Places to See in Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda are both fantastic islands in their own right
with miles and miles of beautiful, isolated and secluded beaches to
get lost on. For such tiny places, both these islands make for a fascinating
vacation destination with so much to see and do out here. Blessed
with a warm tropical sunshine and wonderful protected bays for sailing
and snorkeling in, vacationing here is a true delight for all.
There are a number of places to see on the island of Antigua to
keep you busy for at least a week. You can spend your days either
wandering through the streets of the capital, St. John’s,
or you can chill out under a nice palm tree on the beach. Whatever
you choose to do, just know that this island is a great West Indian
A must visit when in Antigua is Nelson’s Dockyard at English
Harbor. A fantastic natural harbor, this dockyard was used by the
likes of Admiral Nelson, and played a key role in fortifying this
island as a strong British base in the colonial period. A highly
strategic harbor in the Caribbean today, Nelson’s Dockyard
has many wonderful old colonial buildings with a small market in
the area as well as restaurants, hotels, shops, a dive shop and
a number of boating facilities. Part of the dockyard is a designated
national park, with a museum that houses a quaint gift shop.
With the richest collection of historical sights on the island, English
Harbor is an excellent place to explore. Developed as a British Navy
base and expanded by Admiral Nelson, English Harbor overlooks a number
of tourist sights including Clarence House and Shirley Heights. Extending
out over the harbor, Shirley Heights is an 18th century ruined fort
that offers some truly breathtaking views. Named after General Shirley,
a Governor of the Leeward Islands, this fort has a number of ruins
to survey and investigate. Nearby is a cemetery where an obelisk stands
dedicated to the 54th regiment of the British Army.
Located in center of St. John’s, the Museum of Antigua and
Barbuda sits a building that dates back all the way to 1750. Containing
a variety of interesting and eclectic objects, this museum is one
of the few in the world, where one can touch the items on display.
There is a full-scale replica of an Arawak house as well as old
stone tools on hand, along with the cricket bat of one of the West
Indies’ greatest cricketers, Sir Viv Richards.
For a more cultural tour of Antigua, visit the Sea View Farm Village,
the center for pottery on the island. However, if you prefer a little
more modern art, then a visit to Harmony Hall, in Brown's Bay at
Nonsuch Bay. Do make it a point to see Devil's Bridge, a superb
naturally formed limestone arch near Indian Town Point, as it is
a sight not to be missed. Another good place to visit is Betty’s
Hope, the first and largest sugar plantation on the island. An important
historical landmark, this plantation offers a wonderful tour on
Antigua’s sugar era.
On Barbuda, there is not much to see besides miles and miles of
beaches. The main tourist attraction here has to be the Frigate
Bird Sanctuary located in Codrington Lagoon. An amazing sight for
bird lovers and non-bird lovers alike, this refuge lets one get
up close and personal with these giants of the sky. It is key to
mention here that this nesting site is among the most important
in the world.
If you have the time, a visit to Redonda is a pleasant experience.
Dubbed the smallest island kingdom in the world, Redonda was made
a kingdom by an Irishman named Matthew Shiell, who made his son
king. A favorite haunt for bird watchers, this island is actually
uninhabited and is now a nature preserve.