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All-Inclusive Antigua: Go Beyond The Beaches And Resorts


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Erin Devine



Welcome to the paradise island of Antigua! With its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and year-round sunshine, it’s no wonder why this Caribbean gem is a top destination for beach lovers. But beyond its breathtaking beaches and luxurious resorts, Antigua has so much more to offer.


Antigua boasts a rich history and vibrant culture that is just waiting to be explored. From its colonial architecture in St. John’s, the capital city, to its cultural landmarks like Nelson’s Dockyard, the island is a treasure trove of historical sites. Immerse yourself in the island’s past by visiting the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda or taking a tour of the ruins of Betty’s Hope sugar plantation.


If you’re seeking adventure, Antigua won’t disappoint. The island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of thrilling activities. Explore the underwater wonders of the Caribbean Sea by scuba diving or snorkeling in the pristine coral reefs. Embark on a thrilling zip line adventure through the rainforest or hike up to the top of Shirley Heights for breathtaking views of the island.


No visit to Antigua would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes like grilled lobster or savor the flavors of traditional Antiguan dishes such as saltfish and fungie. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a refreshing rum punch or a local beer while enjoying the stunning sunset views.


While the beaches in Antigua are undoubtedly beautiful, there are also hidden gems waiting to be discovered off the beaten path. Explore the secluded coves and hidden bays where you can find your own private slice of paradise. Visit the tranquil forest of Fig Tree Drive or take a boat tour to the uninhabited islands of Great Bird Island or Green Island for a unique and memorable experience.


When the sun sets, Antigua comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Dance the night away at one of the island’s beachfront bars or try your luck at the casino. From live music performances to themed parties, there’s always something happening after dark in Antigua.


After a day of adventure and exploration, take some time to relax and rejuvenate at one of Antigua’s world-class spas and wellness centers. Take a yoga class overlooking the beach or indulge in a rejuvenating massage. Unwind and let the stresses of everyday life melt away in this island paradise.


Before you leave this tropical haven, make sure to take home a piece of Antigua with you. Browse the local markets and shops for unique souvenirs, including handcrafted jewelry, vibrant textiles, and local artwork. You’ll find the perfect reminder of your unforgettable Antigua experience.


Come and experience all that Antigua has to offer beyond its stunning beaches and resorts. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, a food lover, or simply looking for relaxation, Antigua has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for a remarkable journey on this enchanting island.


Exploring Antigua’s rich history and culture

Antigua is not just a picturesque beach destination; it is also a place steeped in rich history and vibrant culture. Exploring the island’s past and immersing yourself in its unique cultural heritage is an essential part of any visit to Antigua.


One of the best ways to delve into Antigua’s history is by visiting St. John’s, the capital city. Stroll through the streets lined with colorful colonial architecture and take in the charming atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, where you can learn about the island’s indigenous people, the Arawaks, as well as its colonial history and the impact of the sugar plantation era.


A must-see historical site in Antigua is Nelson’s Dockyard, located in English Harbour. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true marvel of naval history. Explore the beautifully preserved Georgian-era buildings that once served as a base for the British Navy. You can also visit the Admiral’s House, which now houses the Dockyard Museum, and get a glimpse into the island’s maritime past.


To further understand the island’s history, make your way to Betty’s Hope. This former sugar plantation showcases the remnants of a bygone era. Take a tour and learn about the hardships faced by the enslaved people who worked on the plantation and the rise and fall of the sugar industry in Antigua.


Antigua’s rich culture is displayed not only in its historical sites but also in its vibrant festivals and traditions. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during Carnival, you’ll witness a spectacle of color, music, and dance, with parades and celebrations taking over the streets. The Antiguan Heritage Festival is another highlight, where you can experience traditional music, dance, and food that have been passed down through generations.


Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the local crafts and artisans of Antigua. Head to the village of Liberta to visit the cooperative craft center, where you can find beautifully handmade pottery, baskets, and woodwork. You can also explore Redcliffe Quay, a charming heritage site filled with shops and galleries selling local artwork, jewelry, and souvenirs.


By exploring Antigua’s rich history and immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, you will gain a deeper appreciation for this enchanting island. From its colonial architecture to its cultural traditions, Antigua offers a unique blend of past and present that will captivate and inspire you.


Discovering outdoor adventures in Antigua

For those seeking outdoor thrills and adventures, Antigua is the perfect destination. With its diverse landscape of beaches, forests, and reefs, the island offers a wide range of activities that will satisfy every outdoor enthusiast.


The crystal-clear waters surrounding Antigua make it a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. Dive into the Caribbean Sea and explore the stunning coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. Whether you’re a seasoned scuba diver or a beginner looking to try snorkeling, there are plenty of dive operators ready to assist you in discovering the underwater treasures of Antigua.


If you’re a fan of sailing, Antigua is renowned for hosting the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, one of the world’s premier sailing events. You can charter a yacht and sail around the island, exploring secluded bays and hidden coves along the coastline.


For those seeking an adrenaline rush, head to the southern coast and indulge in kiteboarding or windsurfing. The consistent trade winds create ideal conditions for these exhilarating sports. Lessons and equipment rentals are available for all levels, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, you can soar across the turquoise waters and feel the thrill of the wind in your sails.


If you prefer to stay on land, Antigua offers an array of hiking trails that will take you through lush rainforests and up to breathtaking viewpoints. One popular hike is the trail to the top of Shirley Heights, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the island and the neighboring islands of Montserrat and Guadeloupe. Another option is the Fig Tree Drive, a scenic road that winds through the rainforest, showcasing Antigua’s natural beauty.


Thrill-seekers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to go zip-lining through Antigua’s lush forests. Strap in and glide through the treetops, getting a bird’s-eye view of the island’s stunning landscapes. This exhilarating activity is sure to get your heart racing and provide an unforgettable experience.


If you prefer a more relaxing outdoor experience, why not try horseback riding along the beaches of Antigua? You can trot through the waves and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from a different perspective. It’s a serene way to connect with nature and create lasting memories.


For nature enthusiasts, a trip to Hell’s Gate Island is a must. Located off the coast of Antigua, this uninhabited island is a protected nature reserve and a sanctuary for many species of birds and marine life. Explore the mangrove forest, kayak through the pristine waters, or simply relax on the secluded beaches and immerse yourself in the serenity of this untouched paradise.


With its wide range of outdoor activities, Antigua provides endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. Whether you’re in search of adrenaline-pumping water sports or a tranquil hike through the wilderness, this Caribbean gem has it all.


Indulging in the local cuisine and dining scene

Antigua is not only a feast for the eyes with its stunning beaches and landscapes but also a culinary paradise. The island offers a delectable array of local dishes and international flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your cravings.


When it comes to dining in Antigua, seafood takes center stage. Freshly caught fish, lobster, shrimp, and conch are staples of the local cuisine. Visit one of the beachfront restaurants or seafood shacks for a mouthwatering seafood feast. Try the famous Antiguan lobster, grilled to perfection and served with butter or garlic sauce. Or savor the flavors of a traditional “fish and fungi” dish, which consists of a succulent fish fillet paired with a cornmeal-based side dish.


Antigua’s culinary scene is not limited to seafood. The island embraces a fusion of flavors influenced by its diverse cultural heritage. Indulge in the vibrant Afro-Caribbean cuisine with dishes like jerk chicken, curried goat, and callaloo, a local leafy green vegetable. Don’t miss the opportunity to try “ducana,” a traditional Antiguan dish made from grated sweet potato, coconut, and spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed to perfection.


To truly experience the local food culture, venture beyond the restaurants and explore the street food scene. Throughout Antigua, you’ll find food stalls and vendors selling a variety of local snacks and treats. Grab a “roti,” a delicious Caribbean flatbread filled with curry chicken or vegetables, or sample some “saltfish fritters,” a popular snack made from salted and fried codfish mixed with herbs and spices.


Pair your meals with some refreshing and locally made beverages. Antigua is known for its rum, so be sure to try the island’s rum punch or the famous “English Harbour” rum. Don’t forget to sample the local beer, Wadadli, which is brewed on the island and named after Antigua’s indigenous name.


For those looking for international flavors, Antigua’s dining scene has something to offer. The island boasts a diverse range of international restaurants, from Italian and French to Asian and Indian cuisines. Explore the various dining options in the capital city of St. John’s or head to the resorts and hotels, where you’ll find a selection of fine dining establishments offering gourmet meals and world-class culinary experiences.


When dining in Antigua, be sure to soak up the island’s laid-back atmosphere. Enjoy your meal while taking in the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea or dining under the stars with your feet in the sand. The warm and welcoming hospitality of the locals adds an extra touch to the dining experience, making every meal a memorable one.


Food enthusiasts will find paradise in Antigua, with its diverse and delicious cuisine. From fresh seafood and local specialties to international flavors, you’ll be treated to a culinary journey that will leave you wanting to come back for more.


Uncovering hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots

While Antigua is known for its stunning beaches and popular attractions, the island also hides a wealth of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots waiting to be discovered. Exploring these lesser-known destinations will reveal a different side of Antigua and provide a truly unique and memorable experience.


One hidden gem to explore is Darkwood Beach. Tucked away on the southwestern coast of the island, this secluded beach offers pristine white sands, calm turquoise waters, and breathtaking views. It’s the perfect spot for a peaceful day of sunbathing, swimming, or snorkeling. Pack a picnic and soak in the natural beauty of this hidden paradise.


For nature lovers, a visit to Indian Town National Park is a must. Located on the eastern coast of Antigua, this protected area is home to unique rock formations and mysterious caves. Explore the natural beauty of the park by hiking the trails and discovering hidden treasures along the way. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Devil’s Bridge, a natural limestone arch formation that showcases the power of the Atlantic Ocean’s waves.


Escape the crowds and head to Great Bird Island, an uninhabited islet located a short boat ride from Antigua. This secluded paradise is a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of bird species nesting on the island. Explore the pristine beaches, snorkel in the clear waters, and enjoy the tranquility of this untouched gem.


If you’re willing to venture farther afield, take a boat tour to Green Island. This uninhabited gem offers pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Snorkel or dive among the colorful coral formations, spot tropical fish, and enjoy the serenity of this untouched slice of Caribbean paradise.


For a cultural experience off the beaten path, visit the quaint village of Parham. This historic town was the first British settlement in Antigua and is steeped in history. Visit the old St. Peter’s Anglican Church, built-in 1847, and explore the ruins of the old courthouse and jail. Immerse yourself in the local way of life and experience the charm of this lesser-known destination.


For a peaceful and scenic escape, head to Fig Tree Drive. This winding road takes you through lush rainforests, past colorful flora, and offers stunning views of the island’s natural beauty. Pull over at one of the many viewpoints to capture photos of the rolling hills and emerald landscapes.


These hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots offer a chance to experience a different side of Antigua away from the bustling tourist areas. By venturing off the conventional path, you’ll uncover hidden treasures, connect with nature, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Exploring Antigua’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment options

When the sun sets in Antigua, the island comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From beachfront bars to lively clubs and cultural shows, there’s something for everyone to enjoy after dark. Antigua offers a diverse range of entertainment options that will keep you entertained well into the night.


One of the best ways to experience the nightlife in Antigua is by visiting one of the beachfront bars. Dance under the stars and feel the sand between your toes as you move to the rhythm of Caribbean music. Many beach bars host live music performances, featuring local bands or talented musicians. Sip on a tropical cocktail or a local beer while enjoying the lively atmosphere and breathtaking views of the ocean.


If you’re looking for a night filled with excitement and entertainment, head to a vibrant nightclub. Antigua has a variety of clubs that offer music, dancing, and a lively atmosphere. Dance to the latest hits, enjoy DJ sets, or watch performances by local artists. The clubs often have themed nights, so be sure to check the schedule for any special events happening during your stay.


Immerse yourself in Antigua’s local culture by attending a cultural show or live performance. From traditional dance performances to theatrical productions, there are various venues where you can experience the arts in Antigua. Check out the local listings for concerts, theater performances, or cultural festivals happening during your visit.


For a different kind of nighttime entertainment, try your luck at one of Antigua’s casinos. Enjoy a few rounds of blackjack, poker, or roulette as you soak in the thrilling atmosphere. The casinos often have live entertainment and music performances, providing a complete entertainment experience in one venue.


If you’re in the mood for a more laid-back evening, gather with friends at a local bar or lounge. Enjoy a relaxed ambiance, great conversation, and a wide selection of drinks. Many bars offer happy hour specials or themed nights, allowing you to unwind and socialize in a comfortable setting.


For a unique and captivating experience, attend a Full Moon Party on the beach. These monthly events are celebrated with bonfires, music, and dancing under the moonlit sky. Join the festivities and witness the beach come alive with energy and excitement.


Regardless of your preferred style of nighttime entertainment, Antigua has something to offer for every taste. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, enjoy live performances, or simply unwind with a drink in hand, the island’s vibrant nightlife scene will ensure that your evenings are just as memorable as your days in paradise.


Relaxing and rejuvenating at Antigua’s spas and wellness centers

Antigua is not just a destination for sun, sand, and sea; it’s also a place to find relaxation and rejuvenation. The island is home to a number of luxurious spas and wellness centers that offer a range of treatments and therapies to help you unwind and revive your senses.


Indulge in a day of pampering at one of Antigua’s world-class spas. These sanctuary-like havens provide a tranquil escape from the bustling world, allowing you to unwind and let go of stress. Enjoy a soothing massage by expert therapists trained in various techniques, including Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone massages. Feel the tension melt away as skilled hands work their magic on your body.


Many of the spas in Antigua offer holistic therapies that combine ancient healing techniques with modern practices. Experience the benefits of reflexology, Reiki, or aromatherapy to restore balance and harmony to your mind, body, and spirit. These therapies can help alleviate stress, reduce muscle tension, and promote overall well-being.


In addition to massages and holistic therapies, Antigua’s spas also offer a range of beauty and skincare treatments. Revitalize your skin with rejuvenating facials, exfoliating body scrubs, or detoxifying wraps. Let expert aestheticians pamper you, leaving you with a glowing complexion and a renewed sense of vitality.


For a truly indulgent experience, book a spa package that combines multiple treatments. These packages are designed to provide a comprehensive and immersive spa experience, allowing you to fully relax and rejuvenate. Whether you choose a half-day or full-day package, you’ll emerge feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on the world.


In addition to the traditional spa experiences, Antigua also offers wellness centers that focus on holistic well-being. These centers often provide yoga and meditation classes, as well as workshops and retreats to help you achieve a state of tranquility and inner balance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned yogi, these centers offer a serene environment to deepen your practice and find inner peace.


Take advantage of the natural beauty of Antigua by participating in outdoor wellness activities. Embark on a yoga session on the beach at sunrise or sunset, connecting with nature as you flow through asanas with the sound of the waves as your backdrop. Join a beachside meditation class to clear your mind and find inner serenity. Engaging in these activities in such a picturesque setting amplifies the experience, making it even more rejuvenating.


Antigua’s spas and wellness centers provide the perfect opportunity to relax and rejuvenate during your stay. Whether you choose to indulge in luxurious spa treatments, delve into holistic therapies, or practice yoga in paradise, you’ll find that the island’s tranquil atmosphere and expert practitioners will leave you feeling renewed and restored.


Shopping for unique souvenirs and local products

Your visit to Antigua wouldn’t be complete without taking home some unique souvenirs and local products. The island offers a variety of shopping experiences, from bustling markets to boutique shops, where you can find the perfect mementos to commemorate your time in paradise.


One of the best places to start your shopping adventure is at the Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay in St. John’s. These historic districts are home to an array of shops and boutiques, offering a diverse selection of souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, and local crafts. Browse the shops to find unique items such as handmade jewelry, colorful textiles, and locally crafted artwork, all reflecting Antigua’s vibrant culture and Caribbean charm.


For a more authentic shopping experience, head to the local markets. The bustling Public Market in St. John’s is a vibrant hub where you can immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and find an abundance of fresh produce, spices, and crafts. Explore the stalls and interact with the friendly vendors to discover local delicacies, such as jams, sauces, and traditional treats. Don’t forget to haggle a bit to get the best price!


Art enthusiasts will find joy in browsing the art galleries scattered throughout Antigua. These galleries showcase the talents of local artists, with a diverse range of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and prints. Take home a piece of Antigua’s artistic spirit by purchasing a unique artwork that captures the essence of the island and serves as a lasting reminder of your visit.


When it comes to souvenirs, look for handmade crafts that showcase the island’s craftsmanship and cultural heritage. Visit Liberta Cooperative Handicraft Center, located in the village of Liberta, to find beautifully crafted pottery, baskets, and woodwork created by local artisans. These unique pieces make for meaningful gifts or decorative items for your own home.


No trip to Antigua would be complete without sampling the island’s world-famous rum. Visit one of the distilleries, such as the Antigua Distillery Ltd., where you can learn about the rum-making process and purchase a bottle of locally produced rum to take home. Look for unique flavors and limited-edition releases to add to your collection or to share with friends and family.


If you’re seeking a more off-the-beaten-path shopping experience, explore the local villages and roadside vendors. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of handmade crafts, including woven baskets, hand-dyed textiles, and hand-carved wooden figurines. Shopping in these smaller local establishments allows you to directly support the local economy and connect with the community.


Don’t forget to bring home some of Antigua’s flavors by purchasing local products such as hot sauces, spices, and coffee. Antigua is known for its fiery scotch bonnet pepper sauces and aromatic spices that add a Caribbean touch to your dishes. Enjoy the rich flavors of locally roasted coffee beans, a perfect way to start your day with a taste of Antigua.


Shopping in Antigua is a delightful experience, offering a range of unique souvenirs and local products that capture the essence of the island. Whether you’re browsing the markets, exploring art galleries, or searching for handmade crafts, you’ll find a wealth of treasures to bring home and cherish as a reminder of your unforgettable time in Antigua.



Antigua truly is a paradise that goes beyond its beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts. From its rich history and vibrant culture to its thrilling outdoor adventures and diverse culinary scene, there is something for every traveler to enjoy on this enchanting island.


Exploring Antigua’s rich history and culture allows you to delve into the island’s past, visiting historical sites like Nelson’s Dockyard and immersing yourself in local traditions and festivals. Discovering the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots will take you to secluded beaches, natural wonders, and charming villages that offer a different perspective of the island.


Indulging in the local cuisine and dining scene is a must-do in Antigua. From savoring the fresh seafood dishes to exploring the street food scene, the island’s culinary offerings will leave you craving for more. And after a day of adventure and exploration, you can unwind and rejuvenate at one of Antigua’s luxurious spas and wellness centers, where skilled therapists will pamper you with a variety of treatments and therapies.


Shopping for souvenirs and local products allows you to bring a piece of Antigua back home with you. Whether you’re exploring the markets for fresh produce and crafts or browsing the art galleries and boutiques for unique finds, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from to remember your time in Antigua.


As you bid farewell to this Caribbean gem, you’ll take with you unforgettable memories, stunning photographs, and a deeper appreciation for the beauty and charm of Antigua. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, a food lover, or simply someone in search of relaxation, Antigua offers a remarkable experience that will leave you longing to return. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the wonders of Antigua, and let this island paradise captivate your heart.