Antigua: More Than Just The Beaches

Antigua and Barbuda are twin islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Caribbean Sea. These island paradises attract tourists yearly because of the rich culture, beautiful beaches, and genuine island vibe lifestyle.

Antigua Bay

Antigua is home to the nation's largest city, St. John's, which is the capital city and a popular port of call for yachts and cruise ships. If you haven't made it to Antigua, you defiantly want to have this on your bucket list.


LGBTQ travelers to Antigua and Barbuda should expect to be discrete as anti-sodomy laws are still on the books. While there is no record of the laws being enforced for the last several decades, be mindful of your surroundings while you're traveling outside of your resort.


Antigua is situated east, southeast of St. Kitts, and north of Guadeloupe and Dominica. It is a picturesque island that people dream of visiting when they fantasize about a Caribbean getaway. Antigua is categorized by its beautiful ocean views and turquoise blue waters. Most people don't realize that there is a lot more to this island than just the beaches.


Water Tour of Antigua

There are beautiful beaches like Half Moon Bay, Dickenson Bay, Galley Bay, and Valley Church. These are just the right places to enjoy sunbathing, water sports with the family, swimming, and snorkeling fun, but there is much more to do.


Betty's Hope

Betty's Hope was the first and the most abundant sugar plantation on the island of Antigua. It stands as a reminder of the role that Antigua played in the British Colonial Era. It was a plantation that helped Britain generate considerable wealth in the Caribbean.


Established in 1674, it was named after the daughter of one of the former owners. The comprehensive visitor's center and museum educate tourists on the daily lives of slaves on this plantation. It also offers a way to step back into the past and understand Antigua's rich history.


St. John's Saturday Morning Market

St. John is the capital of Antigua and is the center of island life on Saturday mornings. This market draws in vendors from all over the island and provides a beautiful place for tourists to spend time. This market is a beautiful reflection of Antigua. You can get in touch with the locals, their incredible culture, and their fun way of life.


Nelson's Dockyard National Park and Shirley Heights

Nelson's Dockyard, located in English Harbor, served the British Naval Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). It also served as the headquarters for Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson from 1784-1787. The area is filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, shops, and even a museum where you can spend a fantastic day out in Antigua.


Shirley Heights is a great hike that you can take from the Dockyard. Shirley Heights is just under 500 feet above sea level, and the summit of this hike allows for views of Guadeloupe island and the active volcanic island of Montserrat, both located just to the south. It is also a prime spot for a great Sunday night party at the Shirley Heights Lookout Bar and Restaurant. For more nightlife fun, head to Falmouth and English Harbors.


Antigua Seafood

With a wide selection of markets, shops, and restaurants to tour while in Antigua, this island, filled with rich colonial history, offers plenty of activities away from the beach.


With so much to do, it's no wonder that Antigua is often revisited by travelers who get a taste during a port of call. Are Antigua and Barbuda on your bucket list? Have you experienced St. John's or other parts of the islands? Let me know in the comments below.


Ready to start planning your next vacation? Schedule your initial consultation with me to get started. I'll guide you through the entire process and make sure that you have the trip you've been dreaming up.


Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as yours.


If you haven't already, be sure to request your free copy of The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide to the Caribbean at the bottom of the page.

 
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