Over the last few years, Antigua and Barbuda has developed into one of the Caribbean’s hottest hotspots, thanks to an energetic mix of world-class hotels, exotic beauty and what just might be the best airport in the entire Caribbean. Antigua is a robust, rich destination, meaning that it’s filled with different kinds of vacations for every traveler: families, yachters, honeymooners and foodies can all find an Antigua trip that will suit them snugly.
The Beaches You may have heard that there are 365 of them here, and they’re all spectacular. Whether you’re on the tranquil sands of Dickenson Bay or spending the day in awe of the brilliant turquoise of Valley Church beach, Antigua’s beaches really are worth the trip. And if you doubt the 365 number, well, there’s only one thing to do: a recount.
The Adults-Only Resorts Antigua has one of the more rarefied collections of resorts in the region, with a diverse mix of luxury resorts, all-inclusives, boutique hotels and classic beach stays. But the adults-only offerings are particularly good, highlighted by the legendary Galley Bay, the hip Cocobay and the classic Pineapple Beach Club.
The Family Resorts Led by the luxe, lovely Curtain Bluff, Antigua’s family resorts are many. The Verandah is the perfect place for a large family getaway (with a wonderful water sports offering) while smaller beach hotels like the Inn at English Harbour can provide a different kind of family vacation. You can’t go wrong at any of them.
The History There are few UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Caribbean, and Antigua’s Nelson’s Dockyard, the onetime haunt of Admiral Horatio Nelson, is one of the best. It’s a charming old town, walkable and breezy, that’s also home to a pair of terrific boutique hotels set in historic buildings: the Copper and Lumber and the Admiral’s Inn. Venture further out and you’ll get to the Shirley Heights Lookout, home to a weekly block-party-style event that marries magnificent views with one of the island’s most popular get-togethers.
The Food There are many ways to explore Antigua, and one of them is on a plate. The island’s flagship eatery is Sheer Rocks, a tapas-style restaurant that is member of the Caribbean’s culinary pantheon, and the gastronomic quality extends across Antigua, from the venerable Le Bistro to the local spots in St John’s.
Barbuda Whether you go for the day or for a week, Barbuda is this destination’s ultimate party piece. Just a short ferry or flight from Antigua, Barbuda is some of the most marvelous beaches in the entire Caribbean, the sort of castaway-style, empty, endless stretches of sand that you thought didn’t exist anymore. And if you want to stay longer, choose a stay at the eco-chic Barbuda Belle.