What are the five best things to see and do in Antigua?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

McLean Robbins

Antigua offers something for everyone, from adventure seekers to leisure lovers alike. Here are a few of our favorite things to see and do:
1. Tour the Dockyards. Admiral Nelson’s dockyard is one of the pre-eminent tourist attractions on the island, part of a 15-mile national park and the only remaining Georgian-style dockyard in the world. Peruse open-air market stalls for kitschy souvenirs (pick up a bottle of the local hot sauce) or pop into the restored building (we loved the British-style telephone booth). If it’s luxury you crave, you can walk the docks and gaze at the mega-yachts that come to dock in English Harbour – some of the world’s greatest ships sail in and out of this port.
2. Visit Shirley Heights. Want to party? Shirley Heights is actually the name of a military complex that runs across a large ridge, but tourists know it as the name of one of the biggest parties on Thursdays and Sundays on the island. Arrive early and wander the 18th-century buildings, and then stay for sunset over English and Falmouth Harbours, the most famous view on the island. On a clear day, you can see the neighboring island of Montserrat.
3. Go underwater. Enjoy the island with a sail, snorkel or scuba dive. Naturally protected by coral reefs, the island’s crystal clear waters make it easy to see its many types of sea life. If you’ve never seen pink sand, hop a quick flight to sister island Barbuda, which is famous for its uniquely hued beaches.
4. Hit the beach. With 365 white sand beaches, nearly all of which are public, it’s hard to go wrong with a day near the water.
5. If you’re a history buff, visit the town capital, St. Johns, and tour the historic cathedral, a baroque masterpiece. If you can, stop by on a Saturday, where you’ll enjoy a vibrant local market packed with local vendors selling everything from spices and fresh produce to craft goods and souvenirs. You’ll save money and get a more authentic experience than at the duty-free shops elsewhere on island.

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