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Things to do in Antigua

It would be easy to spend every day relaxing on one of the 365 stunning beaches.  However Antigua has plenty more attractions to offer its visitors.  Activities include ways to get an insight into the local culture through music, food and history.  Try a cookery lesson and take home a bunch of new recipes.  Dance the night away high up on a hillside or, take a day trip to the world's only working Georgian naval dockyard.  The best way to see all of the island's hidden gems is to hire a car and get exploring at your own pace.  There are so many things to do in Antigua.

April is a popular time to visit English Harbour due to its annual sailing regatta and towards the end of July streets come alive with colourful costumes, music and dance for Antigua's carnival .   

Shirley Heights

Twice-weekly, a vibrant party takes place at a former military look-out. Sunsets are spectacular and on a clear night Montserrat and Guadeloupe are visible. Indulge in delicious bbq food and rum punch while listening to soothing sounds of steel pans.  Later, dance the night away to a local reggae band. This really is one of the top things to do in Antigua.

Read more about Shirley Heights

Things to do in Antigua include Shirley Heights look-out
Nelson's Dockyard

18th Century Nelson's Dockyard

By day, meander around Nelson's Dockyard.  Learn about the history of Lord Admiral Nelson's naval base at the museum.  Browse gift shops, choose a treat from the 18th Century bakery and marvel at the towering palm tree planted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1966.

Read more about Nelson's Dockyard

Set sail in a bbq boat   *

Imagine embarking on a unique sailing experience with 360 degree views of the turquoise hued Caribbean Sea. Your own private captain awaits, ready to serve ice cold refreshments, cook tasty home made burgers and sail along the stunning coastline while you kick back and relax to the soothing sounds of reggae. Sounds unreal doesn't it? Well, actually with BBQ Boat ANU you can do just that.

Click on the link for more information and to book a sail on BBQ Boat ANU.

NOTE: ACTIVITY RESUMES IN OCTOBER

Antigua beach

Visit a beach

Antigua is blessed with 365 of them ... some secluded, others great for motorised water sports, kayaking and paddle boarding.  Bands of coral make some beaches ideal for snorkelling or scuba diving ... there is even a nudist beach ... something for everyone...

 

Read more about some of the Best beaches in Antigua

Museum of Antigua

Take 30-60 minutes while in the capital of St Johns to learn about the history of Antigua & Barbuda.  The compact museum displays interesting artefacts such as spoons made by the Arawaks from shells, basketry, rocks and minerals.  A gift shop sells locally made items including jewellery and artwork.

Me swimming with horses bareback
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Springhill Riding Centre

An absolutely incredible 90 minute horse riding experience tailored to the individual's ability level.  Walk through the lush hills spotting wildlife and local flora then remove the saddle and take your horse for a bareback swim in the cool waters of English Harbour.  

Read more about Swimming with horses in English Harbour

Hike to Fort Berkeley

Take a scenic hike up to Fort Berkeley, the oldest fortification built to protect English Harbour in 1704.  As well as spotting a variety of flora, lizards and swooping pelicans, if you are an early riser, on a clear day you can expect to see stunning sunrise reflections over the water. 

 

Take a photo beside the last remaining cannon, step inside the former Guard House and Gunpowder Magazine then admire the breathtaking views of the harbour, yachts and Galleon Beach.

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Sunrise at Fort Berkeley

Rum Tasting at Quin Farara  *

Quin Farara is an historic rum shop in the heart of  St Johns.  As well as being a liquor store, it is a relaxed place to call into for a refreshing home made lemonade away from the hustle and bustle of Antigua's capital.

 

Alternatively pre-book one of the exciting rum tasting experiences available and learn how to make your own old fashioned rum punch.  

Click on the link to read more about Rum tasting at Quin Farara and to book an experience.

Betty's Hope

Betty's Hope was the first sugar plantation in Antigua.  The informative interpretation centre is the former cotton store, filled with artefacts, signage and miniature version of the estate.  Wander around the open air museum at your own pace.  Remains to explore include stone water catchments, two mill towers, one restored, the Still House, Manager's House and Antigua's former railway carriages.

Read More about Betty's Hope

Devil's Bridge

Antigua Donkey Sanctuary Humane  Society

Take a break from the beach and drive through Antigua's lush green countryside to the Antigua Donkey Sanctuary Humane Society.  Visit, or better still, volunteer for a day to help care for injured or abused donkeys, abandoned cats and dogs.  

Watch the donkeys' excitement and anticipation as their food arrives.  See how they enjoy playing with puzzle balls filled with carrots - perhaps groom their coats.  Dogs and cats can be cuddled and played with to help them with the socialisation process in preparation for adoption. 

Click on the link to see how you can visit, volunteer or make a donation at The Antigua Donkey Sanctuary Humane Society

Clarence House

Rum in the Ruins

There's no other place to be on Fridays at 5pm during peak season than Dow's Interpretation Centre.  A ticket includes around 75 minutes of captivating storytelling and laughter amongst the ruins of Dow's Fort dating back to 1789.  Learn some interesting facts perhaps about historic timekeeping methods, warning systems put in place to protect the harbour or the love Admiral Nelson had for the commissioner's wife, all while sipping on some delicious rum punch.  As the event draws to a close and the sun begins its descent, marvel at the most incredible views and sunset, believe it or not, they may even knock Shirley Heights off the top spot. 

 

Book a ticket at Rum in the Ruins and see for yourself....

Closed until November

The owner of Antilles Stillhouse in Antigua

Xtreme Circumnavigation   *

Xtreme Circumnavigation is a boat tour that will exhilarate and educate.  Look forward to three, cheery, knowledgeable crew members dedicating their time to show you some real highlights of Antigua. Power through the waves passing spectacular natural limestone rock formations, watch out for turtles and snorkel with stingrays. A delicious beachfront lunch is prepared Robinson Crusoe style on an uninhabited offshore island. The speed boat continues around the curvy coastline to English Harbour for a further snorkelling session before a well deserved, home made rum punch on remote beach, Rendezvous Bay.  This is one of the 'must do's' while in Antigua.

Read More about Xtreme Circumnavigation

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One of the mill towers at Betty's Hope sugar plantation

Devil's Bridge

Devil's Bridge is a natural limestone rock formation resembling a bridge created by crashing waves where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.  Stories suggest that enslaved people would throw themselves off of the bridge to commit suicide.   Come here to observe the powerful waves and natural blowholes. 

 

Residents of Pineapple Beach Club Resort can enjoy an early morning group hike to the National Park.  

Antigua Donkey Sanctuary Humane Society

A Tour of Clarence House

Clarence House is an imposing Georgian building, built in 1804 for the Navy Commissioner.  Book a tour here to follow in the footsteps of Royals, Captains and Admirals. 

Twice a week, an exceptional tour guide will lead you around the impeccable grounds telling stories with light humour about the timeline of past events.  Internally, several rooms are set out with impressive locally made replicas and antique furniture helping to create an insight into what life would have been like historically.  

 

Today Clarence House is a museum and space for events and weddings.  Click on the link to check availability and to book a tour of Clarence House.

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Antilles Stillhouse

Spend a pleasant hour high in the hills behind English Harbour at Antigua's only gin distillery.  Meet with the owner and find out a little about the gin making process, taste some samples of unique and delicious gins.  After, browse the gift shop with its range of  tempting jams, mustards, vinegars, home made soaps and of course, gin!  Read more ...

Arrange a tour of  Antilles Stillhouse by clicking on the link.

Rendezvous Bay

Nicole's Table Cookery School   *

Imagine taking part in a Caribbean cookery class high in the hills of Antigua's Cedar Valley within a home setting.  A choice of hands-on courses are available including 'All about jerk', Co-ordinating curry, Cooking with rum and 'From the sea'.  Join a group of like-minded, budding chefs for a fun, yet educational cooking experience and take home some new recipes to impress family and friends.

Click on the link to read more about Nicole's Table Cookery Classes, check availability or to make a booking.

Visit Antigua's Capital, St Johns

Antigua's bustling capital of St Johns is bursting with markets, stalls, shops and a vendor's mall for a host of souvenirs and clothing.  Heritage Quay is the place to come for duty free shopping while quaint Redcliffe Quay is filled with boutique shops, restaurants and a waffle and ice cream parlour.  Further into town is a highly recommended rum shop, Quin Farara, ideal for a pre-booked rum tasting session.

Click on the link to view recommended holiday rentals

Click on the link to view
recommended
hotels in Antigua

Read about some great
restaurants in Antigua

Note:  I will receive a small commission if you book a recommended activity marked with an * 

Note:  If you make any bookings based on my recommendations your contract will be directly with the airline/travel company/hotels/short term rental or activity providers you book through. I am acting as a referral point only based on information from my most recent visit which may be subject to change at any time.  

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