Antigua: Island of the Sun, Sea, and History

March 28, 2021
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There are a handful of places on this planet that hardly ever come to mind when one thinks of travel and yet these unbelievable beautiful places offer the most unforgettable experiences.

There are very few places where you can go and be assured of one of the most satisfying and enjoyable climate in the world, coupled with welcoming people, pink and white-sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

Antigua is situated in the Caribbean 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. Antigua is so unique that whether you are sun-bathing, lay-on-the-beach-all-day person, or a water-lover, history buff, nature lover, outdoors enthusiast, Antigua has something for everyone.

Here is a our recommended activities and sites you must add on your to-do list while in Antigua

Betty’s Hope

Sugar Mills, Betty’s Hope, Antigua

If you are a history buff or a lover of a good story, Betty’s Hope is a must-visit. It 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. Betty’s Hope plantation made Britain very reach as a key revenue contributor in the Caribbean.

Betty’s Hope dates as back as 1651, it was named for 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.

Today in Antigua, about 112 Sugar mill towers still stand in the Countryside. These remind the people of Antigua and all visitors of the days of slavery under King Sugar. Here is a great article on the history of the slave trade and sugar business in Antigua

St. John’s Saturday Morning Market

St. John is the capital of Antigua and is the center of island life on Saturday mornings. The best time to visit the market is as early as 5:30am. This market draws in vendors from all over the island and provides a wonderful 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. Every stall sells different produce, breadfruit, mangoes, soursap, sugar apples, pineapples, dasheen, tamarind are just a few of the locally found fruit and vegetables.

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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 Nelson’s Dockyard was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016

The area is filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, shops, and even a museum where you can spend a fantastic day out in Antigua. Most Important, however, is the Dockyard Museum, which features information on Antigua’s history, the dockyard, and life at the fort.

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.

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.

Get to experience the best of Antigua with Ivy League Travel, have any questions or need any more information, click here and I shall be more than happy to answer them all.

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