Our Travel Guide to Antigua

Want to visit an island where you can explore a new beach every day for an entire year??

We’re not talking about a chain of islands or even somewhere in the East Indies, we’re talking about a place just a few quick hours from the USA.

Yes, it does exist! And its name is Antigua.

Located in the northeast part of the Caribbean, Antigua is the main island of the country Antigua & Barbuda. The island itself is 108 square miles which can be easily traveled with a rental car. We absolutely loved our trip to this tiny island! We spent our time sailing, visiting many beaches, and catching the most epic sunsets we have ever seen!

What To Do

Visit As Many Beaches As Possible

With over 365 beaches, you really can’t go wrong! During our trip, we visited Half Moon Bay, Ffryes Beach, Galleon Beach, Darkwood Beach, and Long Bay Beach. Half Moon Bay probably had some of the most incredible turquoise water we have ever seen! We highly recommend getting a rental car so you can visit as many beaches as you’d like!

Take In the Epic Views at Shirley Heights

If you want to see the most picturesque spot on the entire island, you need to plan a trip to Shirley Heights. It is a retired military lookout 500 feet above sea level offering an iconic view of the English and Falmouth Harbours.

But people don’t just flock here for the views. Every Sunday from 4 pm till 10 pm, Shirley Heights becomes a party. Think of it as a traditional block party with local food, drinks, music, dancing, friends, and fun. In case you can’t make it on a Sunday, there’s also a smaller version of this on Thursdays at Reggae Heights. These events are perfect for those interested in experiencing Antiguan culture, sampling local cuisine, and making lasting memories. 

Catch a Sunset at Sheer Rocks

Perched atop a rocky cliff on the west coast of Antigua, Sheer Rocks is a restaurant located on the grounds of Cocobay Resort. They have multiple plunge pools and day beds that you can rent while eating their amazing tapas or enjoying one of their delicious cocktails. We recommend calling ahead and reserving a plunge pool in the afternoon so you can watch the incredible sunsets! We enjoyed our visit here so much that we came back for a second time!

Sail the Coast of Antigua

This was probably our favorite experience during our trip to Antigua. We booked a private charter with Gadaboat Sailing and they took us on a four hour cruise aboard their 52′ yacht around the Antigua coast. We have never seen so many different shades of blue! Appetizers and alcoholic beverages were also provided during the trip. Stacey and her crew were the most incredible hosts!

Visit Nelson’s Dockyard

Remnants of British colonialism can be found all around Antigua from the many abandoned sugar mills to the streets of St. John. The most famous is Nelson’s Dockyard. Positioned on the English Harbour and next to Fort Berkeley, Nelson’s Dockyard became the center for the Royal Navy in Antigua, providing ship maintenance or repair and officer quarters. 

Today, Nelson’s Dockyard is a Unesco World Heritage Site, with a museum, bars, and restaurants. Unfortunately most of the restaurants and bars were closed when we visited due to COVID, but we heard that it is definitely the place to visit, especially on Sundays.

Where To Stay

For the first half of our trip, we stayed at The Escape at Nonsuch Bay. This adults-only all-inclusive hotel is the sister property of Nonsuch Bay Resort. Since this is an adults-only property, it is much quieter here, lending it as the perfect place for a romantic getaway with your loved one. Plus it is the only resort on the island where every unit includes a private plunge pool that has incredible views of the bay!

Check out our detailed blog post about our amazing stay at The Escape at Nonsuch Bay here!

For the second half of our trip to Antigua, we had the pleasure of staying at The Great House Antigua. From the moment we arrived, we knew immediately that this charming hotel was the perfect way to end our trip. We felt like we had stepped back in time with it’s colonial charm and how rich it is in history, but it still had all of the luxuries of a modern boutique hotel.

Check out our detailed blog post about our incredible stay at The Great House Antigua here!

Three Days in Paradise – The Escape at Nonsuch Bay

We had the pleasure of starting our trip in Antigua with a 3 night stay at The Escape at Nonsuch Bay. This adults-only all-inclusive hotel is the sister property of Nonsuch Bay Resort. Since this is an adults-only property, it is much quieter here, lending it as the perfect place for a romantic getaway with your loved one. Plus it is the only resort on the island where every unit includes a private plunge pool that has incredible views of the bay!

From the moment you arrive, you are greeted by all of the staff. Everyone is extremely kind, and you can tell that they actually want you to enjoy your stay at their hotel. You don’t feel like just another visitor like you sometimes do at larger hotel chains.

Each room comes with a king size bed, en suite bathroom with a separate shower and two sinks. It also has an outdoor soaking tub and day bed that overlooks your private plunge pool. All meals and alcohol are included with your stay at their onsite restaurant, The Drift Restaurant & Bar.

Everything at this hotel is geared towards romance. They offer private dinners, floating pool dining options, romantic sunset activities, and many other upgrades to make sure your stay at their hotel is absolutely perfect. One of our favorite activities was a private boat ride over to the neighboring Green Island, where a picnic on the beach was waiting for us.

Another amenity that we loved at the hotel was the pool that overlooks the bay. It is huge! Plus it’s right next to the bar so that’s an added benefit! They also have overwater lounge chairs down by the bay that are perfect to relax in.

Regarding COVID and overall sanitization, the hotel did a great job of making us feel safe the entire time. Hand sanitizer bottles were placed all throughout the property and all staff were safely protected the entire time. All wait staff and employees wore their masks and gloves when handling food and interacting with guests.

To conclude, our stay at The Escape at Nonsuch Bay was absolutely perfect. This adults-only all-inclusive hotel was so relaxing, and we loved how intimate our experience here was. They really do cater to your every need and the entire staff makes you feel at home during your stay. We seriously can’t recommend this hotel enough. If you are looking for a great place to connect with your significant other and treat them to a luxurious experience, look no further than The Escape at Nonsuch Bay.

The Great House Antigua

For the second half of our trip to Antigua, we had the pleasure of staying at The Great House Antigua. From the moment we arrived, we knew immediately that this charming hotel was the perfect way to end our trip. We felt like we had stepped back in time with it’s colonial charm and how rich it is in history, but it still had all of the luxuries of a modern boutique hotel.

The hotel is situated within a 350 year old sugar plantation, the last fully intact remaining stone plantation on the island. It has a combination of four huge suites located within the main house, and four brand new garden cottage suites surrounded by their beautiful tropical gardens. We were one of the first people to stay in their cottage suites. The room was huge!

The hotel offers many amenities that give their guests the perfect opportunity to unwind. Yoga sessions, spa treatments, guided hikes, and just spending time lounging by their huge pool are to name a few. Their spa was temporarily closed due to government COVID guidelines, but we’ve heard from others that their treatments aren’t to be missed when the spa does open back up.

Regarding COVID and overall sanitization, the hotel did a great job of making us feel safe the entire time. Hand sanitizer bottles were placed all throughout the property and all staff were safely protected the entire time. All wait staff and employees wore their masks and gloves when handling food and interacting with guests.

We loved spending our time walking around the grounds and hearing all of the birds chirping. This hotel is located away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas on Antigua, and we loved every minute of it. It was extremely peaceful just to relax on our own time.

We had the best meals during our entire time on the island at this hotel. The presiding chef made us the most incredible pan-seared snapper we have ever tasted! The on-site restaurant is now open for lunch to the public every Sunday and the guests also have access to the pool.

To conclude, our stay at The Great House Antigua was the absolutely perfect way to end our trip. This hotel was so relaxing and we enjoyed every moment here. The main housekeeper, Mara, is the sweetest lady and will take great care of you. We seriously can’t recommend this hotel enough. If you are looking for a great place to unwind in nature during your trip to Antigua, look no further than The Great House Antigua.