eighteenth century.

18. Fort James

Fort James was built during the first half 18th century, this scenic bastion was built with the intention to guard the harbor of St. John’s. The main attraction of Fort today is the excellent view of the surrounding harbour. The walls of the fort are still in excellent condition, and a few of the cannons are still in good condition and intact. The nearby is Heritage Quay that includes four duty-free shops, a hotel,, restaurants and a casino, all are part of the new developments in the downtown St John’s.

19. Fig Tree Drive

The Fig Tree is one of the rainforests in Antigua and its most picturesque drive wanders from the low central plain of the island up into the ancient volcanic hills of the Parish of Saint Mary that is in the island’s southwest quarter. The rough road passes through an area of lush vegetation and rainforest and rises to the steep farmlands around Fig Tree Hill before sliding to the coastline again. Figs are referred to as banana by Antiguans. Along the way are mango, banana, and coconut groves, as well as a number of pleasant little churches and old sugar mills.

20. Betty’s Hope

Betty’s Hope mill was built around 1674 by Sir Christopher Codrington, who came to Antigua from Barbados. The mill is named after for his daughter. There are over hundred stone windmill towers that still dot the Antiguan landscape, and the two restored ones at Betty’s Hope provide an excellent sense of the way these mills could have dominated the island during the hundreds of years when sugar production was the dominant economy of the country. This was one the first large sugar plantations of Antigua.

21. Indian Town National Park

It’s located on the eastern extremity of the island Indian Town Point; it is believed that this has been an Arawak campsite prior to the arrival of European colonists. There’s a Devil’s Bridge, which is a large and natural limestone arch on the shoreline of Indian Town Point, that offers one of the most spectacular views of the island. When there’s high tide, the rougher waves of the Atlantic force huge geysers of water through boreholes in the rocks near the bridge.

22. Devil’s Bridge National Park

It’s located on the island’s Atlantic coast; it is the exhibition place for Antigua’s natural and human history is Devil’s Bridge National Park, which is named for a natural arch carved out by the sea. The park features the limestone that forms Antigua’s foundation, the remnants of ancient coral reefs. Local historians record that slaves once jumped to their death off the arch, resulting in naming this place as Devil Bridge. This story may be untrue, but the arch is dangerous enough and visitors are warned not to attempt crossing the bridge.

23. The best time to visit

From enjoyment’s point December to May is a good period which also sees less rain, but rates are expensive and as it’s favorite time crowds are more. From expenses point of view the best time to to visit Antigua is from May to November, but it’s the island’s off-season. Rates are cheapest, and there might be the threat of hurricanes, the weather rarely escapes 80 degrees.

24. Hawksbill Beaches

The are four beaches in Hawksbill that are on the property of the Hawksbill Beach Resort, but they’re open for all tourists. Hawksbill has more peace and is quiet than Dickenson Bay. It offers less wildlife than Galley Bay Beach, or calmer waves than one you find at Half Moon Bay. This is a favorite spot and prime location for honeymooners. One of the Hawksbill beaches is where is clothing optional. Here sunbathing is also wonderful.

25. Dickenson Bay

Dickenson Bay is situated in St. John’s parish in the northwest Antigua. It is considered as the premier beach of the island’s 365 and this is because the Dickenson bay offers a little for every type of beachgoer. If you like lying in the warm sand, then this the right place to warm up your body? Here you can also go on a glass-bottom boat tour? Check. Even you can enjoy with a few dolphins swimming alongside you in the crystal clear water. Dickenson Bay is one of the more easily accessible Antiguan beaches.

26. Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is considered as one of the most breathtaking beaches of Antigua. It is far off from just about everything, and you need to put extra efforts to reach this destination. It is a best location for surfers and avid snorkelers, windsurfers, or if some one who just like beautiful scenery. Here you can also witness the waves crashing against the rocks to the left end of the beach and it provides you with some stunning beauty to click pictures.

27. Galley Bay Beach

It is located near Five Islands Village on the northwest coast of Antigua. It has tremendously white sand and crystal clear blue waters for you to enjoy on a beach. Hatching of sea turtles can enthrall you if you are fortunate enough. Sea turtles sometimes use the beach as a nesting place also. Galley Bay Beach has best of the surfing waves, and it is must-see for turtle lovers. Sea turtles very often lay their eggs here to nest, don’t forget to accompany by a camera.

28. Galleon beach

Galleon beach is located in the Freeman’s Bay. Where you can swim in the turquoise ocean, relax on the warm sands of Antigua? Enjoy doing a beach barbecue. You can also play tennis here on first class courts with the sea breeze keeping you cool. You can also Snorkel and discover a new world below the water. You can also watch unforgettable views of the sunset from the hilltop.

29. Pigeon Point

In more ways than one, if you are looking for a taste of Antigua, Pigeon Point is the right destination. It has golden sands and turquoise sea with abundant space for beach barbecues and picnics. Also, here you can experience the Antiguan lifestyle. On this beach locals and visitors mix and share the beautiful scenery of one of the Park’s most gorgeous beaches. There are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling in the day and occasional beach parties during night.

30. St. John’s Saturday Morning Market

St. John’s is located around a beautiful, natural deepwater harbor. Streets parallel to it climb gently to an open park in front of the Parliament building; where the Saturday morning market is located. From the cruise ship dock to Antigua’s Heritage Quay or Redcliffe Quay shopping centers St.John’s is the best place to shop. In the Saturday Morning Market Antiguan vendors sell a gamut, where you can bargain for souvenirs, fruits and vegetables, and tropical flowers.

31. Clarence house, Saint Paul 

Clarence house is built during 1804-1806 and located in Saint Paul, Antigua. It was the residence of the Commissioner of the Royal Navy’s Dockyard in Antigua. It is Historical place in Antigua. It has been the country residence of the Governors of Antigua and Barbuda. It has witnessed some natural calamities and got destroyed in some such disasters such as fierce winds, driven by hurricanes “Luis” and “Marilyn” in September 1998.This hurricane pulled down the verandas off two sides of the house, and damaged the stone walls and roof.

32. Pigeon Point Bay

Looking for a taste of Antigua in more ways than one, Pigeon Point is your destination. Taste one of Antigua’s 365 beaches with it’s golden sands and turquoise sea with plenty of space for beach barbecues and picnics. At the same time taste the Antiguan lifestyle. This is one of the beaches where the locals and visitors tend to mix more and share the beautiful scenery of one of the Park’s most gorgeous beaches. With plentiful opportunities for snorkeling in the day and occasional beach parties by night, this is the community beach to experience.

33. Jolly beach

Jolly beach is magnificent mile-long stretch of white sand, backed with palms, located in a huge bay with jade water, which is enclosed by massive headlands. It’s one of isolated beaches on the west coast. In the beach you can find concessionaires who can rent you a kayak or a pedalo. There are daily scuba trips offered by dive shops. There are a few of hotels in the bay, so the beach is usually busy.

34. The south-west corner

The south-west corner consists of three beautiful stretches of sand that include Darkwood Beach , Ffrye’s Bay, and Crab Hill Bay (Johnson’s Point) . They are relatively remote if you go by Antiguan standards and also undeveloped. The sand here is stunningly white and the sunset views are superb. There are not much beach bars and there a couple of small hotels only. Here independent tourists hit very frequently to escape the crowds, though there is a lively atmosphere with the Antiguans.

35. Crab Hill Beach

This beach is also sometimes referred to as Turner’s beach, Antigua. It is located on the south west coast of Antigua, between the villages of Crab Hill and Johnson’s Point. Crab Hill end is the best destination If you are looking for a quiet atmosphere. On the other end, is livelier and is frequently used as drop-off point for passing cruise ships which is near Johnson’s Point.

36. Runway beach

Antigua – originate on the north-west coast of the island of Antigua, this large stretch of covered in dust beach is one of the most admired beaches on the island by almost all the tourist who’s aim is to relax under the super calm atmosphere . Runway beach is also for having many hotels, restaurants, bars and rental villas, so is a good place to stay near if you like to remain near the focal point of nightlife and good restaurants.

37. Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay is located at the east of Urlings and near the hamlet of Old Road, site of one of the island’s most distinguished shoreline. Against a backdrop of coconut groves, two long beaches extend from the spot where Curtain Bluff, the island’s most deluxe hotel, sits atop a bluff. Here, where the calm Caribbean meets the more turbulent Atlantic, the water is impossibly blue. This island of late has become on of the prominent tourist attraction in Antigua.

38. Darwook Beach

A 5-minute drive south of Jolly Harbour Marina and the Jolly Harbour Golf Club is Darwook Beach located which is in the same vicinity as that of Carlisle Bay. Here you can find the most beautiful shimmering waters, almost crystal blue. The snorkeling is enormous, and you can feel that gentle trade winds will keep you cool. To be found in a tourist zone, it is more likely to be crowded — almost unbearably so when cruise ships are in port.

39. Turner’s Beach

Near Johnson’s Point on the southwest coast, Turner’s Beach is peaceful and calm. This Turner’s Beach is one of the best places to lie out in the tropical sun, cooled by trade winds which have cached the eyes of many. The beach has some very fine white sand and gin-clear waters. When ever the day is clear as it is most of the time, visitors can experience the volcanic island of Montserrat.

40. Long Bay fronts

Directly north of Half Moon Bay, east of the township of Willikies, Long Bay fronts the Atlantic on the distant eastern coast of Antigua. Guests of the Long Bay Hotel and the Pineapple Beach Club usually occupy this sandy strip. The shallow waters are home to spectacular coral reefs and offer great snorkeling. Tourists love to visit this place.

41. Natural wonders

Antigua is a very beautiful and naturally blessed island with a varied natural history. As with almost all the islands, animal & plant species are habitually not indigenous, either having found their way here by being blown on the trade winds, or brought here by ship.

42. The Antigua Carnival

The Antigua Carnival was started on August 1, 1834 when slavery came to end. It started when the local people went to the streets to express their joyful celebration of freedom. It always takes place around the last week of July up to the first week of August. Since then, the Antigua never stopped and the Carnival has developed into ten days carnival with revelry in a swanky manner of dance to the beats of the Calypso. Beauty pageants, flamboyant costumes, talent shows and music mark the fantastic celebration of happiness that is the Antigua Carnival.

43. Bird Island

The Birds Island is a bird watcher’s heaven. This is a site which offers you a picture perfect sight of various species of birds, living and escaping the harsh winter months. The bids that can be found here include Turns, Falcons, Doves and Ospreys to name a few. This is a great spot for family entertainment where kids can enjoy and know more about birds.

44. Cricket and Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Antigua is famous for Cricket and Antiguan consider cricket as national past time on the island. Vivian Richards, the famous and former captain of the West Indies team is one of these cricketers. Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium is in North Sound, Antigua. It was built to play cricket matches during the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The stadium has a capacity for nearly 20,000 people; the stadium is worth visiting which is about 15–20 minutes drive from the capital city, St. John’s.

45. Donkey Sanctuary

There is a Donkey century in Antigua located on the eastern side of the island near Bethesda, it offers a home for donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary is currently home to more than 150 donkeys. It is a favourite place for children and adults both. It offers visitors a good alternative to another day other than beach.

46. Flora

Mangrove habitats is one of the chief flora of Antigua, it provides a wealth of ecology. In the south is Antigua’s largest offshore island, Guiana Island, which has vast expanse of mangrove habitat. There are several types of mangrove plants in Antigua, the red variety which has its long roots into the sea is most vital for lobster, juvenile fish, crabs, and other aquatic life.

47. Fauna

Great Bird Island has a large as well as diverse variety of migratory and indigenous birds that spend time in nesting and roosting at different time of the year. Some of the important ones include the Red Billed Tropic Birds that only nest on rocky windward facing cliffs. The other non feather animal is Antigua Racer; it is totally harmless, non-venomous grass snake which is one of the rarest reptiles on the planet.

If you get lucky while diving it’s possible that you may get a glimpse of dolphins frolicking in the pristine waters of Antigua beaches.

48. Nightlife

Night life in Antigua is filled with fun with Limbo dancers, steel bands, calypso singers, folkloric groups you just need to find a right place, a right hotel. You can roam around Antigua at night looking for that hot local club or get information from natives. You can enjoy your dinner along with some of the best experiences of night life in some of the best hotels of the Island.

49. Cuisine

The national dish of Antigua is fungie and pepper pot. It is similar to Italian Polenta, made mostly with cornmeal. Other Antiguan dishes include: seasoned rice, saltfish, ducana and lobster. Antigua also has local confectionaries such as: raspberry, fudge, sugarcake, tamarind stew and peanut brittle which you can enjoy along with your family. In breakfast people have saltfish, eggplant (aka troba), eggs and lettuce. And in lunch peoplehave rice, macaroni or pasta, vegetables and/or salad, fish, chicken, pork, or beef.

50. Shopping

Antigua offers you lots of handy crafts to buy. Also look out for duty-free swimwear, English woolens and linens, Italian designer accessories. You can also buy jewelry, emeralds, watches, china, batik and crystal item . As souvenirs of Antigua search for pottery, fabrics, artwork, hand-printed straw items and rum.

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