Though relatively small in size, the island of Antigua boasts everything from stunning natural landscapes to areas with strong ties to Antigua's historical past. Nature lovers will be drawn to the many sandy stretches lining the island's shores, while history buffs will appreciate the historical sites in and around English Harbour, on the southern coast.
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The largest concentration of activity is located in the vicinity of St. Johns, where you'll find shopping, cultural sites of interest, and nearby beaches. Situated less than half a mile from the harbor, St. John's Cathedral is a baroque-style Anglican church that has been rebuilt multiple times after enduring various natural disasters since its original construction in 1683. Fort James, located at the northern entrance of St. John's Harbor, provides great insight to the military history of Antigua. The fort is unique for its preserved cannons, which are some of the only ones that were not sold as scrap metal during the late 1800s. Another related site is Fort Barrington, found on the southern edge of St. John's Harbor. Located directly north of town, the famous Dickenson Bay beach boasts powdery sand and available water-sports equipment rentals.
Many other enticing attractions are scattered across the map. On the east coast, just 1.5 miles from Freetown, tourists will find Half Moon Bay beach, a secluded coastline known for its secluded atmosphere and prime snorkeling conditions. Also on the east coast, in Indian Town National Park, guests can enjoy Devil's Bridge. This natural formation was carved by the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and is a superb place for a picnic. Situated near English Harbour, Shirley Heights offers stunning views of Nelson's Dockyard, as well as famous weekly Sunday barbecues.
The capital of Antigua, St. John's is the largest city on the island. Located on the west coast of Antigua, this flourishing area is famous for it's quaint shops that sit alongside designer boutiques, fresh food markets and historical attractions. Small-scale inns, upscale hotels, all-inclusive resorts and rental villas can be found in the general vicinity of St. John's.
Situated on the northwest tip of Antigua, just north of St. John's, tourists will find Dickenson Bay. Known for its beach-front properties, the area also boasts fine dining, shopping opportunities and plentiful water-sports activities. Many accommodations are perched directly on the waterfront, and sporting equipment is often available for rental even if you are not a guest of the resort.
Other notable areas include English Harbour and Jolly Harbour. English Harbour is located in southeastern Antigua, home to Nelson's Dockyard and the Nelson Dockyard's National Park, making it an excellent place for people interested in Antigua's history as well as its beaches. Jolly Harbour, just 10 miles south of St. John's, and features shopping, restaurants, rental condominiums, a marina and hotel accommodations. Other hotels are scattered along the coast, all around the island.
All Saints, situated in the middle of the map, is about 6 miles southeast of St. John's. It does not have any accommodations, but it's popular for its handmade, traditional pottery and the old sugar plantation known as Betty's Hope.
The sole venue for air travel located in Antigua is the V.C. Bird International Airport, which is found 5 miles northeast of St. John's. The airport serves flights from the United States, Canada, other Caribbean destinations and less frequent flights direct from European nations.
There are two cruise ports located on the island. Heritage Quay Dock is located in St. John's, and allows cruise passengers to gain direct access to duty-free shopping. Similarly, the Nevis Pier is located in downtown St. John's harbour.
If you're interested in traveling by ferry, consider the Barbuda Express, which runs between St. John's in Antigua and the neighboring island of Barbuda. Operating five days a week, the service offers transportation between the two islands for both business endeavors and leisurely day trips.
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