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Antigua: More than just beaches

Go to most of the Caribbean islands and you will see people flocking to the beaches. So many of those that go to islands are from the northern parts of the US that are wanting to escape the cold of winter and experience a few days of warmth. Who can blame them if they end up spending most of their time at the beach!

But so many of the islands in the Caribbean have so much more to offer. an example is Antigua, which is situated in the Caribbean east, southeast of St. Kitts and north of Guadeloupe and Dominica. It is a picturesque island that people dream of visiting when they fantasize about a Caribbean getaway. Antigua is categorized by its beautiful ocean views and turquoise blue waters. What most people don’t realize, is that there is a lot more to this island than just the beaches.

There are beautiful beaches of places like Half Moon Bay, Dickenson Bay, Galley Bay, and Valley Church. These are just the right places to enjoy sunbathing, water sports with the family, swimming, and snorkeling fun, but there is so much more to do.

Betty’s Hope

Betty’s Hope was the first and the largest sugar plantation on the island of Antigua. It stands as a reminder of the role that Antigua played in the British Colonial Era. It was a plantation that helped Britain generate great wealth in the Caribbean.

Established in 1674, it was named for the daughter of one of the former owners. The comprehensive visitor’s center and museum educate tourists on the daily lives of slaves on this plantation. It also offers a way to step back into the past and understand Antigua’s rich history.

St. John’s Saturday Morning Market

St. John is the capital of Antigua and is the center of island life on Saturday mornings. This market draws in vendors from all over the island and provides a wonderful place for tourists to spend time. This market is a wonderful reflection of Antigua. You can get in touch with the locals, their wonderful culture, and their fun way of life.

Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and Shirley Heights

Nelson’s dockyard located in English Harbor served the British Naval Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). It also served as the headquarters for Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson from 1784-1787. The area is filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, shops and even a museum where you can spend a wonderful day out in Antigua.

Shirley Heights is a great hike that you can take from the Dockyard. Shirley Heights is just under 500 feet above sea level and the summit of this hike allows for views of Guadeloupe island and the active volcanic island of Montserrat, both located just to the south. It is also a prime spot for a great Sunday night party at the Shirley Heights Lookout Bar and Restaurant.

For more nightlife fun head to Falmouth and English Harbor.

With a wide selection of markets, shops, and restaurants to tour while in Antigua, this island filled with rich colonial history offers plenty of activities away from the beach.

When you are ready to start planning your trip to the Caribbean, just let me know. I'll help you find the right mix of activities to truly explore the islands.

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