There are hundreds of ways to enjoy the expansive white sand beaches in Antigua – after all, there are 365 of them, "one for every day of the year," as the locals like to say. The beaches are beautiful, but they are only the beginning of all the adventures Antigua has to offer.
This island offers the ultimate in family trips, honeymoons or adult vacations in the Caribbean because of its natural splendor & its cultural significance. Legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson sailed to this remote island in 1784, establishing Great Britain's most valuable Caribbean base. Since then, the island has undergone a number of cultural transformations, but the qualities that attracted European settlers – the warm, steady winds, safe harbors & protective coral reef – still draw thousands of entranced visitors every year.
If you have any history buffs in your group, make sure you stop by these hotspots of a bygone era during your Beach Bum Vacation to Antigua:
Nelson's Dockyard No trip to Antigua is complete without seeing this famous attraction. Nelson's Dockyard is the only Georgian-era dockyard still in use. Established in 1671 & fully functional as a garrisoned station by 1704, this dockyard would later welcome Admiral Horatio Nelson & other important Englishmen. It was eventually abandoned by the Royal Navy in 1889, but was restored in 1951. Today, you'll find a vibrant cluster of shops, restaurants & restored, 18th-century hotels in what is known as English Harbour. The Dockyard Museum, located in the original naval officer's house near the bay, contains historical artifacts like ship models, silver regatta trophies, maps & antique navigational tools for visitors to see.
Shirley Heights English Harbour is stunning when you're on the ground, but it's even more spectacular when you climb up to Shirley Heights. This vantage point is also known as a key historical attraction, since it was once home to a military base. The gun emplacements & barracks that still lie scattered across this spot are a reminder of its military significance. It was named for General Shirley, who was governor of the Leeward Islands during the late 18th century.
Dow's Hill This peak overlooks the the dockyard & historical area as well, but features an interpretation center that will guide visitors through the island's history, starting with the American Indian inhabitants, exploring British colonialism & bringing you up to speed on today's events. The multimedia exhibitions at this museum give visitors a vivid picture of the many influences that made Antigua what it is today.