Antigua & Barbuda

Situated in the center of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda are just about 17 degrees north of the equator. As a result, visitors can expect that balmy, tropical weather year round. Small wonder these islands are among the most visited.

Whether you’re an all-inclusive resort fan, or choose to do your own thing, you’ll find hotel options are extensive here. Vacationers can find hotels and resorts to fit any budget, too.

Antigua and Barbuda suit both families and couples extremely well. Families will appreciate the abundant outdoor excursions and family-friendly accommodations. Numerous romance packages and a low-key atmosphere appeal to couples seeking an idyllic hideaway.

It’s not surprising that beach lovers are drawn to Antigua and Barbuda. You could spend a year on Antigua alone and visit a new beach every day. True story. That, plus the pink and white sands and calm waters of Barbuda’s shores make the islands ideal for families with small children. All beaches are public, too. Win!

A nearly uninterrupted wall of coral reef, walls and shipwrecks encircles the island. Snorkelers and divers will discover a virtual wonderland of marine life.

Both islands’ beaches boast excellent snorkeling. Off the coast of Antigua, you’ll find Cades Reef, which is within a designated underwater park. Also popular is the wreck of the Andes. This three-masted merchant ship sank in 1905, and rests in less than thirty feet of water in Deep Bay.

Constant tradewinds create an outstanding canvas for sailing or surfing. In fact, Antigua hosts Sailing Week, which is one of the premier sailing events in the world. Yacht shows, regattas, and other sailing events are also big draws for visitors.

A summer visit might fall on Carnival, the islands’ ten-day celebration to commemorate emancipation. Holidaymakers can immerse themselves in local culture through parades, competitions, local concerts and cultural activities.

Antigua has a thriving arts community, too. Artists, graphic designers, musicians and authors showcase their work in a variety of galleries, studios and other venues.

Art lovers should check out Antigua’s Sea View Farm Village. The art of Antiguan folk pottery dates back to the early 18th century. Pottery created by local artisans makes for great souvenirs. There’s also a good selection of shops and boutiques – duty free, of course! Jewelry, perfumes, rum, and just about anything else you need (or just want) can be found in Antigua.

Casinos, lively singles’ nightclubs, or pubs with historic ambience – Choices for nightlife are quite varied. Belt out some tunes on Karaoke Night at King’s Casino; enjoy tapas and an extensive martini menu at Mad Mongoose; or grab a beer and shoot some darts at Mainbrace Pub.

The popularity of all-inclusive resorts have whittled down the number of local restaurant options on Antigua. But it’s not quantity, but quality that matters. And several spots like Cecilia’s High Point Café, The Hide Out, and Sheer Rocks get consistently good reviews. In addition, the cuisine in many hotel restaurants is on par with gourmet fare.

Whether you opt to sequester yourself in your top-notch all-inclusive resort, or soak up all Antigua and Barbuda have to offer, time here is always well spent.