Travel to Antigua and Barbuda, and the first thing you’ll hear is that this little nation has 365 beaches: one for every day of the year. From resort beaches on Antigua to secluded pink-sand beaches on Barbuda, there’s plenty for water-lovers to see and do. Besides the beaches, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Calm harbors and protective coral reefs make this a great place to scuba dive or take in an exciting yacht race during sailing week. Not only that, but there are also several delicious restaurants for you to sample, offering upscale cuisine from across the world. Not your thing? Not to worry. You still have plenty of cultural activities and offerings to explore. So even if you do manage to visit all 365 beaches, there are plenty of activities to keep you coming back.
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Mapping Out Antigua
Antigua is the main island, boasting 365 beaches and a coastline of gorgeous coasts and scenic harbors. Head west to St. John’s, the nation’s capital and largest city, which offers local culture and serves as the docking point for cruise ships. Moving inland, the remnants of the sugar industry – such as a plantation, a church, and a fort – provide a glimpse into the island’s history. English Harbor, on the south coast is home to Nelson’s Dockyard. To the north, Barbuda, Antigua’s sister island, is famous for its pink-white sand piled on the gorgeous beaches. Ready for the cool fact of the day? Pink sand just happens to be the island’s primary export!
Restaurant Preservation Initiative
Antigua’s independent restaurants offer delicious delights that are definitely worth checking out. For example in Redcliffe Quay, Pizzas in Paradise serves tasty pizza concoctions and lip-smacking island specialties like lobster and seafood pizzas.
Le Bistro offers elegant, French cuisine and a strong wine list in an intimate setting. The chef prepares everything from fresh seafood to duck to escargots. The view through large windows and the upscale decor blend into an exotic melange of French luxury and Caribbean beauty.
Cecilia’s High Point Café is a laid-back beachfront cottage. But don’t let High Point‘s looks fool you. The food is a step above. Cecilia's mix of fine dining and friendly atmosphere make this a coveted restaurant. All these restaurants offer something special, so curb your appetite with a savory meal.
They Have How Many Beaches??
We searched through the island’s 365 beaches to give you the top 3 you need to see.
- Even though the half-mile beach at Half Moon Bay is not exactly easy to get to, the white sands, coral reef, excellent surfing and snorkeling make the trip completely worthwhile.
- At Pigeon Point near Falmouth Harbour, 2 white-sand beaches offer equally awesome swimming and snorkeling.
- Head to Barbuda for the famous Pink Beach. Crushed coral makes up part of the sand, so the whole beach has a rosy shine. This beach, located on Antigua's sister island, is low in amenities but high on beautiful tranquility.
These probably won’t be the only beaches you visit, but they’re unforgettable starting points.
Nelson’s Dockyard Is Your Dockyard Too
Shop and dine at Nelson's Dockyard, and span the bridge between past and present.This dockyard’s claim to fame is remarkable and specific. It’s the only working Georgian-era dockyard in the world. Nelson’s has been in use since 1704 and has hosted sailors such as Horatio Nelson and King William IV. The Dockyard Museum tracks the site's course through history, offering stories, artifacts and insight into the fascinating people and events in the Dockyard's past.
Once you've learned about the history surrounding you, explore the several restaurants, hotels and shops along the dockyard. As you walk around and take a look in these various establishments, recall what you've learned about the pirates, sailors and locals that walked the very path you're walking. You'll realize the dockyard's history isn't just coming alive, you're a part of that history.
In the Footsteps of Hungry Sailors
When you’re visiting Nelson’s Dockyard, be sure to check out the restaurant and bar at Admiral’s Inn.
The Inn was built in 1788, and 18th century sailors supposedly carved their ships’ names into the structure's timbers. A museum displays artifacts from the original hotel and the British Navy's operations at Nelson's Dockyard. It’s a great stop for history buffs, and everyone can enjoy the Inn’s unique ambiance.
Many diners opt to sit on the Inn's terrace, which offers great views of the harbor. Enjoying a meal on the terrace in perfect Antiguan weather during a sunset forms a good, lasting memory. This restaurant has hosted mariners and visitors for centuries. Now you can become a part of that proud tradition.
Whether you're looking for family-friendly or adventurous, there’s something eco-friendly for everyone!
The kids will love the chance to wade with these majestic stingrays at Stingray City. The environment is a careful recreation of the animals’ natural home, and the staffers are friendly and informative. You can feed, stroke and hold the active stingrays, which should make for some unforgettable family photo-ops.
If you’re looking for something more eco-touristy, check out a kayak eco-adventure to tour among the mangroves or snorkel at North Sound Marine Park. You'll discover a diverse yet fragile ecosystem that is bursting with colorful plants and animals.
Antigua Quick Facts
Eastern Caribbean Dollar – USD are accepted, but change is often given in ECD
110 Volt outlets
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Antigua.
Water is desalinized and heavily treated. Guests with sensitive stomachs are recommended to drink bottled water.
Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)
December - April