Updated 18 Nov 2022
While you might have opted for a holiday in Antigua just to get away from it all and savour the delights of your private villa, there is so much to see and do that you should plan a bit of exploring. Below, we offer two days of itineraries that will introduce you to some of the finest destinations and experiences on the island, but which are nothing like the traditional “tourist’s” exploration. Instead, we look at some of the more unique, appealing and even “hidden” gems that will make your time away from your luxury villa well worth it.
We think it’s best to begin a day in the island’s capital of St. John’s. Not only does it have an appealing waterfront area, but it offers you access to the wonderful Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. Before you groan at the idea of time spent indoors, this is a truly unique spot that will leave you enchanted. After all, you get to see everything from historical cricket bats and stunning collections of Amerindian dolls to colonial artifacts, and more. And, naturally, this spot has the perfect gift shop for finding some of the very best, appealing and valuable souvenirs.
If you plan the trip into town properly, you should emerge from the museum just in time to stroll the waterfront. However, before heading straight to the main attractions, take time enjoying the gorgeous, historic warehouses that have been restored along Redcliffe Quay. This is noted as one of the most attractive parts of the town, and it is full of fantastic shops where you can pass a bit of time until lunch.
Dining and Shopping at Heritage Quay
While you will find this to be a more tourist-oriented area, it is a beautiful place to enjoy a delicious meal, and one of the most appealing in this area is Hemingways. You can opt to dine on their balcony and savour their authentic Creole cuisine.
Get Outta Town!
After lunch, you will want to begin burning up some of that energy, but you may be well prepared to get out of the busy streets of the capital, too. That makes it the perfect time to see the other end of the spectrum where island life is concerned and head to the rainforest! If you travel along Fig Tree Road and up into the mountain, you reach the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour. With six different zip line options, it is a fantastic way to see the authentic rainforest and amazing views.
Because you are on the islands western area, you will also want to consider a few of the quieter beaches from which to enjoy early evening. After a zipline, you will want to pay a visit to the quiet and appealing Crabb Hill Beach where you can savour a drink at the wonderful OJ’s.
If you are craving a meal, English Harbour is the spot to visit as some wonderful local restaurants are serving fantastic fresh fish. Two premier options are Trappas and Mad Goose Man.
On the next morning, you’ll want to rise early and visit the historic hilltop site known as Betty’s Hope. With its working windmill, it is an unforgettable experience. If you pay a visit around lunch time, a meal at nearby Harmony Hall is fantastic, and the spot is noted for its seafood.
On your way to or from this place, be sure you visit Devil’s Bridge, a natural arch along the shore. Making your way back into St. John’s, you can spend the afternoon exploring the famous Nelson’s Dockyard or you can skip it and head up to Shirley Heights. This is a top spot for sunset cocktails and amazing scenery. It is also a fabulous place to find yourself on a Sunday night when Caribbean bands entertain visitors.