Susan Shure Travel

Antigua: More Than Just The Beaches

Antigua is one of the few places in the Caribbean that I haven’t been to, at least not yet!

The quaint island located in the Caribbean east, southeast of St. Kitts and north of Guadeloupe and Dominica, is a picturesque representation of the dream beach vacation. With over 87 kilometers of coastline and home to some of the most idyllic bays like Half Moon, Dickenson and Galley- Antigua is the perfect place to sunbathe, swim, snorkel and explore the sea! It has beautiful ocean views, smooth sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. But, what most people don’t realize and what my clients have come to rave about- is that Antigua is home to more than just beautiful beaches and blue ocean- it’s the full package Caribbean getaway with fun for the whole family or crew!

Check out below some of the inland opportunities to explore in Antigua:


Betty’s Hope

There is nothing sweeter than visiting a sugar plantation on vacation! Betty’s Hope, named after the daughter of one of its former owners, was the first and the most abundant sugar plantation on the island of Antigua. Established in 1674, the sugar plantation preserves the history of Antigua during the British Colonial Era. Stop by the comprehensive visitor’s center and museum to catch a glimpse of daily life in the 1600s Antigua, to learn about life on a sugar plantation, the role of slaves in the industry, the impact of colonialism and so much more of Antigua’s vibrant history.

St. John’s Saturday Morning Market

St. John is the capital of Antigua and the center of island life- especially on slow Saturday mornings. The St. John’s Saturday Morning Market draws vendors from all over the island to showcase their extraordinary talent, culture and goods. Explore downtown, get in touch with the locals, gaze at the beautiful artwork, taste delectable treats and pick up a few souvenirs from the Saturday Morning Market. It’s truly a one-stop-shop to see and participate in the heart and culture of the island!

Nelson’s Dockyard National Park

Boat enthusiast? History Buff? Local cuisine connoisseur? Nelson’s Dockyard National Park is the place for you! Located in English Harbor, this marina served the British Naval Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and served as the headquarters for Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson from 1784-1787. Today, you can explore the history forts and sites of Nelson’s Dockyard via museum or via trails through the various historic landmarks. Take a break from the history to gaze at the exquisite boats in the marina. Nelson’s Dockyard serves as the hot spot for sailing and yachting in Antigua. Finally, beat the heat by cooling off in one of the many shops, restaurants and local cafes near the marina.

Shirley Heights

Feeling adventurous and ready to get your steps in? Shirley Heights is a great hike that you can take up from Nelson’s Dockyard. At just under 500 feet above sea level the summit of Shirley Heights boasts views of Guadeloupe Island and the active volcanic island of Montserrat, both located just to the south.

Not much of a hiker? Don’t skip over this section! Shirley Heights is home to the Lookout Bar and Restaurant known for their Sunday night parties. This is the hot spot for socializing, dancing and enjoying a night on the town!

All in all, Antigua is more than just an island with pretty beaches. Home to rich culture and history, a variety of sightseeing adventures, daytime excursions, nightlife fun and all the shopping you could imagine- Antigua is truly the full package Caribbean dream!

Ready to book your stay in Antigua, or at least learn more about the opportunities available?




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