The beauty of Antigua extends far below the water line. Well-preserved coral reefs surround the coast of Antigua, making for superb snorkeling and scuba diving.
In size, Antigua measures approximately 14 miles long by 11 miles wide, a distance of 108 square miles. Antigua weather is generally warm and sunny, and strong winds make it a good place for sailing.
Antigua has a rich maritime history. With the British Navy in 1784, Admiral Nelson sailed into what later became known as English Harbour. His objective: Establish a Caribbean base.
Operating for years as a British colony, Antigua still holds on to aspects of British tradition, including a passion for the sport of cricket.
Theres not a tremendous amount of activity in Antigua, but what little there is is located on the island's northwestern end. Most restaurants, shops, nightlife, beaches, and watersports facilities lie north of the capital, St. John's.
Colorful, ragtag, and ungentrified in spots, St. Johns is a good place to purchase local artwork and mingle with native Antiguans. Market Street, which has both stores and street vendors, is especially lively in the mornings.
Antigua is a Haven for Sailors and Water Lovers
The beach and watersports are the main draw, and most Antigua attractions call visitors to the harbor. Each April, Antigua hosts Sailing Week, a spectacular yacht race that draws skippers, crew, and spectators from all over the world.
What makes underwater activities in Antigua so pleasant is that the temperature of the water is a comfortable 80 degrees, currents are almost non-existent, and visibility extends down to 140 feet.
Cades Reef, which foiled many an enemy ship, now lures snorkelers and divers. The wreck of the Andes is another undersea must-see. Lying 30 feet below sea level, the merchant ship sank in 1905.
On Dry Land in Antigua
Fifteen-acre Nelson's Dockyard National Park is among the biggest attraction in Antigua. Bird watchers, beach goers, history lovers, and nature fans will all find something to enjoy here, where buildings from the Georgian era have been restored. The Yard contains the Antigua heritage museum, gift shops, and boutiques.
Throughout the year, visitors to Antiqua hike up to Shirley Heights, the place to see and be seen on Sundays. To get there, follow the nature trail at the Galleon Beach Hotel that points To the Lookout.
At the 500-foot summit locals and visitors gather to enjoy a barbecue and listen to steel band music from 3pm-6pm and reggae music after that until 9pm. The setting sun always puts on an awesome show as it sinks into the horizon, and on a clear day you can see from Shirley Heights to English Harbour to the islands of Monserrat and Guadeloupe beyond.
Other Antigua attractions include casinos, maritime history tours, and the bird sanctuary on Barbuda, a flat coral island that lies approximately 30 miles north of Antigua.
Where to Stay
- The All-Inclusive: Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
- The Luxury Lodgings: Jumby Bay Resort
- Compare Prices on all Antigua Hotels
Search for a Flight to Antigua