Caribbean, Wanderlust

Antigua in pictures: 14 reasons to visit Antigua

It’s not hard to tempt someone to Antigua. From our previous trips, I know how family-friendly the Caribbean is and with winter looming, I didn’t take much persuading to swap autumn for sun, sea and sand.

14 reasons to visit Antigua with kids - sun, sand, sea and beyond the beachBut while those improbably turquoise seas are as enticing (and turquoise) as the photos, it’s definitely worth dragging yourself away from the beach to discover what else Antigua has to offer.

And while there are more adrenaline thrills and underwater adventures if you don’t have a three-year-old, here are my 14 reasons to visit Antigua with kids.

The beaches – there’s a lot more to Antigua than powdery soft sand and unfeasibly clear water, but with 365 beaches, you won’t be short of somewhere to relax by the waves.

The sea – one of the best ways to see the island is by cruising around its coast. We took a half-day trip with SeaEscapes hopping around the coast before a stop at Deep Bay for lunch and a swim.

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The snorkelling – whether you choose the shallow rocks and reef of Long Bay (perfect for wandering to with a preschooler) or the deeper water on our SeaEscapes voyage, there are some incredible fish and corals.

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The stingrays – one of my favourite experiences, swimming with stingrays on a shallow sandbank at Stingray City. Free to come and go, they’re very happy to float over to hoover up squid.

The views – Shirley Heights is the most famous overlooking English Harbour, but the limestone peaks around the island give great views out to the Caribbean and the neighbouring islands.

antigua-english-harbour-view-bay

The Devil’s Bridge – a blowhole in the rocks on the east side of the island, where the ocean crashes up wearing away the cliff to create a narrow bridge. Check out the video for a shot of it in action!

The history – Nelson’s Dockyard dates back to the 18th century, and was once home to Nelson himself as well as being a key naval base for the British fleet. Today there’s a museum among the restaurants and hotels.

The landmarks – another remnant of Antigua’s past, the windmills once used on sugar plantations still dot the hills, including Betty’s Hope.

antigua-bettys-hope-windmill-caribbeanThe picturesque capital – St John’s, on the island’s west coast, is a mix of bright pastel colours and a historic 19th century cathedral, which replaced two previous buildings destroyed in earthquakes.

The culture – from the earliest Amerindians to British colonisation, one of the best ways to discover the island’s history is at the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda in St John’s, with some sobering exhibits on slavery too.

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The food and drink – fish, seafood, creole spices and great juice. Plus the rum-packed daiquiris, obviously…

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The weather – blue skies, gentle breezes and sun. Enough said…

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The atmosphere – chilled-out, welcoming and ultra-relaxing.

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The places to stay – I checked into Verandah Resort & Spa in the east of the island, one of the Elite Island Resorts, all-inclusive so it’s perfect for families with some great watersports and two beaches.

 

REASONS TO VISIT ANTIGUA: PIN FOR LATER
14 reasons to visit Antigua - highlights of the Caribbean island in pictures and a video, from beach, sea and snorkelling to stingrays, history and culture

Disclosure: My trip to Antigua and stay at Verandah Resort was courtesy of the Antigua tourist board and Elite Island Resorts. All opinions on the top reasons to visit Antigua remain my own.

All images and video copyright MummyTravels

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