Home Destinations 15 Best Things to Do in Antigua 2024 for All Travelers

15 Best Things to Do in Antigua 2024 for All Travelers

by Naoi Rei
15 Best Things to Do in Antigua 2024 for All Travelers

Tucked away in the sunny Caribbean, Antigua is a tropical gem sparkling with fun under the sun, azure seas, and endless stretches of sand. Famous for its 365 beaches—yeah, there’s one for every day of the year—this island is more than a chill-out spot for sun worshippers. It’s bursting with fun-filled adventures for everyone from spirited explorers and history lovers to food enthusiasts and wildlife fans. If you’re dreaming up a 2024 getaway and pondering over the coolest things to do in Antigua, you’ve struck gold. Antigua is overflowing with fun that fits everyone’s taste. So, let’s dive into a handpicked list of the top 15 must-try activities for your next trip to Antigua.

1. Relax at the Pristine Beaches

Picture-perfect coasts? Check! Antigua’s beaches are a big hit and easily some of the best things to do in Antigua. Each beach is unique—find calm at Half Moon Bay or mingle with the crowd at lively Dickenson Bay. Embrace the Caribbean vibes by basking in the golden sun, sculpting sandcastles, or unwinding beneath rustling palms.

2. Explore the Historic Nelson’s Dockyard

Dive into history at Nelson’s Dockyard, a cultural gem and a hotspot for sleek yachts. Wander through its historic nooks—what used to be the naval officers’ quarters are now cool museums, shops, and places to eat. It’s a charming throwback to the days when Admiral Horatio Nelson sailed these waters back in the 1780s.

3. Take a Hike Up to Shirley Heights

For views that’ll make your heart skip a beat, Shirley Heights is the place to be. This old military lookout gifts you with stunning snapshots of English Harbour. Make tracks up during daylight to soak in the greenery and ocean blues. Or, groove into the party vibes at a Sunday sunset bash with barbecue treats, rum punch tunes, and the island’s rhythm.

4. Join a Snorkeling or Diving Expedition

Dive into the clear, warm waters of Antigua—a haven for sea creatures. Snorkel Cades Reef’s vibrant life, or explore mysterious sunken treasures. Ready to plunge? Whether you’re new to the game or super skilled, there’s a guided dive or a welcoming tour group waiting for you.

5. Sail Around the Island

Sailing is a big deal in Antigua, and feeling the wind on your face while cruising the blue is a must-do. With famous events like Antigua Sailing Week, hop onto a charter or learn to hoist the sails yourself. Sailing combines the thrill of sport with breathtaking views and is definitely one of the things to do in Antigua you can’t miss.

6. Discover the Donkey Sanctuary

Head over to the Donkey Sanctuary for some animal magic. This loving home for rescued donkeys lets you pet and treat these cuddly creatures. It’s a feel-good visit that’ll teach you about caring for our furry friends—a sweet stop, especially for families or those craving a slower pace.

7. Sample Local Cuisine at Street Food Vendors

Craving a bite of Antigua? The street food scene is where it’s at! Dig into spicy jerk chicken, hearty roti, and the traditional dish, fungie with pepperpot. Indulging in these yummy eats is a fun and tasty way to dive into the island’s food scene. And don’t skip the chance to savor seafood fresh from the ocean.

8. Tour the Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation

Once a buzzing sugar hub, Betty’s Hope now stands as a memory of Antigua’s colonial days. Roam the old sugar mill ruins, and learn the stories of the plantation laborers. Discovering this site sheds light on the island’s deep-rooted history.

9. Kayak Through the Mangroves

Navigate through Antigua’s calming mangroves by kayak for a tranquil nature encounter. Glide past tight knotty roots and keep an eye out for the local critters. Some tours even mix in snorkeling or bird-watching—doubling your fun of spotting Antigua’s natural treasures.

10. Zip Through the Rainforest

For a taste of adrenaline, the Rainforest Zipline Tour is the ticket! Zip from tree to tree, soaking up the jungle ambiance from above. It’s a thrilling experience if you’re eager to spice up your trip with a dash of adventure.

11. Visit St. John’s Cathedral

The heart of St. John’s pulses around its stunning cathedral. Gaze upon its historical Baroque style and stay awhile to enjoy the peacefulness. Inside, you’ll find magnificent woodwork and kaleidoscopic stained-glass windows that make this place really special.

12. Take a Cooking Class and Mixology Lesson

Why simply taste when you can create? Learn the secrets of Caribbean cooking in a local class, then shake things up with a lesson on Antigua’s famed cocktails, like the delicious rum punch. You’ll head home with not just memories, but also tasty tricks to impress your pals.

13. Spend a Day at Stingray City

Get up close with ocean giants at Stingray City, where you can splash around and feed southern stingrays. Don’t worry—they’re gentle creatures, and the pros are there to guide you through this amazing and safe underwater encounter. It’s definitely one of the truly unique things to do in Antigua.

14. Hike to the Pillars of Hercules

The striking Pillars of Hercules are must-see natural rock sculptures by English Harbour’s entry. Reachable by boat or a scenic hike, these grand stone formations are awesome. Outdoorsy types will enjoy the path leading to Fort Berkeley for an impressive land view, while boaters will love them from the water.

15. Browse the Craft Market in St. John’s

Wrap up your Antigua must-dos with a trip to the vibrant craft market in St. John’s. This is where you’ll find hand-crafted trinkets, bright fabrics, and baubles—perfect keepsakes of your visit. Chat with the artisans and take a peek into their traditions—it’s not just shopping, it’s a cultural voyage.

FAQ

Q: What’s the best time of year to visit Antigua?

A: The prime time to head to Antigua is the dry spell from December to April. Sunny skies and a slim chance of rain make it ideal.

Q: Are there activities for children in Antigua?

A: Absolutely, Antigua is super kid-friendly with cool places like the Donkey Sanctuary, Stingray City, and safe, welcoming beaches for the little ones.

Q: Do I need to be certified to go diving in Antigua?

A: Though it’s good to have for solo dives, loads of dive shops have beginner courses and group dives where you don’t need any certification at all.

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